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Posted On Saturday, 12.10.2011 / 12:16 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Regin, Carkner back for Senators

Here are the projected lineups for the game Saturday night between the Vancouver Canucks and Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place. The Senators held a full skate, while the Canucks went with an optional practice.

SENATORS

Kaspars DaugavinsJason SpezzaMilan Michalek
Peter ReginNick FolignoDaniel Alfredsson
Erik CondraZack SmithChris Neil
Colin Greening - Jesse WinchesterBobby Butler

Jared CowenErik Karlsson
Matt CarknerDavid Rundblad
Chris PhillipsBrian Lee

Craig Anderson
Alex Auld

After missing the last 24 games with a shoulder injury, Peter Regin returns to the lineup and will play on the Alfredsson line, but according to coach Paul MacLean, he will not be taking faceoffs. Matt Carkner will also play in his first regular season game Saturday after completing a conditioning stint in Binghamton. Sergei Gonchar is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Filip Kuba (shoulder) is skating, but MacLean estimated that he is still approximately a week away from returning. Zenon Konopka and Nikita Filatov are the healthy scratches. 

CANUCKS

Daniel SedinHenrik SedinAlexandre Burrows
Mason RaymondRyan KeslerJannik Hansen
Bill SweattCody HodgsonMaxim Lapierre
Andrew AlbertsManny MalhotraDale Weise

Alexander EdlerSami Salo
Dan HamhuisKevin Bieksa
Aaron RomeKeith Ballard

Roberto Luongo
Cory Schneider

Only Hamhuis, Burrows, Andrew Alberts and Alexander Sulzer took to the ice Saturday morning.



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Posted On Saturday, 12.10.2011 / 11:18 AM

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

Devils look to Albany for defensive reinforcements

NEWARK, N.J. -- With Anton Volchenkov (hand) and Andy Greene (toe) sidelined, the Devils will go with two recent call-ups as their third defensive pair for their game this afternoon against Montreal at Prudential Center.

Matt Taormina and Alex Urbom were both recalled from Albany of the AHL on Friday and will be making their season debuts against the Canadiens. They were paired together in Albany and Devils coach Pete DeBoer said that played into his decision to keep them together today.

"I think the reports out of Albany have been very good on both guys," DeBoer said. "They've both played (NHL) games before so it's not their first time in the NHL."

Taormina has four goals, eight assists and a plus-two rating in 23 games with Albany this season. He also played 17 games with the Devils last season and had three goals and two assists before missing time with a left ankle injury in mid-November. He needed surgery to repair two non-displaced fractures and was out for the rest of the season.

Urbom, who is still only 20 years old, played in eight games with the Devils last season and had a goal. He had one goal and five assists along with a plus-six rating in 21 games with Albany this season.

"They've been in this situation before and they've handled it well before," DeBoer said. "We're excited to stick them in."

DeBoer could have gone with Mark Fraser, who has played in four games this season without a point, but he wanted to go with a faster lineup to match the Canadiens speed.

"They come at you in waves and they can all skate," he said. "We felt this was our best lineup for who we're playing."

While Greene is on injured reserve and could be out a month, Volchenkov is listed as day-to-day. He has not been ruled out for the game Monday in Tampa Bay.

"Too early to tell," He said. "We classify him as day to day. We'll see how he is tomorrow."

Here are the Devils lines and defense pairings:

Zach Parise - Adam Henrique - Ilya Kovalchuk
Petr Sykora - Patrik Elias - Dainius Zubrus
Mattias Tedenby - Ryan Carter - David Clarkson
Eric Boulton - Tim Sestito - Nick Palmieri

Henrik Tallinder - Mark Fayne
Bryce Salvador - Adam Larsson
Matt Taormina - Alex Urbom

Martin Brodeur is starting in net.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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Posted On Friday, 12.09.2011 / 7:15 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Kaberle gets fresh start with Habs



While the perception surrounding Tomas Kaberle is far from high in the fantasy world these days, a fresh start in Montreal could be just what the doctor ordered.

The Canadiens acquired the 33-year-old defenseman Friday in exchange for Jaroslav Spacek -- in the hope that Kaberle (0 G, 9 A, minus-12, 2 PIM, 4 PPP, 38 SOG) can inject some life into their offense. With Montreal outside of the top eight in the Eastern Conference standings through 29 games, this puck-moving defenseman brings a wealth of experience to the table that could potentially help the Habs turn their season around.

From a fantasy standpoint, Kaberle certainly has value as he's projected to be Montreal's new power-play quarterback. With Andrei Markov still experiencing setbacks in his recovery from knee surgery and Yannick Weber in the midst of a 10-game goal drought skid, Kaberle will be put in a position to shine on the man advantage. If Markov returns, Kaberle gives the team added depth on the blue line with P.K. Subban (1 G, 10 A, plus-4, 37 PIM, 2 PPP, 77 SOG, 36 hits) experiencing a sophomore slump in offensive production.
 
Tomas Kaberle
Defense - MTL
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 9 | PTS: 9
SOG: 38 | +/-: -12
Kaberle sports a passable assist total and power-play point output this season, but his plus-minus in Carolina was subpar to say the least. On top of Eric Staal and Cam Ward having rough fantasy seasons for the Hurricanes, Kaberle never found his rhythm with Joni Pitkanen, who has missed a total of nine games this season.

While it's impossible to predict whether Kaberle will break out of his shell and excel on the power play, he will get a clean slate in what has been a forgettable season. At the very least, Kaberle's plus-minus should improve and his healthy presence will benefit an offensive unit ranked near the bottom of the League in both goals per game (2.45) and power-play percentage (11.4).

Basically, Kaberle (owned in 39 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) is worth adding in a deep league for defensive depth on your roster. You may not like what you see after five or so games, but the bottom line is that there is little risk involved in this move. If Kaberle is up to challenge and ultimately returns to form, your fantasy squad could reap the benefits.

Because, after all, this eight-time 40-plus point scorer will have at least a chance to rediscover his rhythm after a change in scenery.
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Posted On Friday, 12.09.2011 / 3:00 PM

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

Campoli hopes to return to Habs' lineup Saturday

Montreal is expected to have new defenseman Tomas Kaberle in its lineup Saturday afternoon in New Jersey. Whether fellow blueliner Chris Campoli joins Kaberle in the lineup remains to be seen.

Campoli (hamstring) has been practiced with the Canadiens all week after being cleared by the team doctors. He said Friday he is cleared to play and he hopes to play Saturday.

If he does, it will only be his second game with the Habs since signing a one-year contract in the offseason. Campoli injured his left hamstring in the season-opener and hasn't played since.

"I feel good -- physically I'm in great shape," Campoli said according to Canadiens.com. "There's going to be an adjustment period, obviously, time-wise and game-wise. There are things you'll see in a game that you can't really deal with in practice. I'm excited about getting into it. It's been a long road back for me and I just want to get in and contribute."

The Habs will be without captain Brian Gionta, who did not make the trip to New Jersey due to a lower-body injury.
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Posted On Friday, 12.09.2011 / 2:56 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Canes coming off big win, trade

WINNIPEG -- A major trade on Friday quickly overshadowed one of the biggest wins of the season for the Carolina Hurricanes.

Defenseman Tomas Kaberle headed out of town on Friday morning after the Hurricanes shipped him to the Montreal Canadiens for fellow Czech defenseman Jaroslav Spacek. Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller expects Spacek to draw into the Carolina lineup tonight after his arrival in Winnipeg this afternoon.

Kaberle had contributed 2 assists in the team's most recent outing, a 5-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers that broke a streak of seven consecutive losses (0-6-1). The Hurricanes traveled to Winnipeg immediately after the game and enjoyed a day off yesterday.

The Hurricanes have discovered an offensive side on this week's tour of Western Canada, having picked up 11 goals in games against the Oilers and Calgary FlamesTuomo Ruutu and Chad Larose both own two-game goal streaks, and Jamie McBain has picked up points in his last three contests (3-2-5).

With a regular-season contest as well as a preseason date already in Winnipeg, the Hurricanes are most familiar with the MTS Centre's unwelcoming environment for visiting teams. The Jets have fed off that home-ice advantage and have taken six of their last seven games at home.

"We have to be ready for the start," Muller said. "We have to be ready for a team that goes after you."

Muller has stressed a more up-tempo system since taking over behind the Carolina bench on Nov. 28. The win against the Oilers was perhaps the first sign that the new system is beginning to take root with the Hurricanes.

"We want to go after them," captain Eric Staal said of the Jets. "They're an up-tempo team, too, and if you let them initiate their forecheck, get in there and use their skill, they'll capitalize. For us, I think we want to initiate."

The Hurricanes will continue on to Toronto after tonight's game and spend three days there before their game with the Maple Leafs next Tuesday night.

Here is what the Hurricanes lineup likely will look like:

HURRICANES
Jeff Skinner - Eric Staal - Tuomo Ruutu
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Jussi Jokinen - Chad LaRose
Jiri Tlusty - Brandon Sutter - Patrick Dwyer
Andreas Nodl - Tim Brent - Anthony Stewart

Bryan Allen - Derek Joslin
Tim Gleason - Justin Faulk
Jamie McBain - Jaroslav Spacek

Cam Ward will start for the Hurricanes, with Mike Murphy backing up.
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Posted On Friday, 12.09.2011 / 2:34 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Jets know they can't overlook Hurricanes

WINNIPEG -- A classic "trap" game awaits the Winnipeg Jets tonight when the Carolina Hurricanes arrive in town.

The 12-11-4 Jets took their most impressive win of the season so far on Tuesday night when they beat the Boston Bruins, 2-1, at the MTS Centre to break Boston's streak of 15 games without a regulation defeat. The Jets are now on a 7-2-1 run in their last 10 games, have won three straight and have taken six of their last seven home outings. And tomorrow, the Jets skate in Detroit against the Red Wings, who hold the Western Conference's fourth spot.

In between the Bruins and the Red Wings are the 9-17-4 Hurricanes, who continue their midseason shake-up under new coach Kirk Muller. Jets coach Claude Noel is fully aware of the perils of overlooking the Hurricanes.

"We're certainly going to be aware of Carolina," Noel said. "I'm not taking them lightly, especially after the [Tomas Kaberle-Jaroslav Spacek] deal they made today. That will get the attention of the players."

"They're in a little bit of turmoil," Noel said of Carolina. "They're trying to reorganize and re-shuffle. They'll be ready to play. We'll have to be ready to go."

Goaltender Chris Mason will see action for only the sixth time this season for the Jets, as he will spell workhorse partner Ondrej Pavelec tonight. Mason last played two weeks ago when he led the Jets to a 3-1 win against the Hurricanes at the RBC Center on Nov. 25.

Mason's only other win this season also came at Carolina's expense when he relieved Pavelec at the MTS Centre in a 5-3 decision over the Hurricanes on Oct. 22.

The Jets also expect to regain the services of center Nik Antropov, who has missed three games with a lower-body injury sustained on Nov. 29 against Ottawa. Randy Jones, who has missed 15 consecutive games since taking a shot to his foot on Nov. 3, is also expected to re-enter the Winnipeg defensive rotation in place of Arturs Kulda.

Here are tonight's projected lines and pairings for Winnipeg.

JETS

Evander Kane - Bryan Little - Blake Wheeler
Andrew Ladd - Nik Antropov - Kyle Wellwood
Tanner Glass - Jim Slater- Chris Thorburn
Jason Jaffray - Tim Stapleton - Alexander Burmistrov

Johnny Oduya - Dustin Byfuglien
Mark Stuart - Zach Bogosian
Randy Jones - Mark Flood

Chris Mason will start for the Jets, with Ondrej Pavelec backing up.
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Posted On Friday, 12.09.2011 / 12:58 PM

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

Armstrong, MacArthur set to return for Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs will welcome back a couple of forwards to the lineup Friday night when they face the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center.

Clarke MacArthur will return after missing one contest with a right shoulder injury, while Colby Armstrong is back after a 23-game absence because of a sprained ankle Oct. 19 against Winnipeg.

“I’m looking to come in and provide some energy and play hard,” Armstrong told reporters. “I have to play the same way I have always played – getting too old to change now.”

Joe Colborne was sent to the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League to make room on the roster. James Reimer is expected to get the nod in goal for the Maple Leafs, who can draw even with Boston on points at the top of the Northeast Division with a victory (though the Bruins will have two games in hand).
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Posted On Friday, 12.09.2011 / 11:57 AM

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

Hamrlik in, Schultz out for Caps

Roman Hamrlik will be back in the lineup for the Washington Capitals after missing four games with a lower-body injury.

Hamrlik, a 37-year-old defenseman signed this summer to brink more veteran stability to the team’s blueline corps, hasn’t played since a 2-1 loss Nov. 29 against the St. Louis BluesDale Hunter’s first game as the team’s coach.

“Roman’s a veteran,” Hunter told reporters. “He’s been around a long time and we need him back in there. He moves the puck, passes really well. We need him there to block shots. He’s one of the best shot-blockers, so he should give us a lift tonight.”

Hamrlik has been a bit of a disappointment so far this season, though this is the second injury he’s had to deal with. He has one goal and no assists in 23 games, and is also a team-worst minus-10. Jeff Schultz, who played less than four minutes in a win Thursday against Ottawa, will be the odd man out on defense Saturday night for Washington when they face the Toronto Maple Leafs at Verizon Center.

In other Capitals’ news, forward Jay Beagle skated on the ice with his teammates for the first time since Pittsburgh’s Arron Asham knocked him out in a fight Oct. 13 at Consol Energy Center. He has been skating on his own in an attempt to return from a concussion that stemmed from the fight. Beagle is still not cleared for contact.

Matt Hendricks, who did not play in the final period Wednesday because of a knee problem, was not on the ice and will not play against the Maple Leafs. Defenseman Mike Green, who has not played since Nov. 11 because of a groin injury and hasn’t completed a game since Oct. 22, did not skate.

Here’s what the lineup should look like Friday night for the Capitals against the Leafs:

Alex OvechkinNicklas BackstromAlexander Semin
Jason ChimeraBrooks LaichJoel Ward
Troy BrouwerMarcus JohanssonJeff Halpern
Cody EakinMathieu PerreaultMike Knuble

Karl AlznerJohn Carlson
John ErskineDennis Wideman
Roman HamrlikDmitry Orlov

Tomas Vokoun
Michal Neuvirth
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Posted On Friday, 12.09.2011 / 2:00 AM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Raymond comfortable on second line


Less than six months after suffering a vertebrae fracture in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, Mason Raymond proved Thursday that he can still score with the best of them.

The 26-year-old capitalized in transition with a shorthanded goal off a feed from linemate Jannik Hansen in the second period of Vancouver's eventual 4-3 shootout win over the Montreal Canadiens. His swift wrister bested Carey Price, and sparked his team's furious rally at Bell Centre in the process. Raymond and Hansen were promoted to the Canucks' second line following injuries to David Booth (sprained MCL) and Chris Higgins (infected foot). While Higgins is day-to-day, Booth is expected to miss four to six weeks.

Mason Raymond
Left Wing - VAN
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 2
SOG: 5 | +/-: 2
From a fantasy standpoint, this news elevates the value of Raymond, who has looked comfortable in three games since returning to the lineup on Dec. 4. Raymond (1 G, 1 A, plus-2, 2 PIM, 5 SOG in 3 games) has seen increased ice time since his season debut (14:35 in his debut to 19:09 Thursday) and is now operating alongside a potent goal-scorer in Ryan Kesler. With Kesler working his way back toward point-per-game production and Hansen poised for a career year, Raymond is in great position to earn scoring chances in Vancouver's high-flying offensive system.

In short, Raymond -- owned in only five percent of Yahoo Leagues -- will have the opportunity to ease his way back into the swing of things for the Canucks. While his temporary role might not lead to a permanent one, it will at least give fantasy owners a chance to assess his progress in his ongoing recovery from a career-threatening injury.

Raymond's ability to shine offensively in a heightened role for Vancouver on Thursday proves that he has not lost the scoring touch that propelled him to a 25-goal, 50-point, 200-shot season in 2009-10.
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Posted On Friday, 12.09.2011 / 1:58 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Hackett fills in nicely in net for Wild

Welcome to the NHL, Matt Hackett.

Wednedsay night, the 21-year-old Minnesota Wild netminder stepped in for his first NHL appearance when goalie Josh Harding went down with an injury. The result? Hackett stopped all 34 shots faced his way en route to a solid Wild win.

Matt Hackett
Goalie - MIN
RECORD: 2-0-0
GAA: 1.01 | SVP: 0.974
The following night, with both Nicklas Backstrom and Harding on the bench with day-to-day injuries, Hackett earned his first NHL start. The result? A 42-save outing en route to a 4-2 Wild win over Los Angeles.

If you've never heard of the guy before, you might want to listen up.

With the Wild's top goalies sidelined, Hackett figures to see consistent playing time moving forward. This could mean good things for those fantasy owners crafty enough to jump in and snag the up-and-coming beast between the pipes.

Despite the limited experience, the third-round selection of the 2009 NHL Draft has stopped 76 of 78 shots, while collecting a .974 save percentage and a 1.01 GAA. Moreover, he's 2-0-0.

The Hackett train could be leaving the station sooner rather than later, but wise fantasy owners should enjoy the ride while the opportunity is there.
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Quote of the Day

I've been so fortunate, blessed, to play a long time with some great players and be on power plays, play in some great cities and stuff. It's been fun.

— Avalanche forward Jarome Iginla on tying Dino Ciccarelli for 46th place on the NHL's all-time list with his 1,200th career point after their win vs. the Predators on Friday