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Posted On Saturday, 11.26.2011 / 12:37 PM

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

Bruins look to start new streak

BOSTON – Although they had their 10-game winning streak snapped Friday by Detroit, the Boston Bruins don’t feel as though they’re heading into the game Saturday night against Winnipeg at TD Garden on a completely sour note.
   
“I think it’s to be able to duplicate the effort we had yesterday,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien about his team’s focus against the Jets after the morning skate. “I thought our effort was pretty good. It’s a matter of carrying that into our next game. We all know how these streaks sometimes end and kind of deflates the bubble, and we don’t want that to be the case for our team. We just want to keep plugging along here. Like I said we won some games along the streak that maybe we didn’t quite deserve and we lost one yesterday that probably deserved better fate so it balances out. We just got to stay focused and bounce back.”

After backing up Tuukka Rask Friday, Tim Thomas is expected back between the pipes for the Bruins tonight. He’s second in the league in both goals-against average (1.85) and save percentage (.936).

Here is the Bruins’ projected lineup:

Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Tyler Seguin
Benoit Pouliot - Chris Kelly - Rich Peverley
Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference - Adam McQuaid

Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask
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Posted On Saturday, 11.26.2011 / 12:18 PM

By Lonnie Herman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Panthers, Lightning

Here are the projected lineups for the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning for their contest Saturday night at St. Pete Times Forum:

PANTHERS

Tomas Fleischmann - Stephen Weiss - Kris Versteeg
Sean Bergenheim - Mike Santorelli - Jack Skille
Marco Sturm - Tim Kennedy - Tomas Kopecky
Michal Repik - Shawn Matthias - Evgeni Dadonov

Brian Campbell - Jason Garrison
Ed Jovanovski - Erik Gudbranson
Mike Weaver - Dmitry Kulikov

Jacob Markstrom
Jose Theodore

LIGHTNING

Martin St. Louis - Vincent Lecavalier - Ryan Shannon
Ryan Malone - Steven Stamkos - Teddy Purcell
Tom Pyatt - Dominic Moore - Brett Connolly
Adam Hall - Nate Thompson - Dana Tyrell

Eric Brewer - Victor Hedman
Marc-Andre Bergeron - Matt Gilroy
Brett Clark - Pavel Kubina

Mathieu Garon 
Dwayne Roloson
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Posted On Saturday, 11.26.2011 / 12:59 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Crosby continues to deliver

If Sidney Crosby's return to the lineup from a concussion Monday against the New York Islanders played out like a Hollywood movie, Friday night's performance against Ottawa was a blockbuster sequel.

Crosby added a three-point night to his resume against the Senators, all of which came by way of assist. In his three games since joining the club, he has amassed two goals, five assists, eight PIMs and fired 12 shots on the not. Add to that a plus-5 rating and three hits.

What's been as impressive as his individual efforts has been impact he's had on teammates.

Pascal Dupuis, riding a strong season without Crosby already, is looking like more than a complimentary piece on Sid's line. Meanwhile, Chris Kunitz is adding points to his hits and shots, too. What's more, Crosby's return allows the Penguins to move Staal up to the second line alongside Evgeni Malkin.

Simply put, Crosby's return is altering the fantasy landscape. If you can't get your hands on #87, consider guys like Dupuis or even Steve Sullivan, both of whom are more-than-adequate beneficiaries of Crosby's productin.
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Posted On Friday, 11.25.2011 / 10:50 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

TOR @ DAL: 6:55 of the Third Period

At  6:55 of the third period in the Maple Leafs/Stars game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that the puck went in off Clarke MacArthur's skate but was not kicked in. According to rule 49.2 "A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player's skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal."  Good Goal Toronto.

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Posted On Friday, 11.25.2011 / 4:55 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

EDM @ MIN - 19:50 for the First Period

At 19:50 of the first period, NHL Hockey Operations initiated the review of Devin Setoguchi's goal to determine two aspects of the play: did Setoguchi strike the puck above the height of the crossbar and, if so, did the puck go directly into the net.  Video review concluded that, while the puck was struck was above the height of the crossbar, the puck did not go directly into the net as Edmonton goaltender Khabibulin made the save.  Setoguchi then shot the rebound into the net. Good goal Minnesota.

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Posted On Friday, 11.25.2011 / 3:04 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Upper-body injury sidelines JVR 1-2 weeks

PHILADELPHIA -- James van Riemsdyk was a late scratch from today's lineup against the Canadiens with an upper-body injury Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren said would sideline him 1-2 weeks.

Van Riemsdyk has 8 goals and 8 assists in 16 games. He missed one game earlier this season.

In the short term, van Riemsdyk's absence, along with Jaromir Jagr sitting out with a lower-body injury, means Jody Shelley and Andreas Nodl will draw back into the lineup. Nodl has missed seven of the last eight games, while Shelley has sat out six of the last eight games. Neither played Wednesday against the Islanders.

In the long term, van Riemsdyk being out opens a spot for a potential return Brayden Schenn from the American Hockey League. Schenn had an assist Thursday, his first game back after missing time with a broken foot suffered during his initial stint with the Flyers

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK


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Posted On Friday, 11.25.2011 / 2:58 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Cole relished challenge of shutting down Crosby

ST. LOUIS -- It was only his 31st career game, but for Blues defenseman Ian Cole, it was the most critical -- and certainly most challenging -- assignment he's drawn as a National Hockey League player.

It helps having Alex Pietrangelo as a defensive partner, because you'll draw tough assignments on a nightly basis, but when you're asked to harass Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, that's a different breed.

Cole and Pietrangelo came out with flying colors, though, not only keeping the best player in the League scoreless in his second game back from a concussion, but also winning in a building that's been tough on visiting teams this season.

"It was, for sure, but then in that third period when they were down by a goal, they started throwing Crosby and (Evgeni) Malkin out there together," Cole said of the Blues' 3-2 overtime win in Pittsburgh Wednesday. "And then you're playing against two of the best players in the world. They're arguably one-two or one and top five. ... It was definitely a test, definitely a battle. But it definitely feels good to shut those guys down."

It was Cole's fifth game of the season and he played a season-high in minutes at 21:48. Pietrangelo skated a game-high 27:59 and scored the winning goal in overtime.

"There's not many defensemen where you say this guy's got a chance to be a one. He has a chance to be a one," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said of Pietrangelo. "Not many teams have that. We have an opportunity to have a player like him become a one over time. He's a young guy, he's just learning how to play the game.

"There's not many players in the League that are able to play against top players, play on the power play (and) kill penalties. He's got a chance if he keeps improving to be in that one category. Those are valuable guys where you can play them heavy minutes and not worry about them."

Hitchcock said Pietrangelo reminds him of Nashville's Ryan Suter and lists players like the Preds' Shea Weber and Los Angeles' Drew Doughty as those players that have that ability to be a No. 1 guy.

With Cole, it wasn't a question of whether to throw him out against Crosby. Hitchcock felt it was time. The Blues' coach liked the end result.

"Really good," Hitchcock said when asked to summarize Cole's game Wednesday. "To get to the next level, if he can get firmer with the puck, it's going to help us a lot. But he's hard on people. He's really got that second and third effort defending-wise, which is really good.

"If we can just get him firmer under pressure with the puck so he's not feeling like there's three guys after him ... there's just one, sometimes younger players think there's more coming at them than there is. If we can get him up to speed there, he's a very competitive guy, which is a good sign for us."

So after Crosby debuted with 4 points against the New York Islanders Monday, Cole and Pietrangelo held Crosby scoreless Wednesday. Malkin did have 2 assists.

So is there a secret to containing Sid the Kid?

"There's not one thing that you can do," Cole said. "He's so good, so well-rounded. You've just got to play him hard and stay in his face, not give him too much room. If he has room, he makes stuff happen."

------------

After stopping 31 shots, including 15 of 17 in the third period, the Blues will once again turn to backup Brian Elliott tonight against the Calgary Flames.

Elliott is a sparkling 8-1-0 on the season with a league-leading 1.48 goals-against average and .946 save percentage.

"The guy that's playing tonight, he weathered the tsunami in the third period ... more than weathered it, so he gets to play tonight because he got real wet in the third period," Hitchcock joked. "Just out of sympathy alone, he gets to come back and play today."

------------

The Blues will not make any lineup changes from the one they used Wednesday night in Pittsburgh:

Alexander Steen - David Backes - T.J. Oshie
Chris Stewart - Patrik Berglund - Matt D'Agostini
Vladimir Sobotka - Jason Arnott - Jamie Langenbrunner
Brett Sterling - Scott Nichol - Ryan Reaves

Ian Cole - Alex Pietrangelo
Barret Jackman - Kevin Shattenkirk
Kris Russell - Roman Polak

Brian Elliott will start in goal; Jaroslav Halak is the backup.

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Posted On Friday, 11.25.2011 / 2:52 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Flames' Butler gets to spend holiday at home

ST. LOUIS -- Calgary Flames defenseman Chris Butler, a native of Kirkwood, Mo., was more than happy to spend the Thanksgiving holiday here.

Butler, whose parents still live in the St. Louis area, also saw his brother and sister come to town to spend the holidays. The Butlers entertained the Flames organization for dinner Thursday night at Chris' parents house.

"I don't think I've been home for a stretch since I left for juniors," said Butler, who still owns a home and spends his summers here. "For me, it was an exciting time. ... We had the whole team over for Thanksgiving dinner last night. It was awesome.

"For me, it will always be home."

Butler, who was traded to the Flames from Buffalo this past summer, will play his third game here against the Blues (second time this season, once previous with Buffalo) and said the trade really helps his family see him more often. The trade also gave him a perspective of where he fits in with the Flames.

"For my family, it's nicer being in the Western Conference," said Butler, who has 4 assists in 20 games this season. "They can go to games in Chicago, Columbus, and obviously here in St. Louis. It keeps a few miles off the car for my dad.

"I had a relatively smooth transition. I sat down with the coaches in training camp and talked about what my role is going to be with this team and where they see me fitting in, the type of game that we like to play. I felt like that type of game really suited the way I like to play the game."

Butler is a huge baseball fan and was obviously thrilled to see the Cardinals win the World Series.

"I've always enjoyed the game of baseball," Butler said. "Most nights in the summer time, I sit around watching Cardinals games. ... Once they got into the playoffs and they beat Philly and they beat Milwaukee and to win the World Series, I was loving every minute of it. It's neat to see what they did."

------------

Looking to bolster their lineup, the Flames claimed forward Blake Comeau from the Islanders on Friday.

The Flames put a claim in with the understanding they were getting a player coach Brent Sutter was familiar with.

Comeau played for Sutter at the World Juniors, and Sutter knows him from coaching against him when Sutter was in New Jersey and when Comeau was playing for Kelowna of the Western Hockey League and Sutter was in Red Deer.

"Blake is a real good, solid two-way player," Sutter said. "He can skate, he's intelligent. I like him as a hockey player. ... He's a good penalty killer, definitely a top-nine player. We'll see when he gets here. His best position is the left wing side. He can play both sides, but he's a better player on the left side."

The 25-year-old Comeau was en route to St. Louis today and barring any further complications, was expected to be in the lineup Friday night.

"He is a player that we have been watching for some time," Flames general manager Jay Feaster said. "He is someone that our scouts feel very strongly will fit into the way we want to play. He's a very good skater. He's a responsible guy defensively. He's a very reliable player in that you can put him out there with a lead in the last minute of play. He's also a guy that can score some goals. Our scouts have been watching him this year and feel that the thing that he needs most is a change. He needs a new opportunity. When we saw he was on waivers, we jumped on that opportunity."

Comeau didn't have a point in 16 games for the Islanders this season and was a minus-11. He's coming in on the heels of a 24-goal season in Long Island last season.

"There's reasons for it, obviously, or else he wouldn't be on waivers," Sutter said. "It's something you can't read too much into. There's circumstances that surround that. We're excited about having Blake become a Calgary Flame."

To make room for Comeau, the Flames sent forward Paul Byron to their American Hockey League affiliate in Abbotsford.

"As I explained to Paul, that's simply because we have to do something in order to be able to create the roster spot," Feaster said of Byron, who had two goals in six games. "It's no reflection on the way Paul's played. My goal starting right now is to create a roster spot for Paul Byron and get him back here just as quickly as we can."

------------

Sutter said aside from Comeau, the Flames lineup will be the same as it was Wednesday night in Detroit:

Alex Tanguay - Mikael Backlund - Jarome Iginla
Curtis Glencross - Olli Jokinen - Rene Bourque
Blake Comeau - Roman Horak - Lee Stempniak
Tom Kostopoulos - Brendan Morrison - Tim Jackman

Scott Hannan - Mark Giordano
Jay Bouwmeester - Chris Butler
Derek Smith - TJ Brodie

Miikka Kiprusoff, who owns a 19-4-2 lifetime record and a 1.90 goals-against average and .927 save percentage against the Blues, will start in goal; Henrik Karlsson is the backup.

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Posted On Friday, 11.25.2011 / 2:36 PM

By Alan Robinson -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Gonchar believes Malkin has reached next level

PITTSBURGH -- Sergei Gonchar and fellow Russian star Evgeni Malkin played four seasons together in Pittsburgh, winning a Stanley Cup in 2009. That same season, Malkin won the NHL scoring title with 113 points and the Conn Smythe Trophy after scoring a League-high 36 points in the playoffs.
 
Still, Gonchar never saw a Malkin quite like this one.
 
After Malkin's 2010-11 season ended prematurely Feb. 4 with two torn knee ligaments, he started working out sooner -- and much harder -- than he did in any previous offseason.
 
Gonchar believes Malkin's statistics a season ago, with career lows in goals (15) and points (37) in 43 games, contributed to that determination. While the numbers were bound to be lower than usual because of the games missed to injury, Malkin had never averaged less than a point per game in the NHL.
 
"To me it seems like he is making that next step and maturing," the Ottawa Senators defenseman said of the 25-year-old Malkin. "He is more serious about his job. Last year, he didn’t have a successful season like everyone expected him to have, so obviously he was hoping to play better."
 
Gonchar also believes it helped that Penguins conditioning coach Mike Kadar went to Russia to train Malkin in person. While he was there, Kadar sent video of Malkin's workouts back to the Penguins.
 
"He was mentally ready for it. He was willing to do whatever it took to make sure he was ready for the season," said Gonchar, who often trained alongside Malkin. "Every morning he was doing whatever Mike was telling him to do."
 
Malkin and Gonchar remain close friends, and they shared a Thanksgiving dinner together on Thursday night before their teams met Friday night at Consol Energy Center. When Malkin joined the Penguins as a rookie in 2006-07, he stayed in Gonchar's house so that a fellow Russian could help ease his transition to a new league, a new country and a new language.
 
Now, the two almost always get together socially when their teams oppose each other.
 
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Posted On Friday, 11.25.2011 / 1:18 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

'Bob' back in net for Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- After his strong relief effort Wednesday against the New York Islanders, Sergei Bobrovsky will get the start today for the Philadelphia Flyers against the Montreal Canadiens.

Bobrovsky relieved starter Ilya Bryzgalov after the first period with the Flyers trailing 3-1, and stopped all 23 shots he faced in the final two periods and overtime as the Flyers rallied for a 4-3 victory.

"He came in and did a really nice job," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "There weren't a lot of chances either way in the game, but the ones that were available for both teams, they were pretty decent chances and he came in and gave us an opportunity to fight back and win that game."

Laviolette said he's been particularly happy with how Bobrovsky has handled everything that's been thrown at him this season.  He's played in just seven of the Flyers' first 21 games this season, after playing in 16 of the first 21 last season.

"Bob's been patiently waiting," Laviolette said. "He's a guy who was the starter for us last year and did a nice job in his rookie year. He's working hard and looking for opportunities and I think you need to reward people."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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