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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 12:48 PM

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

Bruised hand sidelines Briere vs. Rangers

NEW YORK -- Just when you think the Philadelphia Flyers can't suffer another injury to one of their key players, Danny Briere joins the list of the walking wounded.

Briere, who has 10 goals and 25 points this season, will not be in the lineup tonight against the New York Rangers due to a bruised hand he suffered during Wednesday's game against the Dallas Stars. Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced Friday that the speedy forward is day-to-day.

Besides Briere, the Flyers are without captain Chris Pronger for the rest of the season due to a concussion. Forwards Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn are out with concussions. Defenseman Andreas Lilja just returned from an ankle injury in the Flyers' previous game against the Stars, as did center Claude Giroux, who had missed four games with a concussion before returning with a four-point night.

For Flyers coach Peter Laviolette, it's just business as usual.

"The injuries, they're not something that we can control. They happen," Laviolette said. "We've said this before. They continue to happen. But I really like the team we're putting on the ice tonight. I think we go out there and express ourselves and the way we play the game and make up for the people that aren't there by getting strong performances out of others. While we wish we had a full lineup, everybody wishes that."

Briere has been centering the Flyers' second line with James van Riemsdyk and Wayne Simmonds. The Flyers didn't do line rushes during their morning skate at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, but it's likely that rookie Matt Read will move up from the third line to take Briere's place.

The 25-year-old Read has played well enough to be in the Calder Trophy discussion. He has 11 goals and 9 assists in 30 games with 17:23 of ice time per game. That last number will likely be on the rise tonight, which is something his teammates don't mind at all.

"He's played center before," Scott Hartnell said of Read. "He's good defensively, good down low, battles hard. I think he'll jump in there and do well."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 12:06 PM

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

Bruins get Lucic back, but Peverley to sit

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins will get one forward back for tonight's game against Florida, while another will sit the game out at the TD Garden.

Milan Lucic will be back from his one-game suspension, which he served Monday against Montreal. Rich Peverley, who's nursing an undisclosed injury, will miss the game. Coach Claude Julien said the Bruins are hoping having a full week off (Peverley hasn’t skated since Monday's game) will allow Peverley to be ready for the team's next game Wednesday in Phoenix.

Lucic, who was suspended for his hit from behind on Philadelphia's Zac Rinaldo, should provide the Bruins with a boost of offensive support and physicality. Despite the suspension, he plans to play the game the way he usually does.

"I can't change my game," he said. "I play with a lot of emotion and I do everything I can to keep it safe and follow the guidelines of the new hitting protocol and all that type of stuff. So obviously, a big part of my game is being physical and creating emotion. And I can't lose that, that's for sure."

The Panthers didn't have a skate today after getting in late last night in the aftermath of their overtime loss in Ottawa. Kevin Dineen will update on his team's injury status, including that of star forward Stephen Weiss, prior to game time. Florida is expected to call up Mark Cullen to replace Weiss in the lineup

Here are the projected lineups for both teams:

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

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

Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask

PANTHERS
Tomas Fleischmann - Tomas Kopecky - Kris Versteeg
Shawn Matthias - Mike Santorelli - Matt Bradley
Tim Kennedy - Bill Thomas - Evgenii Dadonov
Krystofer Barch - Mark Cullen - Michal Repik

Dmitry Kulikov - Mike Weaver
Brian Campbell - Jason Garrison
Keaton Ellerby - Ed Jovanovski

Jose Theodore
Scott Clemmensen

 

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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 11:52 AM

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

Projected lineups for Hurricanes, Senators

Here's how the lines could look tonight when the Carolina Hurricanes play host to the Ottawa Senators at the RBC Center:

HURRICANES
Drayson Bowman - Eric Staal - Chad LaRose
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Jussi Jokinen - Tuomo Ruutu
Jiri Tlusty - Brandon Sutter - Patrick Dwyer
Andreas Nodl - Riley Nash/Tim Brent - Anthony Stewart

Tim Gleason - Jamie McBain
Jaroslav Spacek - Bryan Allen
Jay Harrison - Justin Faulk

Cam Ward
Justin Peters

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

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

The Senators arrived in Raleigh overnight and didn't have a morning skate or media availability, but it's possible Alex Auld gets the start after Craig Anderson played Thursday against Florida.
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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 11:48 AM

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

Elias returns to Devils' lineup after illness

NEWARK, N.J. -- Patrik Elias will return to the Devils lineup Friday after missing Tuesday's game with an illness. David Clarkson, who sat out practice Thursday with an illness, will also play.

However, rookie defenseman Adam Larsson is in Sweden attending his grandmother's funeral and Henrik Tallinder will miss his fourth straight game with back spasms.

Here is how the Devils lines and defense pairings will look in front of Martin Brodeur:

Zach Parise - Adam Henrique - Ilya Kovalchuk
Petr Sykora - Patrik Elias - Dainius Zubrus
Mattias Tedenby - Travis Zajac - David Clarkson
Tim Sestito - Ryan Carter - Cam Janssen

Bryce Salvador - Mark Fayne
Anton Volchenkov - Kurtis Foster
Alexander Urbom - Matt Taormina

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl


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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 11:40 AM

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

Brodeur continues search for consistency

NEWARK, N.J. -- Devils goalie Martin Brodeur will continue his search for consistency Friday night against the Capitals as he's expected to make his third consecutive start.

Brodeur said Friday morning that he's still trying to find a rhythm this season and it's been more difficult than he expected because he's not playing both games in back-to-back situations and he also sat out six games in October with an injury.

The Devils have played six sets of back-to-backs and 24 games in total since Brodeur returned from his early-season injury. He's started 17 times and is 8-8 with a 3.09 goals-against average.

"I thought it would be easy to take the break and be more rested and that would be a better thing, but it's been tricky," said Brodeur, who will also be looking to snap his personal five-game losing streak to the Capitals. "Practice is more important for me now, where before it was games, games, games. Now practice becomes games for me."

Brodeur also said practice has become harder for him this season because he doesn't have to conserve as much energy as he had to in years past.

"It's that balance I need to have between games and practices that I'm not used to," he said. "That's what I'm going through right now, but slowly I'll get to the same level as far as playing games."

He should as long as he stays healthy.

The Devils will have 48 games remaining after the holiday break, but only seven more sets of back-to-backs. Brodeur could conceivably get somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 more starts, which would put him either at or close to 60 games played. That's right around the number the Devils were looking for from their future Hall of Fame goalie this season considering he is only five and half months shy of his 40th birthday.

"Marty's reputation prior to me coming here was this guy is one of the hardest-working guys in practice, and I've seen exactly that," Devils coach Pete DeBoer said. "I've seen a guy who comes to work everyday, cares about his game, is willing to put in in extra work when things aren't going right. It turns around for guys like that. It may not turn around today or the next day, but if you consistency do that you reap the rewards of that and he has entire career. I don't expect that to change.

"We need him healthy and fresh the second half. That's critical."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl



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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 11:25 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Classic Preparations

We're going slushing!

PHILADELPHIA -- When work is being done on the rink being built for the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, you can be sure to find NHL Senior Facilities Operations Manager Dan Craig hovering somewhere nearby, keeping a close watch on things.

Today, for the first time during working hours, Craig will leave the ballpark.

No, he's not getting an early start to his holiday break. He and a few members of his ice crew will head across the street to Wells Fargo Center to start a process called "slushing."

What Craig and his crew will do is pick up a load of snow from the rink across the street, bring it back here to Citizens Bank Park, and then turn it into slush. They'll take that slush and use it to seal the bottom of the boards to the ice tray, and seal the gaps between the trays where the coolant hoses run. That will keep any water from leaking out of the rink.

That will happen later this afternoon. In the meantime, the workers are building the stage that will surround the rink -- for as long as the weather holds out. As you can see from this dynamic photo taken by my colleague Matt Coe around 11 a.m., things could get stormy around here soon.

We'll have more later, and if all goes well, an in-depth look at the slushing process. You can follow along with all the progress with NHL.com's live webcam.

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


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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 9:35 AM

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

Melrose Matchup: Flyers at Rangers

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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 3:45 AM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: B's second-liners paying dividends



While Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron may operate on the second line of the defending champion Boston Bruins, there's nothing secondary about their production as of late.

Marchand (15 G, 14 A, plus-25, 58 PIM, 3 PPP, 78 SOG) and Bergeron (7 G, 21 A, plus-21, 12 PIM, 7 PPP, 86 SOG) were a two-man wrecking crew on Friday night, combining for eight points and a plus-7 rating in the Bruins' 8-0 rout of the
Patrice Bergeron
Center - BOS
GOALS: 7 | ASST: 21 | PTS: 28
SOG: 86 | +/-: 21
Southeast division-leading Florida Panthers. Marchand notched a shorthanded goal and ultimately his first career hat trick, while Bergeron tallied two points on the power-play and three overall to keep the Bruins rolling into the holiday break.

With Boston sporting a 20-2-1 mark in its last 23 games, the team's secondary unit continues to make an impact in a number of different areas on a regular basis. Both Marchand and Bergeron are among the League's top-10 in plus-minus and rank second and third, respectively, on the team in points. On Wednesday, Bergeron (3:00 PP ice time per game) and Marchand (2:36) even produced on special teams.

Marchand (owned in 76 percent of leagues) and Bergeron (67 percent), despite their place in the League's deepest lineup, are proving to be premier all-around options with the Bruins surging over the last two months.
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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 3:27 AM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Carter finally breaks out for Jackets


Despite another late lead gone to waste for the Columbus Blue Jackets, Jeff Carter delivered the club's most promising individual effort of the season.

Carter notched a first period hat trick in Tuesday's 6-5 road loss to the Nashville Predators.  With a streak of three-straight 30-plus goal, 60-plus point campaigns on the line, the 26-year-old forward has finally reassured panicking fantasy owners by scoring seven goals in his last seven games.

Jeff Carter
Center - CBJ
GOALS: 10 | ASST: 6 | PTS: 16
SOG: 78 | +/-: -9
While Carter is playing for a team that is currently last in the League standings, he picked up steam as a power-play threat against the Predators. Carter has averaged 3:54 of power-play ice time this season, and finally broke through with a pair of goals on the man advantage on Thursday.

Operating on Columbus' top line with Rick Nash and Vinny Prospal, Carter has seen his team's struggles take a toll on his fantasy showing through 23 games this season. His minus-9 rating is evidence of that.  But despite missing time due to injury this season, Carter is beginning to show chemistry with Nash, who assisted on two of his three goals on Thursday.

Carter (owned in 94 percent of Yahoo! leagues) appears to be turning the corner after a slow start in Columbus, so the time has finally come for his fantasy owners to ride the wave of success.
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Posted On Thursday, 12.22.2011 / 8:50 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

FLA @ OTT - 6:37 of the Second Period

At 6:37 of the second period in the Panthers/Senators game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Florida forward Kris Versteeg's shot deflected off Michael Repik's skate and into the net in a legal fashion. 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 Florida.

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