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Posted On Saturday, 10.22.2011 / 3:14 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Return for Doughty uncertain, projected lineups

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty could return to the lineup Tuesday but that might be optimistic.

Doughty is eligible to come off injured reserve and play against the New Jersey Devils that night but the club is being cautious with the former Norris Trophy finalist.

"We'll keep pushing it, but we're going to make sure that he's 100 percent strong," Kings coach Terry Murray said after his team's morning skate Saturday. "But I would anticipate this coming week, in my mind, that he's going to get into a game. Whether it's the beginning or near the end, I don't know."

Doughty skated for a second straight day Saturday and was feeling good but he was uncertain if Tuesday was realistic.
"I want to get back as soon as possible, but at the same time I don't want to get back and re-injure it," Doughty said.

"We're going to be safe with it but I've been progressing every day and it's been pretty fast as well … I really want to play Tuesday, but it's kind of up to the training staff."

Doughty injured his right shoulder when he was hit by Philadelphia's Zac Rinaldo on Oct.15. Saturday marked one week since the play, and Doughty said he hasn't been able to shoot yet.

He was carrying the puck through the middle of the Flyers' zone and didn't see Rinaldo. It was ironic because Doughty had warned his teammates about Rinaldo before the game.

"It was my fault," Doughty said. "I knew what kind of player he was. He played in my hometown in London (Ontario), and I knew what he was all about. I knew before the game that he was going to be headhunting and whatnot. I just kind of lost the puck for a second there, and that's when he got me."

Doughty said the play won't make him change his freewheeling style.

"Obviously I wish I could have it back and maybe dump the puck," he said. "But it's part of the game. I thought it was a clean hit."

When Doughty returns the Kings will have to send another defensemen down, and Murray said he wasn't certain of that decision. It would presumably be rookie Slava Voynov, but Murray likes Voynov's offense and he could assign Davis Drewiske instead.

Chemistry with Gagne-Kopitar: The plan going into the season was to reunite Simon Gagne with Mike Richards because the two played together in Philadelphia, but Gagne has developed chemistry playing with Anze Kopitar on the first line.

Murray tried it during the preseason when Richards wasn't in the lineup, and he liked the puck possession game the Gagne-Kopitar-Justin Williams line showed.

"I took a look at it and thought, ‘Maybe take another shot at this and see where it starts to go," Murray said. "I sense good chemistry and a good feeling with those two guys. It doesn't surprise me that there is good chemistry. Simon Gagne, in my time with him, is a world-class player."

Quick's streak: Murray will stick with the same lineup Saturday and that of course includes goalie Jonathan Quick, who carries a shutout streak of 128 minutes, 10 seconds that began in the third period of the Oct.15 game against Philadelphia.

Unlike the unofficial baseball code of not talking to a pitcher during a no-hitter, there is no such rule during a shutout streak with the usually soft-spoken Quick.

"He's a pretty chill guy," left wing Ethan Moreau said. "You can talk to him during the game. It's nice to have a goalie you can have a conversation with."

Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan on Friday didn't name a goalie for Saturday but he indicated that backup Andrew Raycroft would play at some point during the final two games of their road trip.

Here are the projected lineups for both teams:


Brenden Morrow - Mike Ribeiro - Michael Ryder
Steve Ott - Jamie Benn - Loui Eriksson
Eric Nystrom - Vernon Fiddler - Radek Dvorak
Krys Barch - Tom Waddell - Adam Burish

Alex Goligoski - Mark Fistric
Stephane Robidas - Sheldon Souray
Trevor Daley - Nicklas Grossman

Andrew Raycroft
Kari Lehtonen


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

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

Jonathan Quick
Jonathan Bernier
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Posted On Saturday, 10.22.2011 / 2:55 PM

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

Projected lineups for Blues, Flyers

Here are the potential lineups for the Flyers and Blues heading into tonight's game in Philadelphia. We stress potential because the Flyers didn't practice line rushes, while the Blues didn't skate after beating the Hurricanes in overtime last night in St. Louis.


Brayden Schenn - Claude Giroux - Jaromir Jagr
James van Riemsdyk - Matt Read - Wayne Simmonds
Scott Hartnell - Danny Briere - Jakub Voracek
Maxime Talbot - Sean Couturier - Andreas Nodl

Chris Pronger - Matt Carle
Kimmo Timonen - Braydon Coburn
Andrej Meszaros - Andreas Lilja

Ilya Bryzgalov will be back in goal, with Sergei Bobrovsky backing him up.

These are the lines the Flyers used at practice Friday, but coach Peter Laviolette said after that practice that the lines he used Friday might or might not be in place for the game.

There's a chance Jody Shelley could make his season debut in place of Nodl on the fourth line, and Matt Walker is an option on defense in place of Lilja.


Chris Stewart - Vladimir Sobotka - David Backes
Alexander Steen - Jason Arnott - Jamie Langenbrunner
T.J. Oshie - Patrik Berglund - Matt D'Agostini
Evgeny Grachev - Scot Nichol - Chris Porter

Kent Huskins - Alex Pietrangelo
Barret Jackman - Kevin Shattenkirk
Carlo Colaiacovo - Roman Polak

The starting goalie is in question, as coach Davis Payne wouldn't commit to either Brian Elliott, who was impressive stopping 27 of 29 shots in last night's win, or Jaroslav Halak.

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

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Saturday, 10.22.2011 / 2:26 PM

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

Boston’s McQuaid skates, return uncertain

BOSTON – When he crashed into the end boards in Chicago a week ago, Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid could not imagine what was in store for him.
Although he appeared to avoid a concussion, doctors haven't been able to pinpoint exactly what's wrong with him, so McQuaid's injury has been treated like a concussion. For the most part, it's been classified as a neck injury.

He started practicing with the team early in the week, but was then pulled out for a couple days.
The optional skate at TD Garden this morning in preparation for the Bruins' game with the San Jose Sharks was his second straight day back on the ice.
"I'm actually feeling really good. So it's been a bit of a process to get back to where I'm at right now. I'm feeling good and we'll see from here, I'm not really sure for tonight or anything like that," said McQuaid after he stayed on the ice a little longer than the rest of his teammates.
Coach Claude Julien said that McQuaid's status was still up in the air as of this morning. Once McQuaid gets medical clearance, the coach can then reconsider inserting him back in the lineup.

For now, second-year defenseman Steven Kampfer is filling that spot as the team's No. 6 defenseman. And McQuaid's frustrating start to the season, which started with an illness that scratched him from the Bruins' first game, continues.

"That's the thing that there's been a few different things – being sick before this – so we're not really sure what's causing what, so we had to rule out different things," said McQuaid about the frustration. "So that's probably slowed things down a little bit as far as not knowing it's this so we can treat exactly this. But I'm feeling good now and moving forward."
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Posted On Saturday, 10.22.2011 / 2:25 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Key centers could be missing for Leafs, Habs

The Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs will both have a significant hole in their respective lineups in their Original Six showdown tonight at the Bell Centre.

For the Canadiens, coach Jacques Martin announced that center Scott Gomez will be gone for at least a week with an upper-body injury.

Gomez left a 3-1 loss Thursday night in Pittsburgh in the first period, attempted to come back on the ice and quickly left again. He had an MRI on Friday, but Martin said it is unclear exactly how long he will be missing.

For the Maple Leafs, coach Ron Wilson said center Tyler Bozak is a game-time decision after he stopped a Johnny Boychuk slap shot with his foot in a 6-2 loss Thursday night to the Bruins in Boston. Bozak came out for the morning skate but left quickly, clearly limping on his way to the dressing room.

Wilson said Clarke MacArthur is also a game-time decision with an undisclosed injury, but he took part in the entire skate this morning and looks as though he should be able to play after missing the game in Boston.

If Bozak can't go, local boy Matthew Lombardi will take his spot on a line between Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul, the two most productive forwards in Leafs lineup.

"We'll see what happens with the lineup tonight, there are still some decisions to be made," Lombardi said. "I don't want to start talking about it and then it doesn't happen. But I'll be ready to play wherever. We all have to be ready after a tough game last game."

The Canadiens loss of Gomez provides an opportunity for young centers David Desharnais and Lars Eller to take on a more significant role. That's especially true of Eller, a natural center who has always been more comfortable in the middle but who has been stuck on a wing since
his return from shoulder surgery Oct. 13.

"It's sad to see (Gomez) is out, we'll miss him," Eller said. "But it's a big opportunity for me."

Eller will center a line with Andrei Kostitsyn and Travis Moen while Desharnais will play between Max Pacioretty and Erik Cole.

Of course, that is subject to change considering Martin used around 25 different line combinations in Pittsburgh as he looks for a way to solve his team's offensive woes.
The Canadiens have scored just 13 goals in six games, with five of those goals coming in one shot in a 6-5 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche.

The line juggling is a reflection of that lack of offense, but the Canadiens players insist it doesn't bother them even though it would obviously be preferable to give combinations some time to develop chemistry.

"Last game was unique that way, I'll admit it was different," said Michael Cammalleri, who returned to action in Pittsburgh after missing three games with a deep cut on his leg. "But Jacques had a lot of things to juggle, he didn't know how my knee would react and then we lost (Gomez). As a player, the big focus is to not focus on that because I can't control that. I think as an older player I've learned to do that, but it may be a little harder for a younger guy."

Lombardi is not the only member of the Maple Leafs who will be making a homecoming tonight as former Canadiens defenseman Mike Komisarek will be back in the lineup for Toronto after being a healthy scratch against Boston. He will take the spot of Cody Franson, who was a
minus-3 against the Bruins.

"It's big on a couple of levels for him," said fellow defenseman Luke Schenn. "First of all he used to play here, and he always gets a mixed reaction whenever he comes here. But also, well, all the defensemen want to play well, but I think he really wants to make an imprint on our lineup."

Wilson said he wanted Komisarek to gain some perspective by watching a game from the press box and expects him to come in and play a simple game. But he was clear that lineup decisions on his crowded blue line will be performance-based.

"This is a meritocracy," he said. "If you're playing well, you play."
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Posted On Saturday, 10.22.2011 / 2:22 PM

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

Boston's Kampfer happy with season debut

BOSTON – Bruins defenseman Steven Kampfer came out of his regular-season debut with no issues Thursday night against Toronto.

The second-year rearguard had missed the Bruins' first six games with a knee injury that occurred during the preseason. In the win against the Maple Leafs, he logged 12:28 of ice time and recorded an assist.

"It's a nice feeling when you come off an injury and you can ease into a game like that and start feeling a little bit better," said Kampfer after the Bruins' morning skate today in preparation for tonight's game with San Jose at TD Garden. "It's been something that's gotten better every day, so I look forward to tonight."

In the third period, Kampfer and his knee passed the ultimate test – a big hit, partially leg-on-leg, at the blue line on the forecheck by Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul.

"I didn't really think anything of it," Kampfer said. "I think I was more admiring my pass and it was a good hit by him. There was nothing else in that. I was admiring my pass and I shouldn't be. And he got the better of me on that hit, so good for him."
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Posted On Saturday, 10.22.2011 / 2:22 PM

By Alan Robinson -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

New Jersey's Josefson out 3-4 months

PITTSBURGH – New Jersey Devils center Jacob Josefson could be sidelined for three-to-four months after undergoing surgery to repair a broken right clavicle that occurred in the first period of a 4-3 shootout loss to San Jose on Friday.
Josefson lost his footing as he carried the puck toward the net and, with both Jamie McGinn and Dan Boyle reaching for the puck with their sticks, crashed hard into the end boards. Josefson skated off the ice without assistance but immediately went to the Devils' dressing room.
“I watched the replay and you could tell the way his body was when he went in, he was going to get hurt," linemate Nick Palmieri said Saturday. “It's unfortunate, but he was trying to make a play and he did – he made a nice play. But skating fast, just the little bump was enough to knock him off balance and it's tough to recover. It's scary to see."
Josefson also was hurt against the Sharks last season, missing two months after tearing a ligament in his right thumb.
To replace Josefson, the Devils called up forward Adam Henrique from Albany of the American Hockey League. Henrique didn't have a point in the first two games of the season with the Devils earlier this season and had an assist in three games with Albany.
“He's a very capable center and I think we're pretty comfortable with him in the lineup," Palmieri said following an optional morning skate. “We're going to miss [Josefson] on our line, but I think Adam can step in and do the job."
The Devils already were without center Travis Zajac, who had surgery Aug. 18 to repair a torn Achilles' tendon.
Pittsburgh will be without center Evgeni Malkin (right knee soreness) for the fifth consecutive game and the seventh time in 10 games. He was ruled out by coach Dan Bylsma after taking part in the morning skate.
The likely lineups:

Zach ParisePatrik Elias – Petr Sykora
Ilya KovalchukDainius Zubrus - Nick Palmieri
Mattias TedenbyAdam HenriqueDavid Clarkson
Eric BoultonRod PelleyBrad Mills
Andy GreeneAdam Larsson
Bryce SalvadorAnton Volchenkov
Henrik TallinderMark Fayne
With Martin Brodeur still out with an injured shoulder, former Penguins goalie Johan Hedberg will be in net. Keith Kinkaid will be the backup.

Chris KunitzJordan StaalPascal Dupuis
Steve SullivanRichard ParkJames Neal
Matt CookeJoe VitaleArron Asham
Steve MacIntyreDustin JeffreyCraig Adams
Coach Dan Bylsma rotated his seven defensemen during the morning skate, now that Kris Letang has returned from his two-game suspension for a boarding violation. Bylsma said the pairings would be a game-time decision.

Paul MartinZbynek Michalek
Brooks OrpikKris Letang
Matt Niskanen or Ben LovejoyDeryk Engelland
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury will start after losing a shutout in the final two minutes of a 3-1 decision over Montreal on Thursday. Brent Johnson will back him up.
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Posted On Saturday, 10.22.2011 / 1:54 PM

By Lonnie Herman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Lightning hope for better results against Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres will face the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night at the St. Pete Times Forum, and by any measure, the Lightning (2-3-3) will be up against a hot team. Buffalo (5-1-0) has sprinted out to the lead in the Northeast Division and, coming off a shutout win against the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, Fla., on Thursday are undefeated on the road this season with four wins.

But hot or not, the sight of the Sabres arriving has rarely been a welcome one to the Lightning.  The last time that Tampa Bay posted a winning record for the season against the Sabres was the season they won the Stanley Cup, 2003-04, when the Lightning went 3-0-0-1 against them.

Since then, Tampa Bay has compiled a 5-15-4 mark, though the teams did split the four meetings last season.

For Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, the reason for the Buffalo domination of the Lightning is a mystery.

"That's tough to figure," Ruff said. "We've been on the opposite side of that with some teams like Pittsburgh. When you look at it, we've won games here lots of different ways."

Almost all of those winning ways have included goals by Sabres forward Thomas Vanek, who has acquired a reputation as a Lightning killer with 22 goals in 24 games against Tampa Bay. Vanek, who has recorded points in all six of Buffalo's games, has no explanation for his success against the Lightning.

"It's just a coincidence," Vanek said. "I've gotten the chances and the puck has gone in."

Buffalo's success against his team was less a mystery to Lightning coach Guy Boucher.

"They are a very well-coached team," Boucher said. "A lot of set plays are working for them. Teams that react faster than their opponents find success and that's what they have, they react very fast. They have smaller forwards and they are very evasive and that creates a lot of problems for slower defensemen."

The Lightning, coming off a 4-1 win against the Islanders on Thursday that snapped a five-game losing streak, are counting on duplicating that effort tonight.

"We know it's going to be a challenge," Lightning forward Steven Stamkos said. "If we play like we did last game we'll give ourselves a chance to compete and that's the game plan today."

Coming off the win Thursday night, Mathieu Garon will get his second consecutive start in net for the Lightning against Ryan Miller for Buffalo.

Here's the projected lineup for both teams:


Martin St. Louis - Steven Stamkos - Steve Downie
Ryan Malone  - Vincent Lecavalier - Teddy Purcell
Tom Pyatt - Dominic Moore - Brett Connolly
Blair Jones - Nate Thompson - Adam Hall

Victor Hedman - Eric Brewer
Brett Clark - Pavel Kubina
Marc-Andre Bergeron - Matt Gilroy

Mathieu Garon
Dwayne Roloson

Thomas Vanek  - Luke Adam - Jason Pominville
Tyler Ennis - Derek Roy - Drew Stafford
Cody McCormick - Ville Leino - Brad Boyes
Nathan Gerbe  - Paul Gaustad  - Patrick Kaleta

Robyn Regehr  - Tyler Myers
Jordan Leopold - Christian Ehrhoff
Andrej Sekera - Marc-Andre Gragnani

Ryan Miller
Jhonas Enroth
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Posted On Saturday, 10.22.2011 / 1:25 PM

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

Projected lineups for Avalanche, Blackhawks

Here are the projected lineups for Colorado and Chicago when they square off Saturday night at United Center:


David Jones – Paul Statsny – Chuck Kobasew
Joakim LindstromMatt DucheneMilan Hejduk
Gabriel LandeskogRyan O'ReillyDaniel Winnik
Cody McLeod – T.J. Galiardi – Jay McClement

Erik JohnsonJan Hejda
Kyle Quincy – Shane O'Brien
Ryan WilsonRyan O'Byrne

Semyon Varlamov
Jean-Sebastien Giguere


Andrew BrunetteJonathan ToewsPatrick Sharp
Daniel CarcilloPatrick KaneMarian Hossa
Bryan BickellDave Bolland – Michal Frolik
Viktor StalbergMarcus KrugerJamal Mayers

Duncan KeithNick Leddy
Keith SeabrookNiklas Hjalmarsson
Sean O'DonnellSteve Montador

Corey Crawford
Ray Emery
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Posted On Saturday, 10.22.2011 / 1:20 PM

By Alain Poupart -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Gudbranson hopes to stick in South Florida

SUNRISE, Fla. — Erik Gudbranson will be playing his third game at the BankAtlantic Center Saturday night when the Florida Panthers take on the New York Islanders. The third pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft is hoping it won't be his last this season.

The Panthers will have to decide after their ninth game whether to return Gudbranson to his Ontario Hockey League team in Kingston or keep him in the NHL, which would move him a year closer toward free agency.

Tonight will be Florida's seventh game, and its next two will be the road — Monday at Montreal and Thursday at Ottawa, which happens to be Gudbranson's hometown.

"I think you just go back to keeping it simple and looking at it as a team game," Gudbranson said after Saturday's morning skate. "For the next three games, this is my team and hopefully I get the 10th game in. That's obviously in the back of my mind, but never when I'm playing and never when I'm with the guys."

In his first six NHL games, Gudbranson has yet to record a point. He's averaging 12:39 of ice time and is tied for the worst plus-minus ratio among Panthers defensemen with Brian Campbell at minus-4.

Gudbranson has had 24 penalty minutes, which includes fights against Steve Downie and Ryan Malone in games against Tampa Bay Saturday and Monday, respectively.

Along with the physical aspect, Gudbranson has shown crisp passing from the back end as well as an impressive slap shot.

"I like his game, I like what he's brought," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. "He still shows his youth at times. I think that doesn't surprise anybody that he can go out there and just bring so much enthusiasm that sometimes that youth gets him in positions he doesn't want to be in. But the overall picture is he's off to a good start to his NHL career."

After failing to reach agreement on an entry-level contract last summer, Gudbranson spent all of the 2010-11 season in the OHL. If he does go back to Kingston, Gudbranson again will get to play with his younger brother Alex, who is also a defenseman.

The Frontenacs sure could use Erik Gudbranson, considering a 4-0 loss to Brampton Friday night dropped them to 1-11 on the season.

But Gudbranson clearly wants to stay in the NHL, and he feels he belongs there.

"In my mind, I do, and that's not only just for the 10th-game mark," Gudbranson said. "You have to think that when you're playing on the ice. You have to believe that you're in the right place and that you're making a difference on the ice.

"I've been happy (with my performance). I've been trying to get better every single game. I think that's the biggest thing, working on your gaps, on your stick, really adjusting to the speed. I'm trying to pick up as much as I can, game in, game out, and be a better player the next day."
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Posted On Saturday, 10.22.2011 / 1:19 PM

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

Kiprusoff expected to be back for Flames

Miikka Kiprusoff is expected to return to the crease as the Calgary Flames take on the Nashville Predators in a Saturday matinee.

Kiprusoff, who the Flames are hoping to give a lighter workload to this season, watched his club gave up a goal with 1.4 seconds left in overtime to fall 3-2 to the New York Rangers on Thursday.

The Predators, meanwhile, will have the services of defenseman Shea Weber against Calgary. Weber was fined $2,500, but not suspended, by NHL Vice-president of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan for an illegal hit on Jannik Hansen of the Vancouver Canucks.

Here are the projected lineups:

Calgary Flames

Alex TanguayDavid MossJarome Iginla
Curtis GlencrossOlli JokinenLee Stempniak
Niklas HagmanBrendan MorrisonRene Bourque
Tom KostopoulosMatt StajanTim Jackman

Jay BouwmeesterChris Butler
Mark GiordanoScott Hannan
Cory SarichDerek Smith

Miikka Kiprusoff
Henrik Karlsson

Nashville Predators

Colin WilsonDavid LegwandMatt Halischuk
Sergei KostitsynNick SpalingCraig Smith
Jordin TootooJerred SmithsonBrian McGrattan
Patric HornqvistBlake GeoffrionNiclas Bergfors

Ryan SuterShea Weber
Jonathon BlumKevin Klein
Jack HillenTeemu Laakso

Pekka Rinne
Anders Lindback
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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 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh