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Posted On Monday, 10.10.2011 / 7:04 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Vokoun makes Caps debut

Tomas Vokoun, who signed for a bargain ($1.5 million) this summer, is just minutes away from making his debut with the Washington Capitals as they host the Tampa Bay Lightning at Verizon Center.

Here are Washington's forward lines, accoriding to Katie Carrera of The Washington Post:

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

Dwayne Roloson gets the nod between the pipes for the Lightning, who swept the Caps out of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs five months ago.
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Posted On Monday, 10.10.2011 / 5:47 PM

NHL.com - Roster Call

Roster Call for October 10, 2011

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

  Edmonton Oilers

Waived with the intent of being re-assigned to AHL: Tyler Chorney.

  Los Angeles Kings

Re-assigned to AHL: Jeff Zatkoff.

  Montreal Canadiens

Recalled from AHL: Aaron Palushaj.

  Phoenix Coyotes

Recalled from AHL: Chris Summers.
Placed on injured reserve: Michal Roszival.
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Posted On Monday, 10.10.2011 / 2:34 PM

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

Lineups for Canucks, Blue Jackets

Here is what the lineups for the Canucks and Blue Jackets could look like when the teams meet today at Columbus' Nationwide Arena.

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

Dan Hamhuis - Kevin Bieksa
Alexander Edler - Sami Salo
Keith Ballard - Christopher Tanev

Cory Schneider will get his first start of the season, with Roberto Luongo backing him up.

BLUE JACKETS
Vinny Prospal - Jeff Carter - Rick Nash
R.J. Umberger - Antoine Vermette - Cam Atkinson
Matt Calvert - Samuel Pahlsson - Derek Dorsett
Maksim Mayorov - Derek MacKenzie - Derick Brassard
 
Fedor Tyutin - Radek Martinek
Marc Methot - Grant Clitsome
Kris Russell - David Savard
 
Steve Mason will start in goal, with Curtis Sanford backing him up.

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Posted On Monday, 10.10.2011 / 12:37 PM

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

Rask to get first start

BOSTON -- After earning their first win of the season in their second game played Saturday, the Bruins are heading into today's home matinee against Colorado with the same lineup, minus one change: Tuukka Rask will get his first start of the season in goal.

Rask last played in a game that counts April 10, the regular-season finale in New Jersey, before Thomas the Bruins started their run to the Stanley Cup. Thomas played every minute in the Bruins' net en route to helping the franchise win its first Cup in 39 years.

"He's played well in preseason," Bruins coach Claude Julien said of Rask. "We've always liked him, obviously. It's just a matter of making sure that he's not on the sideline for too long. We've got a busy week again this week. So we're giving both those guys an opportunity to play here and do their share."

In 29 games last season, Rask was 11-14-2 with a 2.67 goals-against average and .918 save percentage; in 2009-10, he led the league in GAA and save percentage.
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Posted On Monday, 10.10.2011 / 12:15 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Montoya gets second start for Islanders

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Al Montoya will be in goal again for the New York Islanders when they host the Minnesota Wild on Monday afternoon.

Montoya, a midseason pickup in 2010-11 who played well in the final weeks of the season, allowed two goals on 29 shots in Saturday's season-opening 2-0 loss to Florida. He got the start ahead of veterans Rick DiPietro and Evgeni Nabokov in the opener and will do so again against the Wild.

"There's no statement (being made). Al got the start on Saturday and he played extremely well," coach Jack Capuano told the media before the game. "You can't win playing the way we played. We'll go with the same lineup and hope it works out. If not, there'll be changes, for sure."

Despite being out-played for most of the first two periods by the Panthers, the Isles plan no lineup changes against the Wild, who opened their season Saturday with a 4-2 victory at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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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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Quote of the Day

There's no discouragement in that room. There's no issues there at all to be honest with you. It's more about, 'Hey, it's opportunities for players.' And if we become that bad of a team because of one player, it's not a real good sign for our hockey club. So this is part of sports. It's part of hockey.

— Bruins coach Claude Julien on the loss of Zdeno Chara to injury
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