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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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Posted On Tuesday, 11.01.2011 / 7:26 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

OTT @ BOS - 5:19 of the first period

Video review was used to determine that the puck shot by Ottawa forward Nick Foligno entered the net in a legal fashion and crossed the goal line before the net became dislodged. Video review confirmed that the puck was deflected into the net off of a Boston defender and the net was completely on its moorings when the puck crossed the goal line. Call on the ice stands, good goal Ottawa.

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.01.2011 / 6:42 PM

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

Thomas to start for Bruins

BOSTON -- Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas is back in net on Tuesday after not starting in Montreal on Saturday night. He will be opposed by Ottawa veteran Craig Anderson, who like Thomas, was rested by his team in its last game -- a 3-2  home win against Toronto on Sunday.

Thomas brings a 3-4-0 record with 2.14 goals-against average and .929 save percentage into the Bruins-Senators game at TD Garden. Anderson has a 6-2-0 record wit a 3.66 GAA and .881 save percentage for the surprising Sens.
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Posted On Tuesday, 11.01.2011 / 3:45 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Potential lineups for Flames, Canucks

CALGARY -- Against the Flames tonight, the Canucks are expected to use the same lineup they went with in Saturday's 7-4 win against the Washington Capitals. That means defenseman Alexander Sulzer, who signed as a free agent with Vancouver in July, will draw into his third consecutive game of the season after sitting out the first nine games of the season.

"I've really liked what I've seen from him on the right side," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "He seems to be the most comfortable out of the possibilities we have. I like the way he competes 1-on-1 and I like the way he moves the puck. As a (defenseman), when you're dependable and the coach knows what you're going to do on the ice, there's a confidence and a trust. So far with him we definitely have that."

For the Flames, their big change is dressing a 12th forward, which means Matt Stajan comes back into the lineup after sitting out the last two games as a healthy scratch.

Here's what the lineups for both teams likely will look like, based on this morning's practices:

FLAMES
Alex Tanguay - Brendan Morrison - Jarome Iginla
Curtis Glencross - Olli Jokinen - David Moss
Rene Bourque - Roman Horak - Lee Stempniak
Tom Kostopoulos - Matt Stajan - Tim Jackman

Jay Bouwmeester - Chris Butler
Mark Giordano - Scott Hannan
Derek Smith - Cory Sarich

Miikka Kiprusoff will start in goal, with Henrik Karlsson backing him up.

CANUCKS
Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Alexandre Burrows
David Booth - Ryan Kesler - Cody Hodgson
Chris Higgins - Manny Malhotra - Jannik Hansen
Aaron Volpatti - Maxime Lapierre - Dale Weise

Dan Hamhuis - Kevin Bieksa
Alexander Edler - Sami Salo
Keith Ballard - Alexander Sulzer

Roberto Luongo will be in goal, with Cory Schneider the backup.

For more on tonight's game, check out the preview here.

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.01.2011 / 3:40 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Stajan back in tonight for Flames

CALGARY -- Despite winning the last two games using a formula combining 11 forwards with seven defensemen, the Calgary Flames hope to extend their winning streak to three games with a win against the Vancouver Canucks tonight by returning to the more conventional 12-6 configuration.
That means welcoming center Matt Stajan back into the lineup.

"Well we are going to dress 12 forwards tonight so Matt's going in to play center ice for us," Flames coach Brent Sutter said. "We need Matt to come in and he's got to bring us some juice and he's got to be a real solid, competitive player for us. I'm not putting any expectations on him or anything like that. I just want him to come in and play well."

Stajan draws into the lineup after spending the last two games as a healthy scratch.

"I'd be lying if I said I'm not frustrated," Stajan said. "Obviously I'm not happy with the situation because I want to play -- every player does. I get my chance tonight and go in there and do a job. The good thing is we're starting to roll now. We're starting to win as a team."

The formula for staying in the lineup is simple, Stajan said.

"I've been pretty happy with my game so far this year and talking to Brent, obviously we'd like more production, but do the little things and the rest will come," he said. "I'm making sure I'm not turning the puck over and get the puck in deep and win faceoffs when I'm out there. Take care of the little things and hopefully the rest follows."

More in a bit with lineups for both teams.
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Posted On Tuesday, 11.01.2011 / 2:58 PM

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

Caps' Eakin to make NHL debut

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Cody Eakin nearly made the Washington Capitals’ opening-night roster at the start of last season, so the fact that it took him 10 games with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League in his first professional season to earn his first NHL promotion should not be much of a surprise.

Eakin was recalled this morning by the Capitals and is scheduled to make his NHL debut against the Anaheim Ducks tonight at Verizon Center (7:30 p.m. ET, Versus, TSN2).

“I’m pretty happy. Obviously it is pretty exciting,” Eakin said. “It was pretty exciting. It wasn’t a call I was expecting to get or anything. I was actually hanging out at a movie theater when I got the call. It is always a nice call to get, and I am looking forward to it.”

Eakin was a 2009 third-round pick, and actually helped the Bears win the Calder Cup in 2010 despite being a junior-age player (he was allowed to play for them after his junior season ended). Last season began with him having a great training camp with the Capitals, a solid effort for Canada at the World Junior Championships and another dominant season in the Western Hockey League.

He did not make the NHL to start this season, but 3 goals and 8 points in 10 AHL games was enough to earn him a call-up -- even though the Capitals do not need him right now.

“Every report we’ve gotten is that he’s played really, really well down in Hershey,” Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. “He’s a guy that we’ve really wanted to take a look at. Hershey only has one game this week, so this was a good opportunity to take a look at him.”

Eakin is Washington’s second-best forward prospect after Russian starlet Evgeny Kuznetsov, and after scoring 95 goals in the past two seasons in the WHL (including the postseason), he is someone who has enough offensive talent to play as top-six forward someday.

For now, he’ll likely skate on the fourth line, although that trio is expected to include Mike Knuble against the Ducks.

"(They said) the next little while depends on me," Eakin said of the message when he was sent to Hershey. "They said I could be in Hershey for a while, or I could be there for a short time. I’ve just tried to work hard and get the systems right and get comfortable with the game. I am lucky to have this opportunity -- this early especially."

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.01.2011 / 2:38 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Huskins: Ankle not broken

The St. Louis Blues got good news today on defenseman Kent Huskins.

Huskins, who some feared had a broken bone in his left ankle suffered in Saturday's loss in Calgary, instead only has a deep bone bruise, and is listed as day to day.

He sat out Sunday's loss to Edmonton, since the Blues don't play again until Friday, that could be the extent of his absence.

Huskins has 2 goals and 2 assists in nine games, and his plus-6 rating is tied for second on the team. He's also tied for the team lead with 19 blocked shots.

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.01.2011 / 1:40 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Johansen staying put with Blue Jackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday made the decision to keep rookie center Ryan Johansen with the team for the foreseeable future.

Johansen, the No. 4 pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, has 2 goals, 4 points and a plus-1 rating in nine games this season. Both his goals have been game-winners. Once Johansen steps on the ice for his 10th game, the first year of his three-year, entry-level contract will kick in.

The Blue Jackets are home to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday and in Philadelphia to face the Flyers on Saturday.

The move to keep Johansen comes at a time when the team is short one center with Jeff Carter sidelined with a fractured foot. According to The Columbus Dispatch, Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson and coach Scott Arniel spent the last two days contemplating the decision whether to keep Johansen or return him to the Western Hockey League.

"We have decided to keep Ryan Johansen through the 10-game thresh-hold, which means the first year of his contract will apply to this season," Howson announced via his Twitter account.

If Johansen was returned to the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League, he would have become a restricted free agent after the 2013-14 campaign. The 6-foot-3, 203-pound Vancouver native had 40 goals and 92 points in 63 games with Portland last season. He also had 3 goals and 9 points in seven games for silver medal-winning Team Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship.

"There have been moments where he's looked very good and moments where he's looked like a 19-year-old finding his way in the NHL," Howson told the Dispatch. "But he was better in game nine than he was in game one."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale
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Posted On Tuesday, 11.01.2011 / 1:36 PM

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

Nyquist to start on second line for Wings

The big news from Detroit's morning skate was rookie Gustav Nyquist skating on the second line in place of Jiri Hudler, who will be a healthy scratch tonight against the Wild. He's also likely to see time on the second power-play unit.

"When you're in a situation like we're in when you haven't scored much in four games (four goals) ... you can continue to go the way you're going or you can change things," coach told reporters after today's morning skate. "We moved our lines around a little bit. There's nothing wrong with our last two games, but we're not winning."

Also sitting out tonight will be forward Cory Emmerton and defenseman Mike Commodore.
 
Here's what tonight's lineup likely will look like:

Henrik Zetterberg - Pavel Datsyuk - Tomas Holmstrom
Gustav Nyquist - Johan Franzen - Todd Bertuzzi
Danny Cleary - Valtteri Filppula - Justin Abdelkader
Drew Miller - Darren Helm - Patrick Eaves

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

Jimmy Howard will start in goal, with Ty Conklin backing him up

For more on tonight's game, check out the preview here.
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Posted On Tuesday, 11.01.2011 / 1:32 PM

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

Senators say they won't overlook Stanley Cup champs

BOSTON -- Although they're riding a six-game winning streak into tonight's game against the Bruins at TD Garden, the Ottawa Senators know this might be their stiffest test yet.

Of their six victories, only one came against a team that qualified for the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs. And the 7-5-0 Senators this season are just 1-3-0 against last spring's playoff participants.

So Ottawa isn't looking at tonight's game as if it's against a 3-7-0 also-ran.

"It's a benchmark game for sure," said center Jason Spezza after his team's morning skate. "They're, we think, one of the best teams in the East. I don't care what the standings say, they're Stanley Cup champions and have some great players and three deep lines and six real good defensemen and one of the best goalies in the League. So this isn't a team you take lightly. This is an arena that's hard to come in to play in. They clog things up and make it hard on you. And for us we just have to make sure we're on the top of our game tonight or else, they'll make it a long night for you."

Coach Paul MacLean is confident his team is aware of the challenge ahead.

"We shouldn't have to remind them of that because we are playing the Stanley Cup champs and as soon as you walk into the building or you look at anything, the press notes and the banners, it all says Stanley Cup champions, and that's very well deserved," MacLean said. "No matter what their record is, they're still the Stanley Cup champions and we know we're going to get a good game. We know that we have to be at our best to have an opportunity to win this game."

With Kaspars Daugavins re-assigned to the Binghamton (AHL) farm club after Sunday's win at Toronto, Erik Condra skated in his place on the third line during the morning skate. Zenon Konopka should dress and skate on the fourth line after he was a healthy scratch against the Maple Leafs.

Here's the Senators' projected lineup:

Milan Michalek - Jason Spezza - Colin Greening
Nick Foligno - Stephane Da Costa - Bobby Butler
Erik Condra - Zack Smith - Chris Neil
Zenon Konopka - Jesse Winchester - Nikita Filatov

Filip Kuba - Erik Karlsson
Jared Cowen - Sergei Gonchar
Chris Phillips - David Rundblad

Craig Anderson was given the night off in Toronto, so he figures to be back between the pipes. He had played in the prior six Senators games.


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Quote of the Day

I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh