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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 8:25 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

PHI @ NYR- 10:18 of the Second Period

At 10:18 of the second period in the  Flyers / Rangers game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that the puck entered the net in a legal fashion. Good goal Rangers.

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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 7:48 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

FLA @ BOS- 17:28 of the First Period

At 17:28 of the first period in the Florida / Boston game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that the puck did not cross the goal line.  No goal Boston.

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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 6:25 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Weiss likely to sit Tuesday as well

BOSTON -- Florida coach Kevin Dineen said Friday night that No. 1 center Stephen Weiss would probably miss the team's next game Dec. 27 at home vs. Toronto in addition to tonight's game at Boston.

Weiss suffered an upper-body injury Thursday night in the first period in Ottawa and did not return.

The Panthers had hoped to recall center Mark Cullen from the AHL San Antonio Rampage for Friday's game, but travel issues prohibited that transaction. Instead, Dineen expected to dress seven defensemen with his team now short seven forwards due to injury.

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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 5:20 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Rangers, Flyers

NEW YORK -- The Rangers won't mess with success. They also have little choice with all the injuries they're facing of late.

John Tortorella said he will ice the same team he used in the Rangers' 4-2 win against the Islanders on Thursday for Friday night's game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. The only change will be in net, as Henrik Lundqvist will make the start after Biron picked up the win Thursday.

Personnel won't change, but there might be some shuffling of the lines. Tortorella was asked about the performance of the Carl Hagelin-Brad Richards-Ryan Callahan line against the Islanders on Thursday and wasn't pulling punches.

"Not too much," Tortorella said when asked what the thought of the line. "They didn't accomplish a whole hell of a lot."

That could be a sign that Brandon Dubinsky, who scored his second goal of the season, will be elevated to that line in place of Hagelin. Defenseman Jeff Woywitka (foot) is out, but Tortorella wouldn't say if the injury was long-term or short-term.

There's some guesswork, but this is likely the lineup the Rangers will send out against the Flyers:

Artem Anisimov - Derek Stepan - Marian Gaborik
Brandon Dubinsky - Brad Richards - Ryan Callahan
Carl Hagelin - Brian Boyle - John Mitchell
Michael Rupp - Ruslan Fedotenko - Brandon Prust

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto - Anton Stralman
Tim Erixon - Stu Bickell

Henrik Lundqvist
Martin Biron

The Flyers, meanwhile, will be without Danny Briere against the Rangers. Again, the Flyers didn't reveal their lines at Friday morning's practice, but they could look this way:

Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Jaromir Jagr
James van Riemsdyk - Matt Read - Wayne Simmonds
Tom Sestito - Maxime Talbot - Jakub Voracek
Jody Shelley - Harry Zolnierczyk - Zac Rinaldo

Kimmo Timonen - Braydon Coburn
Matt Carle - Luc Bourdon
Andrej Meszaros - Andreas Lilja

Ilya Bryzgalov
Sergei Bobrovsky
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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 5:00 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Quick likely to start as Sutter faces old team

SAN JOSE -- The Sharks are coming off a 7-2 win Wednesday over Tampa Bay. They jumped to a 5-0 first-period lead, scoring the five fastest goals in team history. But the last time they faced Los Angeles, the Kings and goaltender Jonathan Quick shut them out 2-0. Quick stopped all 33 shots he faced.

After the Kings' optional skate at HP Pavilion, new coach Darryl Sutter said he never reveals his starting goaltender before game time. But backup Jonathan Bernier was on the ice for nearly an hour, and Quick, who was in goal Thursday night in the Kings' 3-2 shootout win over Anaheim, didn't skate. It's likely that Quick was resting up for another start.

Sutter coached the Sharks four-plus seasons before being fired 24 games into the 2002-03 season by former San Jose and current Los Angeles general manager Dean Lombardi. Only one current Sharks player -- Patrick Marleau -- played in San Jose for Sutter, who was hired later that season as Calgary's coach. Sutter said that after being gone for so long, returning to San Jose this time doesn't feel like a homecoming.

"I think I've been here enough, been through enough with San Jose -- the Flames, the playoffs, all those things," Sutter said. "It's a long time, but it's still good being back and seeing people outside the game. That's still the best part."

Former Shark Owen Nolan dropped by HP Pavilion on Friday morning to visit Sutter.

This is Sutter's second time taking over a team during a season.

"The toughest part is because you are new to the group," Sutter said. "You only know a handful of guys. The only advantage you have is if you have some experience with it and some experience with the League. You might not know them personally, but you know pretty much what type of players they are. So you try and get something happening right away.

"This is a different situation than the last time I did it. I was going to a team that was basically out of it. They were in a total restart. We're trying to do it a little bit quicker and you believe that it is a good group, so you're trying to get them to believe it. You put in what you can to help them along the way."
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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 4:58 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Havlat expected to miss 6-8 weeks after surgery

SAN JOSE -- Two days after undergoing surgery to repair a partially torn tendon on his left hamstring, winger Martin Havlat came by the Sharks' dressing room at HP Pavilion. He was on crutches and had a large brace on his left leg. General manager Doug Wilson said a good "ballpark" estimate is that Havlat will miss 6-8 weeks. The Sharks initially feared he had a complete tear and could miss most, if not all of the season.

"After surgery better news than what we heard before, so hopefully it's going to be good," Havlat said. "I think everybody's pretty pleased with the results, with what they saw in there."

Havlat was injured Saturday against Edmonton while jumping over the boards at HP during a shift change. He said his skate got caught on the hard rubber protective padding on top of the new boards.

"They've got to change the boards here," Havlat said. "I'm just kidding. It just got stuck there a little bit. Then I put all my weight, when I was going down, on my leg, and my ankle twisted a little bit. … It is disappointing. I was trying to get my game back, and I was a little better the last couple games, but unfortunately this is what happened, and I'll have to deal with that."

Havlat, who came to San Jose from Minnesota in an offseason trade for Dany Heatley, has recovered from numerous shoulder injuries and surgeries before, but he said this is the first major leg injury he has suffered during his career.

"This is just another hurdle I have to jump over," he said. "I just have to do everything I can to get back as quick as I can."

Joe Pavelski was back on the ice Friday morning after missing practice Thursday because of the flu. He said he felt "a little bit" better. "Game time comes around, no one cares how you feel," Pavelski added.
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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 4:54 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Sharks recall Niittymaki off conditioning assignment

SAN JOSE -- Antero Niittymaki was recalled Friday from Worcester of the AHL after his three-game conditioning assignment, giving the Sharks three goaltenders on their active roster.

Niittymaki joins No. 1 goaltender Antti Niemi and Thomas Greiss, who has been the backup this season while Niittymaki recovered from offseason hip surgery.

Sharks coach Todd McLellan said the team's immediate plan is to have Niemi start Friday night against Los Angeles with Greiss as his backup in the team's final game before its two-day Christmas break.

"After Christmas we'll have to sit down as an organization and determine which direction we're going," McLellan said. "Our schedule is not going to be friendly January through April, and we will need two, maybe three goaltenders at that point. It's a luxury to have right now, that depth at that position, and we'll manage it as we move forward."

Trading Niittymaki or Greiss is one obvious option if the Sharks decide they can't afford the luxury of carrying three goaltenders.

Niittymaki went 1-2 with a 3.38 goals against average and an .878 save percentage with Worcester. More importantly, his hip passed that physical test.

"I'm ready," Niittymaki said after the Sharks' optional morning skate. "I feel good. The hip feels good. A couple of those games were good tests. A lot of post-to-post stuff. Hip held up pretty good. That's why I went there, to see how it feels and get a couple games. I'm happy how it went."

Niittymaki signed with the Sharks as a free agent on July 1, 2010, and was expected to be their No. 1 goaltender last season. But they signed Niemi that September, and the two goaltenders shared the job early in the season. But after Niittymaki was sidelined by a lingering lower-body injury, Niemi grabbed the starting job and earned a four-year contract extension. Niittymaki is in the final year of his contract, while Greiss re-signed this season for two years after playing last season in the Swedish Elite League.

"It's a good problem to have, much like having eight defensemen," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said Wednesday, looking ahead to Niittymaki's return. "You can go from eight defensemen down to five pretty quickly, and you can go from three goalies down to one pretty quickly."
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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 4:46 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Sharks, Kings

Here’s how the lineups could look Friday night when the San Jose Sharks face the Los Angeles Kings at HP Pavilion:

SHARKS
Benn Ferriero - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Ryane Clowe - Logan Couture - Patrick Marleau
Jamie McGinn - Michal Handzus - Torrey Mitchell
Brad Winchester - Andrew Desjardins - Andrew Murray

Dan Boyle - Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Brent Burns - Jason Demers
Justin Braun - Colin White

Antti Niemi
Thomas Greiss

KINGS
Brad Richardson - Anze Kopitar - Dustin Brown
Simon Gagne - Mike Richards - Trevor Lewis
Dustin Penner - Jarret Stoll - Justin Williams
Kyle Clifford - Colin Fraser - Kevin Westgarth

Rob Scuderi - Drew Doughty
Jack Johnson - Matt Greene
Willie Mitchell - Slava Voynov

Jonathan Quick
Jonathan Bernier
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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 4:38 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Sedin set to tie Canucks' ironman mark

VANCOUVER -- It's amazing the lengths Henrik Sedin will go to just to one-up brother Daniel.

The Canucks captain will match a franchise record by playing in his 534th consecutive game Friday night against Calgary, a more that seven-year streak that he happily points out to his identical twin.

"It's amazing nowadays with the physicality and the speed and all that stuff, that you could stay healthy for so long -- all just to show off how much tougher he is than his brother," said goaltender Roberto Luongo, joking about Henrik's ironman streak.

Henrik credits luck, preparation and being tougher than his younger-by-minutes sibling for a run of good health that dates back to March 21, 2004.

"Of course," he said with a laugh directed at Daniel. "But you've got to be lucky. You got to be prepared. In the summertime, you've got to prepare for a grind. I've been fortunate to not have the groin injuries or the hip flexors and stuff like that. So it's been good."

It's fitting he'll tie the Canucks' record against the Flames, and not just because Calgary defenseman Jay Bouwmeester is the only player with a longer active NHL streak (by eight games). Former Vancouver teammate Brendan Morrison, now playing for the Flames, set the Canucks' mark from March 16, 2000 through Dec. 10, 2007.

"He was a major part of that core group that (taught) us how to be professional and how to treat the ups and downs through the seasons," Henrik said. "He was always a smile on his face, it didn't matter if he hadn't played well for a few games, he was always positive and really loved the game. He's been a big part of our success that way."

That success includes back-to-back NHL scoring titles for the Sedins. But their durability often gets overlooked by critics. Shots from his brother aside, Daniel missed 18 games with a broken foot two seasons ago but has only missed three other games -- including one eight days ago because of back spasms -- since Henrik's streak started.

"When people talk about the twins not being tough I laugh, because these are two of the toughest guys I've ever played with," defenseman Kevin Bieksa said. "With the punishment they take, you rarely see them in the trainer's room. They couldn't be any closer to Canadian."

It was a sentiment echoed by Canucks coach Alain Vigneault, who has yet to fill out a roster card without Henrik.

"It takes incredible determination and will to be able not just play games, but play at the level he does every night," Vigneault said. "To put your body out there and play hard and efficient, and it takes a very extraordinary person and obviously a little bit of luck too. That's part of the equation, too, but I do believe you make your luck and Hank is a great example of a player that puts in a tremendous amount of time with his conditioning and preparation. … It says a lot about his mental toughness and his overall toughness."
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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 4:28 PM

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

Projected lineups for Lightning, Avalanche

DENVER -- These are the projected lineups for tonight’s game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center:

LIGHTNING
Steve Downie - Steven Stamkos - Ryan Malone
Dominic Moore - Vincent Lecavalier - Martin St. Louis
Tom Pyatt - Blair Jones - Teddy Purcell
Adam Hall - Dana Tyrell - James Wyman

Victor Hedman - Eric Brewer
Pavel Kubina - Brett Clark
Evan Oberg - Marc-Andre Bergeron

Mathieu Garon
Dwayne Roloson

Injuries: D Matt Gilroy (lower body), D Mattias Ohlund (both knees), RW Ryan Shannon (lower body) and C Nate Thompson (lower body) are out.

AVALANCHE
Matt Duchene - Paul Stastny - Daniel Winnik
Gabriel Landeskog - Ryan O'Reilly - Milan Hejduk
Brad Malone - Jay McClement - TJ Galiardi
David Van Der Gulik - Kevin Porter - Cody McLeod

Jan Hejda - Shane O'Brien
Stefan Elliott - Erik Johnson
Matt Hunwick/Kyle Quincey - Ryan O'Byrne

Jean-Sebastien Giguere
Semyon Varlamov

Injuries: RW David Jones (groin), RW Chuck Kobasew (head), LW Peter Mueller (head), C Mark Olver (head) and D Ryan Wilson (head) are out.
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Quote of the Day

There was a lot of talk off the ice. From a player's standpoint, that's not the talk in the room. GMs make decisions, coaches make decisions, but as a team you have to come together and be ready to go, and we are.

— San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels on his team's approach entering training camp