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Posted On Friday, 03.02.2012 / 2:41 PM

By Staff -  / - At the Rink blog

Flyers' van Riemsdyk to miss 4-6 weeks

Philadelphia Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren announced Friday that forward James van Riemsdyk will undergo surgery Tuesday to repair a broken bone in his left foot.

The surgery, which includes the insertion of a plate, will sideline van Riemsdyk for 4-6 weeks.

Van Riemsdyk left Thursday's victory against the New York Islanders midway through the first period after blocking a shot from the point by defenseman Milan Jurcina. Van Riemsdyk would skate one more shift, his fifth of the game, before exiting for good.

The 22-year-old van Riemsdyk has missed 20 games this season, including 15 due to a concussion, which sidelined him from Jan. 14 to Feb. 16. He has 11 goals, 24 points and 24 penalty minutes in 43 games this season.
Posted On Friday, 03.02.2012 / 2:39 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - At the Rink blog

Emery back where his NHL career began

As soon as he finished off his sterling relief appearance Wednesday in Chicago, Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery had to know what was coming:

A start in Ottawa. A media blitz at the pregame skate at Scotiabank Place. Questions of how he'll be received by fans in Canada's capital city.

It's all coming true.

Emery will start Friday (7 p.m. ET, TSN) against his old team in his old barn, where he played in the Stanley Cup Final nearly five full years ago. However, Emery, who made 23 saves in a 5-4 come-from-behind relief win against the Maple Leafs on Wednesday, told that he's not necessarily thinking about the past or what happened when he was in Ottawa four years ago.

"It's very special," Emery said Friday morning. "It's the team I was drafted by and we had a good year going to the Cup Final (in 2007), but you have to put that in the back of your head and focus on the game. Especially at this time of the year; it's a huge game for us."

Emery was drafted by the Senators in the fourth round (No. 99) in 2001. He used to room with Jason Spezza when they played with AHL Binghamton, and six years after he was drafted he was the goalie that led Ottawa to the Stanley Cup Final.

Emery won 33 games in the regular season in 2006-07, and won another 13 in the playoffs. He was the "it" guy in a city that has a love affair with its hockey team.

But then it all went south.

Emery had a series of off-ice incidents that caused headaches for GM Bryan Murray and then-coach John Paddock. Murray tried to trade Emery in 2008, but couldn't find any takers and ended up buying Emery out of his contract following the 2007-08 season.

After spending a year playing in Russia, Emery returned to the NHL for the 2009-10 season with the Philadelphia Flyers. However, he suffered a debilitating hip injury that season that nearly cost him his playing career. He made it back with Anaheim last season, and after a strong playoff run, he earned a one-year contract in training camp with the Blackhawks this season.

Corey Crawford's inconsistencies have opened the door for Emery to take over as the Blackhawks' No. 1 goalie, which leads his story back to Ottawa, where it all began.

Emery enters Friday's game with a 12-8-2 record and 2.72 goals-against average. The win he earned Wednesday was his first since Jan. 20, but if he can string together some good starts, odds are he can wrestle the No. 1 job away from Crawford in time for the Hawks to make a run to secure their playoff berth.

"The competitiveness is there and it's good to see him do well," Spezza said of Emery, according to the Ottawa Sun.

Emery isn't sure how he'll be greeted by the fans at Scotiabank Place.

"Getting booed on the road is like getting cheered at home," he told reporters. "We'll see how it goes."

Chris Neil told the Ottawa Sun he expects the fans will greet the former Emery warmly.

"He was a big part of the year we went to the Final, so I think fans will have good memories of him and obviously there'll be a warm welcome for him," Neil said. "He's turned his life and his career around. He's been able to battle back through (his hip injury), and it's a feel-good story."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
Posted On Friday, 03.02.2012 / 2:32 PM

By Staff -  / - At the Rink blog

Anderson trying to stay in shape while finger heals

Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson on Thursday spoke to the media for the first time since badly cutting his finger while preparing a meal last week.

The cut required surgery to repair a severed tendon in the pinkie finger on Anderson's right hand. The right-handed Anderson said he's still unable to hold a stick.

"I really don't care to talk about the details of it all," Anderson said at Scotiabank Place on Thursday. "(It was a) freak accident. Happened in the kitchen. Leave it at that. Something you learn from. Unfortunately, it was a costly mistake."

In Anderson's absence, Robin Lehner, 20, will make his third straight start in goal when the Senators host the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday (7 p.m. ET, TSN).

"All I can do right now is make sure I stay in shape," said Anderson. "I'm able to go out there and skate with my gear on, so that's the main thing right now -- just keeping my legs (in shape) and keeping everything strong so that when I do have a chance to come back, I'm physically ready to go.

"The pain factors into it, and we don't want to reinjure it. So there's a lot of things to take into consideration, but holding a stick is one of the main things that enables me to do my job."

Anderson said he knew right away that he had a big problem.

"I knew it was severe when it happened," he said. "I knew it wasn't the end of the world. I knew I had an issue, I knew I needed to take care of it. My main concern was just to get the help I needed right away, get the right people involved right away to make sure the road to recovery happened as soon as possible."

Anderson, who is tied for fifth in the League with 29 wins, is uncertain how long he will remain sidelined.

"Hard to say. Timeline is wide open right now," he said. "All I can do is make sure I stay in shape. Go out there and skate with my gear on, keep my legs, keep everything strong so that when I am ready to come back, I am physically strong.

"Right now, it's still the opening stages of everything. One hundred-percent recovery is obviously not going to happen in the short-term. To be able to play is the main thing right now, and there is no timeline on that right now. There's improvement every day."
Posted On Friday, 03.02.2012 / 2:27 PM

By Lonnie Herman - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Purcell turning in top-line performance

TAMPA, Fla. -- Playing on the first-line with Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis, Teddy Purcell is riding a career-best seven-game point-scoring streak. In four games last week, Purcell had 3 goals and 7 assists.

"Purcell has been terrific for the last 20 games, so I'm sure he wants to keep it going," said Lightning coach Guy Boucher. "He's reached the level of play we were hoping we would get from him at the beginning of the year, because of how he ended last year in the playoffs. For some reason he didn't start so well and it took until Christmas to see the best of him. I don't want it to end."

Purcell was a surprise standout for the Lightning in the playoffs last season with 17 points in 18 games. His 17 goals in 62 games this season match the career-best total he had in 82 games last season.
Posted On Friday, 03.02.2012 / 2:24 PM

By Lonnie Herman - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Latest Lightning challenge -- East-best Rangers

TAMPA, Fla. -- Six points out of a playoff spot with 19 games remaining, the Tampa Bay Lightning have battled a variety of plagues as they try to stay in the race.

There have been injuries to mainstays like Vincent Lecavalier, Victor Hedman and Marc-Andre Bergeron; trades with took three popular players out of the locker room; and most recently a flu bug which forced the team to use six AHL call-ups for Tuesday's game against Montreal. However, through all that, the Lightning have won five of their last seven games, including four straight at home.

Their next challenge arrives Friday as the New York Rangers visit the Tampa Bay Times Forum for the fourth and final meeting this season (7:30 p.m., NHLN-US).

While the Rangers provide one type of challenge, it appears another one seems to have moved on.

"I think everyone is healthy," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said regarding the flu virus. "I'm afraid to say for certain because there is still half-a-day left until we play."

Keith Aulie, acquired from Toronto at the trade deadline, will make his Lightning debut Friday. He was one of three blueliners -- along with Mike Commodore and Brian Lee -- the team acquired Monday. Commodore and Lee made their debuts with the team in Tuesday's win against Montreal.

"I thought Commodore and Lee played great last game," Boucher said. "Lee had a few solid body checks; Commodore, too. That was really welcome. We have been a smaller, skill-type of defensive team concerning our defensive corps, and it was good to see size and aggressiveness. They are welcome on our team; they are really good additions."

Here's what the rest of the Lightning lineup could look like tonight:

Teddy Purcell - Steven Stamkos - Martin St. Louis
Ryan Malone - Adam Hall - Tim Wallace
Tom Pyatt - Nate Thompson - JT Wyman
Brandon Segal - Brett Connolly

Eric Brewer - Brett Clark
Mike Commodore - Brian Lee
Bruno Gervais - Brendan Mikkelson
Keith Aulie

Mathieu Garon will start in goal, with Dwayne Roloson the backup.
Posted On Friday, 03.02.2012 / 2:13 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Likely lineups for Wild, Red Wings

DETROIT -- The Minnesota Wild, coming off a tough shootout loss in Montreal on Thursday, didn't skate Friday morning ahead of their game against the Red Wings on Friday night.

The Red Wings did have a morning skate, but it didn't include captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who will miss Friday's game as well as Sunday's to rest his sore ankle.

Detroit went back ahead of the St. Louis Blues for the top spot in the Central Division and second place in the Western Conference when the Blues lost to Vancouver on Thursday -- both teams have 87 points, but the Wings have played one fewer game -- while Minnesota starts the day 12th in the conference, five points behind eight-place Dallas.

The Wild will be without goalie Niklas Backstrom, who injured his leg early in Thursday's loss. Minnesota recalled Matt Hackett from AHL Houston to be the backup against Detroit, while Josh Harding will get the start.

Here is what the lineups for both teams likely will look like when they take the ice at Joe Louis Arena:

Dany Heatley - Kyle Brodziak - Nick Palmieri
Cal Clutterbuck - Matt Cullen - Devin Setoguchi
Stephane Veilleux - Warren Peters - Jed Ortmeyer
Matt Kassian - Darroll Powe - Nick Johnson

Marco Scandella - Jared Spurgeon
Nate Prosser - Kurtis Foster
Justin Falk - Tom Gilbert

Josh Harding will start in goal, with Matt Hackett serving as the backup.

Valtteri Filppula - Henrik Zetterberg - Jiri Hudler
Danny Cleary - Justin Abdelkader - Todd Bertuzzi
Drew Miller - Darren Helm - Johan Franzen
Tomas Holmstrom - Cory Emmerton - Jan Mursak

Niklas Kronwall - Brad Stuart
Kyle Quincey - Ian White
Brendan Smith - Jakub Kindl

Jimmy Howard will start in goal, with Joey MacDonald the backup.
Posted On Friday, 03.02.2012 / 2:01 PM

By Erin Nicks - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Toews unlikely to join Hawks on road trip

KANATA, Ont. -- Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Friday that he doubts team captain Jonathan Toews will join the team at any point during its road trip, which after Friday's game in Ottawa goes to Detroit and St. Louis.

Toews will miss his sixth straight game Friday with an upper-body injury. He's back in Chicago taking part in off-ice workouts, but has yet to skate.

"Right now I don't want to get anyone excited," Quenneville said. "We'll just say, 'We'll see.' We're hopeful. To give you a better idea, until we get him on the ice, we'll know more."
Posted On Friday, 03.02.2012 / 1:44 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Quincey back in for Wings

DETROIT -- While the Detroit Red Wings won't have Nicklas Lidstrom for at least two more games, they will get one veteran defenseman back in the lineup.

Kyle Quincey, who sat out Tuesday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets with a sore groin, said after the team's morning skate Friday that he feels good enough to play against Minnesota.  That prompted the Wings to send defenseman Doug Janik back to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League on Friday afternoon.

Quincey will play with Ian White. Nicklas Kronwall and Brad Stuart will be another pairing, while rookie Brendan Smith and 25-year old Jakub Kindl – playing his 100th NHL game -- will form Detroit's third defense pair.
Posted On Friday, 03.02.2012 / 1:37 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Wings' Lidstrom to sit out weekend games

DETROIT -- Nicklas Lidstrom was hoping he could get back on the ice by now, at least to test out his sore ankle, which has a deep bone bruise after getting hit with a slap shot a week ago.

Instead, the 41-year old Detroit Red Wings defenseman and captain, who sat out Tuesday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, will miss Friday's game against the Minnesota Wild and Sunday's game against the Chicago Blackhawks, and then he and the team will re-evaluate the ankle on Monday.

"I've had it X-rayed twice, so we'll see what they want me to do on Monday," said Lidstrom, who has missed a total of 38 games out of a possible 1,850 regular season and playoff games in his NHL career. "Right now just ... I can ride the bike. Not pushing off with my toe, but I can still ride the bike and work out that way."

The longest period of time Lidstrom has missed is six games in 2007-08, when he had a knee sprain. Is he concerned this current injury might require a longer time to heal, especially with just 18 games left in the regular season?

"A little bit, especially when it's been almost a week now and it's still sore," Lidstrom said after Detroit's morning skate Friday. "I was hoping it was going to be a couple of days and I'd miss one game and be back at it, but this is lingering longer than I was hoping for."

Lidstrom was struck on the outside of the ankle by a slap shot during a 4-3 home loss Feb. 25 to the Colorado Avalanche. A week prior, Lidstrom was struck on the inside of the same foot by a Mike Fisher wrist shot early in the third period of Detroit's game against the Nashville Predators.

He played through the Fisher shot, which caused some soreness but wasn't as severe. Lidstrom even felt strong enough to assist on the game-winning goal.

"I got hit a few weeks ago on the inside," Lidstrom said. "That was different. It wasn't as bad. It wasn't as sore as this one is. (This one) just hit me right in that spot where, even though the skate is protected, it's still going to hurt ... and I think it hit right in that spot."

The good news for Lidstrom is the swelling has subsided from a few days ago and he can get his foot in his skate thanks to some alterations made to it. The problem is when he ties it tight enough to skate.

"It was just too sore once I tied the skate, too sore to push off," said Lidstrom, who has 10 goals, 21 and a plus-25 rating in 62 games. "When you're skating, you kind of push off with your toes and I just couldn't push off. That's the problem with it."

Lidstrom isn't used to missing games, and with the uncertainty surrounding his current ailment, he's getting frustrated.

"I don't like it, really," said Lidstrom, whose skate has already been fitted with a protective outer shell to absorb impact whenever he is able to return. "I'd rather be on the ice or on the bench being part of the game. It's a lot harder sitting on the side and watching rather than being part of the game."

Posted On Friday, 03.02.2012 / 12:53 PM

By Staff -  / - At the Rink blog

Coyotes sign WHL top scorer Shinnimin

The Phoenix Coyotes on Friday signed free-agent Tri-City Americans center Brendan Shinnimin to a three-year, entry-level contract.

The undrafted Shinnimin leads the Western Hockey League with 117 points. His 52 goals are tied for second and his 65 assists are third.

"Brendan attended our 2011 training camp last September and has had a terrific season to date," said Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney. "His offensive statistics are impressive, yet it is his character, work ethic and competitive level we are excited to add to our organization."

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Shinnimin was named the Canadian Hockey League's Player of the Month for February, when he had 20 goals and 43 points in just 14 games. The 21-year-old had 11 multi-point games last month, helping lead the Americans to a 10-3-0-1 record.

In 258 career games, spanning four seasons with the Americans, the Winnipeg native has 125 goals and 316 points.
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— Oilers forward Connor McDavid on moving beyond the anticipation of his long-awaited arrival in the NHL