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Posted On Wednesday, 11.02.2011 / 4:36 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineup for Rangers on Thursday

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The Rangers lineup should remain the same for Thursday's game against Anaheim as it was for Monday's win over San Jose. The only difference is that Henrik Lundqvist will likely replace Martin Biron in net.
 
Here is what the Rangers lines and D-pairings looked like in practice Wednesday:
 
Brandon Dubinsky - Brad Richards - Ryan Callahan
Wojtek Wolski - Derek Stepan - Marian Gaborik
Ruslan Fedotenko - Brian Boyle - Brandon Prust
Andre Deveaux - Artem Anisimov - Erik Christensen
 
Sean Avery will be the extra forward Thursday night. It'll be his first visit to Madison Square Garden this season.
 
Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto - Michael Sauer
Steve Eminger - Jeff Woywitka
 
The Rangers have only six defensemen on the roster.
 
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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Posted On Wednesday, 11.02.2011 / 2:31 PM

By Jeremy Roenick -  NHL Network Contributor /NHL.com - World According to JR

Avery where he should be, Red Wings not so much

NHL analyst and former All-Star Jeremy Roenick will be penning a weekly blog for NHL.com this season. Look for new entries from the "World According to JR," every Wednesday. Roenick will offer sharp, can't-miss opinions on What's Clicking and What's Missing in the National Hockey League.

The Rangers recalled a guy who could and should help them, and the dynastic team in Hockeytown is going down an unfamiliar path. Read on to see what I think about Sean Avery and the Detroit Red Wings.
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Posted On Wednesday, 11.02.2011 / 1:50 PM

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

No Eaves for Wings; Nyquist sent down

DETROIT -- Red Wings forward Patrick Eaves didn't practice today while taking a "maintenance day" for an undisclosed ailment. Also, rookie forward Gustav Nyquist was sent back to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League after getting called up Monday and playing just one game.

Nyquist, who had 4 goals and 9 points for the Griffins before getting brought up, played 11:07 against the Wild and didn't record a point, a shot on goal or a hit in 13 shifts.
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Posted On Wednesday, 11.02.2011 / 1:48 PM

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

Kronwall feeling fine after hard hit by Koivu

DETROIT -- The morning after he appeared to be hurt on the final play of a 2-1 overtime loss Tuesday, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall was back at practice without limitations.

About a minute and 30 seconds into overtime against the Minnesota Wild, Kronwall charged into the corner in the Detroit zone on a penalty kill to play the puck against Mikko Koivu, who'd gotten to it first. Koivu instinctively stepped back and threw a shoulder at Kronwall to shield the puck and appeared to hit Kronwall in the face. The blueliner's head was knocked back and his helmet was jarred loose.

Kronwall, who just signed a seven-year contract extension with Detroit on Monday, was examined after the game, but the Wings didn't provide an immediate update on his condition. After Wednesday's practice, Kronwall met with reporters and said he's feeling fine.

"I just got a little dinged right off the hit for the first five or seven seconds," he said. "I felt fine after. As soon as I got off the ice, everything felt great."

He said he feels fortunate to not have been injured worse.

"Of course, because you never know with incidents like that," said Kronwall, who was also re-examined Wednesday morning before taking the ice for practice at Joe Louis Arena.

"It was a good play on his part," Kronwall said. "He caught me off guard and it ended up costing us the game. Obviously I have to be a little more aware out there. I think it was a square shoulder. I kind of leaned forward to go in and fight for the puck and he just took a step backward and there wasn't any more to it."

Teammates were concerned about Kronwall's health after the hit, but now that they know he's fine, they can go back to worrying about stopping a frustrating five-game winless streak.

"You don't want anybody hurting, especially when you're struggling a little bit as a team," Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "You want all hands on deck. He's an important player for us and it was unfortunate the way it happened. But that's part of hockey."
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Posted On Wednesday, 11.02.2011 / 12:59 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Gustavsson to stay in net for Leafs

NEWARK, N.J. -- James Reimer is ready to return, but it likely won't be until the Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Columbus Blue Jackets tomorrow night.
 
Coach Ron Wilson said it once again will be Jonas Gustavsson between the pipes for tonight's game against the Devils (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN), marking his fifth straight start since Reimer suffered a whiplash injury against the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 22.
 
Gustavsson is 2-2-0 with a .905 save percentage since Reimer went down. Of the 12 goals he's allowed over that span, six have come with the Leafs shorthanded. He's filled in admirably, but Reimer looks ready to come back soon.
 
"I'm expecting James to say he's fine," said Wilson, who spoke to the media while Reimer stayed on the ice here at Prudential Center. "He felt fine after practice yesterday and he felt good in the middle of practice (today).  Hopefully he'll be ready to be the backup (against New Jersey) and be ready to start tomorrow.
 
"That's the whole thing when a guy's got a minor injury, especially a goalie -- you don't want to fool around. The Monster (Gustavsson) has done a good job. His confidence is high."
 
No. 3 goaltender Ben Scrivens practiced Wednesday, so if Reimer feels any ill effects between the morning skate and the game, Scrivens will back-up Gustavsson.
 
Wilson said Joey Crabb would jump into the spot of Matt Frattin, who was sent down to the Marlies of the AHL on Tuesday. Defenseman Jake Gardiner is dealing with a sore foot and will be a game-time decision against the Devils.
 
We had the Devils' lineup earlier; here's what the Leafs lineup likely will look like:
 
Joffrey Lupul - Tim Connolly - Phil Kessel
Clarke MacArthur - Mikhail Grabovski - Nikolai Kulemin
Matthew Lombardi - Tyler Bozak - Joey Crabb
Mike Brown - David Steckel - Philippe Dupuis
 
Dion Phaneuf - Carl Gunnarsson
Luke Schenn - Jake Gardiner
John-Michael Liles - Mike Komisarek
 
Jonas Gustavsson will start in goal; James Reimer, if healthy, will be the backup. If Reimer can't go, Ben Scrivens will sit behind Gustavsson.

If Gardiner's foot injury prevents him from playing, Cody Franson would replace him.

For more on tonight's game, check out the preview here.
 
Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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Posted On Wednesday, 11.02.2011 / 12:52 PM

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

Melrose Minute: October's Best

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Posted On Wednesday, 11.02.2011 / 12:05 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Parise back in familiar spot

NEWARK, N.J. -- Zach Parise's brief career as an NHL center appears to be over.
 
Forced into the role due to an offseason injury to Travis Zajac and one during the season to Jacob Josefson, the Devils moved Parise from left wing to center in an effort to generate offense.
 
It didn't have the desired effect.
 
The Devils were held to one goal on 24 shots against the Penguins on Oct. 22, one night after losing Josefson for 3-4 months due to a broken collarbone. In the three games that followed, coach Peter DeBoer had Parise center a line with Ilya Kovalchuk on the left wing.
 
The Devils went 1-2-0 in those games and scored just seven goals, so DeBoer decided to move Parise back to left wing for tonight's home game against the Toronto Maple Leafs (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN).
 
Despite the team's struggles offensively -- they are tied for 28th in the League with an average of 2.00 goals per game -- DeBoer feels the Devils are on the verge of breaking out.
 
"We just have to continue what we're doing. I think they're going to come," DeBoer said. "We're not getting 15 shots a night. We're getting 30-plus. Kovalchuk had seven the other night (against Dallas). I believe they're going to come. We have to get a little grittier around the net."
 
After struggling at the position last season, DeBoer will try Kovalchuk at right wing tonight. Here are the rest of the Devils' projected lines:
 
Zach Parise - Adam Henrique - Ilya Kovalchuk
Petr Sykora - Patrik Elias - Dainius Zubrus
Mattias Tedenby - Ryan Carter - David Clarkson
Cam Janssen - Brad Mills - Nick Palmieri
 
Henrik Tallinder - Adam Larsson
Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Bryce Salvador - Anton Volchenkov
 
Martin Brodeur will start in goal, with Johan Hedberg the backup.
 
For more on tonight's game, check out the preview here.

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

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Posted On Wednesday, 11.02.2011 / 11:55 AM

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

Injuries mean new look for Flyers

We had the Sabres lines a bit earlier, and here's a look at the lineup the Flyers could put on the ice tonight in Buffalo (7:30 p.m. ET, Versus, TSN2).

Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Jaromir Jagr
James van Riemsdyk - Sean Couturier - Jakub Voracek
Andreas Nodl - Maxime Talbot - Wayne Simmonds
Jody Shelley - Ben Holmstrom - Zac Rinaldo

Braydon Coburn - Kimmo Timonen
Matt Carle - Erik Gustafsson
Andrej Meszaros - Andreas Lilja

Ilya Bryzgalov will start in goal, with Sergei Bobrovsky backing him up.

It's almost a completely new look for the Flyers up front, as Danny Briere and Matt Read will be out with upper-body injuries.

The only line that remains the same is the top line, and why not? Jagr was Third Star of the Week with 5 goals in four games, and Giroux is tied for second in the League with 15 points.

For more on tonight's game, check out the preview here.
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Posted On Wednesday, 11.02.2011 / 11:14 AM

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

Leino on top line part of potential Sabres lineup

Here is what the Buffalo Sabres' lineup could look like tonight when the host the Philadelphia Flyers (7:30 p.m., Versus, TSN2).

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

Robyn Regehr - Mike Weber
Andrej Sekera - Tyler Myers
Jordan Leopold - Christian Ehrhoff

Ryan Miller will start in goal, with Jhonas Enroth backing him up.

The big change for the Sabres comes on the top two lines, where Leino gets the chance to play between Vanek and Pominville, while Adam switches to the second line. The rookies skated at left wing with Roy in the middle Tuesday, but they could flip-flop for the game.

On defense, Weber will make his season debut tonight, playing alongside Regeher. Weber's insertion into the lineup makes Marc-Andre Gragnani a healthy scratch.

With injuries sidelining Flyers forwards Danny Briere and Matt Read tonight, it'll be interesting to see how the Flyers' lines shape up when they skate later this morning.

For more information on the game, check out the preview here.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Wednesday, 11.02.2011 / 9:40 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Weekes: Top 5 goalie masks this season

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Quote of the Day

You don't see many. The [Drew] Doughtys, the [P.K.] Subbans, those are guys that create offense from the back and then on top of that ability, the size that he has. In the West you play against some pretty big players, and being able to clear the crease and contain the [Ryan] Getzlafs and the [Corey] Perrys and [Anze] Kopitars and players like that, we're excited about him going back there.

— Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Brent Burns returning back to defense