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Posted On Saturday, 11.12.2011 / 12:48 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Stars look for options to help replace injured Goligoski

DETROIT – A bad night in Pittsburgh on Friday for the Dallas Stars got worse with the news that puck-moving defenseman Alex Goligoski has a fractured thumb that could keep him out of action for up to a month.

Goligoski was hit in the hand by a shot just six minutes into the game and left the game immediately. He didn’t return and flew back to Dallas after the game for X-rays – which showed the fracture.

“It’s non-displaced, so it’s probably going to be a four-week thing,” Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said, following Dallas’ optional morning skate Saturday at Joe Louis Arena. “It’s a bad blow for us, but he took a wrist shot off the thumb, so it’s just one of those things that teams go through. Other guys can step up now.”

In the immediate short term, that will include Adam Pardy – who will step into the lineup in place of Goligoski on Saturday night against the Detroit Red Wings. He will be on the second defense pairing with Mark Fistric, who was hit in the throat with a puck against Pittsburgh on Friday night but is healthy enough to play.

“(Pardy) is a guy we went after in free agency and really wanted,” Gulutzan said. “He’s a big body that can move, so this can be a good chance for other guys to showcase themselves on a full-time basis.”

Another guy to watch in that regard is 21-year old puck-moving defenseman Philip Larsen, who was recalled from the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League on Saturday morning. Larsen, Dallas’ fifth pick in the 2008 Entry Draft (No. 149), could see a lot of ice time while Goligoski. He played for Gulutzan on the Texas Stars last season, so the coach is already familiar with him.

“I like the idea of having a right shot here,” Gulutzan said. “(Goligoski) can skate, (Larsen) can skate. Obviously he’s not at the offensive level that Goose is. Goose is a one or two (defenseman) and Philip, in my mind, is a five or six guy in the NHL. He had a great training camp. I don’t think there will be any huge learning curve for Philip. I think he’ll be ready to step in and help us when he gets an opportunity.”

Gulutzan said that won’t happen in Saturday night, but could after Larsen gets a few practices with the Stars under his belt.

Prior to his call-up, Larsen led all Texas Stars defensemen in scoring with one goal and nine assists in 10 games. He was also their top-scoring defenseman on the power play by racking up six assists with the man-advantage.

“I’ve got a lot of trust in Philip,” Gulutzan said. “He’s got a high compete level. When you get European-skating defensemen like him, you seem to think he’s a real catalyst offensively. He’s good offensively, but he competes real hard defensively and that’s what I think about him.”

Gulutzan said the only other lineup decision to make will be whether Krystofer Barch or Jake Dowell plays left wing on the fourth line for the Stars, which he said will be a gametime decision made after warm-ups.


Here are the projected lineups for tonight at Joe Louis Arena between the Dallas Stars (11-4-0) and Detroit Red Wings (8-5-1):

DALLAS

Loui Eriksson - Jamie Benn - Michael Ryder
Brenden Morrow - Mike Ribeiro - Adam Burish
Eric Nystrom - Vernon Fiddler - Radek Dvorak
Jake Dowell or Krystofer Barch -Tom Wandell - Toby Petersen

Sheldon Souray - Stephane Robidas
Trevor Daley - Nicklas Grossman
Mark Fistric - Adam Pardy

Andrew Raycroft will start in net for the Stars, while Kari Lehtonen will get a night off as the backup.

DETRIOT

Tomas Holmstrom - Pavel Datsyuk - Danny Cleary
Valtteri Filppula - Henrik Zetterberg - Johan Franzen
Jiri Hudler - Darren Helm - Justin Abdelkader
Drew Miller - Cory Emmerton - Patrick Eaves

Nicklas Lidstrom - Ian White
Niklas Kronwall - Brad Stuart
Jonathan Ericsson - Jakub Kindl

Jimmy Howard will start in goal for the Red Wings and Ty Conklin will be his back-up.

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Posted On Saturday, 11.12.2011 / 12:36 PM

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

Kaleta back for Sabres after suspension

BOSTON – The Buffalo Sabres have won four in a row, including a  5-1 victory Friday night against Ottawa.
   
But tonight against the Boston Bruins they’re still going to make a slight lineup change because forward Patrick Kaleta is scheduled to return from a four-game suspension.
   
“Sitting out’s not the best feeling in the world,” said Kaleta after the Sabres’ optional morning skate at TD Garden. “But I’m finally getting back into the swing of things, getting back into the routine and I’m ready for a big game tonight.”
   
Kaleta was suspended Nov. 4 for head-butting after he jumped into a crowd of players battling for the puck and struck Philadelphia forward Jakub Voracek in the chest and face. In announcing the suspension, NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan pointed out that the latest incident was Kaleta’s third in less than two years. The Buffalo wing says he’s attempting to mend his ways.
   
“You learn from your mistakes,” he said. “And like I’ve been saying for the past little while here, it’s about changing my game and I’ve been working pretty hard at it since the beginning of summer. It was a little bump in the road, but you can’t let it bother you and you come back and play the same way I was before.”
   
Ryan Miller is scheduled to get the start in goal tonight after Jhonas Enroth beat the Senators.
   
Here is the projected lineup for the Sabres:

Thomas Vanek - Luke Adam - Jason Pominville
Ville Leino - Derek Roy - Drew Stafford
Nathan Gerbe - Paul Gaustad - Brad Boyes
Cody McCormick - Matt Ellis - Patrick Kaleta

Robyn Regehr - Jordan Leopold
Tyler Myers - Andrej Sekera
Marc-Andre Gragnani - Christian Ehrhoff
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Posted On Saturday, 11.12.2011 / 12:27 PM

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

Bruins go back to Thomas in net

BOSTON – After giving backup goaltender Tuukka Rask consecutive starts this week for the first time this season, the Boston Bruins are going to turn back to Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas for a Northeast Division showdown Saturday with Buffalo at TD Garden.
   
Picking between the man who’s been the world’s best goaltender for more than a season and the club’s promising No. 2 has forced coach Claude Julien and his staff to strike a delicate balance.
   
“We do [have the world’s best goaltender] and he’s also 37 years old, he also played 111 games last year and all that stuff is taken into context,” Julien said. “We feel comfortable with Tuukka as well in net, that he’s a good goaltender and at the same time you want to make sure that your best goaltender remains your best goaltender by not over-utilizing him and we know as the season goes on we’re going to have to be relying on both of those guys. And we want him to be as fresh or as good as possible near the end of the year. It’s an 82-game schedule and we’re kind of gauging it that way, taking the fact that you’ve got 82 games, you’ve got two goaltenders, you have to do that once in a while. It’s just part of a plan.”
   
The Bruins held a full morning skate today with everyone except the injured Andrew Ference (lower body) on the ice. Ference is out for tonight and day-to-day with that injury.
   
Here is the projected lineup for Boston:

Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Tyler Seguin
Jordan Caron - Chris Kelly - Rich Peverley/Zach Hamill
Benoit Pouliot - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo
Adam McQuaid - Steven Kampfer

Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask   

Peverley has missed the last two games and will be a game-time decision with an undisclosed injury.
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Posted On Saturday, 11.12.2011 / 11:00 AM

By Kurt Dusterberg -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Penguins, Hurricanes

Here are the projected lineups for the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Carolina Hurricanes for their game Saturday night at RBC Center:

PITTSBURGH
 
Steve SullivanEvgeni Malkin - James Neal
Chris KunitzJordan StaalPascal Dupuis
Matt CookeRichard ParkArron Asham
Eric TangradiJoe VitaleCraig Adams
 
Paul MartinKris Letang
Brooks Orpik – Derek Engelland
Matt Niskanen – Alexandre Picard

Marc-Andre Fleury started in goal Friday night in a 3-1 win against Dallas at Consol Energy Center. Brent Johnson is his backup.
 
CAROLINA
 
Alexei PonikarovskyEric StaalZach Boychuk
Jeff SkinnerTuomo RuutuJussi Jokinen
Chad LaRoseBrandon SutterPatrick Dwyer
Jiri TlustyTim BrentAnthony Stewart
 
Tim GleasonBryan Allen
Tomas KaberleJay Harrison
Jamie McBainJoni Pitkanen

Cam Ward started in net Friday night at Madison Square Garden in a 5-1 loss to the New York Rangers. Brian Boucher is his backup.
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Posted On Friday, 11.11.2011 / 10:16 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

OTT @ BUF - 4:57 of the Third Period

At 4:57 of the third period in the Sabres/Senators game, video review confirmed the call on the ice that Buffalo forward Drew Stafford did not touch the puck with a high stick as Ville Leino's shot was heading into the goal. Good goal Buffalo.

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Posted On Friday, 11.11.2011 / 9:51 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

OTT @ BUF - 4:57 of the Third Period

At 4:57 of the third period in the Sabres/Senators game, video review confirmed the call on the ice that Buffalo forward Drew Stafford did not touch the puck with a high stick as Ville Leino's shot was heading into the goal. Good goal Buffalo.
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Posted On Friday, 11.11.2011 / 8:50 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

DAL @ PIT - 17:32 of the Second Period

At 17:32 of the second period in the Penguins/Stars game, video review proved inconclusive. Therefore referee Furlatt's call on the ice -- that Penguins forward Chris Kunitz deflected the puck into the net with his stick above the crossbar -- stands. No goal Pittsburgh.

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Posted On Friday, 11.11.2011 / 6:17 PM

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

Jets activate Chris Mason off IR

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets received a rare piece of positive news on the injury front on Friday morning.

The Jets activated goaltender Chris Mason from Injured Reserve after the veteran backup missed seven games with a groin injury. Mason exited the Jets' 9-8 win at Philadelphia on Oct. 27 after playing 8:27 in relief of starter Ondrej Pavelec. Mason is 1-2-0 in four games this season with a 2.68 goals-against average.

To make room for Mason, the Jets reassigned goaltender Peter Mannino to the St. John's IceCaps of the American League. Mannino logged third-period mop-up duty in Thursday night's 5-2 loss to the Florida Panthers.

"I'm excited to come off [Injured Reserve]," Mason said before the team departed for Saturday night's visit to Columbus. "It [stinks] being injured. I'm pretty happy to be back. You just want to be with the guys."

Mason also indicated that he is "100 percent" ready for game action. The demands of the position mean that groin injuries can sometimes linger for goaltenders, but Mason needed just two weeks to heal.

"I went full-bore here in the last three days here," Mason said of why he feels ready for game play. "I like to think that I heal quickly. The trainers here put me on an excellent regimen, so I feel great. There are no reservations at all."

Meanwhile, right wing Eric Fehr's surgically repaired right shoulder continues its long recovery. Fehr is testing the shoulder in practice, and Friday's contact-filled session provided it with a good workout. Fehr, acquired from the Washington Capitals in a July trade, has yet to play this season.

"It feels pretty good," Fehr said of his shoulder. "It's a little bit stronger than I expected, actually, just to be able to push guys and get body position."

While his teammates may not have relished the demanding practice, Fehr saw the session as a positive.

"That was a great practice for me to jump into," Fehr said. "We wanted to be physical in practice, we wanted to moving our feet and working hard. That's the kind of practice that, selfishly, I need to get back into the line-up."

Fehr plans to consult with the team's medical staff and see how his shoulder is progressing, but he could not provide a definitive timetable for his return.

Along with Fehr, the Jets own a long list of injured players on the blue line. Ron Hainsey has missed 12 games with an upper-body injury, Tobias Enstrom is out indefinitely with a broken collarbone, and Randy Jones and Derek Meech remain out as well.

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Posted On Friday, 11.11.2011 / 4:28 PM

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

Luongo doesn't skate, but will start vs. Ducks

ANAHEIM -- It appears that Roberto Luongo will get another turn in net for the Vancouver Canucks on Friday night.
Luongo was expected to get the night off after he backstopped Vancouver to a 3-2 victory against the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday.

Luongo wasn't at Friday's sparsely attended optional skate, but when Corey Schneider came off the ice he threw reporters a curve when he said he wasn't starting against the Anaheim Ducks.

Vancouver is finishing a six-game road trip in which they had three days off between games.

"I think they just want to keep Lu in a rhythm," Schneider said. "He's coming back into form and is playing well, so I'm sure they just want to get him going."

Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault wasn't available to comment, and neither was Luongo. Schneider said he found out Thursday night and understood.

"We had three days off before, so to go back-to-back for Lu after three days off isn't such a big deal," he said. "I'm sure he's looking forward to getting back in there again."
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Posted On Friday, 11.11.2011 / 4:24 PM

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

Anaheim changes up power play

ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Ducks' power play has ranked in the top five in the NHL the past three seasons, including a No. 2 success rate in 2010-11.

It's not difficult to generate offense there with the likes of Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Teemu Selanne setting up in the opposition's zone.

But Anaheim takes a meek 12.1 percentage on the power play, 26th in the NHL, into Friday's game against the Vancouver Canucks. Coach Randy Carlyle restated at the morning skate that he'll likely switch up the personnel within the two units.

"I think maybe we can mix up the groupings and maybe trying to create a little bit more competition for the ice time," Carlyle said. "We've considered that, and we've worked on a couple options within our grouping and who knows?  Maybe you'll see it tonight."

The Ducks' first unit is usually Getzlaf, Perry, Selanne, Lubomir Visnovsky and Cam Fowler, but second-unit pieces Bobby Ryan, Saku Koivu and Andrew Cogliano are also at their disposal.

"We've got to do whatever we have to do," Getzlaf said. "If we have to move guys around, that's what we're going to have to do. This morning they tried a few different things out there, and hopefully we'll have a few answers tonight."
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Quote of the Day

It's pretty crazy, but believe me when I say we didn't draft these players with the mindset we had to because they had good hockey-playing dads. It just turned out that way. But we're certainly glad they're a part of our organization.

— Arizona Coyotes director of amateur scouting Tim Bernhardt regarding the coincidence that six of the organization's top prospects are sons of former NHL players