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Posted On Saturday, 10.15.2011 / 5:25 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Questions in goal for Sharks

Sharks coach Todd McLellan refused to name a starting goalie -- Thomas Greiss or Antti Niemi -- for tonight's game. Greiss was the first goalie off the ice during Saturday's optional skate, an indication he'll probably start his third straight game.

Niemi, who underwent surgery to remove a cyst from a leg in late September, missed the first game and dressed as the backup Friday night.

"Nemo (Niemi) is available to us, and we'll make a decision before the game tonight on who is playing," McLellan said.

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Posted On Saturday, 10.15.2011 / 5:23 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Vandermeer in for Sharks

San Jose, coming off a 1-0 loss Friday night to Anaheim, likely will have one lineup change. Defenseman Jim Vandermeer will make his Sharks debut in place of Colin White, and team with Jason Demers in the third pair.

Sharks coach Todd McLellan said there's a "very good chance" Vandermeer will play against St. Louis.

"I'm definitely excited to get going, whether it's tonight or the next game or the game after that," Vandermeer said. "Whenever it is, I'll be ready to go."
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Posted On Saturday, 10.15.2011 / 5:22 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Grachev, Porter draw in for Blues

The head injury first-line center Andy McDonald suffered Thursday against Dallas has forced Blues coach Davis Payne to juggle his lineup for tonight's game against the Sharks. McDonald returned to St. Louis on Friday to be examined by team doctors, and the Blues won't have an update on his situation until Monday.

His absence means Evgeny Grachev and Chris Porter, healthy scratches in the Blues' first three games, likely will skate together on the fourth line, with center Scott Nichol.

Grachev, acquired from the New York Rangers over the summer, said he's "excited" to play his first game as a Blue and is confident after a strong preseason.

"I feel comfortable after playing all those game," Grachev said. "I feel comfortable with the group that's here. Nothing outside of me can prevent me from doing my best. It's all up to me. I'm real comfortable with everything here, and I'm confident in my abilities. I've just got to work hard and see what happens."

Payne declined to reveal how he would juggle his lines in the wake of McDonald's injury.

"With Andy's situation, obviously somebody's going to draw into that spot," Payne said. "We'll look at a number of different options tonight."

One option would be to move left wing T.J. Oshie from the second line to McDonald's spot on the first line, then shift Vladimir Sobotka from the fourth line to Oshie's spot.
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Posted On Saturday, 10.15.2011 / 5:18 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Elliott to start for Blues

Backup goalie Brian Elliott will make his first start Blues tonight when St. Louis plays the San Jose Sharks.

Elliott will start in place of Jaroslav Halak, who is expected to be back in goal Sunday, when the Blues play at Anaheim in the second of back-to-back games. Elliott, a free-agent pickup, hasn't played since the preseason, but coach Davis Payne said he's not concerned.

"No worries about that," Payne said after the Blues' morning skate at HP Pavilion. "One thing a goalie in that situation knows is he's got to prepare extremely well. He's worked his tail off. A guy that does that, he's got a good foundation to step in and perform well."

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Posted On Saturday, 10.15.2011 / 4:47 PM

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

Brodeur: Shoulder better, but not good enough

New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur told The (Bergen) Record that his injured right shoulder feels better, but not good enough for him to play tonight against the Predators.

"From the day I hurt it to the next day to today, it's going the right way," he said this morning at Bridgestone Arena, where he received treatment on the shoulder. "I'm really happy about the way it feels. It's just there’s no sense for me to rush to try to get in. I probably won't practice tomorrow, either. Take another day and we’ll go from there. But it feels really, really good. I'm happy about the way it's going."

With Brodeur out, Johan Hedberg will start, with Keith Kinkaid called up from AHL Albany to serve as the backup.

Here's what the rest of the Devils' lineup likely will look like tonight:

Zach Parise - Patrik Elias - Petr Sykora
Ilya Kovalchuk - Jacob Josefson - Nick Palmieri
Mattias Tedenby - Dainius Zubrus - David Clarkson
Eric Boulton - Brad Mills - Cam Janssen

Andy Greene - Adam Larsson
Henrik Tallinder - Mark Fayne
Bryce Salvador - Anton Volchenkov

For more on tonight's game, check out the preview here.
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Posted On Saturday, 10.15.2011 / 4:34 PM

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

Lineups for Capitals, Senators

Here are the potential lineups for tonight's game between the Capitals and Senators at the Verizon Center in Washington.

CAPITALS
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Troy Brouwer
Alexander Semin - Marcus Johansson - Mike Knuble
Jason Chimera - Brooks Laich - Joel Ward
Matt Hendricks - Mathieu Perreault - Jeff Halpern

Karl Alzner - John Carlson
Roman Hamrlik - Mike Green
Jeff Schultz - Dennis Wideman

The Washington Post is reporting D.J. King also could draw into this game, replacing Perreault. If that happens, Kings would play right wing and Halpern would shift to center.

Tomas Vokoun likely will start in goal, as Michal Neuvirth was kept off the ice. Dany Sabourin was recalled AHL Hershey to serve as the backup, if needed.

SENATORS
Milan Michalek - Jason Spezza - Mika Zibanejad
Colin Greening - Stephane Da Costa - Daniel Alfredsson
Nick Foligno - Peter Regin - Chris Neil
Zack Smith - Zenon Konopka - Erik Condra

Erik Karlsson - Filip Kuba
David Rundblad - Chris Phillips
Sergei Gonchar - Jared Cowen

Defenseman Brian Lee will be a healthy scratch for the second straight game. Bobby Butler will sit out with a groin injury.

Craig Anderson will start in goal, with Alex Auld the backup.

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

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Posted On Saturday, 10.15.2011 / 4:21 PM

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

Potential lineups for Canucks, Oilers

Here are the projected lineups for tonight's game between the Oilers and Canucks tonight in Edmonton (10 p.m. ET, CBC).

OILERS
Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle
Linus Omark - Eric Belanger - Magnus Paajarvi
Ryan Smyth - Shawn Horcoff - Matt Jones
Darcy Hordichuk - Anton Lander - Lennart Petrell

Ladislav Smid - Tom Gilbert
Cam Barker - Theo Peckham
Andy Sutton - Corey Potter

Devan Dubnyk will get the start in goal, with Nikolai Khabibulin the backup.

CANUCKS
Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Alexandre Burrows
Chris Higgins - Cody Hodgson - Mikael Samuelsson
Marco Sturm - Manny Malhotra - Jannik Hansen
Aaron Volpatti - Maxim Lapierre - Dale Weise

Dan Hamhuis - Kevin Bieksa
Keith Ballard - Alexander Edler
Andrew Alberts - Sami Salo

Roberto Luongo will be back in goal, with Cory Schneider the backup.

For more on the game, check out the preview here.
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Posted On Saturday, 10.15.2011 / 4:11 PM

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

Questions surround Blues, Sharks lineups

With the injury to Andy McDonald, it looks like Evgeny Grachev could grab the assignment of playing in his spot, between David Backes and Jamie Langenbrunner.

Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting Grachev and Chris Porter will be in the lineup tonight, but noted that Grachev displayed a bit of positive chemistry playing with Backes and Langenbrunner in the preseason.

The big lineup decision for the Sharks could be in net, where there's a chance Antti Niemi could make his season debut. Niemi hasn't played this season, but was the backup to Thomas Greiss in last night's 1-0 win against the Ducks.

"Nemo (Niemi) is available to us and we'll make a decision before the game," Sharks coach Todd McLellan told David Pollack of the San Jose Mercury News.


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Posted On Saturday, 10.15.2011 / 3:59 PM

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

Stalberg feeling better for Hawks

While Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville wasn't tipping his hand about which injured players would skate tonight against the Boston Bruins, there's a chance forward Viktor Stalberg will give it a go.

Stalberg has been out since suffering a sprained left knee in a collision with Detroit's Justin Abdelkader. He was having a great preseason before the injury, and hopes to pick up where he left off whenever he does get back into a game.

"It's feeling good," he said. "It's the way I want it to feel and I feel like I'll be ready to play (against the Bruins). I haven't played a game in a couple of weeks, so it play it simple and make it short shifts I guess, if I'm in."

At this morning's practice, he saw time at right wing on Patrick Kane's line, and at left wing on Marcus Kruger's line.
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Posted On Saturday, 10.15.2011 / 3:56 PM

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

Kane: 2010 Hawks would top 2011 Bruins

Chicago Blackhawks center Patrick Kane was posed a hypothetical question after Saturday's morning skate: Who would win a Stanley Cup Final series between the 2010 champion Hawks and the 2011 champion Boston Bruins?

"I think we'd win," Kane said. "But it would be a good series. Tim Thomas was on fire, though, at the end of the series last year. It seems like every game they won they kind of blew out the Canucks. It would've been a good series."

The 2010 Cup Final certainly was a good one for Kane -- he scored the Cup-clinching goal in overtime of Game 6 against the Philadelphia Flyers.
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Quote of the Day

Right now I'm just happy to be back and get through this season and make sure I do my job. I've never had an issue with having to prove myself again and I'll try to do it again. We'll see where it takes me.

— Defenseman Torey Krug on signing with the Boston Bruins
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