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Posted On Tuesday, 10.25.2011 / 10:36 AM

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

Islanders to start Nabokov against Penguins

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Evgeni Nabokov will start in net for the second straight game when the Islanders play the Pittsburgh Penguins Tuesday night at Nassau Coliseum. Rick DiPietro will dress as the backup for the first time since suffering a concussion in practice on Oct. 12.

Nabokov made 29 saves in a 4-2 loss at Florida on Saturday night. He also made 29 saves in a 4-2 win over the Rangers on Oct. 15 to earn his first win as an Islander. Nabokov is 8-1 with a 1.62 goals-against average and .939 lifetime against the Penguins.

DiPietro served as the backup to Al Montoya for the first two games of the season, but suffered a concussion in practice on Oct. 12 when Brian Rolston's shot went off his mask.

"It's early in the season, but obviously with Nabby he's someone I didn't really know," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "He's a character guy, a great teammate and there's no question on a big stage, like we had here the other night against the Rangers, he played very well for us and he also gave us a chance to win the game down in Florida. I don't know where my expectations are, but he's certainly on his way to being that guy that I thought he was."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl


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Posted On Monday, 10.24.2011 / 9:41 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

FLA @ MTL - 5:02 of the Third Period

At  5:02 of the third period in the Panthers/Canadiens game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Scottie Upshall deflected the puck with his stick below the crossbar and into the net.  Good goal Panthers.

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Posted On Monday, 10.24.2011 / 9:28 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

TOR @ PHI - 11:34 of the 3rd Period

At 11:34 of the third period in the Maple Leafs/Flyers game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice on the Maple Leafs second goal. The puck hit David Steckel's body but he did not direct the puck into the net. Good goal by the Maple Leafs.

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Posted On Monday, 10.24.2011 / 5:49 PM

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

Weekes 'Fall Classic' Saves

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Posted On Monday, 10.24.2011 / 4:11 PM

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

Unfamiliar faces for Lupul

PHILADELPHIA -- Joffrey Lupul spent two of his best NHL seasons (2007-09) with the Flyers, scoring a total of 45 goals and helping Philadelphia reach the 2008 Eastern Conference Finals, one season after the team finished with the fewest points in the League.

That 2007-08 season saw the Flyers improve so fast thanks to a group of young forwards, chiefly Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Scottie Upshall, R.J. Umberger, Scott Hartnell and Lupul. Four seasons later, the only player from that group still left in Philadelphia is Hartnell.

"The only guy (from Philadelphia) I keep in touch with is Hartnell," Lupul said after the Leafs' practice Monday morning. "I played with (Claude) Giroux and those guys but just for a short period of time. It's a completely different animal over there now."

Lupul said he loved his time in Philadelphia, which ended at the 2009 draft, when he was traded to Anaheim as part of the package that brought Chris Pronger to Philadelphia.

"I played on some good teams here," he said. "I think a lot of us were sort of establishing ourselves, Richy, Carts, Upshall, and I look around the League and all those guys, we're all on different teams, but playing a key role (for those teams). It was a good development for us here. Obviously I would have liked to bring a championship, but we learned a lot. I enjoyed all my time here in the city."

He said he still is close with Richards, and was as stunned as the rest of the hockey world when the Philadelphia captain was traded this past June.

"Complete shock," he said. "Half the building had a Mike Richards jersey, I think. To see him go was unbelievable. Just the way he played and the way he came to the rink every day, he was the ultimate captain and leader."

The only positive for Lupul was Richards landing in Los Angeles, where he lives not far from Lupul's offseason home in Southern California. Lupul said they weren't able to link up this past summer, but is looking forward to catching up next summer.

"Maybe at the end of the season," he said. "We can go play golf."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Monday, 10.24.2011 / 2:33 PM

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

Schenn vs. Schenn

PHILADELPHIA -- The first rule tonight when the Leafs' Luke Schenn goes against the Flyers' Brayden Schenn? No fighting.

It's a message Rita and Jeff Schenn have drummed into their boys' heads so much, they don't even have to tell them anymore.

"I've said that so many times, they've heard it at home," Rita told NHL.com this morning. "They said mom, you don't have to tell us anymore. It won't happen."

But if it did, who would win?

"I would," Luke said with no hesitation. "I would definitely win, no doubt."

Braydon had already left, so there was no chance for a rebuttal. However, Luke is the older brother in both age and size, so the guess is he might be right.

But what stands out is how close the pair is. They're just over a year and a half apart in age, and while hockey has kept them apart, they talk daily.

"That's important," said Rita. "I'm glad they have that relationship. They do talk daily, I don't know how many times a day. When they're on their teams, for sure it's business. They're competitive, but when they get off, it's back to what they know, just brothers."

So who will the family be rooting for? Rita and Jeff will cheer equally -- Luke said Jeff told the family at dinner he wishes there still were tie games -- but the family's two younger sisters divided their older brothers. Macy, 10, will wear a Leafs jersey, while Madison, 14, will wear a Flyers jersey.

While their clothes will split, their loyalty only is to the name on the back.

Madison said she'll be happy if the Flyers score, but added, "If the Leafs do something I'm going to jump up, too."

Here's Brayden discussing tonight's game with the media following the Flyers' practice:



And here's Luke's time with the press following the Leafs' skate:





Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Monday, 10.24.2011 / 2:21 PM

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

Gustavsson to fill in until Reimer returns Thursday

PHILADELPHIA -- Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer won't play tonight, but coach Ron Wilson expects to have his starting netminder back in time for the Leafs' next game, Thursday at the New York Rangers.

Reimer left Saturday's game with a neck injury after a collision with the Canadiens' Brian Gionta.

"He seems almost 100-percent today," Wilson said following the team's morning skate. "It gives us an opportunity on an emergency basis to bring up Ben Scrivens. The Monster (Jonas Gustavsson) will get the start and we should be fine. James should be fine by Thursday the way it looks right now."

Gustavsson's numbers don't look very impressive -- he's 1-1-0 with a 5.35 goals-against average and .852 save percentage -- but Wilson said those numbers don't tell the whole story.

Gustavsson started last Thursday in Boston and allowed six goals on 43 shots. He was far better Saturday against Montreal, when he relieved an injured Reimer and stopped 15 of 18 shots in 41:23 of work as the Leafs won 5-4 in overtime.

"Both situations have been very difficult, any goalie will tell you that," said Wilson. "We knew we were going in to a hornet's nest in Boston, but that was our plan. He was helpless there in the sense that we didn't support him at all. Lot of point-blanks saves and shots and they had traffic in front of the net and we didn't do a good job of clearing it. And the other night, again, you're in a hornet's nest with a very desperate team. To go in cold like he did, his first shot went in, but I thought he did a pretty good job when you look back at some of the saves he made when we needed him late in the game and late in the second period. They're saves that you remember as a coach but get overlooked by everybody. He found a way to win the game, that's most important thing."

Gustavsson said he sees tonight's game as a chance to continue to impress upon his coach and teammates that he can do the job when called upon.

"You want to prove that you're comfortable, that they can play the same way, they don't have to change the whole system because of Reimer being out," he said. "Of course I want to do that. Good teams count on everybody. That means I count on them and they can count on me."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Monday, 10.24.2011 / 2:16 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Stop in Winnipeg marks end to Rangers' opening trip

WINNIPEG -- The New York Rangers' long and winding road finally comes to an end tonight against the Winnipeg Jets.

The Rangers will wrap up a season-opening seven-game road trip, a franchise record, after dropping a 2-0 decision to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. They currently own a 2-1-0 record on their four-game tour of Western Canada and are 2-2-2 overall. Extensive renovations to Madison Square Garden forced the Rangers on the road, but they will debut on home ice on Thursday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

After a curt post-game interview session with reporters in Edmonton, Rangers coach John Tortorella did not wish to rehash the loss after the Rangers' morning skate at MTS Centre.

"I'm not going to dissect it," Tortorella said.

But the Rangers will need to rectify their power play as quickly as possible. After going 0-for-16 on the man-advantage to begin the season, they finally notched a power-play goal at Calgary on Oct. 20. But the NHL's 30th-ranked power play again struggled on Saturday, going scoreless in five opportunities against the Oilers.

"I would think New York is probably not real happy if you listen to them," Winnipeg coach Claude Noel said. "They're not happy with the results, and they've been on the road a while. We're going to have to play well. We're going to have to keep plowing ahead, because we're walking into seven straight road games."

Tonight's game is the final home contest for the Jets until a Nov. 10 date with the Florida Panthers. The Jets will embark on a seven-game swing that will stretch out over 13 nights, beginning with a visit to play the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.

Martin Biron will make his first start of the season tonight and end Henrik Lundqvist's streak of 37 consecutive regular-season and playoff starts dating back to Feb. 11. Biron spelled Lundqvist on Saturday at Edmonton after the starter left the game with an equipment issue.

"Now it's about putting that work in practice into games," Biron said. "It has been a while. It's fun, it's exciting. It's about getting back into the rhythm."

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Posted On Monday, 10.24.2011 / 2:14 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Rangers, Jets

WINNIPEG -- Here are the projected lineups for the New York Rangers and Winnipeg Jets, who meet tonight at the MTS Centre:

RANGERS

Derek Stepan - Brad Richards - Marian Gaborik
Brandon Dubinsky - Artem Anisimov - Ryan Callahan
Ruslan Fedotenko - Brian Boyle - Brandon Prust
Wojtek Wolski - Mike Rupp - Kris Newbury

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Tim Erixon - Michael Del Zotto
Jeff Woywitka - Steve Eminger

Martin Biron will start and be backed up by Henrik Lundqvist.

The Rangers will regain the services of Wolski, who missed five games after sustaining a groin injury in their season-opener against the Los Angeles Kings. Center Erik Christensen will not dress for the Rangers. Defenseman Brendan Bell will exit the Blueshirts' defense corps in favor of Woywitka. Defensemen Michael Sauer (shoulder) and Marc Staal (concussion) both remain sidelined.

JETS

Andrew Ladd - Bryan LittleBlake Wheeler
Alexander Burmistrov - Nik Antropov - Evander Kane
Tanner Glass - Ben Maxwell - Chris Thorburn
Kenndal McArdle - Tim Stapleton - Kyle Wellwood

Tobias Enstrom - Dustin Byfuglien
Mark Stuart - Zach Bogosian
Johnny Oduya - Randy Jones

Chris Mason will see his second consecutive game in net for the Jets after relieving starter Ondrej Pavelec early in Saturday's 5-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Mason entered the game and stopped 18 of 19 Carolina shots in relief.

"I've got two good goalies," coach Claude Noel said of starting Mason. "It's comforting."

Winnipeg is expected to be without center Jim Slater, who took a heavy hit during the third period of Saturday's game. McArdle will make his season debut for the Jets after suffering a preseason injury on Sept. 24. Defenseman Ron Hainsey remains on injured reserve and will miss his fourth consecutive game tonight.
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Posted On Monday, 10.24.2011 / 2:09 PM

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

Jagr firing blanks

PHILADELPHIA -- Jaromir Jagr has been around a long time, so he's gone through scoring slumps before. The fact that he's gone seven games without a goal to start the season might be the longest he's ever had to start an NHL season, but it's a far cry from his longest drought, a 16-game stretch from Nov. 17 to Dec. 18, 1990, his rookie season with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

How did he snap out of it?

"It hit me in my leg," Jagr said. "That's how I scored. Our defenseman hit me in my leg, that's what happened."

Jagr said he doesn't feel like he's pressing to get goals, but said he knows there's more he could be doing to put the puck in the net.

"I don't think I'm pressing," he said. "Of course it would be nice to score some goals to help the team win, especially now when we've lost two straight games.

"I have high expectations for myself. Of course I would like to score three goals every game to help the team win, but that's not going to happen. It's tough. That's why I'm here. I'm not going to give up. I'm going to fight to the end and hopefully everything will turn around."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Quote of the Day

This is a big year for us in a lot of ways. You can see Garth and management really trying to find that solution to get us into the playoffs and consistently have that. The pressure is great. You have to enjoy it. It just means there's a great opportunity ahead of you.

— Islanders captain John Tavares