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Posted On Friday, 02.01.2013 / 1:06 AM

By Jason Bull -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

Bull: Gretzky Camp memories

LAS VEGAS -- For my final blog entry I wanted to first take you through today and then go through my top five moments from one of the greatest weeks of my life.

First off, let's talk about today, the day my team got to the championship game and fell a shootout goal short of winning the Gretzky Cup. We lost it 4-3 in the shootout, but a couple of my new friends were playing for the other team so I was excited that they were able to win.

There were no pros playing in the championship game, so it was a little harder, faster and more physical. We had to bear down a little bit more and we did, but we just couldn't finish the job in the shootout.

However, Wayne Gretzky played with my team in the semifinal game, the early game of the day, and that was unbelievable. Seeing Gretzky coming down my left wing and send the puck out to him, that's just crazy. We ended up getting a goal out of that, too, which made an already special moment even better.

Now, for my top five moments of the week; to be honest, narrowing them down to five is tough, but here goes:

1. Meeting Gretzky

I was on the phone with my family back home when Gretzky and his dad, Walter, came walking up toward me. One of the guys from the camp recognized me from the registration day so while I was on the phone I got to shake Gretzky's hand for the first time. That was quite a moment.

2. Seeing Gretzky on the ice for the first time

Getting out on the ice with all the pros was amazing, but seeing Gretzky jump on the ice with us during the first day, when the pros weren't skating and we were just basically practicing, showing our skills so they could divide us into teams, was unreal. He skated right past me and I said to the guy next to me, "Well, you don't see that every day." Unless, of course, you're here.

3. Being on Gretzky's line

I mentioned this one before. It happened today. We created a goal together. Enough said.

4. Hanging out at the Bellagio

You walk into a sports bar to sit down, have a beer and watch a hockey game and you find Denis Savard, Mike Keenan, Mike Barnett and Brian Leetch. Just listening to them tell all these fantastic stories from their careers was thrilling. Those stories, I'll take them back home with me and tell all my brothers and my hockey teammates. Unbelievable.

5. My new Gretzky jersey

Winning the Gretzky jersey Wednesday night and then having The Great One sign it for me is easily a highlight. I held on to that thing for the rest of the night, praying that nobody would spill anything on it, stain it in anyway. That's a prized possession for me. I know I got some great treatment here because I came all the way from Australia, but I would recommend this camp to anyone and tell them they need to get out here to experience it.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.31.2013 / 10:05 PM

NHL.com - 2012-2013 Situation Room blog

WPG @ FLA - 15:29 of the Third Period

At 15:29 of the Third Period in the Jets/Panthers game video review determined Jonathan Huberdeau's shot went of a Jets player and across the goal line before the net came of it's pegs. Good Goal Florida.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.31.2013 / 8:35 PM

NHL.com - 2012-2013 Situation Room blog

BUF @ BOS - 16:45 of the Second Period

At 16:46 of the Second Period in the Sabres/Bruins game video review determined the puck deflected of the blade of Thomas Vanek's stick and across the goal line. Good Goal Buffalo.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.31.2013 / 7:35 PM

By Alain Poupart -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Jets scratch Byfuglien vs. Panthers

Dustin Byfuglien
Defense - WPG
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 4 | PTS: 7
SOG: 25 | +/-: 0
SUNRISE, Fla. - Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien was scratched from the lineup for Thursday night's game against the Florida Panthers.

After Byfuglien did not take part in the morning skate, coach Claude Noel said a determination on Byfuglien's status would be made later, but the defenseman did not take part in pregame warmups.

"He aggravated something previous to the morning skate," Noel said.

Byfuglien played a team-high 28:26 of ice time in the Jets' 4-3 loss at Montreal on Tuesday. The Jets did not practice on Wednesday.

Byfuglien is tied for the team scoring lead with Evander Kane and

Tobias Enstrom with seven points.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.31.2013 / 7:07 PM

By Matt Sitkoff -  NHL.com Contributor /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

CISCO NHL Live - Patrick Burke

The You Can Play Project has taken a stand for LGBT athletes everywhere, and today Cisco NHL Live was joined by one of the founding partners, Patrick Burke. Patrick, son of Brian Burke, talked about the strides his project is making and also the team he is a scout for, the Philadelphia Flyers.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.31.2013 / 7:01 PM

By Neil Acharya -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Capitals trade for Wellman to help AHL team

TORONTO -- The Washington Capitals traded for forward Casey Wellman on Thursday, acquiring the rights of the Californian from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward Zach Hamill.

The Capitals made the deal in hopes of improving their American Hockey League team, the Hershey Bears. The 11-time Calder Cup champions are ninth in the Eastern Conference and have gone 4-4-1-1 in their past 10 games.

"Hershey isn't playing the way we would like them to play; we have had really good teams there for a number of years and we are just trying to shake things up a little bit," Capitals general manager George McPhee said Thursday before the Capitals played the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.31.2013 / 6:32 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Rangers ready for first game without Callahan

NEW YORK - The New York Rangers will play their first game without injured captain Ryan Callahan Thursday night when they face the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden.

Callahan suffered a subluxation of his left shoulder when he and Philadelphia Flyers forward Max Talbot scuffled early in the third period of Tuesday night's game. An MRI confirmed the injury, but Callahan is expected to be back in 10-14 days, which is about 5-7 games.

Considering the worst-case scenario, a maximum of two weeks without their most complete forward seems like good news for the Rangers. Coach John Tortorella, however, didn't see the silver lining in the prognosis.

"I don't want to lose Cally for a day," Tortorella said.

Callahan spoke with reporters Thursday morning and lamented what was essentially an unlucky injury.

"It's tough any time you miss time, especially in a shortened season like this. It's hard," Callahan said. "I wish I was out there. At the same time, injuries happen during the year, and these things are going to happen and it's just a matter of getting back as you as you can. The first days [of rehab] are trying to get it to settle down, the inflammation and things like that. After that, I'll start to be able to strengthen it. Hopefully, they're saying two weeks, 10 to 14 days and I'll be back at it."

The Rangers have been thin at forward this season, and the loss of Callahan only amplifies the problem. For Thursday's game against the Penguins, Tortorella will use defenseman Stu Bickel as a fourth-line forward; blueliner Matt Gilroy will make his season debut in his second go-round with the Rangers.

The line shuffling will likely be fluid throughout the game, but this is what the Rangers should employ at the start of Thursday's game:

Marian Gaborik - Brad Richards - Rick Nash

Carl Hagelin - Taylor Pyatt - Derek Stepan

Mike Rupp - Brian Boyle - Benn Ferriero

Arron Asham - Jeff Halpern - Stu Bickel

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi

Marc Staal - Michael Del Zotto

Anton Stralman - Matt Gilroy

Henrik Lundqvist

Martin Biron

It will be interesting to see who patrols the front of the net in place of Callahan when the Rangers find themselves on the power play. Taylor Pyatt has spent some time there on the second power-play unit, so it could be him and Brian Boyle trying to obstruct the view of Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun.

Henrik Lundqvist will make his seventh start of the season. Only the Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton Oilers have yet to start a backup goaltender this season.

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

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Posted On Thursday, 01.31.2013 / 4:50 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Sharks expect Oilers will be looking for payback

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- It was just nine days ago that the San Jose Sharks exploded for six goals in the first period and defeated Edmonton 6-3, spoiling the Oilers' home opener.

They meet again Thursday night, and the Sharks expect to face a motivated team looking for payback.

"Obviously, Edmonton's going to play hard," Sharks captain Joe Thornton said. "We kind of embarrassed them in their building. They're coming off a big win last night, so they'll want to kind of get revenge for their loss."

The Oilers beat the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday night 2-1 in overtime as they kicked off a three-game road swing. Edmonton improved to 4-2-0 but will face the NHL's last undefeated team. San Jose improved to 6-0-0 with a 3-2 shootout win Tuesday night against Anaheim.

The Sharks beat Anaheim despite being outshot 30-18 and playing what they said was their worst game of the season.

Sharks coach Todd McLellan said he doesn't expect a first-period replay of San Jose's first game against Edmonton.

"I don't think we're going to see the same start from Edmonton," McLellan said. "They were a young team that was real excited at home in front of their crowd. They made some mistakes. I haven't seen them make those mistakes since that first period. The second and third was a pretty evenly-played match. I think you'll see more of that tonight.

"Our game against Anaheim was not to our standards in a lot of different areas, so we have to get better. That will be our goal, to improve and clean a few things up. It will be more of a speed game, I believe, than it was against Anaheim. That's just how Edmonton is built. They can fly. We'll have to be well aware of that."

McLellan shuffled his bottom three lines in the third period and overtime against Anaheim, and, based on Wednesday's practice, he'll likely open with that new look. The biggest change is Scott Gomez moving to the second line as a wing alongside center Logan Couture with Martin Havlat dropping to the third line.

"He's a good player, sees the ice well, good passer, speed," Couture said of Gomez. "It's going to be fun playing with him and (Ryane Clowe) tonight."

McLellan said he shuffled his lines Tuesday because "a couple lines were very unproductive last game, not even creating anything toward the net, just minute eaters. We need more production from different people, so we moved things around. We'll take a look at how they're going to start, who will be in their lineup, and make decisions from there."

The Sharks' roster will definitely have a different look tonight. They lost forward Frazer McLaren off waivers to Toronto, and that open roster spot will likely go to defenseman Jason Demers, McLellan said. Demers has been recovering from a fractured wrist he suffered while playing in Europe during the lockout.

"Not everybody can stay on a roster," McLellan said. "Unfortunately you're only given 23 spots. Organizations have to make decisions. We had to make a tough one yesterday in putting (McLaren) on waivers. Doesn't surprise me that he was picked up. He's a quality individual, fulfills a role in the League right now and on many teams, and fulfills that role well. He'll do well in Toronto, and we wish him all the best. We're proud he was a Shark at one point."

McLaren, a seventh-round pick by San Jose in the 2007 NHL Draft, racked up 490 penalty minutes for Worcester of the American Hockey League, a franchise record. He appeared in 40 career games for the Sharks, including one this season, compiling 85 penalty minutes, one goal and five assists.

McLellan said there's a chance Demers could be in the lineup tonight. But there's also a good chance that defenseman Dan Boyle will return to the lineup after missing Tuesday night's game with the flu.

Boyle, who missed practice Wednesday, took part in an optional morning skate and said he would play tonight.

Boyle said he felt "better, or I wouldn't be here. Whatever I had kicked my [rear]."

Boyle also missed the entire third period of Sunday's game against Vancouver because of a nosebleed that trainers had trouble stopping. Boyle said he got hit in the nose in the second period but "was fine" when he came off the ice at the end of that period.

"They started playing around up in there and then waterworks came out," Boyle said. "It was nonstop. I've never experienced a nosebleed like that in my life. … I don't know if there's an artery up there, but something. We hit something. It was disgusting is what it was."

Boyle said he's glad to be back on the ice and part of the NHL's last undefeated team -- Chicago fell to 6-0-1 with a 3-2 shootout loss Wednesday to the Minnesota Wild.

"I like being a part of that," Boyle said. "Obviously we're probably going to lose at some point, but it's fun. It's fun to have something like that going for us. See how far we can take this."

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Posted On Thursday, 01.31.2013 / 4:47 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Oilers, Sharks

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Here are how the lineups could look Thursday night when the Sharks face the Oilers at HP Pavilion:


Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Nail Yakupov - Sam Gagner - Ales Hemsky

Ryan Smyth - Eric Belanger - Lennart Petrell

Teemu Hartikainen - Anton Landers - Darcy Hordichuk

Ladislav Smid - Jeff Petry

Nick Schultz - Justin Schultz

Ryan Whitney - Corey Potter

Devan Dubnyk

Nikolai Khabibulin

Injured: Shawn Horcoff

Scratches: Mark Fistric, Theo Peckham

The Oilers did not have a morning skate, but captain Shawn Horcoff reportedly will miss the game with a strained neck. The Oilers sent forward Magnus Paajarvi to Oklahoma City of the American Hockey League and called up forward Anton Landers. Coach Ralph Krueger has not named his starting goaltender for tonight's game, but it's likely Dubnyk, coming off a strong game Wednesday, will be in net again, despite facing a back-to-back. Khabibulin started the season on injured reserve and has been active for only Wednesday's game.


Patrick Marleau - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski

Ryane Clowe - Logan Couture - Scott Gomez

Tommy Wingels - Michal Handzus - Martin Havlat

TJ Galiardi - Andrew Desjardins - Adam Burish

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Brad Stuart

Matt Irwin - Dan Boyle

Douglas Murray - Justin Braun

Antti Niemi

Thomas Greiss

Injured: Brent Burns

Scratched: James Sheppard, Nick Petrecki, Jason Demers

Demers, recovering from a broken wrist, was expected to be activated and might be in the lineup. Boyle, who missed Wednesday's game with the flu, will be a game-time decision. McLellan said Sheppard could potentially be in the lineup for third time this season.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.31.2013 / 3:57 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Kings' Clifford making a name for himself

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Few observers of the Los Angeles Kings in last year's Stanley Cup Playoffs got to know Kyle Clifford.

The Kings' rough-and-tumble wing was concussed after a hit by the Vancouver Canucks' Byron Bitz in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals and didn't play the rest of the postseason. But Clifford is making up for that lost time with a role on L.A.'s second line.

Clifford is again expected to play beside Mike Richards and Jeff Carter when the Kings host the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.

"I'm coming in and not changing my game -- I'm playing my style," Clifford said at the morning skate. "It's a privilege to play with those two guys -- Carts and Richards. I'm just trying to do my best and keep it simple."

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Quote of the Day

A piece of scar tissue breaks off, pinches the nerve, and every time you move your leg it's almost like having a root canal in your stomach and groin.

— Detroit Red Wings center Stephen Weiss on his sports hernia surgery