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Posted On Tuesday, 11.29.2011 / 12:44 AM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

SJ @ LA - 6:01 of the 3rd Period



At 6:01 of the third period in the Sharks/Kings game, video review determined that Los Angeles forward Vyacheslav Voynov propelled the puck into the net with his skate.  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."  No goal Los Angeles.
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Posted On Monday, 11.28.2011 / 11:47 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

NSH @ EDM - 10:25 of the Third Period

Video review was used to determine if the puck shot by Edmonton's Shawn Horcoff crossed the goal line. After video review, the call on the ice stands, the puck did not completely cross the goal line. No goal Edmonton.

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Posted On Monday, 11.28.2011 / 3:54 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

As Kings struggle, Murray mixes up his lines

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- After watching his team continue to muddle offensively, Los Angeles Kings coach Terry Murray decided wholesale change was in order.

Murray has mixed up almost all of his line combinations and will try them out Monday night in a divisional matchup against San Jose.

The first line has Dustin Brown moving to left wing with Anze Kopitar and Trent Hunter. The second line reunites former Philadelphia teammates Mike Richards and Simon Gagne with Jarret Stoll moving to right wing. Finally, Andrei Loktionov will center a third line with Kyle Clifford and the demoted Justin Williams.

The Kings have scored seven goals in the past four games.

Brown has one goal in the past 14 games and Williams has no goals in that span. Stoll, a 20-goal scorer last season, has only two goals this season.

"I'm hoping the players are going to show us an answer one way or the other here certainly on the positive side that they like the change," Murray said.

Murray won't change the power play units, though, because the issue there has more to do with the organization's long-term issue of not putting pucks on net.

"The shot mentality -- it has to get better," Murray said. "We have to get it off our stick faster. People are in front of the net doing their job and give ourselves and opportunity to score or to recover a puck and create more opportunities."

Hunter on top line:
Hunter's promotion to the first line comes curiously after he dubiously missed an open net in Saturday's 2-1 loss to Chicago.

But Hunter is a former 20-goal scorer who has gone from playing on a pro tryout contract in training camp to a first line right wing position.

"It's definitely a little bit of a roller coaster, starting in the summer and not having a contract," Hunter said. "It's not something I've had to do for quite a while, but it's part of the game. Now I've just got to take advantage and try and contribute any way I can."

Hunter has no goals in 11 games but that could change with Brown and Kopitar.

"They're both great players and do great things with the puck," Hunter said. "Brownie takes the puck to the net hard and opens up a lot of space there. Kopi just makes great plays with the puck and sees the ice so well. They definitely make space out there, for sure."

Brown moves to left side:
Kings captain Dustin Brown will play left wing after spending large portions of his career on the right side.

The right-handed Brown said there will be some considerable adjustments good and bad.

"It's much more difficult making plays coming out of your own end," Brown said. "But making plays coming off the blue line on the offensive side of the puck -- you can cut, you can do the slant pass on to the guys' stick. And from a protection standpoint it's a lot easier to drive wide.

"There's lot more options on the offensive side of the puck. It's more difficult. I've just got to take more reps in practice and taking it off the wall."

Penner cleared: Dustin Penner has been cleared for practice but is not yet ready to return to the lineup, coach Terry Murray said.

Penner has missed seven games with a hand injury. The team has two days off after Monday and Thursday is a possible target date for his return.

"I hope so," Murray said. "We're very close. If it came to his decision, he'd want to play tonight. But two more days of practice, getting going, feeling more comfortable, I think he's pretty close."

Alec Martinez remains out with an upper-body injury.

San Jose a measuring stick: Murray downplayed the matchup with San Jose as a way to measure his team.

But it's difficult to ignore that L.A. is 0-4 against top-tier teams San Jose, Detroit, Chicago and Vancouver.

Monday is the first Kings-Sharks meeting in L.A. since San Jose eliminated the Kings in overtime of Game 6 of last season’s conference quarterfinals.

"It's definitely an important game," Kyle Clifford said. "Every game counts come April. Obviously we want to make a good push, and you never know who you're going to meet in the playoffs, too. You definitely want to make a strong impression."
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Posted On Monday, 11.28.2011 / 3:52 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Sharks, Kings

Here are how the lineups could look tonight when the Los Angeles Kings host the San Jose Sharks at Staples Center:

SHARKS

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

Dan Boyle - Douglas Murray
Brent Burns - Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Jason Demers - Jim Vandermeer

Antti Niemi

KINGS

Dustin Brown - Anze Kopitar - Trent Hunter
Simon Gagne - Mike Richards - Jarret Stoll
Kyle Clifford - Andrei Loktionov - Justin Williams
Ethan Moreau - Colin Fraser - Kevin Westgarth

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

Jonathan Quick
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Posted On Monday, 11.28.2011 / 3:22 PM

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

Projected lineups for Stars, Avalanche

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

STARS
Loui Eriksson - Jamie Benn - Michael Ryder
Steve Ott - Mike Ribeiro - Tomas Vincour
Eric Nystrom - Vernon Fiddler - Radek Dvorak
Krys Barch - Tom Wandell - Toby Peterson

Sheldon Souray - Stephane Robidas
Nicklas Grossman - Adam Pardy
Mark Fistric - Philip Larsen

Andrew Raycroft will start in goal with Richard Bachman as the backup.

AVALANCHE

Matt Duchene - Paul Stastny - Milan Hejduk
Gabriel Landeskog - Ryan O'Reilly - Daniel Winnik
Cody McLeod - TJ Galiardi - David Jones
Kevin Porter - Jay McClement - Chuck Kobasew

Kyle Quincey - Shane O'Brien
Ryan Wilson - Stefan Elliott
Jan Hejda - Ryan O'Byrne

Semyon Varlamov will start in goal with Jean-Sebastien Giguere as the backup.

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Posted On Monday, 11.28.2011 / 1:39 PM

By Eric Lipschutz -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Will coaching change get Ovi going?

Will a coaching change in Washington be the thing to snap Alex Ovechkin out of his scoring slump?  Ovi's fantasy owners sure hope so. 
 
On Monday, the Capitals made the decision to dismiss coach Bruce Boudreau and replace him with Dale Hunter. In the past two seasons, Boudreau had his team shift to a more defensive style in the hopes of better equipping Washington for an extended playoff run into June. Unfortunately, while that approach never did yield the postseason results Boudreau had hoped for, it did appear to hold down the club's premiere offensive talents, none more so than the Capital's captain.
 
Though he has not performed up to expectations this season, a coaching change could be just the spark Alex Ovechkin needs to return to his dominant form. (Photo: Getty Images)
After a 50-goal campaign in 2009-10, Ovechkin scored a career low 32-goals in 2010-11. Though he seemed poised for a bounce-back year this season, the Russian superstar has only lit the lamp eight times in 22 games. Ovechkin had not scored a goal at home until this past Friday, and though he is one of the game's biggest impact players, he has been invisible out on the ice for stretches this season. Meanwhile, Sidney Crosby has two goals and seven points in three games since his return to action, taking a clear edge over Ovechkin as the NHL's premiere fantasy player.
 
Though times have been tough, there is plenty of hope on the horizon for the Great Eight. A coaching change might be exactly what he needs to get his game going. The relationship between captain and coach appeared to have been strained at times this season, and a new face behind the bench could go a long way in helping Ovechkin regain his focus. 
 
The hiring of Hunter in Washington could have a far greater impact on the team's offensive output than your typical coaching shakeup. It is logical to assume the front office would like to see Hunter open up the offense and allow the Capital's impressive offensive talent to return to wreaking havoc on the rest of the League. Take note, Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin owners.   
 
At just 26-years-old, there is no reason to doubt that the uber-talented Ovechkin could in a moment's notice return to his elite status as one of the top players in fantasy hockey. Could the coaching change be the the spark needed to get one of the NHL's most gifted scorers back on track? Only time will tell, but if you have any hopes of landing Ovechkin in your league now is the time to strike. An Ovi hot streak could be just around the corner so fantasy GMs would be wise to put together a package and see if they could land him for reasonable value. Even with his recent struggles, Ovechkin will surely come with a very high price tag but don't forget what No. 8 has done or more importantly what he is capable of doing still.
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Posted On Monday, 11.28.2011 / 12:31 PM

By Steve Webb -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Making of a Royal

Webb recalls his minor hockey traveling days

In this week's "Making of a Royal" blog, head coach Pat LaFontaine and assistant coach Steve Webb discuss the team's travel habits for regular season and major national tournaments. Additionally, the parents of all the players for the Long Island Royals Under-16 Team must also log plenty of miles and hours driving their sons to games, practices and, most times, weekend tournaments. The team is currently 33-3 and ranked No. 2 in the nation.
 

Webb, born and raised in Peterborough (Ont.), recalled his traveling days in the minor hockey system in Peterborough and how different it is for those parents of the minor clubs in the United States.
 
I grew up in the Peterborough minor hockey system where it was mandatory every road game in the Peterborough Petes AAA system that you had to take a bus. The only thing parents needed to do was bring their kids to the bus stop. On the way back, we just needed to find a ride home, so it was less of a burden on the parents.
 
Also, a majority of the parents, from what I remember, were on the bus so that's when we really gelled as a team and came together. You were riding with everyone at that time. With the Long Island Royals, it's a different animal. There is no rule where buses are mandatory. The one time we did take a bus was last year when we flew into Toronto to go to Peterborough. The bus picked us up and drove us into Peterborough. That's the one time, but other than that, it's a lot of driving. Parents must find a way to pile kids into someone's car and get the kids up there for a weekend event or showcase. Parents can hopefully make it up for a Saturday and still see some games in quarters or semifinal rounds if we're still alive.
 
We've traveled to Washington, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Vermont and Connecticut for showcases. We've been to New Hampshire and also flew into Chicago as a group. Not every parent could make it because of the cost; don't forget you also have to arrange a room and that gets costly as well. We want to make sure the kids are being viewed and that they have the best opportunity to go on to the next level and have the scouts look at them.
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Posted On Monday, 11.28.2011 / 12:30 PM

By Nicholas Hutchison -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Making of a Royal

When the going gets tough, Hutchison gets going

In this week's "Making of a Royal" player blog segment, center Nicholas Hutchison (6-foot-2, 168 pounds) tells NHL.com how the Long Island Royals have helped him both on and off the ice. Royals assistant coach Steve Webb, who has watched Hutchison since he was 12, said the team's second-leading scorer has a great passion for the game and that when the game gets tougher and tighter, that's when he excels. "The more competitive the contest, the better Hutchison gets," Webb told NHL.com.
 

Hi everyone. This is my second year with the L.I. Royals. I previously played in Westchester with the Westchester Express and then, two years ago, came back here. Last year, we were '94 birth years, so we were underdogs. But this year we're like one of the top teams and everyone wants to beat us -- and that's a good thing.
 
I find that just hard work and effort, spending time in the weight room over the summer, have really helped me out this season. I like to play a physical game and be a physical player. I think I'm a good two-way center, who could control the game and make simple plays. After this season, I'm hoping I can play in the USHL. No team has my rights right now, but I was invited to main camp for the Indiana Ice, so hopefully I'll be able to play with them.
 
Right now, we're basically rolling three centers and four lines, but I play a lot with Michael Marnell and Adam Tracey. I'm the center on that line. I do a lot of faceoff work during the year and I like to set up a few plays even before we go out on the ice. I talk to the wingers and tell them where to go, so if I do win it forward, they go to the net and I can give it to them. I'm about 6-2, 168, so I like to throw the body around a lot.
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Posted On Monday, 11.28.2011 / 1:00 AM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

5 Ugliest Jerseys in NHL History

This was harder than I thought because there aren't a ton of bad jerseys, but there are a few. Here are what I came up with as my least favorite jerseys of all time.

Honorable Mention: New Jersey Devils 1982-1993 - Before we really get started, here's a jersey that I really wanted to put in this list: the Devils jerseys with the green and red "Christmas Tree" jerseys. That was a bad jersey. Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but it was never the most wonderful time of the year for the Devils. That was a color combination that I think everyone was happy it left the NHL.

5. The Calgary Flames in 1980 - There was not a lot of imagination here and nothing very innovative -- just a "C" with some flames on it. The white ones were especially poor I thought, but for lack of imagination and creativity, I'll give the white Calgary flames jersey the nod at No. 5. I'm not a lover of Calgary's jerseys in general. I like them better now that they have black in them, but I've never been a lover of their jerseys.

4. The New York Rangers in 1978
- I hate that long stripe from one arm across the shoulder to the other arm. A lot of teams did this in the late 1970s -- including the Toronto Maple Leafs -- when I played for them. The Rangers had it with that square crest on the front. The Rangers had the stripe, Philly started the stripe, Toronto went to the stripe, Winnipeg went to the stripe, and I just never really liked it. I like the Rangers jersey when it just has Rangers across the front much better than the crest.

3. The Gold L.A. Kings jerseys - The purple and gold that they wore for a while they took because they had the same owners as the L.A. Lakers, and purple and gold just aren't hockey colors. They don't invoke fear and intimidation. I've never liked the L.A. Kings' purple and gold jerseys, but the gold jerseys with the gold socks and the gold pants were the worst. I just felt that was too much gold in any one area. Thank God they didn't bring those out when I was the coach there. It's good for basketball, but just not for hockey.

2. The Islanders Gorton's Fisherman - If this one's No. 2, it's hard to imagine that anything is worse than this. That was a jersey that scared kids. That was a bad crest. I'm so glad to have seen the Islanders get back to their original jerseys. They should never have changed. They won Stanley Cups with it, it was a nice jersey and to do that with the Gorton's Fisherman was just bad planning. I'm a traditional guy. If you're lucky enough to have tradition -- so few teams have it -- that should be something you go towards, not something you go away from. You don't see the Leafs or the Canadiens making major changes, and the Islanders, say what you want, are one of the great franchises in our game. They've won a number of Stanley Cups, so I think tradition is what they should be striving for -- not being gimmicky.

1. The Vancouver Canucks: Every jersey from 1978-1997 - It's not just one jersey. It's an era -- right from when they brought the "V" in to the goofy skate on the crest. That whole era is the worst collection of jerseys the NHL has ever seen. At first they had the Hockey Night in Canada jerseys with the stick through the TV screen, and now they're back to that with their alternate, but then they had so many jerseys that were ugly, from the "V" to the goofy skate. There is just no redeeming that group of jerseys.
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Posted On Sunday, 11.27.2011 / 2:05 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Senators and Hurricanes

Here are the projected lineups for Sunday’s game between the Carolina Hurricanes and Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place. Due to 5 p.m. start, both teams elected not to skate today.

SENATORS

Milan MichalekJason SpezzaColin Greening
Nick FolignoJesse WinchesterDaniel Alfredsson
Kaspars DaugavinsZack SmithErik Condra
Zenon KonopkaNikita FilatovBobby Butler

Jared CowenSergei Gonchar
Filip KubaErik Karlsson
Chris PhillipsDavid Rundblad

Craig Anderson will get the start, with Alex Auld serving as backup.

On Sunday morning, Nikita Filatov was recalled from Binghamton, while Stephane Da Costa was reassigned to the AHL club. Coach Paul MacLean confirmed that David Rundblad would be returning to the lineup, after sitting for the last five games. Brian Lee is the healthy scratch.

Chris Neil, who injured his ankle against the New York Rangers on Nov. 9, skated on his own for 20-30 minutes on Thursday. According to MacLean, there will be no timetable for his return until he practices with the team.

HURRICANES

Jeff SkinnerEric StaalTuomo Ruutu
Alexei PonikarovskyJussi JokinenChad LaRose
Jiri TlustyBrandon Sutter – Pat Dwyer
Brett SutterTim BrentAnthony Stewart

Tomas KaberleDerek Joslin
Tim GleasonJustin Faulk
Bryan AllenJamie McBain

Cam Ward is expected to get the start, with Brian Boucher backing him up.

According to Carolina team writer Michael Smith, Jay Harrison, who sustained an upper body injury against Montreal on Wednesday, did not travel with the team. Joni Pitkanen, who injured his lower body against the Rangers on Nov. 11, is listed as probable. He will skate today and then decide if he is ready to go. If Pitkanen returns, expect him to replace Derek Joslin in the lineup.
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