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Posted On Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 3:09 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Doughty won't return to lineup against Stars

DALLAS -- The return of standout Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty will be at least one more game away. The 21-year-old blueliner won't play tonight against Dallas at the American Airlines Center, the fifth straight game he will miss with an upper-body injury.

"No, he's not cleared to play. He's cleared to practice. He was cleared to practice, full contact in practice by the doctor last game," Los Angeles coach Terry Murray said. "So he's getting close, getting better. He's out on the ice. He's doing everything now. We’ll get through one more game here without him and hopefully we can make a decision after that."

With Doughty unavailable for tonight, the Kings will likely go with rookie Slava Voynov alongside veteran blueliner Willie Mitchell.

But with Los Angeles currently tied with Winnipeg for the third-fewest goals scored in the League at 14 and heading into tonight's game having scored just three goals in its last three games, Murray will make one change to his lineup designed to energize its attack.

"We're going to get [Scott] Parse in. The offensive part of the game is something we want to get better at. We need better numbers," Murray said. "We're like third lowest in the League right now in the offensive category and we have to get some scoring. Parse is a player that we've often talked about as to why he's with us. He's an offensive, creative thinker. He can score some goals. I think he's getting through his offseason surgery and becoming a healthier player every day. He seems to be skating with more of a purpose out there in practice. I want to get him in and see if he can contribute on that offensive part of the game."

So far this season, the Kings are 2-0-1 on the road and in 2009-10, were 24-14-3, the second-best road mark in the NHL. It's clear their coach considers getting favorable results away from the Staples Center a top priority.

"We're a comfortable team on the road. We feel we can play well in any building in the League," Murray said. "We just rely on our structure and our system."

Tonight, his Kings will face a Stars team they beat in Los Angeles 1-0 on Saturday night. But Dallas is a perfect 4-0-0 at the American Airlines Center this season and 7-2-0 overall under new coach Glen Gulutzan.

Murray sees several reasons why the Stars have gotten off to such a solid start under their new man behind the bench.

"I'm seeing Dallas a little more on the defensive part of the game right now," Murray said. "I thought their game last year offensively was pretty effective. They do some nice things in the offensive zone-changing the point of attack but they have a bigger focus on the checking part. We did see that our last time in here last year and it's been a follow through on it. Their awareness without the puck is greater. They're recovering more of those pucks and getting back on the counterattack because of it."
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Posted On Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 2:45 PM

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

Burmistrov a year older, a year much better

PHILADELPHIA -- Eight games into last season, Jets forward Alexander Burmistrov was an 18-year-old rookie still looking for his first NHL point. Eight games into this season, he's the team's leading scorer with 7 points, including at least a point in five straight games.

"He's been one of our best forwards," said Jets captain Andrew Ladd. "He's such a dynamic player. The way he handles the puck, his speed, he creates so much. He's been great for us so far. He's been put in a lot of different situations, he's penalty killing, getting a lot of ice time. He's taken that next step."

"I think it's just maturity," added coach Claude Noel. "He's been one of our better players. He has real good chemistry with (Nik) Antropov. He just looks patient on the ice, he looks like he has the puck a lot. I think he feels more confident making plays. He's way more effective with the puck. I think it's just a maturity thing with him. It's what happens when you get a year's experience under your belt."

Burmistrov said the biggest change for him is going not being awestruck by some of the players he would take the ice against.

"Last year I was coming on the ice and watching the stars, these unbelievable players to play against," he told NHL.com. "I just enjoyed playing against them. This year I try to play hard against them. I want to be like them or better than them. I want to beat them on the ice."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 2:43 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Ducks, Wild

ST. PAUL -- The Anaheim Ducks are looking to stop a three-game losing skid while the Minnesota Wild are hoping to win for the sixth straight time against the Ducks here at Xcel Energy Center.

Guillaume Latendresse is back in the lineup for the Wild after being out with a groin injury. He'll start the game on the fourth line, but could move up if his play or others' dictates it, said coach Mike Yeo.

Devante Smith-Pelly is a game-time decision for the Ducks. He missed the opener of this seven-game, 13-day road trip with the flu. Either he or George Parros, who is sporting a nasty cut under his eye after getting hit with an errant puck Wednesday in practice, could skate alongside Andrew Cogliano and Andrew Gordon on the third line.

Defenseman Kurtis Foster expects to be back in the lineup for Anaheim as well. Here's a projected lineup for both teams based on the morning skate and their previous games:

DUCKS

Patrick Maroon - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Bobby Ryan - Saku Koivu - Teemu Selanne
Devante Smith-Pelly / George Parros - Andrew Cogliano - Andrew Gordon
Brandon McMillan - Maxime Macenauer - Matt Beleskey

Lubomir Visnovsky - Toni Lydman
Cam Fowler - Francois Beauchemin
Luca Sbisa - Kurtis Foster

Jonas Hiller is expected to start in goal with Dan Ellis serving as the backup.

WILD

Dany Heatley - Mikko Koivu - Cal Clutterbuck
Pierre-Marc Bouchard - Matt Cullen - Devin Setoguchi
Nick Johnson - Kyle Brodziak - Brett Bulmer
Colton Gillies - Darroll Powe - Guillaume Latendresse

Justin Falk - Marek Zidlicky
Nick Schultz - Clayton Stoner
Marco Scandella - Jared Spurgeon

Niklas Backstrom is expected to start in goal with Josh Harding serving as the backup.
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Posted On Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 2:39 PM

By Alan Robinson -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Road to 2012 NHL Draft

J. Staal has fond draft memories

PITTSBURGH—Jordan Staal said Pittsburgh is in for a treat.
 
Staal, one of the NHL's best two-way centers, said being drafted No. 2 by the Penguins in Vancouver in 2006 remains one of the biggest thrills of his life. He has watched other drafts since then, and he said it's always entertaining to watch a young player learn where he is going to begin his professional career.
 
"The draft was pretty cool for me," Staal said. "It's your first step into your new dream and it's a pretty fun experience that I'm sure a lot of players will never forget. I'm excited that it’s going to be in Pittsburgh, and I'm sure it’s going to be a lot of fun."
 
When the Entry Draft was last held in Pittsburgh in 1997 -- at the now-closed Civic Arena -- Joe Thornton was the No. 1 pick by Boston, followed by forward  Patrick Marleau, San Jose; forward Olli Jokinen, Los Angeles; goalie Roberto Luongo, the New York Islanders; and defenseman Eric Brewer, the Islanders. Other first-round picks included Sergei Samsonov, Marian Hossa and Brenden Morrow.
 
Thornton became only the second 17-year-old to be selected No. 1, joining Pierre Turgeon. Luongo was the first goaltender drafted as high as No. 4 since the draft began in 1969.
 
The Penguins' top pick, forward Robert Dome at No. 17, turned out to be one of their less-successful first-rounders. Dome, who wore his hair long to mimic then-Penguins star Jaromir Jagr, had 7 goals and 7 assists in 53 career NHL games, all but one with Pittsburgh.
 
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Posted On Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 2:34 PM

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

Kane trying to find way back onto score sheet

PHILADELPHIA -- After scoring 19 goals last season, Evander Kane looked like a player on the rise, a rapidly developing power forward with speed and skill.

This season, however, it's been a bit of a struggle, as he has just 1 goal through his first seven games.

"There's more to the game than scoring," Kane said following yesterday's morning skate. "At the same time, I want to produce. I want to produce consistently, I want to produce nightly."

Jets captain Andrew Ladd said Kane's scoring woes are more endemic of the entire team, rather than one particular player not pulling his load offensively. As a team, the Jets are tied for 22nd with just 17 goals.

"There's lots of guys (not scoring)," said Ladd. "I've only scored twice. My line hasn't produced as much as needed. Evander has had a little trouble putting the puck in the net. He's still doing some good things. He's a strong skater, powerful, takes the puck to net."

Coach Claude Noel said the key for Kane, in his third season, still is learning how to best make use of his vast array of talent.

"What we're trying to do is teach him the way we feel is the best and most efficient way for him to play to be an effective player," he said. "For us, he has to play with some physicality and use his speed and drive and get to the net. He does that well."

Getting physical is something the 6-foot-2, 195-pound left wing enjoys -- he's second on the team with 20 hits.

"For myself, I like to be involved physically … in all aspects of the game," said Kane. "When I'm being physical and taking the puck to the net and getting lots of shots, that's one of the big things for my game."

In the Jets' last game, he was shifted onto a line with leading scorer Alexander Burmistrov and center Nik Antropov, and that trio will be together again tonight.

"I think he's been good," said Noel. "He was good with Burmistrov and Antropov, we moved him up there. He's like a lot of guys, trying to get on the board. The last few games he's played with some real physicality and some real energy and has been real good for us."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 2:09 PM

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

Flyers' Schenn out 4-6 weeks with broken foot

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers announcement that rookie forward Brayden Schenn has a broken left foot and will be out of action for 4-6 weeks.

In four games since being recalled from the team's AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms, Schenn was scoreless with a minus-5 rating and seven shots. He had been playing left wing on a line with center Danny Briere and right wing Wayne Simmonds.

The Flyers have called up forward Zac Rinaldo and defenseman Erik Gustafsson from the AHL to fill out the roster.

Rinaldo started the season with the Flyers and had 1 assist and 28 penalty minutes in five games prior to being sent down when Schenn was called up from the AHL and Jody Shelley finished serving his season-opening five-game suspension. In four AHL games, Rinaldo has a goal and an assist and just 11 penalty minutes.

Gustafsson, who was scoreless in three games with the Flyers last season, has 4 assists in eight AHL gamest this season.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 2:05 PM

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

Jets hope to start long trip in positive way

PHILADELPHIA -- Tonight marks the first game of the Jets' season-long seven-game, 14-day road trip up and down the East Coast.

Following tonight's game, they'll head south for two games in Florida, and then come back north for four games in six nights against the Islanders, Devils, Rangers and Sabres.

Coach Claude Noel said the key to surviving so long on the road is not to think about how long the total trip is; rather, just focus on the next game.

"For us, you have to focus on the task at hand," he said. "You take one game at a time and go from there. We're not going to deal with the amount of time that we're away. We just deal with one game and try to win the game that's in front of us and go from there."

At 0-3-1 away from MTS Centre this season, picking up a win in a tough building -- even against a team like the Flyers that's coming on having just played on the road the night before -- would be a nice start.

"We understand it's a long (trip)," said team captain Andrew Ladd. "We're going to be playing in some tough buildings. At the same time, it's a good test for us, coming in here tonight and playing one of the top teams in the League and seeing what we have."

As the Atlanta Thrashers last season, they won three of four games against the Flyers, including both games in Philadelphia.

Ladd is hoping past results bode well for tonight's game.

"We played a lot of our best games last year against top teams," he said. "They seemed to bring the best out of us."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 1:24 PM

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

Barry Melrose Mullet of the Week goes to...

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Posted On Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 1:09 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Potential lineups for Stars, Kings

Here's what the lineups could look like when the Stars and Kings take the ice tonight in Dallas:

STARS
Steve Ott - Jamie Benn - Loui Eriksson
Brenden Morrow - Mike Ribeiro - Michael Ryder
Eric Nystrom - Vernon Fiddler - Radek Dvorak
Toby Petersen - Jake Dowell - Adam Burish

Alex Goligoski - Adam Pardy
Sheldon Souray - Stephane Robidas
Trevor Daley - Nicklas Grossman

Kari Lehtonen will start in net, backed up by Andrew Raycroft.

KINGS
Simon Gagne - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams
Dustin Penner - Mike Richards - Dustin Brown
Ethan Moreau - Jarret Stoll - Brad Richardson
Kyle Clifford - Trevor Lewis - Scott Parse

Willie Mitchell - Slava Voynov
Rob Scuderi - Jack Johnson
Alec Martinez - Matt Greene

Jonathan Quick will be back in goal, with Jonathan Bernier serving as the backup.

For more on tonight's game, check out the preview here.
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Posted On Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 1:01 PM

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

Pouliot looks forward to facing Canadiens

BOSTON – Forward Benoit Pouliot’s only three-point game of the 2010-11 season while he was with Montreal was against his former team, the Minnesota Wild.

So maybe Thursday night against the Canadiens will be the game Pouliot breaks out as a member of the Boston Bruins.

“I think everyone would agree with that,” said Pouliot when asked about the having extra motivation against a former team after the Bruins’ morning skate at TD Garden. “You face your old team, you obviously want to prove ‘Hey, you didn’t want to keep me, I’ll show you.’ But … it pumps you up even more, I think. Obviously it’s going to be my first game against Montreal, we have plenty of them all year long, so I see this as just a little boost at the same time. Just play the same way I’ve been playing and rack up the points.”

Unfortunately for Pouliot and the Bruins, the way he’s been playing hasn’t led to racking up points. He has yet to hit the score sheet in any form through eight games in black and gold. Assuming he’s in the lineup Thursday night, he’ll skate next to center David Krejci and right winger Nathan Horton.

Despite the lack of production, Pouliot, the No. 4 pick by Minnesota in 2005, says that Boston has been a better fit for him than Montreal.

“It’s just a matter of knowing what you do right or wrong, not hiding it – let the guy know and he’ll work on it,” said Pouliot while obviously comparing Bruins head coach Claude Julien to Montreal coach Jacques Martin. “And it’s something that Claude’s been good to me so far. He’s been talking to me. The assistant coaches talk to me all the time, video and stuff. For me personally, I just have to show up and work hard, be consistent every night. And I think in practice and in games, so far things have been going well. Maybe not the points, but everything else for me was to work hard, so it’s good so far. We’ve just got to start winning games and things will be OK.”



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Quote of the Day

It was the look in his eyes. Hockey is the most important thing in his life. He wants to be a hockey player, and nothing's going to stop him from being a hockey player.

— Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin on forward Alex Galchenyuk's potential