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Posted On Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 3:04 PM

By Compiled By -  NHL.com Staff /NHL.com - 2011 NHL Face-Off Blog

Expected lineups for Penguins, Flames

The Calgary Flames and Pittsburgh Penguins are set to face off Saturday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Based on this morning's practices, here are the expected forward lines and defense pairings for each team:


FLAMES

Alex TanguayDavid MossJarome Iginla
Curtis GlencrossOlli JokinenLee Stempniak
Niklas HagmanRoman HorakRene Bourque
Tom KostopoulosMatt StajanTim Jackman

Mark GiordanoScott Hannan
Chris ButlerJay Bouwmeester
Anton BabchukCory Sarich

Miikka Kiprusoff is expected to get the start in goal with Henrik Karlsson serving as the backup.

PENGUINS
Steve Sullivan - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Chris Kunitz - Jordan Staal - Tyler Kennedy
Matt Cooke - Mark Letestu - Pascal Dupuis
Craig Adams - Joe Vitale - Arron Asham

Kris Letang - Deryk Engelland
Paul Martin - Zbynek Michalek
Matt Niskanen - Ben Lovejoy

Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to get the start in goal with Brent Johnson serving as the backup.
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Posted On Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 2:58 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Ducks live blog

Ducks lead 1-0 after two

The Ducks continue to lead 1-0 through two periods. There were more penalties in the second, but both teams' penalty killers have been up to the task.

Henrik Lundqvist made a few great saves in that period, and he might not make a better one the rest of the season than the beauty he had on Bobby Ryan after a tic-tac-toe play from Anaheim's top line. The Rangers had more pressure in the final minutes of the period, but still only have 12 shots on net.

Andrew Cogliano not only has the lone goal, but he's been Anaheim’s best player. He's got four shots on net, and three of them have been great chances. One in the second in particular could have found the top right corner of the net if not for a fantastic save from Lundqvist.

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Posted On Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 2:53 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - Sabres-Kings live blog

Sabres, Kings scoreless after one

After one period, the score between the Los Angeles Kings and Buffalo Sabres remains 0-0.

Buffalo received the first power play of the game, but it came at a heavy price as Jarret Stoll of the Kings earned a two-minute roughing penalty after crashing hard into Christian Ehrhoff along the wall in the Buffalo defensive zone.

It took Ehrhoff more than a minute to get up and he headed directly to the Buffalo dressing room.

Ehrhoff, a German, has drawn the loudest cheers throughout Saturday's first period. 

To make Matters worse, Buffalo could not capitalize on the power play, managing just a pair of shots.
Soon after its expiration, Justin Williams had two of the best chances in the first period, forcing Ryan Miller to make pad saves on his initial shot and a rebound.

Then, in the last minute of the first period, Thomas Vanek took an interference penalty, much to the ire of the crowd, which also strongly supported the Austrian forward. The Kings' power-play advantage will carry into the second period.

After one period, Los Angeles holds a 12-9 advantage in shots.

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Posted On Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 2:31 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - Sabres-Kings live blog

Scoreless midway through first, with goalies strong

Each goalie had to be strong in the game's first 10 minutes.

Jonathan Bernier was the first to show his stuff, robbing Nathan Gerbe on a breakaway. Bernier earned the start after Jonathan Quick played on Friday.

Then, it was Ryan Miller's turn. First, he denied Anze Kopitar's snap shot from the high slot. A few minutes later, he got his leg pad against the post to stop a wrap-around stuff attempt by Kevin Westgarth, who has drawn into the lineup in place of Trent Hunter.

The Sabres have the same exact lineup they used in Friday's 4-1 win against Anaheim.

With 11:01 left in first period, it is 0-0.
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Posted On Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 2:16 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - Sabres-Kings live blog

Kings get the road treatment for second night in a row

For the second-straight night, the Los Angeles Kings are clearly the enemy -- at least in the mind of the home fans.

Saturday night, in the 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere game against the Buffalo Sabres at the O2 World Arena in Berlin, the Sabres are the clear favorites, likely because of the two Germans -- Christian Ehrhoff and Jochen Hecht -- on the roster, as well as Austrian Tomas Vanek. Ehrhoff and Vanek were in the starting lineiup, while Hecht missed the game with an upper-body injury.

Before the game even started, the fans at the sold-out arena were already chanting "Let's Go Buffalo"

Friday night, the Kings played the New York Rangers in Stockholm and had to face national team hero Henrik Lundqvist in the net for the rangers.

In this game, the Kings face Ryan Miller, who played last night in Helsinki. For Los Angeles, Jonathan Bernier gets his first start of the season.
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Posted On Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 1:57 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Ducks live blog

Ducks draw first blood on Cogliano goal

After falling behind 2-0 early in the first period Friday night at Hartwall Areena, Andrew Cogliano put the Anaheim Ducks ahead at 9:26 of the opening period here at Globe Arena and they held a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes of a penalty-filled period.

Andrew Gordon went into the right corner and sent a pass to the slot for a wide-open Cogliano. Gordon got blasted into the boards as he let it go, but it was on the mark and Cogliano didn't miss on the one-timer. It was Gordon's third career NHL point, while rookie Devante Smith-Pelly collected the first of his career with a secondary assist.

This game has definitely been full of the rough stuff after both teams lost last night. Even star players have gotten into it -- Corey Perry and Brandon Dubinsky fought (even if they weren't assessed fighting majors), while Ryan Getzlaf and Marian Gaborik got into a shoving match.

Cogliano had another chance alone in front with less than a minute left, but he didn’t have much time to do anything with it. Brian Boyle had the best chance for the Rangers, getting behind the defense for a shot from between the circles that Hiller got a piece of with his right arm/glove.
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Posted On Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 1:36 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 NHL Face-Off Blog

Expected lineups for Bruins, Lightning

The Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning are set to face off Saturday in a rematch of last spring's Eastern Conference Finals. Based on this morning's practices, here are the expected forward lines and defense pairings for each team:

BRUINS

Lucic-Krejci-Horton
Marchand-Bergeron-Peverley
Pouliot-Kelly-Seguin
Paille-Campbell-Thornton

Chara-Boychuk
Seidenberg-Corvo
Ference-McQuaid

Tim Thomas is expected to start in goal with Tuukka Rask backing him up.

LIGHTNING
Malone-Lecavalier-Purcell
St. Louis-Stamkos-Downie
Connolly-Moore-Shannon
Jones-Thompson-Hall

Hedman-Brewer
Clark-Gilroy
Bergeron-Kubina

Mathieu Garon looks like he may see the start in goal with Dwayne Roloson backing him up.
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Posted On Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 1:34 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Sabres take Germany

Despite late arrival, Miller earns back-to-back starts

Lindy Ruff can't deny that the travel delays after Friday night's win against Anaheim in Helsinki didn't hurt his team, but he's not going to make any excuses heading into Saturday's game against Los Angeles in Berlin.

The Sabres arrived after 4 a.m. Saturday after problems with their airplane. But the Kings also got in late, Ruff noted. Los Angeles arrived at its hotel around 2:30 a.m. after beating the New York Rangers in Stockholm.

The Sabres scuttled their original plans because of the delay.

"In an ideal world, we would have probably have come down here this morning, but we have had travel delays in the past where you change," Ruff said Saturday before the game. "I think LA had a fairly late night too, so I think it's fairly even for both teams.

Plus, Ruff did not have to back off on his choice to start No. 1 goalie Ryan Miller in back-to-back games. Miller allowed just one goal in the 4-1 victory against the Ducks.

"We gave it some thought, but because it has been pretty light (on games) and he didn't play in the Manheim game (on Tuesday), I think we felt that with no practices this morning and we even delayed our meeting by an hour, that we could come back with Ryan," Ruff said.

There should be no other lineup changes.
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Posted On Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 12:49 PM

By Compiled By -  NHL.com Staff /NHL.com - 2011 NHL Face-Off Blog

Expected lineups for Maple Leafs, Senators

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators are set to face off Saturday in the second game of each team's season. Based on this morning's practices, here are the expected forward lines and defense pairings for each team:

MAPLE LEAFS
Frattin-Grabovski-Kulemin
Lupul-Bozak-Kessel
Armstrong-Steckel-Dupuis
Brown-Lombardi-Orr
 
Gunnarsson-Phaneuf
Liles-Schenn
Gardiner-Komisarek
 
James Reimer is expected to start in goal with Jonas Gustavsson backing up.

SENATORS
Michalek - Spezza - Filatov
Greening - Zibanejad - Alfredsson
Foligno  - Da Costa  - Neil
Condra - Smith - Konopka
 
Phillips - Lee
Cowen - Gonchar
Kuba - Karlsson
 
Craig Anderson is expected to start in goal with Alex Auld backing up.



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Posted On Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 11:19 AM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - The Kings of Europe

Young defenseman Martinez has been gaining notice

Although he did not find his way on to the score sheet Friday night in the 3-2 overtime victory against the New York Rangers in Stockholm, it was hard to ignore young defenseman Alec Martinez, who is entering his second full season with the Los Angeles Kings.

On most of the 24 shifts he took Friday night -- combining for 19:44 of ice time -- he did something positive to catch the eyes of the coaching staff and spectators alike. At other times, he was not noticeable at all -- which is also good for a defenseman because it means he is not making mistakes.

Less than 15 hours removed from that performance, Murray had some high praise for Martinez, who played his college Hockey at Miami University and made his NHL breakthrough this past season, appearing in 60 NHL games, as well as the Kings' first-round playoff loss to the Sharks.

"He's the kind of player that you have to make room for and you want to see grow and you want to see get more minutes in a game," Murray told NHL.com. "He's got great mobility, vision, he jumps up in the play and he can score goals and defends very well because of his agility and mobility.

"He's a young guy that still has some stuff to figure out in the defending part of the game, especially the down-low part of the game. But we want to keep pushing and demanding more of him so his game will continue to improve and he can contribute more in the critical situations. "

One of the things that makes Martinez so noticeable is his ability to handle the transition game and get the puck to the right places, allowing the Kings to get into that quick counter-attacking mode they favor. Plus, he can do it either with the puck on his stick, lugging it to the offensive zone, or with the quick pass.

"It is the way the game is evolving, with the speed now and the necessity for defenseman to be able to carry the puck, move the puck through the middle of the ice," Murray said. "We see a tremendous upside with him and we just hope that he is going to be able to handle the workload that we're going to ask of him."

Martinez's workload is approaching 20 minutes per game despite the fact that he plays a similar style to franchise cornerstones Jack Johnson and Drew Doughty. All three like to look for offense and all three still need to work extra hard in their own end to make up for deficiencies there. But Murray says Martinez has earned the extra playing time and he will continue to get it until his play suggests otherwise.

"You do have to have four (defensemen) that play a big part of it," Murray said. "You are looking for your shutdown guys that are going to match up against top lines and your PK guys like Matt Greene and Rob Scuderi. The other players -- particularly with Martinez, I don't think is a problem with putting more of a workload on him. He's able to handle it -- we have seen it in the minors and we have seen it in training camp.

"I'm just excited for him because he's a player that really surprised us last year whenever we called him up. He's become a pretty important player for us."

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Quote of the Day

Your team is going to want to recapture the feeling. What they're going to have to figure out is they're going to have to rewrite the story. Because you're going to rewrite the story doesn't mean you want a different end. It's just that you're going to have to learn that there's different challenges to get there, and if you're going to try and tap the same feeling, it ain't going to happen.

— Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi on maintaining their success from last season