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Posted On Tuesday, 12.20.2011 / 1:30 PM

By Alan Robinson - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

No concussion, Seabrook in Blackhawks' lineup

PITTSBURGH -- Exactly the news the Chicago Blackhawks wanted to hear: Defenseman Brent Seabrook doesn't have a concussion and will be in the lineup Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The sighs of relief probably could be heard all the way back to the United Center.
The Blackhawks (21-8-4) received a major scare Sunday when the Flames' Rene Bourque drove Seabrook in the boards head-first during the first period of Chicago's 4-2 victory. Seabrook appeared to be unconscious for a few moments, but he insisted on Tuesday that he was aware throughout of what was occurring.
"I remember the whole thing," Seabrook said. "I got hit and I heard Bourque say right away he was sorry. I couldn't get up, so I put my head down and everybody seemed to think I was knocked out. I'm good to go."
Coach Joel Quenneville said Seabrook checked out fine and will not be held out of game action, saying it was "an easy call" -- even though Seabrook has had multiple concussions in the past.
Seabrook did not return to the Calgary game because the doctor checking him for concussion-like symptoms could not tell from the game video whether he was unconscious.
"Obviously, it feels good that all it was a scare," Seabrook said. "I felt good yesterday, felt good the day before, I feel fine."
Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo (upper-body injury) did not make the trip to Pittsburgh, but Quenneville is optimistic he will be ready to play Wednesday at home against Montreal -- the team's final game before Christmas.
Forward Patrick Kane likes going against teams such as the Penguins that the Blackhawks see only occasionally.
"It's always fun to play Eastern Conference teams, usually they (play) up and down, fast, and we like playing in that kind of game," Kane said.
The teams possess some of the NHL's top star power, except that the biggest headliner -- Sidney Crosby -- will miss a fifth consecutive game with concussion-like symptoms. Crosby has played only two games against Chicago during his career.
"I've been here five years and I've never played him in the NHL, only in the Olympics," Kane said. "We haven't seen him, but hopefully he's doing better."
Here is the Blackhawks' projected lineup for their only matchup against the Penguins (18-11-4) this season. Pittsburgh won the Stanley Cup in 2009, while Chicago won it the following season.
Viktor Stalberg - Jonathan Toews - Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp - Marcus Kruger - Marian Hossa
Bryan Bickell - Dave Bolland - Michael Frolik
John Scott - Jamal Mayers - Andrew Brunette
Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook
Nick Leddy - Niklas Hjalmarsson
Sean O'Donnell - Steve Montador
Ray Emery (9-1-2) will make his seventh consecutive start in net -- he has won his last five -- but Quenneville said Corey Crawford (12-7-2) is expected to start Wednesday.
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Posted On Tuesday, 12.20.2011 / 1:27 PM

By Staff -  / - At the Rink blog

Leafs' Armstrong sidelined by concussion

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Colby Armstrong is out indefinitely with a concussion, one he suffered Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks but didn't make the team aware of until Monday.

"It took us all by complete shock because we had no idea that he had his bell rung the other night," Leafs coach Ron Wilson said Monday night after a 3-2 shootout loss to Los Angeles. "He kind of kept that from us."

Armstrong had planned to play in Monday's game, but he told the team's training staff that afternoon he was feeling nauseous.

Wilson explained how the concussion happened to reporters.

"In the game the other night, (Armstrong) hit Ryan Kesler and actually he cracked his toe, but that wasn't an issue," Wilson said. "He didn't tell the trainers or the doctors (Sunday) that he had his bell rung. (Monday afternoon) he was nauseated, blurry vision, so he's got a concussion and we didn't know that until later in the afternoon.

"He's going to be out however long he needs to be out now."

Armstrong has only played in nine games this season due to an ankle sprain. He has one assist.
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Posted On Tuesday, 12.20.2011 / 1:04 PM

By Alan Robinson - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Staal, others could be back for Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Penguins held an optional morning practice – coach Dan Bylsma called it a “get what you need skate” – before they matched up against the Western Conference-leading Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night at Consol Energy Center.
This was the fourth time this season that the Penguins did not hold a full team skate on a game day that followed an off day, but the players met to review video and the scouting report.
The Penguins often are held up as the standard by which opposing clubs measure themselves – several coaches have mentioned that during visits to Pittsburgh – but this time they will be looking up, at least in the overall standings.
Chicago goes into the game with an NHL-leading 46 points, while the Penguins – winners of only two of their last six – have dropped into fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 40 points.
“They’ve got a lot of skill up front, world-class skill,” forward Craig Adams said of the Blackhawks, who have won five straight and seven of eight, collecting points in all eight. “They’ve got a couple of the best defensemen in the League back there and they’ve been getting good goaltending lately (from Ray Emery). Their power play is very good. Offensively, they present problems for sure.”
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was at Consol, but was not one of the 16 players who skated. The Penguins have not updated his status since he last practiced Dec. 7; he remains out and day-to-day with concussion-like symptoms. Crosby will miss his 26th game this season and his 67th over the last two seasons.
The players skating were goalies Marc-Andre Fleury, who will start, and Brent Johnson; forwards Tyler Kennedy, Jason Williams, Steve MacIntyre, Jordan Staal, Eric Tangradi, Craig Adams and Joe Vitale; and defensemen Deryk Engelland, Brooks Orpik, Alexandre Picard, Ben Lovejoy, Matt Niskanen, Simon Despres and Zbynek Michalek.
The Penguins are expected to welcome back Staal, who has been held out of three of their last four games with a lower-body injury. Among the players who are game-time decisions are defensemen Zbynek Michalek (concussion) and Ben Lovejoy, who has been out with a broken wrist since Nov. 3 but is lobbying to play. Defenseman Paul Martin (lower-body injury) is not expected to play and could be out for a while.
“Today was a really good day. Everything felt really good. I should be in tonight if coach wants it,” Stall said before pausing for a smile. “We’ll see if I get in.”
Here’s how the Penguins might line up in their only meeting against Chicago this season, but the lineup could change depending on how many of the injured players return:
Chris KunitzEvgeni MalkinJames Neal
Matt CookeJordan StaalTyler Kennedy
Steve SullivanJoe VitaleArron Asham
Jason WilliamsEric TangradiCraig Adams
Brooks OrpikMatt Niskanen
Zbynek MichalekDeryk Engelland
Simon DespresBen Lovejoy
Marc-Andre Fleury
Brent Johnson
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Posted On Tuesday, 12.20.2011 / 12:48 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - At the Rink blog

Bickel set to make NHL debut for Rangers

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Rangers' defense corps is battered with Steve Eminger (separated shoulder) joining Mike Sauer (concussion) and Marc Staal (post-concussion symptoms) on injured reserve. Jeff Woywitka is also going to be a game-time decision due to an injured left ankle.

However, Stu Bickel isn't complaining because the latest injury to Eminger means he'll be making his NHL debut Tuesday night against New Jersey.

Bickel, 25, was recalled on an emergency basis after Eminger suffered his injury in Phoenix over the weekend. Bickel was with the Rangers throughout training camp andwas among the final cuts, but he impressed coach John Tortorella during camp, and the scouting reports on him from the coaches with the Connecticut Whale of the AHL have all been positive.

"You have to go about it the same as any other game and play the same way," Bickel said of making his NHL debut. "I pride myself on defense, playing a defense-first game and a physical game. I don't think I'll have too much trouble fitting into the systems here."

Tortorella said Bickel understands the concepts of the Rangers' system both because he learned it during training camp and because they play the same way in Connecticut. However, there is still the issue of nerves that he'll inevitably feel before his first NHL game.

"That position is the toughest position and we're certainly going to try to help him just to calm himself down to make simple plays until he gets his feet wet," Tortorella said. "There are some little things (with the system) that we went over with him (Monday) and we will (Tuesday) morning that comes into play quite a bit with how we play defense. But we don't want to fill his mind with a bunch of thoughts. We want him to go play, and we'll help him along the way."

Tim Erixon was also recalled on an emergency basis, but he'll have to wait until closer to game time to find out if he'll get in the lineup because it's all related to how Woywitka's left foot feels. Woywitka said he felt good during the morning skate, but now he has to go to the trainers room and get some ice on it and walk around to see if the pain returns.

He said he had no strength to skate Monday, but he could move around pretty well Tuesday morning.

"We'll see what it's like before the game and then we'll decide," Woywitka said. "Today I felt more movement in it. Now we'll rest it and see what the prognosis is. I'm happy with the way it has come along."

With Woywitka's status up in the air, the Rangers defense pairings for Tuesday night are not set. However, Henrik Lundqvist will start in goal and here is what their forward lines should look like with Sean Avery and Erik Christensen as the scratches:

Brandon Dubinsky - Brad Richards - Ryan Callahan
Artem Anisimov - Derek Stepan - Marian Gaborik
Ruslan Fedotenko - Mike Rupp - Brandon Prust
Carl Hagelin - Brian Boyle - John Mitchell

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.20.2011 / 12:42 PM

By Erin Nicks - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Senators, Sabres

KANATA, Ont. -- Here are the projected lineups for Tuesday night’s game between the Buffalo Sabres and the Ottawa Senators:

Colin Greening - Jason Spezza - Daniel Alfredsson
Nick Foligno - Kyle Turris - Erik Condra
Zack Smith - Peter Regin - Chris Neil
Jesse Winchester - Zenon Konopka - Kaspars Daugavins

Erik Karlsson - Filip Kuba
Sergei Gonchar - Jared Cowen
Chris Phillips - Matt Carkner

Craig Anderson
Alex Auld

Bobby Butler and Brian Lee are the healthy scratches, while Kuba and Gonchar return to the lineup after battling shoulder and upper-body injuries.

Tomas Vanek - Derek Roy - Jason Pominville
Luke Adam - Drew Stafford - Paul Szczechura
Marcus Foligno - Paul Gaustad - Zack Kassian
Derek Whitmore - Cody McCormick - Matt Ellis

Robyn Regehr - Andrej Sekera
Jordan Leopold - Christian Ehrhoff
Marc-Andre Gragnani - Mike Weber

Ryan Miller
Jhonas Enroth

Foligno and Whitmore were recalled from the Rochester Americans on Monday, and will start in place of Colin Stuart (lower body) and Tyler Ennis (ankle).

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.20.2011 / 12:38 PM

By Erin Nicks - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Michalek could be nearing return for Senators

KANATA, Ont. -- Ottawa Senators forward Milan Michalek skated by himself prior to Tuesday's practice for the first time since suffering a concussion in a Dec. 13 game against Buffalo and could return to the lineup by the end of the week.

"He felt good and said he wanted to go for a skate," coach Paul MacLean said. "We'll take that as a positive. I haven't heard anything negative from the skate. If it's tomorrow when we practice, and we play on Friday and he says he can go, we'll probably let him play."

Kyle Turris plays his first game as a Senator on Tuesday, after being acquired on Saturday from Phoenix for David Rundblad and a second-round pick.

"I'm excited … can't wait for the puck to drop and get at it," Turris said. "It's a little bit nerve-wracking, and I want to get off to a good start. I always put pressure on myself, but I feel good and ready to go."

"Our expectation is for him to come in and solidify the second line position for us," MacLean said. "We're going to give him the opportunity to establish himself as a player. We're going to put him on the ice with good people and see what he does. We don't have any expectations as to how much he'll score. We believe he's a good player. If he plays well, we'll play him lots. If things aren't going really good for him, we'll just play him normal."
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Posted On Tuesday, 12.20.2011 / 12:33 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2012 World Junior Championship blog

Jack Campbell talks U.S. camp and coach Blais

U.S. National Junior Team goalie Jack Campbell preferred to look on the brighter side when asked if it was disappointing to learn that defenseman Justin Faulk would not be a part of the team at the 2012 World Junior Championship.

Faulk, who had a key role along the blueline in Team USA's bronze medal-winning effort in Buffalo, N.Y., last year, will not be released by Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford to play in this year's tournament. According to Rutherford, Faulk has been too important a player to the Hurricanes.

"Hey, look at it this way, for once we're like Team Canada where a player eligible for the tournament is remaining in the NHL," Campbell told "Seriously, though, it's more of a credit to Justin and how much work he's put in. To be a top four defenseman on that team … that's pretty special for a 19-year-old.

"I've known Faulker for probably three or four years now, and nobody earned it more than he did. So it's not necessarily that anyone's down or anything, but it's just the way it goes. He's a big part of their team."
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Posted On Tuesday, 12.20.2011 / 12:18 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - At the Rink blog

DeBoer introduced to Devils-Rangers rivalry

NEWARK, N.J. -- Peter DeBoer will get his first taste of the Devils-Rangers rivalry Tuesday night, and New Jersey's first-year coach said he's feeling pressure on the home front to win the game.

"I've got two boys that are 11 and 9 and watch this HBO series like a religion, so the last thing they want to see is their dad lose on national TV," DeBoer said Tuesday morning at Prudential Center. "It's one thing to lose somewhere else, but I've got some personal pressure on me that way."

Other than the pressure from his kids, DeBoer expressed excitement over being in a rivalry such as this one with the Devils and Rangers.

"Not a day goes by where I don't get a pat on the back and a, 'Good luck, except against the Rangers,'" he said. "That's the great part about it. If you can't get up for this game, then you don't have a pulse."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.20.2011 / 12:15 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - Classic Preparations

Winter Classic construction crew making progress

PHILADELPHIA -- When the crews left Citizens Bank Park here at 5 p.m. last night, they just about had the sub-floor for the main rink laid, and the crews finished that task when they started back up at 8 a.m. today.

Day 2 of the build-out for the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic not only featured the completion of the sub-floor, it was followed by a layer of plywood being laid over the top of that sub-floor. And now the crews are beginning the installation of the 30-foot-long pans that will hold the coolant that keeps the ice solid. If all goes well, they could start hooking up the hoses that pump the glycol into the pans.

Besides the main rink, the pans were laid for the auxiliary rink, which is situated between home plate and the pitcher's mound.

In addition, construction along the right-field wall of the host positions for NBC and CBC are moving along quite nicely.

We'll be getting a full progress report from NHL Senior Director of Facilities Operations Dan Craig sometime after 1 p.m., so check back in later.

Until then, you can follow along live right here on's live webcam.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.20.2011 / 11:50 AM

By Staff -  / - 2012 World Junior Championship blog

NHL Network and will have WJC covered

The NHL Network U.S. will provide live broadcasts and will offer live streams of U.S. National Junior Team games at the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Edmonton and Calgary, Alta., this year.

Matt Rosen, Dave Starman and Rob Simpson will make up the broadcast team for the NHL Network's coverage of Team USA's games during the tournament, which runs Dec. 26-Jan. 5. Team USA will play four preliminary round games in Group B at Rexall Place in Edmonton prior to the start of the medal round on Jan. 2 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary.

Rosen, who will handle play-by-play duties, has spent three years calling college hockey and football for the Big Ten Network. He also served as the host for all Phoenix Coyotes radio broadcasts as well as the team's post-game call-in show, "Coyotes Wrap-Up." In 2005-06, Rosen did play-by-play for the Roanoke Valley Vipers of the United Hockey League. Prior to that, he could be heard as the voice of the Tri-City Storm of the United States Hockey League. Matt's father, Sam Rosen, has been the television voice of the New York Rangers since 1982.
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I've never seen anything like that. The great thing is I don't know how many times guys bailed me out where they had to score to keep it alive and they did every time. It was amazing. It's not the way we draw it up, to go 20 rounds here, but obviously it's a big win.

— Florida goalie Roberto Luongo after the Panthers defeated the Capitals in the longest shootout in NHL history on Tuesday
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