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Posted On Monday, 10.10.2011 / 11:57 AM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Lineups for Stars, Coyotes

Due to their earlier-than-usual start time today in Dallas (6 p.m. ET), neither the Stars nor the Coyotes skated this morning. So here's the best approximation of what their lineups could look like when they hit the ice today.
 
COYOTES
Ray Whitney - Daymond Langkow - Shane Doan
Lauri Korpikoski - Martin Hanzal - Radim Vrbata
Taylor Pyatt - Boyd Gordon - Mikkel Boedker
Raffi Torres - Kyle Chipchura - Petteri Nokelainen

Keith Yandle - Adrian Aucoin
Rostislav Klesla - Derek Morris
Michal Rozsival - Oliver Ekman-Larsson

This game could mark the season debut of Jason LaBarbera -- and his new military appreciation helmet. Mike Smith would then serve as the backup.

STARS
Brenden Morrow - Mike Ribeiro - Michael Ryder
Loui Eriksson - Jamie Benn - Tomas Vincour
Steve Ott - Vernon Fiddler - Radek Dvorak
Tom Wandell - Jake Dowell - Adam Burish

Stephane Robidas - Alex Goligoski
Trevor Daley - Sheldon Souray
Mark Fistric - Philip Larsen

Kari Lehtonen will start in goal, with Andrew Raycroft as the backup.
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Posted On Monday, 10.10.2011 / 11:35 AM

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

Lineups for Bruins, Avalanche

Due to their 1 p.m. start today in Boston, neither the Bruins nor the Avalanche skated today. So here's the best approximation of what their lineups could look like when they hit the ice today.

BRUINS
Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Rich Peverley
Benoit Pouliot - Chris Kelly - Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference - Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask will make his season debut in goal, with Tim Thomas serving as the backup.

AVALANCHE
Peter Mueller - Matt Duchene - Milan Hejduk
David Jones - Paul Stastny - Chuck Kobasew
Gabriel Landeskog - Ryan O'Reilly - Daniel Winnik
Cody McLeod - Jay McClement - T.J. Galiardi

Shane O'Brien - Kyle Quincey
Jan Hejda - Erik Johnson
Ryan Wilson - Ryan O'Byrne

Semyon Varlamov likely will start in goal, with Jean-Sebastien Giguere the backup.
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Posted On Monday, 10.10.2011 / 10:20 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Report: Hedberg to start for Devils

According to The (Bergen) Record, Johan Hedberg will start in goal for the New Jersey Devils today when they host the Carolina Hurricanes. Puck drop is set for 1 p.m., one of four Columbus Day matinees.

Hedberg backed up Martin Brodeur in Saturday's opening-night 3-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Hedberg went 15-12-2 in 34 games, with a career-best 2.38 goals-against average last season for the Devils.
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Posted On Monday, 10.10.2011 / 12:10 AM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Dynamic Duos: Who's better than Datsyuk-Zetterberg?

Former NHL head coach and player Barry Melrose starts a new gig this season: He will be blogging for NHL.com throughout the 2011-2012 season. Plus, Melrose will be appearing as an analyst for NHL Network during every League-wide NHL event, starting with today's 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic announcement at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

To start off each week, look for "Melrose Monday" on NHL.com. Melrose will look ahead at the biggest days on the NHL calendar that week. "Melrose Monday" starts today with Barry's unique take on the Winter Classic between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers Jan. 2


Let's take a look at the best five forward pairs in the League for this Monday's blog entry. We'll count down my picks:

5. Steve Stamkos and Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning

Marty St. Louis and Steven Stamkos combined for 76 goals and 190 points for the Lightning in the 2010-11 season. (Photo: Getty Images)
Their games are perfect for the new rules in the NHL. Both of them can fly. One is a right-handed shot and other is a left-handed shot. That doesn't happen too often.

Both Stamkos and St. Louis have great vision on the ice — which is even more difficult to defend when they move at such great speed. I think St. Louis might be the most underrated player in the entire League.

It's tough for young players to come into the League and play at a high level early. Some elite players are great at 19, but it took Steven a little while to get going. It was about a half-year of adjustment for him. I will tell you this: Playing with and learning from St. Louis is the best thing that has happened to Stamkos.

St. Louis is such a warrior. Things have never come easy for him. He was placed on waivers by Calgary and cleared. He has made himself into a great player. He is what hockey is all about. People have told him he is not good enough for the NHL and he has proved them wrong.
 
4. Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings

I know what you are thinking: If these two are No. 4, let's see who is 3-2-1. Probably the only reason Zetterberg and Datsyuk rank only No. 4 is their age. They both are getting hurt a little bit more.

But this is an unbelievable pair when they are healthy and on the ice. They are best defensive pair of the top 5, with Datsyuk winning multiple Selke awards as the League's best defensive forward. They are amazing stickhandlers and they have won Cups. They are ultimate professionals.

Datsyuk has the best hands in the NHL and both Datsyuk and Zetterberg play a physical style of play.
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Posted On Sunday, 10.09.2011 / 2:10 PM

NHL.com - Roster Call

Roster Call for October 9, 2011

The following NHL teams have announced the following roster moves today.

  Montreal Canadiens

Returned to previous team following waiver claim: Blair Betts (Philadelphia).
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Posted On Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 9:42 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

CBJ @ MIN - 17:53 of the 2nd Period

  • Video review in the second period of the Columbus-Minnesota game confirmed that Columbus forward Derek Dorsett put the puck into the net with his stick. Good goal.
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Posted On Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 8:36 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 NHL Face-Off Blog

Meech glad to offer Winnipeg history lesson

WINNIPEG -- If any of the Winnipeg Jets need a lesson on the city's NHL history, teammate Derek Meech can provide it.

Meech made the club's roster out of training camp as a spare defenseman who's also capable of filling in as a forward. The Winnipeg native signed with the Jets this summer after six seasons in the Detroit Red Wings organization.

Meech does not expect to dress for the Jets in Sunday's season-opening game against the Montreal Canadiens. But he's the only member of the Winnipeg roster who was present for the city's last taste of NHL hockey in April 1996.

Just 12 years old when the original Winnipeg Jets bowed out to the Red Wings on April 28, 1996, Meech has since spent four seasons as a standout defenseman in the Western Hockey League, made his NHL debut with the Red Wings and scored his first goal in the League.

On Saturday morning, Meech recalled taking part in the city's famous white-outs for Jets games at the old Winnipeg Arena. A Dave Ellett poster adorned the wall of his bedroom -- and, like a lot of kids in Manitoba during the 1980s and 1990s, Meech lived and died with the fortunes of the local NHL club.

"I'm a [Jets] fan. I've been a fan for the past 15 years," he said.

Unlike a lot of Winnipeggers, the easy-going Meech did not harbor any dislike of the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers, two powerhouse divisional rivals that tormented the Jets and their fans during the 1980s.

"I mostly just loved the Jets," he said.

Meech plans to bring his family's Jets loyalties full circle. Meech's father, brother and step-brother all took in that April 1996 game, and all three will be in the MTS Centre for Sunday's game.

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Posted On Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 7:39 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 NHL Face-Off Blog

Winnipeg gets ready

WINNIPEG -- Just a little more than 24 hours before their NHL season-opener, the Winnipeg Jets conducted their final tune-up at the MTS Centre on Saturday.

After a 5,643-day wait, on Sunday afternoon the Jets will bring the NHL back to Winnipeg for the first regular-season contest in the city since 1996. Winnipeg will host the Montreal Canadiens in a contest that will be broadcast across Canada on CBC and RDS. The NHL Network will present the 5 p.m. ET to viewers in the U.S.

The Jets skated the following forward lines and defensive pairings on Saturday:

Andrew Ladd-Bryan Little-Blake Wheeler
Evander Kane-Mark Scheifele-Kyle Wellwood
Brett MacLean-Alexander Burmistrov-Nikolai Antropov

Tanner Glass-Jim Slater-Chris Thorburn
Johnny Oduya-Dustin Byfuglien

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Posted On Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 5:06 PM

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

Sabres beat Kings, 4-2

Fatigue proved not to be an issue for the Buffalo Sabres in Saturday's Compuware NHL Premiere game against the Los Angeles Kings at O2 World Arena in Berlin.

Despite arriving in Berlin at 4 a.m. after a Friday night victory in Helsinki, Finland against the Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo came out flying and scored the game's first three goals en route to a 4-2 victory against the Kings, who had arrived two hours earlier after a Friday night win against the New York Rangers in Stockholm, Sweden.

Before the game, German native Christian Ehrhoff said he was hoping that adrenaline would overcome any hardships the team might have endured as he enjoyed a rare chance to play as a NHLer before a German crowd, which crammed the arena to capacity.

Rookie Luke Adam certainly showed no signs of being tired as he scored the game's first two goals. Linemate Thomas Vanek, from nearby Austria, assisted on both goals after putting up a three-point night in Helsinki in Friday's 4-1 victory.

Adam, one of the last players to make the Buffalo roster, scored his first goal just 2:40 into the period, snapping home a one-timer after a pass from Jason Pominville. It was Vanek's work along the end boards, though, that made the play possible.

Adam's second goal came just 2:20 later, on his next shift, when he swept home the rebound of a Vanek shot.

Paul Gaustad and Drew Stafford scored Buffalo's other goals as backup Jonathan Bernier was shelled for 4 goals in the final two periods after a strong first. Bernier, who had 22 saves, earned the start after No. 1 Jonathan Quick earned the win in Friday night's 3-2 win against the Rangers.

The Sabres also have another German on their roster, Jochen Hecht, but he missed the game with concussion-related symptoms. In fact, Hecht has not played at all on this trip, including an exhibition game on Tuesday against Adler Mannheim, his hometown club.

In a somewhat shocking move, Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff opted to go back to Ryan Miller in net, just 15 hours after landing in Berlin.

Miller replayed that confidence by being sharp early, stopping 22 of 23 shots in the first two periods. In fact, the only goals he allowed were a power-play tally by Anze Kopitar with 39 seconds remaining in the second period and a late goal by the Sloivenian star, who has 3 goals in the two European games. He finished with 31 saves.

With Drew Stafford in the box for tripping, the Kings moved the puck efficiently around the perimeter -- especially after Paul lost his stick -- until Kopitar got the puck in the high slot and ripped it home over the shoulder of a screened Miller.

Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson, who scored the overtime game-winner Friday night against the Rangers, earned the assists on the goal, which was Kopitar's second in as many games.

It is also the second game in a row that the Kings have scored on the power play, which was a point of emphasis this preseason. Johnson's game-winner Friday came on a 4-on-3 man advantage.

Stafford restored the three-goal lead less than four minutes into the third.

With Kevin Westgarth in the box for an offensive-zone cross-checking penalty, Stafford pounced on a rebound and swept it past Jonathan Bernier for his first goal of the season.

Nathan Gerbe and Derek Roy earned assists on the goal. For Gerbe, it was his second point of the night.
The goal was the first power-play tally Los Angeles has allowed in these first two games.
 

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Posted On Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 4:27 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

BUF-LAK - 12:42 of the third period

Video review at 12:42 of the third period of Buffalo-Los Angeles game determined that the puck was struck with a high stick by Buffalo's Cody McCormick and went directly into the net. No goal.

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Quote of the Day

We think that Randy is a very good coach. Our players think that Randy is a very good coach. We think that he's going to get the most out of this group. With the addition of the two assistants, a bit of a different dynamic, we're very comfortable that this is a quality coaching staff that's going to maximize the potential of this team.

— Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis on head coach Randy Carlyle and his staff