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Posted On Wednesday, 04.04.2012 / 1:03 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - At the Rink blog

Concussion ends Price's season

The Montreal Canadiens announced Wednesday that goalie Carey Price will miss the final three games of the season with a concussion.

In a statement issued by the team, the Canadiens said Price was examined by Dr. David Mulder, who diagnosed a mild concussion.

Price was hit on the head during practice last Thursday when teammate David Desharnais landed on him during a drill. Price started Friday's game against the New York Rangers, but sat out Saturday's game against the Washington Capitals.

Price told the team Monday he was suffering from headaches.

Peter Budaj will start Wednesday's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, with Robert Mayer called up from Hamilton of the American Hockey League to serve as the backup.

Price finishes the season 26-28-11 with a 2.43 goals-against average and .916 save percentage in 65 games.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Posted On Wednesday, 04.04.2012 / 12:45 PM

By Louie Korac - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Blues, Red Wings

ST. LOUIS -- Probable lineups for Wednesday night's Central Division battle between the St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings from Scottrade Center.

David Perron - David Backes - T.J. Oshie
Andy McDonald - Patrik Berglund - Matt D'Agostini
Alex Steen - Jason Arnott - Chris Stewart
Jamie Langenbrunner - Vladimir Sobotka - Ryan Reaves

Carlo Colaiacovo - Alex Pietrangelo
Barret Jackman - Kevin Shattenkirk
Kris Russell - Roman Polak

Brian Elliott
Jaroslav Halak

It will be Elliott's first action since the third of three straight shutouts recorded. Elliott comes in with a franchise- and personal-best streak of shutout minutes at 186 minutes 33 seconds; Halak, who started the last two games, is the backup.

The Blues' scratches include forwards Scott Nichol, B.J. Crombeen and Chris Porter as well as defensemen Kent Huskins and Ian Cole.


Valtteri Filppula - Henrik Zetterberg - Jiri Hudler
Gustav Nyquist - Pavel Datsyuk - Johan Franzen
Danny Cleary - Justin Abdelkader - Todd Bertuzzi
Drew Miller - Cory Emmerton - Tomas Holmstrom

Nicklas Lidstrom - Jonathan Ericsson
Niklas Kronwall - Brad Stuart
Jakub Kindl - Ian White

Jimmy Howard
Ty Conklin

Red Wings D Kyle Quincey will serve his one-game suspension tonight after being disciplined following an elbow to Florida's Tomas Kopecky Sunday in Detroit. LW Jan Mursak is a healthy scratch. C Patrick Eaves (fractured jaw) is on injured reserve, as is RW Darren Helm (MCL sprain) and G Joey MacDonald (bulging disk).
Posted On Wednesday, 04.04.2012 / 12:02 PM

By Dave Lozo - Staff Writer / - At the Rink blog

Clarkson back on ice, expected to play Thursday

NEWARK, N.J. -- David Clarkson was back at Devils practice Wednesday after missing Tuesday's game against the New York Islanders.

The 30-goal scorer was skating on a line with Adam Henrique and Alexei Ponikarovsky and showed no visible signs of the lower-body injury that sidelined him. Coach Peter DeBoer said afterward that he expects to have Clarkson back in the lineup Thursday night against the Red Wings.

The Devils have two games remaining -- in Detroit on Thursday night and home against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday -- and still have a chance to finish fifth in the Eastern Conference by winning those games and having the Philadelphia Flyers lose their final two games in regulation.

DeBoer simply wants to avoid injury and keep the Devils, who have won four straight, on the right track with the playoffs a week away.

"The priorities are play well, keep the confidence level high, and stay healthy," DeBoer said. "Obviously winning games is important. It'd be nice to be the fourth team in the division with 100 points. But those are secondary motivators. For me, those are the three main things -- keeping our structure, playing well and staying healthy.

"I don't have any plans on resting anybody right now."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

Posted On Wednesday, 04.04.2012 / 9:36 AM

By Craig Button -  Special to / - On the Playoff Button blog

Updated playoff projections: April 4th

NHL Network's Craig Button has been tracking playoff positioning -- using a variety of statistical categories -- for several years now. His formula, while not a true probability exercise, has proven to be very effective at predicting the cutoff number to secure a Stanley Cup Playoffs berth.

In its simplest terms, Button's formula uses a team's current winning percentage, factoring in games remaining, to arrive at the number of wins -- and points -- each team will finish the season with. From that exercise, the formula can extrapolate the magic number for qualification and which teams currently in the race will reach that number. This equation will also determine tiebreakers should they become necessary.

Still not convinced? Check out the full explanation of Button's formula

Wins to
earn 8th
7th 80 92 2 94
8th 80 88 2 90 2

9th 80 88 2 90 2
Wins to
earn 8th
6th 80 98 2 100
7th 80 93 2 95 1
8th 80 92 2 94 2

9th 80 89 2 91 2
The skinny: Tuesday night in the NHL brought some wild games as teams continued their quest for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Wednesday dawns now with just four nights remaining in the 2011-12 regular season and the playoff picture still remains muddled as four spots, one conference crown and two division titles still up for grabs.

The picture looks different for each of the surviving teams, however.

Losing two consecutive games at this time of the season is never recommended, but Dallas has done just that with Tuesday's loss to San Jose. For the Stars, the misery is compounded by the fact they lost these two games to another team battling with them for one of the spots in the Western conference.

Both teams enetered the home-and-home series with control of their playoff destinies. Now, the Stars don't have any control. A fourth consecutive season out of the playoffs looks to be the reality for Dallas.

Colorado, which has been idle since Friday, has been watching and hoping for the right outcomes, looking at each night's schedule and determining what team or teams should be supported. The Avalanche didn't get the help they needed. With the eighth spot as their only possibility now, they must hope the Los Angeles Kings sweep the San Jose Sharks -- in regulation to boot -- and the Avs win out to qualify.

Phoenix, fresh off a record-setting 52-save shutout by Mike Smith, needs but one point in its remaining two games or the loss of a point by the Stars to qualify.

What can one say about the East?

The Buffalo Sabres took the Stanley Cup Playoff suspense and excitement to new heights Tuesday. Falling three goals behind the Maple Leafs, they somehow mustered up enough 'playoff magic' to escape with a OT victory and keep their hopes alive. A loss Tuesday and the sabres would have been on the precipice with little help in sight.

You can bet the Washington Capitals, currently in the No. 8 spot, had the gamut of emotions watching that game.

In the Sunshine State, the Panthers continue to find ways to dampen the playoff mood. This has got to be the longest clinching process in recent history. With one win in its past eight games, Florida has stumbled mightily in its quest to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2000. It doesn't get any easier for them as they visit the Caps on Thursday. Florida has a cushion, but they don't have to use it all!

With only two games on the schedule -- and only one with playoff implications -- Wednesday provides a bit of time for reflection. For some teams, it is a time to ponder what could be and for other teams, sadly, it will be about what could have been.

There is still work to be done, but the Stanley Cup Playoff picture is finally becoming clearer.
Posted On Tuesday, 04.03.2012 / 9:35 PM - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

TOR @ BUF - 14:57 of the Third Period

At 14:57 of the third period in the Sabres/Maple Leafs, video review conclusively determined that Alexander Sulzer's shot crossed the goal line. Good Goal Buffalo.

Posted On Tuesday, 04.03.2012 / 9:19 PM - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

MIN @ NSH - 3:05 of the Second Period

At 3:05 of the second period in the Wild/Predators game, the Toronto situation room initiated a video review because the puck appeared to go into the Wild net following a scrum. The referee determined that he had blown the whistle to declare play dead prior to the puck crossing the goal line.  No Goal Nashville.

Posted On Tuesday, 04.03.2012 / 9:09 PM - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

CAR @ OTT - 12:46 of the Second Period

At 12:46 of the second period in the Hurricanes/Senators game, video review determined that Nick Foligno's shot was stopped by Cam Ward and deflected up in the air and was directed into the Hurricanes net by Chris Neil's arm.  According to rule 78.5 "Apparent goals shall be disallowed when the puck has been directed, batter or thrown into the net by an attacking player other than with a stick." No Goal Ottawa.

Posted On Tuesday, 04.03.2012 / 8:39 PM - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

NYR @ PHI - 12:55 of the Second Period

At 12:55 of the second period in the Flyers/Rangers game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Philadelphia forward Jakub Voracek's shot deflected off New York defenseman Marc Staal's left skate and into the Rangers net. Good Goal Philadelphia.

Posted On Tuesday, 04.03.2012 / 8:21 PM - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

CAR @ OTT - 17:44 of the First Period

At 17:44 of the first period in the Senators/Hurricanes game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Jeff Skinner's shot was stopped by Craig Anderson and didn't completely cross the goal line. No Goal Carolina.
Posted On Tuesday, 04.03.2012 / 8:18 PM - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

PIT @ BOS - 14:58 of the First Period

At 14:58 of the first period in the Penguins/Bruins game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Marty Turco's rebound deflected off Paul Martin and into the net in a legal fashion. Good Goal Pittsburgh.

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Quote of the Day

We don't know how long Carey will be out, but for us, it's business as usual.

— Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien on goaltender Carey Price, who is on injured reserve with a lower-body injury
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