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Stanley Cup Final
POSTED ON Thursday, 10.06.2011 / 2:41 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 NHL Face-Off Blog

Clark made a strong impression

BOSTON -- Although veteran forward Chris Clark didn't make the opening-night roster, he left an impression on Bruins coach Claude Julien.

Clark was in Bruins camp under a tryout agreement, which he was released from Wednesday afternoon.

"A tough decision was made and not so much for the present, but maybe for the future, what we feel we have as depth, what we feel we can maybe do at some point, and it was a real tough call," Julien said of cutting Clark. "Anybody who can ask me the question right now, I'll answer without hesitation that Chris Clark can still play in the NHL. That's not a question. We just had too much depth and what he was going to bring and what we're capable of offering him, I think it would have been tough for him to fit in our top 12. … So it was tough. There's a lot of things that went into our thoughts and the one thing I do hope is that he hooks up with some NHL team because he's still an NHL-caliber player."

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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.06.2011 / 2:37 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 NHL Face-Off Blog

Kelly, Ference to wear an 'A'

BOSTON -- It was a mystery all summer and through training camp that everyone tried to solve.

After the retirement of Mark Recchi, the Bruins had an opening for an assistant captain in addition to Patrice Bergeron, the other permanent assistant under captain Zdeno Chara.

It seemed like everyone had an opinion about which player would best fill the void. Today, the Bruins' coaching staff, led by coach Claude Julien, announced that there will be two players wearing the second 'A' over the course of the season. Defenseman Andrew Ference will wear it for home games, while center Chris Kelly will wear it for road games. They will switch their home-road roles after the midway point of the season.

Should one of them be out of the lineup, someone else will get a chance to wear a letter.

"I think all the players and coaching staff kind of agreed that those guys have the personality that gives them that respect in the room," said Julien. "Also, they have that personality that shows leadership in the right way, on and off the ice, and they're highly respected in our dressing room, so our guys really felt strongly here. There didn't seem to be any questions on whether they were the right choices. It really was pretty unanimous overall. So it just became the obvious choices.

"I know Chris has come in late in the season (last season) and I thought when he first got here he was known as a great leader in Ottawa, but he kind of felt his way through before he started showing those qualities to the extreme. And in the playoffs it was pretty obvious what kind of a leader he was and our guys in the coaching staff recognized that.”

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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.06.2011 / 2:33 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Kings of Europe

Doughty faces no limitations

Drew Doughty may have just three full practices and one preseason game under his belt after signing a new-long term deal last week, but he will be under no restrictions when it comes to playing time in Friday's season-opening game against the New York Rangers (1 p.m. ET, Versus, TSN).

"I had a conversation with Drew the other day after the game and asked him how he is doing and how he is feeling," Kings coach Terry Murray said Thursday. "He said he felt very comfortable in the exhibition game against Hamburg. I have confidence that he is going to be able to log the minutes we need from him.

"He's energized, he's enthusiastic, he's excited about his new deal and coming back to join the team. He's a great player and we'll get him the minutes we feel we need to get from him."

Last season, Doughty played almost 26 minutes a game. His mark of 25:38 was topped by just four other defensemen.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.06.2011 / 2:29 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 NHL Face-Off Blog

3 rookies to make regular-season debuts for Flyers

BOSTON -- The Philadelphia Flyers will welcome eight new faces (nine if you count rookie Zac Rinaldo, who only played for them in the playoffs last season) into their lineup when they battle the defending Stanley Cup champion Bruins tonight at TD Garden (7 p.m. ET, Versus).

Including Rinaldo, there will be three rookies in the lineup. Rinaldo, Sean Couturier, the eighth pick of the 2011 Entry Draft, and fellow forward Matt Read all will make their NHL regular-season debuts.

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said he isn't worried about his rookies not being ready for prime time.

"I think that we've got some young players here, but they proved themselves at camp that they're good hockey players," Laviolette said. "They've been put in certain roles where we're counting on them to play and we'll keep working with them and teaching them. But their camps were good and they deserve to be here."

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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.06.2011 / 2:26 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 NHL Face-Off Blog

Recchi, Hnidy take in morning skate

BOSTON -- Among those in attendance for today's Bruins morning skate were two key figures from last season's Stanley Cup championship roster who no longer are playing in the NHL.

Future Hall of Famer Mark Recchi and journeyman defenseman Shane Hnidy watched their former teammates prepare for tonight's season-opener against Philadelphia at TD Garden (7 p.m. ET, Versus). Both will be part of the pregame banner-raising festivities.

Recchi was an integral part of the team on and off the ice from the time of his arrival in a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2009 until he raised the Cup last June. While Hnidy played just three regular-season and three playoff games for the Bruins last season, his behind-the-scenes leadership was one of the least heralded, but still important, contributions to the Bruins' cause.
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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.06.2011 / 2:21 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2011 NHL Face-Off Blog

Line combos, defense pairings for Habs, Leafs

The Maple Leafs and Canadiens both skated today at Air Canada Centre ahead of tonight's game (7 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS). Here's how their lineups could look tonight based on the lines and defense pairings at today's practice:

MAPLE LEAFS

Lupul – Bozak – Kessel
Kulemin – Grabovski – Frattin
Steckel – Dupuis – Armstrong
Rosehill – Lombardi – Brown
 
Liles – Schenn
Gunnarson – Phaneuf
Gardiner – Komisarek

Injured: Connolly
Scratches: Franson, Orr
 
Jason Reimer will start in goal with Jonas Gustavsson backing him up.
 
CANADIENS

Cammalleri – Plekanec – Kostitsyn
Pacioretty – Gomez – Gionta
Darche – Desharnais – Cole
Moen – Engqvist – Weber

 
Gill – Subban
Campoli – Gorges
Spacek – Diaz

Injured: Betts
Scratch: Emelin
 
Carey Price will start in goal with Peter Budaj backing him up.
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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.06.2011 / 2:17 PM

NHL.com - Roster Call

Roster Call for October 6, 2011

The following NHL teams have announced the following roster moves today.

  Chicago Blackhawks

Recalled from the AHL: Brandon Pirri.

  Minnesota Wild

Placed on waivers: Eric Nystrom.

  Montreal Canadiens

Recalled from the AHL: Andreas Engqvist.

  New York Rangers

Placed on waivers: Jeff Woywitka.

  Phoenix Coyotes

Re-assigned to the AHL: Curtis McElhinney, Nathan Oystrick.

  Winnipeg Jets

Placed on waivers: Brett MacLean.
Assigned to AHL:
Patrice Cormier.
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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.06.2011 / 2:16 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 NHL Face-Off Blog

Jagr from hero to bitter rival for Krejci

BOSTON -- Growing up, Czech center David Krejci hung posters of Jaromir Jagr on his walls.

"Tons of them," the Bruins center said. "But they're all gone now. He's my enemy now, you know."

For the first time in three seasons, Jagr will be an enemy of Krejci and all the Bruins. The future Hall of Fame forward will be in the Philadelphia Flyers' lineup tonight as he plays his first NHL game since leaving to play in Russia after the 2007-08 season.

Jagr said he's not any more or less excited for this game than any other. But he knows his team will have its hands full with Krejci.

"Of course, he's supposed to be our top from the Czech Republic," said Jagr, who was Krejci's Olympic teammate in 2010. "There's no question about it. And he proved it in the playoffs last year. They won the Stanley Cup and now it's going to be a huge challenge not only for me, but for the whole team."

Krejci joked that when he was a kid and Jagr already was in the NHL, he never thought he someday would be on the same ice with his idol, who's now 39. When he was an NHL rookie, Krejci got his first on-ice dose of Jagr and he's prepared for more of the same things from the star forward.

"He's a big body, right? Once he gets going, it's tough to stop him," said Krejci. "He proved it in Russia that he could still play hockey, and he also proved it in the preseason games. So we know he's here to play hockey, he's ready to go. He wants to prove so many people wrong. I'm sure he's ready to go. He's a great player, but he's going to have a tough night tonight."
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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.06.2011 / 2:14 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Kings of Europe

Doughty faces no limitations

Drew Doughty may have just three full practices and one exhibition game under his belt after signing a new-long term deal last week.

But he will be under no restrictions when it comes to playing time in Friday's season-opening game against the New York Rangers.

"I had a conversation with Drew the other day after the game and asked him how he is doing and how he is feeling," Murray said Thursday. "He said he felt very comfortable in the exhibition game against Hamburg. I have confidence that he is going to be able to log the minutes we need from him.

"He's energized, he's enthusiastic, he's excited about his new deal and coming back to join the team. He's a great player and we'll get him the minutes we feel we need to get from him."

Last season, Doughty played almost 26 minutes a game. His mark of 25:38 was topped by just four other defensemen.



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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.06.2011 / 2:10 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Kings of Europe

Kings without Penner for season opener

The Los Angeles Kings will not begin the 2011-12 season with their full roster.

Dustin Penner, normally a top-six forward, will not play in Friday's opener against the New York Rangers at Globe Arena. He has been ruled out with an undisclosed injury.

"Dustin Penner is still not feeling great," Murray said Thursday after the team's 75-minute practice at the Globe. "He's probably about 80 percent. It's improving, but it's going to take some time. He's not going to be ready for tomorrow. He'll just continue to rehab, get some ice time and push him until he's comfortable."

Penner took part in Thursday's practice, but left after 40 minutes.

With Penner out, Murray juggled his lines a bit. Brad Richardson moved into the top-six rotation and spent Thursday on a line with Mike Richards and Dustin Brown.

That alignment was a bit of a surprise, but Murray said it was a reward to Richardson for his work in camp, as well as a strong showing to close last season.

"He's been real good, right from the first day," Murray said of Richardson. "He's just coming off the playoff from last year where I thought he showed some signs of breaking through. He's got great speed. I think the confidence is starting to show in his game. He put a lot of numbers up in junior, and sometimes with players it takes a little bit of time.

"Again, he is starting to feel it, it's starting to come. He's more comfortable in tighter situations with the puck on his stick. He's always been a player that can create separation with his speed. I just hope he continues to go forward from here. It's a great opportunity for him."

In other lineup news, Murray confirmed that Jonathan Quick would start Game 1. He would not, however reveal if he has a goalie already in mind for Saturday's game in Berlin against the Buffalo Sabres.

"The only thing I can say is that Quick will play the game tomorrow," Murray said. "We talked in the past, in the early part of camp back home, where I have said that I won’t lock myself in and have designated games for the goaltenders. We're going to play it out here. Points are so critical that if we got a goaltender that is on a roll, that's the right way to go."


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I didn't think it would actually work, but it ended up working, so I'm thanking my lucky stars tonight.

— Columbus forward Nick Foligno on scoring the overtime goal after telling the Blue Jackets in the locker room that he would win the game