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Posted On Monday, 02.27.2012 / 4:22 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Blues, Flames

CALGARY -- The St. Louis Blues aren't about to mess with success.

Fourth in the NHL with 83 points, the Blues were inactive during the trade deadline and will have their roster intact for tonight’s contest against the Calgary Flames.

Meanwhile, the Calgary Flames remained idle as well, and so this is how the lineups project for tonight's meeting at the Scotiabank Saddledome:

BLUES
Andy McDonaldDavid BackesT.J. Oshie
Vladimir Sobotka - Patrik Berglund - David Perron
Chris Porter - Jason Arnott - Chris Stewart
B.J. Crombeen - Scott Nichol - Ryan Reaves

Carlo Colaiacovo - Alex Pietrangelo
Barret Jackman - Kevin Shattenkirk
Kent Huskins - Roman Polak

Jaroslav Halak
Brian Elliott

FLAMES

Curtis Glencross - Olli Jokinen - Jarome Iginla
Alex Tanguay - Michael Cammalleri - Blake Comeau
Lance Bouma - Matt Stajan - Tom Kostopoulos
Guillaume Desbiens - Roman Horak - Tim Jackman

Derek Smith - Jay Bouwmeester
Mark Giordano - Scott Hannan
TJ Brodie - Cory Sarich

Miikka Kiprusoff
Henrik Karlsson

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Posted On Monday, 02.27.2012 / 2:24 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Gilbert trade a surprise for Oilers

WINNIPEG -- The Edmonton Oilers planned to be without injured defenseman Tom Gilbert for tonight's date with the Winnipeg Jets.

What the Oilers (24-31-6) did not expect was to wrap up their morning skate at the MTS Centre with the news that they would be without the well-liked Gilbert for good. Edmonton management shipped Gilbert to the Minnesota Wild for blueliner Nick Schultz. Gilbert's name had not been linked in previous trade rumors, making the trade all the more surprising for his teammates.

Schultz must still pass a team physical, Oilers coach Tom Renney said, and he will not dress for the Oilers against the Jets. Renney spoke by phone to Gilbert, who did not make the trip to Winnipeg.

"Kudos to Tom Gilbert for being an outstanding teammate, obviously, and a really solid NHL defenseman, and one that his teammates and the coaching staff will miss," Renney said. "He brought everything that he could every day to the rink for us, and we certainly appreciate that and wish him real good luck going forward."

Former Winnipeg Jet Nikolai Khabibulin was hoping to dress for tonight's game, but a lingering groin injury will sideline him. Yann Danis will back up starter Devan Dubnyk.

Here are the projected lines and pairings for the Oilers:

Ryan Smyth - Sam Gagner - Jordan Eberle
Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Ales Hemsky
Ryan Jones - Shawn Horcoff - Ben Eager
Lennart Petrell - Eric Belanger - Darcy Hordichuk

Ryan Whitney - Corey Potter
Ladislav Smid - Jeff Petry
Andy Sutton - Cam Barker

Devan Dubnyk
Yann Danis
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Posted On Monday, 02.27.2012 / 2:00 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Jets add Clitsome, turn focus to Oilers

WINNIPEG -- The NHL trade deadline talk dominated the MTS Centre, but the Winnipeg Jets have a playoff race to focus on, first and foremost.

The Jets (30-26-8) continue their eight-game homestand with a visit from the Edmonton Oilers, the city's long-time Smythe Division nemesis during its first NHL era. Eighth-place Winnipeg is two points behind the Florida Panthers for the Southeast Division lead and yields three games in hand to Kevin Dineen's club. The Jets and Panthers will meet in Winnipeg on Thursday.

Coach Claude Noel admits that combining the trade deadline and a game-day routine is a complicated mix, particularly inside a dressing room that he says has solid team chemistry.

"It's a tough day for players for a lot of different reasons," Noel said. "I think our chemistry is great, and that is always the fear."

Defenseman Zach Bogosian will be a game-time decision for the Jets.

The Jets also added defenseman Grant Clitsome via waivers from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Noel does not expect that Clitsome will be available for action against the Oilers. The 26-year-old Clitsome registered 4 goals and 14 points in 51 games this season and was in the Columbus organization when Noel worked with the Blue Jackets.

"You can never have enough defenseman," Noel said.

Ondrej Pavelec, who had a game off in Saturday afternoon's 3-2 shootout loss to St. Louis, will return again to the Winnipeg net.

Here are the projected lines and pairings for the Jets:

Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Blake Wheeler
Evander Kane - Alexander Burmistrov - Kyle Wellwood
Tanner Glass - Jim Slater - Chris Thorburn
Tim Stapleton - Nik Antropov - Antti Miettinen

Tobias Enstrom - Dustin Byfuglien
Johnny Oduya - Ron Hainsey
Randy Jones - Mark Stuart

Ondrej Pavelec
Chris Mason
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Posted On Monday, 02.27.2012 / 1:48 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Ducks, Avalanche

DENVER -- These are the projected lineups for tonight's game between the Anaheim Ducks and Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center:

DUCKS
Jason Blake - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Bobby Ryan - Saku Koivu - Teemu Selanne
Andrew Cogliano - Nick Bonino - Devante Smith-Pelly
Niklas Hagman - Rod Pelley - George Parros

Francois Beauchemin - Cam Fowler
Toni Lydman - Sheldon Brookbank
Luca Sbisa - Lubomir Visnovsky

Jonas Hiller
Jeff Deslauriers 

INJURIES: G Dan Ellis (groin) is out.

AVALANCHE
Gabriel Landeskog - Ryan O'Reilly - Steve Downie
Matt Duchene - Paul Stastny - Milan Hejduk
Peter Mueller/Kevin Porter - Mark Olver - David Jones
Cody McLeod - Jay McClement - Chuck Kobasew

Shane O'Brien - Erik Johnson
Jan Hejda - Ryan Wilson
Matt Hunwick - Stefan Elliott

Semyon Varlamov
Jean-Sebastien Giguere

INJURIES: D Ryan O'Byrne (knee) is out.
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Posted On Monday, 02.27.2012 / 1:36 PM

By Alan Robinson -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - NHL.com Countdown to the Trade Deadline blog

Clitsome: 'Bittersweet' feeling leaving Jackets for Jets

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Defenseman Grant Clitsome came off the ice following an hour-long practice Monday with the Columbus Blue Jackets to learn he was in the wrong uniform.
 
He now is a member of the Winnipeg Jets after being claimed on waivers, and he couldn't hide that he is excited about the late-season change of uniforms.
 
Just like that, he is moving from a team that effectively has been out of playoff contention for weeks to one that is currently in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Suddenly, the postseason is a realistic possibility.
 
"In a day or two looking back on it, I'm sure there will be some emotion, but I think right now I'm kind of caught up in the excitement and the atmosphere," Clitsome said. "I'm excited. They're in a playoff push and they've got a great team, so it's going to be exciting times."
 
Columbus is 18-37-7 and has 11 fewer points than any other team in the League, while Winnipeg is 30-26-8 and only two points behind Southeast Division-leading Florida and third place in the Eastern Conference.
 
The move followed an emotional 48 hours for Clitsome after he was placed on waivers, his future very much uncertain. He acknowledged, "It felt strange." Now that he knows where he's going, he can't help but be enthused.
 
"It's my first time being put on waivers so I wasn't sure what to expect. It's kind of bittersweet. I developed a lot of relationships here and friendships," Clitsome said. "The organization has put a lot of time into developing me as a player and I thank them for the opportunity they gave me. On the flip side of that, I'm really excited to go to an organization like Winnipeg."
 
Clitsome, 26, has 4 goals and 10 assists and is a minus-6 in 51 games this season. In 93 NHL games spread across three seasons, he has 9 goals and 36 points.
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Posted On Monday, 02.27.2012 / 9:15 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL.com Countdown to the Trade Deadline blog

Caps put Backstrom on long-term injured reserve


The Washington Capitals were one of only a few teams trying to make the playoffs that had little room below the salary cap ceiling to work with.

They aren't among those teams anymore, because a team spokesman confirmed to reporters that top center Nicklas Backstrom has been placed on long-term injured reserve. By putting Backstrom on LTI, the Capitals have an extra $6.7 million of acquisition space to work on trade deadline day.

Washington had less than a $1 million in space before the move, but capgeek.com has the Capitals with the ability to add about $7.693 million Monday. The issue is all of that relief from putting Backstrom on LTI is contingent on the concussed center staying on LTI -- the Capitals can only use all of that space if he doesn't play the rest of the season.

The Capitals are currently one point behind Winnipeg for eighth place in the Eastern Conference with two games in hand. They are also three points shy of Florida for first place in the Southeast Division and the No. 3 seed in the playoffs, but the Panthers have a game in hand.

Washington general manager George McPhee is notoriously tight-lipped about his intentions, though there have been reports that he is shopping veteran defenseman Roman Hamrlik. If he were to move Hamrlik, who was a healthy scratch and questioned coach Dale Hunter's decision, it would open up $3.5 million of "real" acquisition space that wouldn't rely on Backstrom not playing again during the regular season.

With a healthy Backstrom the Capitals might still need another center to have success in the postseason, and without him they are perilously thin at the position. If McPhee does look at add Monday, expect that to be an area of need he tries to address.
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Posted On Monday, 02.27.2012 / 9:00 AM

By Pat LaFontaine -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Making of a Royal

LaFontaine talks about the production of Joey Fallon


In this week's 'Making of a Royal' blog, head coach Pat LaFontaine talks about the production of center Joey Fallon (5-foot-8, 162 pounds) of West Islip, N.Y. Fallon, who is playing a huge role for the Long Island Royals this season, is currently third on the team in scoring with 43 points. LaFontaine has coached Fallon five out of his eight seasons with the team.
 
Joey is a game-breaker type of player; he has tremendous work ethic and is a quiet leader. He's just a real great kid. He'll make a strong rush or tremendous back check or big hit and he'll do something that usually has an impact on our game … he comes to play every night and is a real character kid. I've watched him grow and he faces adversity head on, he's been a real leader.
 
Even though he might not be one of the tallest kids, they all look up to him. It's not like he's this lanky player coming at you … it's like a solid force. He's always making big plays and all the guys are counting on Joey to be there every game. He's one of those players who makes an impact on every single shift. I think a lot of his mental and physical toughness come from the fact he's a black belt in jiu jitsu.
 
Having him on the team has been a lot of fun.
 
He's one of the three centers that rotate every game, so he's out there on the penalty kill and power play … in all situations. He's a real well-rounded hockey player.

I think it's important for the players to learn to play on other lines, and all get to know each other.
 
There are combinations now where I see some good chemistry, so I kind of have the kids plays on different lines and in different situations -- it's allowed the coaching staff and myself to see who might click together more often than not.
 
I think it's also important for those players to get to know each other on the ice and know their tendencies. I do think it's important to keep together in a short tournament, but also not be afraid. There are times in a game where you might get an injury or penalty, and then you won't know if the guys are going to have that experience playing together, so it does help.
 
The boys have had some strong weekends and this is the time in the year to start elevating your play. I've been really pleased with the way the team has been playing and executing.
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Posted On Sunday, 02.26.2012 / 8:19 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

CHI @ ANA -19:40 of the First Period



At 19:40 of the first period in the Blackhawks/Ducks game, video review was used to determine that Andrew Cogliano hit the puck with his stick to propel the puck through Ray Emery's legs and into the net. Good goal Anaheim.
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Posted On Sunday, 02.26.2012 / 7:03 PM

By Alan Robinson -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - NHL.com Countdown to the Trade Deadline blog

Was Sunday Nash's last game as a Jacket?

PITTSBURGH -- The Columbus Blue Jackets without Rick Nash? Interim coach Todd Richards didn't even want to think about such a possibility.
 
Less than 24 hours from now, Richards understands he might have to do exactly that.
 
Nash, an elite forward with the talent to significantly improve a contender's Stanley Cup playoff chances, played what possibly was his final game Sunday with the Blue Jackets. If it was, Nash gave Columbus fans something to remember him by as he scored a shorthanded goal – his first since 2009 – during a 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh at Consol Energy Center.
 
Columbus' asking price for the former All-Star is reported to be immense, with a mix of current NHL players, prospects and draft picks. But with no other marquee type players known to be on the market, that could be a price a desperate team is willing to pay as the NHL Trade Deadline nears at 3 p.m. ET.
 
Richards knows it, too, even though he tried to deflect any Nash-might-be-traded questions following the Blue Jackets' fourth loss in five games.
 
"Why would I even answer that?" Richards said when asked what the Blue Jackets (18-37-7) might look like post-Nash. "Rick Nash is part of our team. Right now, he's a Columbus Blue Jacket. Twenty-four hours from now, it might be a different story. But, right now, he's a Columbus Blue Jacket and I treat him as one of our players."
 
While Nash's 2011-12 stats are down compared to those earlier in his career – he has 21 goals and 22 assists in 62 games – he has the combination of size (6-foot-4, 220 pounds), skill and intangibles that franchise players possess. Nash had 40 goals in the 2008-09 season and 38 the season before that.
 
Nash's goal Sunday was his 280th in 654 career games, and he can only wonder how productive he might be on a team with more talent, more depth, more of everything that is missing in Columbus.

Even if that was exactly what Nash didn't want to do.
 
Nash suggested he has the patience to ride this out, if the Blue Jackets do, too.
 
"It's been a great time living in Columbus," he said. "I'm a Blue Jacket today and we're going to do everything we can to move forward as a team. These fans deserve a winning game and a winning team; they're the ones who've been the most patient."
 
This time, though, it will be Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson whose patience is about to be tested.
 
As the minutes tick down Monday, Howson might be forced to decide if an offer that doesn't quite match what he is seeking might be preferable to that he gets when more players are on the open market next summer.
 
Nash wouldn't comment Sunday on comments made Saturday by his agent, Joe Resnick, to TSN that the list of teams acceptable for a trade won't expand if Columbus doesn't make a deal by Monday's deadline.
 
"There's been so many rumors, so much speculation, it's been tough on everyone," Nash said.

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Posted On Sunday, 02.26.2012 / 3:14 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

CBJ @ PITT - 4:45 of the Third Period

At 4:45 of the third period in the Blue Jackets/Penguins game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Chris Kunitz kicked the puck into the net with his right skate. No goal Pittsburgh.

According to rule 49.2 "A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who uses a distinct kicking motion to propel the puck into the net."
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Quote of the Day

[He's] real confident with the puck now, getting it off his stick quick and no second-guessing. We need that. He's such a good guy in the room. He works so hard. That's the big thing. For not a big man, he just fights for every puck and when he scores, the guys appreciate that even more.

— Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice on Mathieu Perreault, who scored two goals in win against Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday