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Posted On Wednesday, 10.26.2011 / 11:58 AM

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

No Rupp for Rangers

Forward Mike Rupp is not skating with the Rangers this morning at Madison Square Garden. He has been nursing a sore knee.

Without Rupp, here's how the lines looked at practice:

Ruslan Fedotenko - Brad Richards - Marian Gaborik
Brandon Dubinsky - Derek Stepan - Ryan Callahan
Wojtek Wolski - Brian Boyle - Brandon Prust
Erik Christensen - Artem Anisimov - Kris Newbury
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Posted On Wednesday, 10.26.2011 / 9:58 AM

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

Connolly sticking with Lightning

Facing a rapidly approaching deadline in regard to the future of rookie left wing Brett Connolly, Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager decided after last night's game against the Sabres.

Connolly is sticking with the team.

"We feel Brett's shown that he belongs in the NHL and makes our team better," Yzerman wrote in a text message to the St. Petersburg Times. "So, we've decided to keep him."

Yzerman had until Thursday's game against Nashville to make the decision on whether to keep Connolly or return him to his junior team, the Prince George Cougars of the Western Hockey League. Connolly's ninth game was last night; if they sent him back before he played a 10th game, it would have delayed the start of his entry-level contract for another year.

Connolly has 2 assists in nine games, but is tied for the team lead with a plus-5 rating, and is averaging 13:54 of ice time per game.

Playing on a line with veteran Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis hasn't hurt his development, either.

"Both guys have Stanley Cups and a lot of experience, so, for me, it's nice to have a couple of guys like that I can talk to," Connolly told the Times before Tuesday's game. "I'm just trying to take as much knowledge as I can."

He'll have much more time to listen and learn going forward.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Wednesday, 10.26.2011 / 9:00 AM

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

Roenick: Neal, Kessel are players on a mission

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.

I've got two players in mind who have impressed me and two teams that have totally fallen flat to start the season. Read on for my takes on what's clicking and what's missing in the NHL this week.
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Posted On Wednesday, 10.26.2011 / 9:00 AM

By Matt Dumba -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Matt Dumba draft blog

Dumba building off strong summer

Matt Dumba is a defenseman for the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. The 5-foot-11.75, 183-pound defenseman was named WHL Rookie of the Year after scoring 15 goals and adding 11 assists in 62 games. He also had a tournament-high 12 points -- all assists -- to help Canada Pacific win the bronze medal at the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. This summer, he played for Canada at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Tournament and also took part in the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp in August. Dumba has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Hi, this is Matt Dumba from the Red Deer Rebels. I'm really excited to get this season going. It's been a good start to the season here. We're 8-3 now. We got off to a slow start as a team and I did individually, but we've picked it up and found a rhythm, and lately we've been on a roll, winning five games in a row, and I have 7 points in 11 games. They're pretty good numbers, I'm happy with that. And it's fun playing with Justin Weller on the back end here. I'm really looking forward to the next month ahead of us.

We're only a month or so into the regular season here, but I've actually been on the ice for a while. I was named captain of our team for the Ivan Hlinka Tournament in August. I'd been to Europe when I was younger with a summer hockey team. We traveled around and played other teams. It was nice to experience that, but I hadn't been over in recent years. It was really interesting to go over to Slovakia and the Czech Republic, experience the culture and see how everyone is over there.

As a team, we came out and lost our first game to Sweden, which was a wake-up call, but we went on a tear in the next five games and won every game by a decisive margin. It was a pretty amazing accomplishment. As captain, leading the team was pretty easy with such a great group of players and characters on that team. I had a pretty good tournament and really showed I could play that defensive game, but also add that offense, the hits and flair that everyone likes to see.

After that, I had the NHL RDO Camp in Toronto. That camp was pretty interesting. You got matched up against some of the top guys in this year's draft. It was pretty neat to see all the guys, especially the Russian guys, Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk. It was great to see their skill and what you're up against, competition-wise. It was a pretty fun few days -- fun to go up there and know people are watching, but just have fun with it, just go out there and have fun and enjoy the experience.
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Posted On Wednesday, 10.26.2011 / 12:02 AM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

NJD @ LAK- 13:12 of The Second Period

At 13:12 of the second period in the Devils/Kings game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that the puck went into the net off of Dainius Zubrus' body but was not batted by Zubrus into the net. Good goal New Jersey.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.26.2011 / 12:01 AM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

VAN @ EDM - 13:34 of The Third Period

At 13:34 of the third period in the Canucks/Oilers game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Edmonton forward Jordan Eberle's shot did not cross the goal line. No Goal.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.25.2011 / 9:34 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

OTT@CAR - 17:29 of the third period

At 17:29 of the third period in the Senators/Hurricanes game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Jeff Skinner's goal was not tipped by a high stick. Good goal Carolina.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.25.2011 / 8:07 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Kings give Quick the night off

The NHL's reigning Player of the Week will be wearing a baseball cap instead of a goalie's mask on Tuesday night.

Los Angeles coach Terry Murray said Jonathan Quick, who's riding a streak of three consecutive shutouts, will be the backup when the New Jersey Devils come to the Staples Center on Tuesday night.

Murray said at Tuesday's morning skate that he made the decision prior to Quick's 28-save, 1-0 victory against Dallas on Saturday night.

"He’s got to play. Quick can’t play 82 games," Murray told the media. "We’ve got 17 games here in front of us until the end of the month (of November). Fifteen are conference games. So what do you do? Am I going to wait until December, when we have five Eastern Conference games, and get him in then? He’s got to play. He’s a good goalie and he played great for us in the second half of the year last year. We’ve got a lot of big games right in front of us now, so it’s time to start putting him into some games.

"The decision was made Saturday morning. It’s not like it was after Quick’s third shutout. It was before, to give him a heads up. It was fair to give him an opportunity to think about it over the weekend, the day off on Sunday, and come in to work hard yesterday in practice. There’s no second-guessing this one for me. It’s just time for him to get playing again.”

Bernier said he's not feeling any extra pressure because of Quick's hot streak, which has seen the former UMass star keep opponents off the scoreboard for 188:10.

"First of all I was happy for him, but then I wasn’t sure if I was still going to be in net tonight,"  he told Rich Hammond of Kings Insider. "But I guess he [Murray] kept his word, and I’m happy to be back in.”

One player who won't be in the lineup is defenseman Drew Doughty, who's eligible to come off IR but isn't ready. He's been out since Oct. 15 with a shoulder injury.

Murray said Doughty was scheduled to see the doctor today and could be back by the end of the week.

“The opportunity will probably be tonight, to see the doctor at the rink," he said. "We plan on taking him with us on the road trip, kind of shooting for the end of the week here as a possibility.” The Kings hit the road after the game against the Devils -- they play at Dallas on Thursday, at Phoenix on Saturday and at Colorado on Sunday.



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Posted On Tuesday, 10.25.2011 / 5:00 PM

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

Weekes' 'Fall Classic' Game

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.25.2011 / 4:39 PM

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

Hawks to keep close eye on Ducks’ top line

CHICAGO – The Blackhawks know from first-hand experience last season how much the Ducks’ top line of Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry can impact a game – especially if left unchecked for even a couple seconds.

Last season, the Ducks beat the Hawks 2-1 on March 26 at the United Center and Perry scored both of Anaheim’s goals. Getzlaf and Ryan also picked up assists on both markers, as the Ducks’ top line dominated the puck most times they were on the ice.

“You’ve really got to be mindful when they’re out there and really try to limit their time deep in the zone,” said Blackhawks back-up goalie Ray Emery, who started that game for Anaheim and picked up the win. “Those three players are dominant players on their own, and when they play together it’s that much more special. They can kind of find each other with little blind plays and quick spins to the net and they’re always dangerous when they’re out there. More nights than not, if you shut them down you’re going to do pretty well against their team.”

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville agreed with that assessment, stating that his team can’t even have one lapse when the Ducks’ top trio is on the ice. The Hawks had a number of defensive miscues on Saturday night that led to a 5-4 shootout loss at home to the Colorado Avalanche and will need to be a lot better on against the Ducks on Tuesday.

Quenneville even said he’ll likely use more than just the energy checking line of Bryan Bickell, Dave Bolland and Michael Frolik to defend them.

“That line does a lot of things you don’t see,” Quenneville said. “They can make special plays and they kind of have an understanding of where other guys are and they’re dangerous around the net with quick sticks. There’s got to be an awareness of when they’re on the ice. They play so much it’s a tough responsibility for one line (to defend them), so hopefully a couple of guys will have a chance of seeing them as well.”
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Quote of the Day

Great players need great players to play with. That's why we'll have a training camp and we'll find who the best two guys are suited to play with Stamkos.

— Tampa Bay Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness on Steven Stamkos' potential linemates for the 2014-15 season