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Posted On Tuesday, 10.25.2011 / 2:25 PM

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

Projected lineups for Ducks, Blackhawks

Here are the projected lineups for when the Anaheim Ducks face the Chicago Blackhawks tonight at the United Center:

DUCKS
Bobby Ryan - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Patrick Maroon - Saku Koivu - Teemu Selanne
Andrew Gordon - Andrew Cogliano - Devante Smith-Pelly
Matt Beleskey - Maxime Macenauer - George Parros

Francois Beauchemin - Cam Fowler
Luca Sbisa - Lubomir Visnovsky
Sheldon Brookbank - Toni Lydman

Jonas Hiller is expected to start in goal with Dan Ellis serving as his backup.

BLACKHAWKS
Andrew Brunette - Jonathan Toews - Patrick Sharp
Daniel Carcillo - Patrick Kane - Marian Hossa
Bryan Bickell - Dave Bolland - Michael Frolik
Viktor Stalberg - Marcus Kruger - Jamal Mayers

Duncan Keith - Nick Leddy
Brent Seabrook - Niklas Hjalmarsson
Steve Montador - Sean O'Donnell

Corey Crawford is expected to start in goal with Ray Emery serving as his backup.
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Posted On Tuesday, 10.25.2011 / 2:20 PM

By John Manasso -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Fisher, Bouillon make season debuts for Preds

NASHVILLE -- Center Mike Fisher and defenseman Francis Bouillon will make their season debuts on Tuesday for the struggling Nashville Predators when they host the San Jose Sharks at Bridgestone Arena.

Both players have missed the first seven games of the season, as the Preds have gone 1-2-1 since winning their first two games. Nashville is coming off a three-game Western Canadian road trip in which it scored four goals.

Fisher, who was acquired in February from Ottawa for a couple of high-round draft picks, underwent a procedure on his shoulder during the offseason. He had 3 goals and 4 assists in 12 playoff games and 5 goals and 12 assists in 27 games during the regular season after coming over the from the Senators, as Nashville's management credited his performance with helping to get the team into the postseason.

He has been skating since August but was only recently cleared for contact. Nashville coach Barry Trotz said that Fisher would skate on a line with rookie Craig Smith, who also plays center, and that Smith would take some of the faceoffs to take pressure off Fisher.

"I'm feeling good and cleared to play, pretty excited," Fisher said. "It's been a long time. Yeah, it's good to be back …
I feel, conditioning-wise, ready and strong and should be good to go."

Bouillon has been sidelined much longer with a concussion. He last played on Jan. 16 at Chicago, missing the final 44 games of the regular season and all of the playoffs. He is likely to start out on Nashville's third defense pair with either Jack Hillen or Teemu Laakso.

"I don't want to start talking today about what's going to happen if I get hit and stuff like that, I just got to put them (negative thoughts) aside and to play my game," Bouillon said.

Trotz said the players should give Nashville, one of the League's youngest teams, a "comfort feeling" in the locker room.

"We could use their experience because we are young and a little bit fragile right now, so hopefully they'll be stabilizing factors," Trotz said.

San Jose coach Todd McLellan did not disclose any lineup changes prior to the game.
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Posted On Tuesday, 10.25.2011 / 2:16 PM

By John Manasso -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Potential lineups for Sharks, Predators

Here are the projected lines for tonight's game between the San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena:

SHARKS

Patrick Marleau - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Ryane Clowe - Logan Couture - Martin Havlat
Jamie McGinn - Michal Handzus - Benn Ferriero
Brad Winchester - Andrew Desjardins - Andrew Murray
 
Douglas Murray - Dan Boyle
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Brent Burns
Jim Vandermeer - Justin Braun
 
Antti Niemi is expected to get the start in goal with Thomas Greiss serving as his backup.

PREDATORS

Sergei Kostitsyn - David Legwand - Colin Wilson
Mike Fisher - Craig Smith - Patric Hornqvist
Jordin Tootoo - Jerred Smithson - Nick Spaling
Brian McGrattan - Blake Geoffrion - Matt Halischuk
 
Ryan Suter - Shea Weber
Kevin Klein - Jonathon Blum
Francis Bouillon - Teemu Laakso / Jack Hillen
 
Pekka Rinne is expected to get the start in goal with Anders Lindback serving as his backup.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.25.2011 / 2:01 PM

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

Potential lineups for Canucks-Oilers

David Booth will make his Canucks debut tonight after he arrived in a trade from the Florida Panthers on Sunday. Gone are Marco Sturm and Mikael Samuelsson, although the latter is still in Vancouver rehabbing and resting.

Expect Vancouver's lines to like this against the Oilers tonight:

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Alexandre Burrows
Chris Higgins - Ryan Kesler - David Booth
Manny Malhotra - Cody Hodgson - Jannik Hansen
Dale Weise - Maxim Lapierre - Aaron Volpatti

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

Roberto Luongo
Cory Schneider

Look for Edmonton to roll with these combinations:

Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle
Ryan Smyth - Shawn Horcoff - Ryan Jones
Magnus Paajarvi - Eric Belanger - Sam Gagner
Ben Eager - Anton Lander - Lennart Petrell

Ryan Whitney - Corey Potter
Ladislav Smid - Tom Gilbert
Cam Barker - Andy Sutton

Nikolai Khabibulin
Devan Dubnyk
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Posted On Tuesday, 10.25.2011 / 1:46 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Crosby stays behind with Penguins on Long Island

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby did not make the trip to Long Island for Tuesday's game against the Islanders simply because he was not going to play so there was no reason for him to go on a one-game trip with his teammates. He remains back in Pittsburgh working through his rehab as he nears a return to the ice.
 
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma addressed Crosby's status Tuesday morning:
 
"He's still in the process of his rehab. While we'd all like to put a timetable on it, we haven't. It's not about missing games or projecting when that game might be, he has to still go through the process. He's progressing really well. You see him on the ice, his level of compete, speed and skill is great to watch, and we're still going through that process. I think everyone would like to know when game one is or what a timetable is, but we're still in the process of going through his rehab and that doesn't have a timetable on it."
 
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Tuesday, 10.25.2011 / 1:42 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Potential lineups for Hurricanes, Senators

These are how the lineups are projected to look for tonight's game between the Ottawa Senators and Carolina Hurricanes at the RBC Center:

SENATORS

Milan Michalek - Jason Spezza - Colin Greening
Nick Foligno - Mika Zibanejad - Kaspars Daugavins
Erik Condra - Zack Smith - Chris Neil
Stephane Da Costa - Zenon Konopka - Jesse Winchester

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

Craig Anderson will start in goal with Alex Auld serving as his backup.

Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson is out with a hip flexor injury. Daugavins has been recalled from Binghamton and will take his place in the lineup. According to coach Paul MacLean, Daugavins might start the game in Alfredsson's spot on Mika Zibanejad's line.

HURRICANES

Alexei Ponikarovsky - Eric Staal - Tuomo Ruutu
Jeff Skinner - Jussi Jokinen - Chad LaRose
Jiri Tlusty - Brandon Sutter - Patrick Dwyer
Zach Boychuk - Tim Brent - Brett Sutter

Tim Gleason - Joni Pitkanen
Bryan Allen - Jay Harrison
Tomas Kaberle - Jamie McBain

Cam Ward will start in goal with Brian Boucher serving as his backup.

The Hurricanes recalled winger Boychuk from Charlotte to replace Anthony Stewart in the lineup. Stewart is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.25.2011 / 1:20 PM

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

Sabres, Lightning set for rematch

In the Sabres' 3-0 loss to the Lightning over the weekend, Tyler Ennis was injured in the opening minutes. He did not return and will be out indefinitely with an ankle injury.

That means coach Lindy Ruff needs to shuffle his lines for the rematch Tuesday. Here is what he'll likely start the game with:

Thomas Vanek - Luke Adam - Jason Pominville
Ville Leino - Derek Roy - Drew Stafford
Nathan Gerbe  - Matt Ellis - Patrick Kaleta
Cody McCormick - Jochen Hecht - Brad Boyes

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

Meanwhile, Tampa has won two straight, with backup goaltender Mathieu Garon getting the 21-save shutout in the last game. Coach Guy Boucher said he'll stick with Garon until struggling starter Dwayne Roloson rights himself.

The potential line combos for this game, as they were used mostly in the previous game:

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

Eric Brewer - Victor Hedman
Brett Clark - Pavel Kubina
Marc-Andre Bergeron - Matt Gilroy
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Posted On Tuesday, 10.25.2011 / 12:57 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Potential lineup for Penguins

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Based on what we saw in the morning skate, we're going to speculate that Evgeni Malkin returns to the Penguins' lineup Tuesday night at Nassau Coliseum against the Islanders. Coach Dan Bylsma said Malkin would be a game-time decision, but if the Russian superstar plays, it would be his first game since Oct. 13.

If we're right, this is what the Penguins lineup should look like against the Islanders:

Steve Sullivan - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Chris Kunitz - Jordan Staal - Pascal Dupuis
Dustin Jeffrey - Joe Vitale - Craig Adams
Matt Cooke - Richard Park - Arron Asham

Paul Martin - Kris Letang
Brooks Orpik - Deryk Engelland
Matt Niskanen - Ben Lovejoy

Marc-Andre Fleury will start in goal, and Brent Johnson will serve as the backup.
 
If Malkin doesn't play, look for Mark Letestu to get the call, which could shake up the rest of the lines as Jordan Staal might move up to center Neal and Sullivan.

Here's what the Islanders' lineup could look like, including Rick DiPietro's return to the lineup as Evgeni Nabokov's backup.

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

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Tuesday, 10.25.2011 / 12:54 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Malkin a game-time decision

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Despite the fact that Evgeni Malkin skated with James Neal and Steve Sullivan during line rushes as well as on the Pittsburgh Penguins' first power-play unit, coach Dan Bylsma said Tuesday morning that Malkin availability for tonight's game against the Islanders wouldn't be made until game time..

Malkin has missed the last five games and seven of the last eight with a sore knee -- the same the Russian superstar had surgically repaired last season.

Asked what could change between the morning skate and the time he has to submit his lineup for the game against the Islanders, Bylsma joked that he just wanted to have a secret over the media for six hours.

Bylsma, though, said strength and skating is not what is holding Malkin back. Then again, he wouldn't say if anything is holding him back.

"His strength is there," Bylsma said. "I think the skating that he's demonstrated this year is stronger than what we saw from him last year."

Bylsma did announce that Marc-Andre Fleury would be the Penguins' starting goaltender.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.25.2011 / 11:23 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

DiPietro to back up Nabokov vs. Penguins

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- A full-bearded Rick DiPietro says he feels good and he's just trying to stay sharp as he waits his turn to get back in the New York Islanders net.

This is all good news for the Islanders because it was only two weeks ago that the oft-injured goalie suffered a concussion in practice, which could have made his first positive offseason of workouts in years irrelevant.

"Just keep fine tuning," said DiPietro, who will serve as Evgeni Nabokov's backup Tuesday night against the Penguins. "It's nice to be able to go out there now, skate and feel good."

DiPietro was Al Montoya's backup for the first two games of the season before suffering a concussion in practice on Oct. 12. He hasn't dressed in a game since.

"It's going to be good to be in that game atmosphere again, be in the locker room with the boys and have that excitement," DiPietro said of his role as the backup Tuesday. "It should be a good game."

If he's ready to back up, that obviously means he's ready to play, but DiPietro said he's not at all bummed that Islanders coach Jack Capuano chose to ride Evgeni Nabokov after his 29-save performance in a 4-2 loss at Florida on Saturday.

"You just work. You can only control a couple of things in life and how hard you work is one of them," DiPietro said. "The main thing for me being here now is to win, and it's an exciting time for this team and this organization. I just want us to win. I just want us to be successful and whatever way I can chip in and help, I'm going to do it."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl


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