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Posted On Wednesday, 01.04.2012 / 10:36 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Zajac, Volchenkov out for Devils against Bruins

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Devils will be without both center Travis Zajac and defenseman Anton Volchenkov for Wednesday's game against Boston (7:30 p.m., NBC Sports Network).

Devils GM Lou Lamoriello said that Volchenkov, who missed Monday's game in Ottawa with a lower-body injury, "is still resting his leg." He added that Zajac, who missed the first 30 games of the season after having surgery on his left Achilles tendon in August, is experiencing soreness and is day-to-day.

Zajac has played in every game since making his season debut against Dallas on Dec. 16, but he has been given the occasional day off to rest. He did not take part in Tuesday's optional practice either.

"He has a little soreness and we won't take any chances," Lamoriello said. "We have spoken to the doctors. There is nothing structurally wrong. He's OK, but we're going to rest him and he'll be day to day."

Lamoriello said the doctors told him that Zajac would likely experience soreness after returning to the ice. He said it's similar to what Zach Parise went through after his surgery last year to repair a torn ACL.

"This is normal," Lamoriello said. "Anybody with these types of injuries, there's going to be soreness. It's part of rehabilitation. We actually waited a week more than we had to when the doctor released him, but we're going to take every precaution possible."

Devils coach Peter DeBoer said that Tim Sestito will go into the lineup and Ryan Carter will move up into Zajac's spot to center the third line between David Clarkson and Mattias Tedenby.

"We were mentally prepared and warned that there was going to be some bumps in the road here," DeBoer said. "Obviously a real significant injury and he was coming back at the front end of the time period they had allotted for it, so I'm not concerned about it. We'll just keep moving forward."

Lamoriello also confirmed that defenseman Andy Greene (fractured foot) is out of his cast and in a walking boot, but is still a few weeks away from playing.

Here are the Devils projected forward lines and defense pairs for Wednesday's game against Boston:

Zach Parise - Adam Henrique - Ilya Kovalchuk
Petr Sykora - Patrik Elias - Dainius Zubrus
Mattias Tedenby - Ryan Carter - David Clarkson
Eric Boulton - Tim Sestito - Cam Janssen

Henrik Tallinder - Mark Fayne
Bryce Salvador - Adam Larsson
Matt Taormina - Kurtis Foster

Martin Brodeur will make his fourth straight start, backed up by Johan Hedberg.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl








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Posted On Sunday, 01.01.2012 / 1:21 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Live from New Year's Day practices

Hartnell credits Jagr/Giroux with making him better

Scott Hartnell said Sunday that Flyers leading scorer Claude Giroux deserves credit for helping him become a harder worker off the ice this season.

"He's our hardest-working player, and I think that says a lot to the teammates and even young kids growing up that want to have someone to look at," Hartnell said of Giroux, who has 45 points this season as the center between Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr. "My dad always told me to be the hardest-working player every time you're on the ice, and he definitely is. Playing with him this year, it rubs off on me. I've taken care of myself better, done more in the gym, stayed after practice a little bit longer to do things. It's been incredible for me and every player watching the game. He's just a great player to emulate."

Hartnell, though, also gave credit to Jagr for the success of the Flyers top line. The trio has combined for 46 goals and 64 assists this season, including 17 goals and 17 assists for Hartnell.

"At first it was like, 'Holy man, this guy is on our team.' Then it was like, 'Oh my gosh, this guy is on our line.' I'm still shocked by it," Hartnell said of Jagr. "He wants to be the best player that's ever played and he makes me practice better and makes 'G' practice better. He wants to score goals all the time. We try to be the best line on the ice every night. It's been awesome for my career. I'm just blessed to be with them right now."

Speaking of Jagr, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said the 39-year-old veteran had no clue who Giroux was before he got to the Flyers.

"He had been out of the League for three years so he didn't know who he was, but I think he knows him now and he's happy to be playing with him," Holmgren said. "You're talking about high-end offensive players, and the more you have playing together the more success you can have. Those two guys think the game at a different level."

Hartnell has been the beneficiary.
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Posted On Sunday, 01.01.2012 / 12:52 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Live from New Year's Day practices

Rinaldo meets his idol

PHILADELPHIA -- Flyers rookie Zac Rinaldo got to meet his hero Saturday inside the home clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park.

Rinaldo approached Eric Lindros following the Molson Canadian 2012 NHL Winter Classic Alumni Game and told the ex-Flyer great that he is the only reason he gained a passion for hockey as a young kid growing up in Hamilton, Ont.

"He's the only reason I watched hockey, really," Rinaldo said of Lindros. "I told him if it wasn't for him I wouldn't be the player I am today, and that's the truth. I don't think I would be able to hit the way I want to. I didn't like watching hockey if he wasn't playing. If he was playing, I'd watch."

Rinaldo said he was able to get Lindros to sign his jersey. Rinaldo's father also took a picture with Lindros.

"(Lindros) will be at the game (Monday), so hopefully I can put on a good show for him," Rinaldo said. "Maybe we can keep in touch.

"He was really humble. He's a really great guy."

Rinaldo, one of the Flyers resident pugilists who has 110 penalty minutes this season, did say if he got to play in Lindros' era, he wouldn't have backed down from the powerful center.

"He'd be the first guy to go after," Rinaldo said. "I wouldn't ask him to fight. I'd give him a little respect, but I'd definitely try to hit him. He'd probably put me on my (butt), but I'd be honored to take a hit from that guy."

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Posted On Saturday, 12.31.2011 / 5:19 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Molson Canadian Winter Classic Alumni Game

Flyers win, Flyers win, Flyers win

Glenn Anderson got a penalty shot opportunity with 5:01 to play due to a Flyers penalty, but Neil Little came up with an arm save to keep the puck out and preserve the Flyers 3-1 lead.

The Rangers tested Little a few more times before time finally wore out and the home team walked off the field with a 3-1 victory.

New York eventually pulled goalie Dan Blackburn with just over a minute left, but it didn't work.

The crowd of 45,808 thoroughly enjoyed the alumni game today. It was fun to watch from the press box, too.

If I had to give out three stars, they'd go to:

1. Bernie Parent -- 6 saves in four minutes, stole the show early

2. Dan Blackburn -- Tremendous game from the guy who had his career cut short due to injury

3. Shjon Podein -- Used his plethora of ice time well and scored a goal

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Posted On Saturday, 12.31.2011 / 5:09 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Molson Canadian Winter Classic Alumni Game

Under seven minutes left, Flyers lead

Time winding down here and the Rangers need a goal.

It remains 3-1 with under eight minutes left and the chants of "Let's go Flyers" are coming from the first base side of the stands.

Give these guys credit, they're still going hard with now under seven minutes to play.
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Posted On Saturday, 12.31.2011 / 5:01 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Molson Canadian Winter Classic Alumni Game

Howe converts on penalty shot, Flyers lead 3-1

The third penalty shot of the game was given to Mark Howe, and the Hall of Famer delivered the Flyers a 3-1 lead with 15 and a half minutes left in the third period.

Howe was hooked on his way to the net by Kypreos, who earlier in the game failed on a penalty shot. Howe showed his hands by freezing Dan Blackburn, who apparently cana give up a goal, before firing a forehanded shot right past him.

The clock is ticking down, bleeding to under 14 minutes left, and the Flyers have themselves a comfortable yet feared two-goal lead.
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Posted On Saturday, 12.31.2011 / 4:38 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Molson Canadian Winter Classic Alumni Game

Podein shows hands, misses penalty shot

Nick Fotiu wrapped his stick around the midsection of Shjon Podein as he was attempting to shoot, setting up another penalty shot, this time with 2:15 left in the second period.

Podein made a deke to his backhand and had Blackburn down, but he lifted the puck high over the crossbar and into the glass.

Blackburn is just too good right now to be scored on.

The best moment, though, was when Fotiu acted as if he did nothing wrong. There has never been a more blatant hook in the game of hockey.

The second period is now over with the Flyers alums clinging to a 2-1 lead over the Rangers alums. At the end of the period they announced an attendance of 45,808.
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Posted On Saturday, 12.31.2011 / 4:32 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Molson Canadian Winter Classic Alumni Game

Rangers get one back

The Rangers have gotten one back to make it 2-1, and it's Glenn Anderson getting the credit.

Darius Kasparaitis delivered a shot-pass in the direction of Brian Leetch, but Anderson got his stick on it and deflected the puck past Flyers goalie Neil Little at the 9:25 mark of the second period.

It appears the Rangers are motivated by the impressive play of Dan Blackburn.

TV timeout now with 5:48 left in the second period.
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Posted On Saturday, 12.31.2011 / 4:28 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Molson Canadian Winter Classic Alumni Game

Blackburn giving star performance

Dan Blackburn didn't have a long career in the NHL, and in the second period here he's looking like he's making up for some missed opportunities.

Blackburn just made a sprawling kick save on a one-timer from Jeremy Roenick. He went from his left to right, went down on his left hip, kicked up his right leg and kep the puck out of the net.

Minutes later, Blackburn read the pass from John Leclair to Mark Recchi on a 2-on-1, and he came across, this time from his right to left, to make another tremendous pad save.

Blackburtn is swimming all over his crease, but the Flyers can't seem to beat him. He's the only reason the Rangers alumni aren't getting blown out here.

It's still 2-0. Blackburn gets a star by his name.
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Posted On Saturday, 12.31.2011 / 4:20 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Molson Canadian Winter Classic Alumni Game

Kypreos needs some penalty shot practice

The second period started much like the first, with the Rangers owning the territorial advantage. Except, this time there was no Bernie Parent to be the story.

Rangers goalie Dan Blackburn was instead the story early with a big-time split save with the left pad on Ken Linseman, who is wearing goggles for glasses, a new fashion statement that probably won't catch on in today's NHL.

Kerry Fraser whistled for a slashing penalty on Eric Lindros, who whacked Nick Kypreos' stick in the corner. Instead of getting a power play, Kypreos got a penalty shot opportunity, but Mark LaForest was up to the task, making a pad save to preserve the Flyers 2-0 lead with more than 15 minutes left in the period.
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Quote of the Day

I'm sure [my father] was going crazy up there. I hope all of my friends were celebrating in the crowd. Coming back here and all of my friends and family are here, getting a goal in front of them is special.

— Blues forward Ryan Reaves on scoring the game-winning goal Sunday against the Jets in his hometown of Winnipeg
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