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Posted On Saturday, 11.26.2011 / 1:25 PM

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

Ex-Bruins Wheeler, Stuart back in Boston

BOSTON – Although they didn’t get to hoist the Stanley Cup last June with the Boston Bruins, Mark Stuart and Blake Wheeler still played a role in ending Boston’s championship drought.
   
Both players, who were prized prospects once projected as cornerstones of the Boston franchise, were shipped to Atlanta in the same trade last February – a deal that made Rich Peverley a member of the Bruins.
   
For the first time since Boston raised the Cup and put a banner in the rafters, Stuart and Wheeler returned Saturday to TD Garden as members of the Winnipeg Jets. While Stuart said he spied the banner, Wheeler admitted he forgot to look up at it during his twirl on the ice during the optional morning skate in preparation for tonight’s Bruins-Jets clash. Wheeler said he’d be sure to check it out before game time.
   
Both players, who live nearby one another in Minnesota during the offseason, admitted to watching some of the Bruins’ championship run on television, and viewing the drama with heavy hearts.

Wheeler explained that having Stuart close by to lean on and talk about it with made the disappointment easier to swallow.
   
“It was a weird feeling,” Stuart said. “You’re happy for those guys, you’re happy they won, and the also it’s tough to watch because you want to be there and you want to be part of it.”
   
Added Wheeler: “It was gratifying, but it was hard at the same time. You want to be a part of it but you certainly take something out of it just watching the guys that you played with for so many years. That was the hardest part of getting traded, Stewie and I both knew that it was a very real possibility that that was going to happen. And to see it come true certainly was kind of mixed emotions, for sure.”
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Posted On Saturday, 11.26.2011 / 1:18 PM

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

Red Wings back at home to face physical Predators

DETROIT – Their 3-2 shootout win Friday afternoon against the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins in Beantown still had the Detroit Red Wings talking about the atmosphere of that game Saturday morning.

It was the first NBC broadcast of the season, it was the NHL’s inaugural “Thanksgiving Showdown” and it was intense from start to finish, which ended with Todd Bertuzzi’s slick top-shelf move to beat Tuukka Rask for the win.

Some of the Wings even said it felt a little like a playoff game, with the balance of the game hanging on seemingly every rush up the ice down the stretch. Now, Detroit has to face the always-physical, grinding style of the Nashville Predators a day later back home at Joe Louis Arena.

“Every game is a battle and if you’re not up for it or you’re not 100 percent going into the game, you probably will not be in the game,” 38-year old Detroit forward Tomas Holmstrom said following the Wings’ optional morning skate. “[Nashville] doesn’t give up much. They really seem to block lots of shots and their best player is probably the goalie (Pekka Rinne), so we’ve got to get lots of shots and get in his face [so he doesn’t] see the shots coming.”

That probably sounds easier than it’s going to be for the Wings to do. Asked what’s the most difficult challenge about playing back-to-back games, let alone ones that involve a defending Cup champion, Detroit coach Mike Babcock was to the point.

“Energy,” he said. “It’s real simple. You don’t like to play back-to-back if you don’t have to. We’re fortunate it was an afternoon game (in Boston) and we’ll come here and get after it.”

They’ll also “get after it” with a new face in the lineup, as forward Patrick Eaves will get back on the ice for the first time since a Nov. 15 loss against the St. Louis Blues – a span of six games as a healthy scratch.

Detroit didn’t skate forward lines Saturday morning, but Eaves will likely slot into the right wing slot of the third line for Justin Abdelkader – who may drop down to center the fourth line in place of Cory Emmerton. That would mean Eaves would be paired with speed center Darren Helm and another good skater in Jiri Hudler.

“Eaves has been fine,” Babcock said. “The reality is, the way our lineup’s been this year, I like Patty to play with two skaters, so he’s been the odd man out not because of things he’s done. He played great in St. Louis his last time out.”

Eaves also battled a back issue that kept him out for three games in the first week of November, but he said that’s healed and he’s ready to contribute.

“I’ve been waiting to get this opportunity and it should be fun,” said Eaves, who has one assist in nine games played. “Just staying in shape and keeping your mind in the hockey mode is all you can do. You can control what you can control and that’s about it. As a player you’re always motivated to play.”

Here are the projected lineups for the Red Wings and Predators:

PREDATORS

Colin Wilson - David Legwand - Patric Hornqvist
Martin Erat - Mike Fisher - Sergei Kostitsyn
Jordin Tootoo - Craig Smith - Nick Spaling
Matt Halischuk - Blake Geoffrion - Jerred Smithson

Ryan Suter - Shea Weber
Francis Bouillon - Kevin Klein
Roman Josi - Jonathan Blum

Pekka Rinne will get the start in net, while Anders Lindback will be on the bench as the backup.


RED WINGS

Johan Franzen - Pavel Datsyk - Todd Bertuzzi
Valtteri Filppula - Henrik Zetterberg - Danny Cleary
Jiri Hudler - Darren Helm - Justin Abdelkader
Drew Miller - Cory Emmerton - Tomas Holmstom

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

Jimmy Howard will get his 15th straight start in net, while Ty Conklin will be on the bench as the backup.

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Posted On Saturday, 11.26.2011 / 1:08 PM

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

Jets coach Noel helped Peverley reach NHL

BOSTON – These days, Rich Peverley is a key contributor in all situations for the Boston Bruins, armed with a three-year contract extension he signed last month and a Stanley Cup championship he earned with the Bruins in June.
   
Not that long ago Peverley was a longshot skating in the ECHL and American Hockey League after his career at St. Lawrence University. Every player’s success story requires a coach or two to help move things along, and Winnipeg head coach Claude Noel was one of those guys for Peverley.
   
The forward skated for Noel with Nashville’s Milwaukee (AHL) farm club in the middle of last decade.

“He was a guy who gave me a real opportunity in the American League when I got called up from the Coast League,” said Peverley today after the Bruins’ morning skate in preparation for tonight’s game with Noel’s Jets at the TD Garden. “He gave me an opportunity at the American League level, and I was really thankful for that. He played an important part in my career, helped me out a lot and he’s a really smart coach, he’s very passionate about the game and he doesn’t like to lose. So he brings a good winning mentality over there.”
   
Noel says he could tell Peverley had the necessary skills to achieve a career at the game’s highest level as long as he put the work in and stayed on track. Noel also said after he moved on to coach in Columbus, he had the Blue Jackets put in a waiver claim on Peverley, who wound up moving on to Atlanta via the waiver wire.
   
“We brought him in and he was really good. Showed a lot of skill,” Noel recalled. “Same skill set that he has now, only he’s matured. But he’s come a long way, he’s done a great job. … And I’m really happy to see that he’s turned into a key player. He’s always been a good player. He’s a conscientious player, when he was a little younger, he just didn’t have the experience when he was young. But he had such good skill and speed, it was evident to be really early that if he did his part he could get himself potentially to the National Hockey League.”
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Posted On Saturday, 11.26.2011 / 12:53 PM

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

Surging Jets ready for stiff challenge from champs

BOSTON – Winnipeg arrived at TD Garden this morning to prepare for its game with the Boston Bruins having picked up at least a point in each of its last five games (4-0-1).
   
Concluding their three-game road trips against the defending Stanley Cup champions, however, might be the Jets’ stiffest test in some time.
   
“This is our third game in four nights, so for us it’s important that we wrap our heads around what we’re going to be facing tonight,” said Jets head coach Claude Noel after his team’s optional morning skate. “This is a well-coached, well-managed team. You don’t win the Stanley Cup by accident. They defend very well. We’re going to have to battle for every inch of ice in this game tonight. And if we don’t put our hard hats on tonight, it’s going to be a challenge.”
   
The Jets’ lineup might look a little different than it did Friday during their win at Carolina. Defenseman Ron Hainsey, who suffered a setback after returning to action from a 16-game injury absence, will be a game-time decision, according to Noel.
   
“He feels a lot better today, so we’re going to see how he’s doing this morning and we hope that he’s in the game tonight,” said the coach.

Here is the projected lineup for the Jets:

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

Mark Stuart - Dustin Byfuglien
Eric Bogosian - Johnny Oduya
Ron Hainsey - Mark Flood

If Hainsey cannot play, Arturs Kulda would again be in the lineup.

Ondrej Pavelec should get the start in goal.


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Posted On Saturday, 11.26.2011 / 12:37 PM

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

Bruins look to start new streak

BOSTON – Although they had their 10-game winning streak snapped Friday by Detroit, the Boston Bruins don’t feel as though they’re heading into the game Saturday night against Winnipeg at TD Garden on a completely sour note.
   
“I think it’s to be able to duplicate the effort we had yesterday,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien about his team’s focus against the Jets after the morning skate. “I thought our effort was pretty good. It’s a matter of carrying that into our next game. We all know how these streaks sometimes end and kind of deflates the bubble, and we don’t want that to be the case for our team. We just want to keep plugging along here. Like I said we won some games along the streak that maybe we didn’t quite deserve and we lost one yesterday that probably deserved better fate so it balances out. We just got to stay focused and bounce back.”

After backing up Tuukka Rask Friday, Tim Thomas is expected back between the pipes for the Bruins tonight. He’s second in the league in both goals-against average (1.85) and save percentage (.936).

Here is the Bruins’ projected lineup:

Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Tyler Seguin
Benoit Pouliot - Chris Kelly - Rich Peverley
Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference - Adam McQuaid

Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask
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Posted On Saturday, 11.26.2011 / 12:18 PM

By Lonnie Herman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Panthers, Lightning

Here are the projected lineups for the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning for their contest Saturday night at St. Pete Times Forum:

PANTHERS

Tomas Fleischmann - Stephen Weiss - Kris Versteeg
Sean Bergenheim - Mike Santorelli - Jack Skille
Marco Sturm - Tim Kennedy - Tomas Kopecky
Michal Repik - Shawn Matthias - Evgeni Dadonov

Brian Campbell - Jason Garrison
Ed Jovanovski - Erik Gudbranson
Mike Weaver - Dmitry Kulikov

Jacob Markstrom
Jose Theodore

LIGHTNING

Martin St. Louis - Vincent Lecavalier - Ryan Shannon
Ryan Malone - Steven Stamkos - Teddy Purcell
Tom Pyatt - Dominic Moore - Brett Connolly
Adam Hall - Nate Thompson - Dana Tyrell

Eric Brewer - Victor Hedman
Marc-Andre Bergeron - Matt Gilroy
Brett Clark - Pavel Kubina

Mathieu Garon 
Dwayne Roloson
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Posted On Saturday, 11.26.2011 / 12:59 AM

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

Fantasy Spin: Crosby continues to deliver

If Sidney Crosby's return to the lineup from a concussion Monday against the New York Islanders played out like a Hollywood movie, Friday night's performance against Ottawa was a blockbuster sequel.

Crosby added a three-point night to his resume against the Senators, all of which came by way of assist. In his three games since joining the club, he has amassed two goals, five assists, eight PIMs and fired 12 shots on the not. Add to that a plus-5 rating and three hits.

What's been as impressive as his individual efforts has been impact he's had on teammates.

Pascal Dupuis, riding a strong season without Crosby already, is looking like more than a complimentary piece on Sid's line. Meanwhile, Chris Kunitz is adding points to his hits and shots, too. What's more, Crosby's return allows the Penguins to move Staal up to the second line alongside Evgeni Malkin.

Simply put, Crosby's return is altering the fantasy landscape. If you can't get your hands on #87, consider guys like Dupuis or even Steve Sullivan, both of whom are more-than-adequate beneficiaries of Crosby's productin.
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Posted On Friday, 11.25.2011 / 10:50 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

TOR @ DAL: 6:55 of the Third Period

At  6:55 of the third period in the Maple Leafs/Stars game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that the puck went in off Clarke MacArthur's skate but was not kicked in. According to rule 49.2 "A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player's skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal."  Good Goal Toronto.

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Posted On Friday, 11.25.2011 / 4:55 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

EDM @ MIN - 19:50 for the First Period

At 19:50 of the first period, NHL Hockey Operations initiated the review of Devin Setoguchi's goal to determine two aspects of the play: did Setoguchi strike the puck above the height of the crossbar and, if so, did the puck go directly into the net.  Video review concluded that, while the puck was struck was above the height of the crossbar, the puck did not go directly into the net as Edmonton goaltender Khabibulin made the save.  Setoguchi then shot the rebound into the net. Good goal Minnesota.

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Posted On Friday, 11.25.2011 / 3:04 PM

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

Upper-body injury sidelines JVR 1-2 weeks

PHILADELPHIA -- James van Riemsdyk was a late scratch from today's lineup against the Canadiens with an upper-body injury Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren said would sideline him 1-2 weeks.

Van Riemsdyk has 8 goals and 8 assists in 16 games. He missed one game earlier this season.

In the short term, van Riemsdyk's absence, along with Jaromir Jagr sitting out with a lower-body injury, means Jody Shelley and Andreas Nodl will draw back into the lineup. Nodl has missed seven of the last eight games, while Shelley has sat out six of the last eight games. Neither played Wednesday against the Islanders.

In the long term, van Riemsdyk being out opens a spot for a potential return Brayden Schenn from the American Hockey League. Schenn had an assist Thursday, his first game back after missing time with a broken foot suffered during his initial stint with the Flyers

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK


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— Martin Brodeur, after announcing his retirement as an NHL player and becoming a senior adviser with the Blues on Thursday