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Posted On Saturday, 01.14.2012 / 1:48 PM

By Neil Acharya -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Rangers, Maple Leafs

Here's how the lineups could look tonight when the Toronto Maple Leafs play host to the Eastern Conference-leading New York Rangers at Air Canada Centre:

RANGERS

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

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto - Anton Stralman
Marc Staal - Stu Bickel

Martin Biron
Henrik Lundqvist

MAPLE LEAFS
Joffrey Lupul - Tim Connolly - Phil Kessel
Joey Crabb - Mikhail Grabovski - Nikolai Kulemin
Clarke MacArthur - Matthew Lombardi - Nazem Kadri
Darryl Boyce - David Steckel - Mike Brown

Keith Aulie - Dion Phaneuf
Carl Gunnarson - Luke Schenn
Cody Franson - Mike Komisarek

Jonas Gustavsson
James Reimer
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Posted On Saturday, 01.14.2012 / 1:10 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Canadiens, Senators

Here are the expected lineups for tonight's game between the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens.

Of note, the Canadiens will be welcoming back Scott Gomez off a 21-game absence due to a groin injury. He will slide into the spot vacated by the departure of Michael Cammalleri to the Flames, playing on the left side of Tomas Plekanec with Michael Blunden on the right. However, coach Randy Cunneyworth said Erik Cole will rotate in a little bit on the right wing of that line.

Newly-acquired left wing Rene Bourque skated with his teammates for the first time this morning, but he will serve the final game of his five-game suspension for elbowing Washington's Nicklas Backstrom and won't be available to make his Canadiens debut until Sunday night at home against the New York Rangers.

Cunneyworth also confirmed he will dress seven defensemen and 11 forwards for a sixth straight game. Yannick Weber, who scored Montreal's lone goal in a 2-1 loss in Boston on Thursday, should dress instead of Chris Campoli.

For Ottawa coach Paul MacLean there will be no changes to the lineup, and why would he considering the impressive 3-0 win the team is coming off of against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Thursday?

CANADIENS
Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Erik Cole
Scott Gomez - Tomas Plekanec - Michael Blunden
Travis Moen - Lars Eller - Andrei Kostitsyn
Mathieu Darche - Petteri Nokelainen

Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban
Alexei Emelin - Raphael Diaz
Tomas Kaberle - Yannick Weber
Hal Gill

Carey Price
Peter Budaj

SENATORS

Milan Michalek - Jason Spezza - Colin Greening
Erik Condra - Kyle Turris - Daniel Alfredsson
Nick Foligno - Zack Smith - Chris Neil
Kaspars Daugavins - Zenon Konopka - Bobby Butler

Filip Kuba - Erik Karlsson
Sergei Gonchar - Jared Cowen
Brian Lee - Chris Phillips

Craig Anderson
Alex Auld
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Posted On Saturday, 01.14.2012 / 12:54 PM

By John Manasso -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Preds' Wilson gets chance to face idol Jagr

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- When Jaromir Jagr was winning scoring titles and Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early '90s, Nashville Predators forward Colin Wilson was an infant.

Nonetheless, Wilson, 22, whose father Carey was an NHL player, grew up with Jagr as his favorite player. On Saturday when the Predators host the Philadelphia Flyers, Wilson will get to play against his idol for the first time.

"I love the way he plays," Wilson said.

Wilson said his father was fairly particular about who he picked as his favorite player. Wilson said at one point one of his favorites was the New York Rangers' Mike Richter -- a one-time teammate of his father's -- but Carey Wilson told Colin that he needed to pick a player who was not a goaltender.

"I think he likes Jagr, the way he plays," Wilson said. "He's pretty critical of some of the players I liked growing up. … He was good with Jagr because he was a big, skilled player."

At 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, Wilson isn't quite Jagr's 6-3, 240, but he is a wide body. He said he has tried to emulate some parts of Jagr's game.

"He makes one move wide and he cuts in and there's not much you can do about that," Wilson said, "and I try to play that same game. I'm a bigger body, but nothing compared to him. I think I want to use my hands and skill like he does. Again, everything to an extent, but try to do things like that."

Trotz was asked about the "awe factor" for some of his young players who will compete against the likes of Jagr. Nashville has the League's youngest team.

"I don't know if there's any way to do it," he said. "You just say, 'Hey, this guy's a good player. You've got to respect what he can do but don't respect him too much because time and space will be death. Death to you and death to the team.'"

Wilson is well aware of the pitfalls of defending Jagr, especially with him playing on arguably the League's top line with Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell. Jagr has 12 goals and 20 assists in 36 games while Giroux is tied for second in the NHL with 49 points and Hartnell has 19 goals.

"You don't want to give him too much room," Wilson said. "At the same time, you can't go right into him because he's so big. Do a quick turn and as soon as he gets an edge on you, you can't do much about it. It'll help a bit defending, having studied his game, but I haven't watched him too much this year because we've been playing, so I don't know, maybe he's picked something up when he went back to the Russian leagues."
 
PREDATORS
Colin Wilson - David Legwand - Patric Hornqvist
Sergei Kostitsyn - Mike Fisher - Martin Erat
Jordin Tootoo - Nick Spaling - Gabriel Bourque
Matt Halischuk - Craig Smith - Brian McGrattan
 
Ryan Suter - Shea Weber
Roman Josi - Kevin Klein
Francis Bouillon - Ryan Ellis
 
Pekka Rinne
Anders Lindback
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Posted On Saturday, 01.14.2012 / 12:25 PM

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

Canes will hold Skinner out against Bruins

RALEIGH -- Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner will not make his return to the lineup tonight against the Boston Bruins after missing 15 games with a concussion. Skinner went through the morning skate and did stickhandling drills with the assistant coaches afterwards, but the staff is being cautious before allowing his return.

"If there's any question mark or any uncertainty, we want to make sure he's 100 percent," Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said. "He had another workout today. We have back-to-back games here, so hopefully we will get him ready for tomorrow (at Washington)."

Here are tonight's projected lineups:

BRUINS

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

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

Tuukka Rask took the morning skate and is the likely starting goaltender. Tim Thomas did not skate.

HURRICANES

Jiri Tlusty - Eric Staal - Tuomo Ruutu
Patrick Dwyer - Brandon Sutter - Andreas Nodl
Jerome Samson - Jussi Jokinen - Alexei Ponikarovsky
Anthony Stewart - Tim Brent - Brett Sutter

Tim Gleason - Bryan Allen
Jay Harrison - Justin Faulk
Derek Joslin - Jamie McBain

Cam Ward will start in goal for Carolina, with Justin Peters serving as the backup.
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Posted On Saturday, 01.14.2012 / 12:20 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Blue Jackets claim Colton Gillies off waivers

The Columbus Blue Jackets have claimed left wing Colton Gillies off waivers from the Minnesota Wild.

Gillies, 22, has registered 2 assists and 10 penalty minutes in 37 games with Minnesota this season and has 3 goals, 10 points and 30 penalty minutes in 89 career NHL games with the Wild.

In 2010-11, he notched 11 goals, 26 points and 82 penalty minutes in 64 games with the Houston Aeros, Minnesota's American Hockey League affiliate. He added 7 goals, 12 points and 32 penalty minutes in 24 playoff games, helping Houston reach the Calder Cup Final.

Minnesota's first pick (No. 16) in the 2007 Entry Draft, Gillies played four seasons with the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League. He also scored a goal in seven games to help Canada win the gold medal at the 2008 World Junior Championship.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.14.2012 / 12:14 PM

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

Quenneville saw 'good things' in Carcillo's short stint

CHICAGO -- Daniel Carcillo's season is over, but despite it being cut short by a knee injury his coach felt like he gave the Chicago Blackhawks what they were looking for when they signed him to a one-year contract last summer.

"I thought he had a good year for us," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said on Saturday morning at Joe Louis Arena. "I thought he did a lot of good things. I thought he gave us a presence and fulfilled a need and a niche for us. He provided some toughness, some emotion."

Carcillo, who earned a seven-game suspension for his hit on Edmonton's Tom Gilbert on Jan. 2, finished his season after just 28 games by scoring 2 goals and adding 9 assists with a plus-10 rating and 82 penalty minutes.

Carcillo came to Chicago with a reputation for toeing the line between acceptable and punishable conduct on and off the ice -- and even started the season with a two-game suspension for an incident between periods of a playoff game last spring.

Carcillo also got slapped with a two-game suspension in late October for a hit on the Carolina Hurricanes' Joni Pitkanen, which wasn't penalized in the game but was deemed an illegal hit after a review by the League.

Carcillo injured his left knee when he hit Gilbert, who was also hurt on the play. Gilbert's body slammed off the end boards and bounced back toward Carcillo's leg.

Carcillo immediately went down and grabbed his knee. He needed help getting off the ice and couldn't put weight on the leg. The Hawks weighed their options on what to do about the knee before announcing on Friday that he needed surgery to repair it and would be out at least six months.

Carcillo came into the season vowing to turn over a new leaf in regard to the questionable tactics and even adapted his game enough to play up on the first two lines with stars like Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp.

His role on those lines was to help open up the ice for the fast, skilled forwards and provide some protection against teams trying to take liberties with the Hawks’ top players. He played the role well, with maybe his most memorable moment on Dec. 3 in St. Louis – when he came to the defense of Kane and Toews during a post-whistle scrum.

"We liked how he played," Quenneville said. "He complemented some nice players and did what he had to do."

Quenneville thinks the gritty veteran forward also learned a lesson this season.

"I think he knows his leash is extremely short and (about) being smart about situations," Quenneville said. "But he had a couple (hits) right there on that line and I think he's got to know when to push."

As for getting a season-ending injury after delivering a hit, Quenneville said it was both odd to see and highly disappointing for Carcillo.

"It was a strange hit, no question about it," Quenneville said. "You can only imagine (how upset he is)."
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Posted On Saturday, 01.14.2012 / 12:04 PM

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

Projected lineups for Blackhawks, Red Wings

DETROIT -- Chicago Blackhawks rookie Marcus Kruger (concussion) will get back into the lineup for Saturday afternoon's game against the Detroit Red Wings (12:20 p.m., NBC). Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he won’t likely start him off in the same role he held before getting hurt on Dec. 26 -- when he was centering the second line between Sharp and Hossa.

"He's ready to play," Quenneville said. "We're very happy the way he played with us. We'll see how he's progressing and maybe he'll work his way up (the lineup)."

Corey Crawford will start in goal for the Hawks, while Jimmy Howard will start for Detroit -- which trails Chicago by two points in the Central Division, but could leap to the top spot with a win because of a better points percentage with one less game played.

Here's how the lineups might look like for the Blackhawks and Red Wings:

BLACKHAWKS
Viktor Stalberg - Jonathan Toews - Patrick Kane
Jimmy Hayes - Dave Bolland - Marian Hossa
Andrew Shaw - Marcus Kruger - Michael Frolik
Bryan Bickell - Jamal Mayers - Andrew Brunette

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook
Nick Leddy - Niklas Hjalmarsson
Sean O'Donnell - Steve Montador

Corey Crawford
Ray Emery

RED WINGS

Johan Franzen - Pavel Datsyuk - Danny Cleary or Todd Bertuzzi
Valtteri Filppula - Henrik Zetterberg - Jiri Hudler
Drew Miller - Darren Helm - Jan Mursak
Cory Emmerton - Justin Abdelkader - Tomas Holmstrom

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

Jimmy Howard
Ty Conklin

Bertuzzi is a game-time decision (back/groin). If he plays, Mursak likely will sit and Cleary will go back to RW on the third line.
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Posted On Saturday, 01.14.2012 / 12:54 AM

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

Fantasy spin: Selanne continues to excel

Age is just a number, right?

If you ask Teemu Selanne, he'd likely answer in the affirmative.

The 41-year-old winger of the Anaheim Ducks marvels night in, night out, proving that if you've got game, the date of birth that follows you is rendered useless.

Teemu Selanne
Right Wing - ANA
GOALS: 15 | ASST: 28 | PTS: 43
SOG: 124 | +/-: 5
Just dig into the stats. Through 43 games, The Finnish Flash has collected 43 points, an unthinkable pace for an NHL elder statesman. Those points haven't been of the fluke variety, either, where Selanne has been the beneficiary merely of secondary assists. He's been a goal-scoring force too, evidenced by his goal-per-every-three game pace (15 total).

To complement his point production, Selanne brings 124 shots, 7 power play goals and 40 PIMs to his fantasy resume, too.

What's as impressive as his ability to be a factor, generally, has been his play on the ice of late, specifically. In his past five games, the right wing has seven points, including four goals and three multi-point nights.

As the Ducks and their core of offensive powerhouses continue to contribute, Selanne figures to be the man leading the charge.
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Posted On Friday, 01.13.2012 / 9:46 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

TBL @ WSH- 16:34 of the Third Period

At 16:34 of the third period in the Lightning / Capitals game, video review concluded that Steven Stamkos' shot cross the goal line in a legal fashion. Good goal Tampa Bay.

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Posted On Friday, 01.13.2012 / 8:26 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

PHX @ CBJ - 8:48 of the Second Period

At 8:48 of the second period in the Coyotes / Blue Jackets, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that the puck went off Lauri Korpikoski's skate and into the net in a legal fashion. Good goal Phoenix.

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."

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