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POSTED ON Sunday, 02.19.2012 / 10:50 AM

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

Sharks' Murray to miss second straight game

DETROIT -- The San Jose Sharks will be without hulking Swedish defenseman Douglas Murray for a second straight game when they play the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday at Joe Louis Arena (12:30 p.m., NBC).

Murray suffered a fracture Adam's Apple last week in Tampa Bay, when he tried to break up a pass on a rush to the net and the puck rolled up the shaft of his stick and hit him in the throat. Murray said he's sitting out mainly as a precautionary measure.

"I feel fine," Murray said. "It's nothing I can really feel. It's more the doctors making a decision on it. It's precautionary. It can get a lot worse, so it's something you don't want to mess around with. Right now, I just listen to what the doctors say."

The biggest medical issue would be swelling in his throat, which could constrict breathing and eating.

"The doctors call it prime real estate because there's not a lot of room there," Murray said. "Any type of swelling it becomes a major thing, even though it's nothing major right now."

Thus, there is no set timeline for a return. Missing a game against the Red Wings is also a big disappointment for Murray -- who's Swedish and enjoys facing all the Swedish stars in Detroit's lineup. The Wings also have an NHL record 22-game home winning streak going, which would be a feather in the cap for the Sharks to end.

"It's always fun to play against them," Murray said.  "I have a lot of different motivating factors. They're putting a 22-game home winning streak on the line here, which would've made it even more exciting to play against them. It's always been special for me to play against them, with all the great Swedish players they have – especially with Lidstrom. That always motivates you a little extra."
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POSTED ON Sunday, 02.19.2012 / 10:48 AM

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

Projected lineups for Sharks-Red Wings

DETROIT -- Detroit will start journeyman backup Joey MacDonald for a seventh straight time, while starting goalie Jimmy Howard takes the added time to continue healing up a broken finger that's kept him out since injuring it Feb. 2 at Vancouver.

Red Wings star center Pavel Datsyuk is expected to play against the Shark after having a slight sore throat on Saturday and not practicing outdoors with the rest of the team at Clark Park on the city's West side in front of an estimated 2,000 fans.

Detroit will also be without forward Danny Cleary at least one more game with knee soreness, as he hopes to return to the lineup on Tuesday in Chicago. San Jose will be without defenseman Douglas Murray, who's been diagnosed with a broken Adam's Apple after a puck hit him in the throat last week in Tampa Bay.

Here is how the Sharks and Red Wings might line up to start Sunday's game.

SHARKS

Patrick Marleau - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Ryane Clowe - Logan Couture - Tommy Wingels
Jamie McGinn - Dominic Moore - Torrey Mitchell
Andrew Desjardins - Michal Handzus - Benn Ferriero

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Dan Boyle
Colin White - Brent Burns
Jim Vandermeer - Justin Braun

Antti Niemi
Thomas Greiss

RED WINGS

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

Nicklas Lidstrom - Ian White
Niklas Kronwall - Brad Stuart
Jonathan Ericsson - Mike Commodore

Joey MacDonald
Ty Conklin

Note: The top two lines looked this way for most of the third period in Friday's 2-1 victory against the Nashville Predators at Joe Louis Arena. Datsyuk didn't skate with the rest of the team at Saturday's practice, so the forward lines weren't what they'll be to start out against the Sharks on Sunday. If Babcock goes back to the line combinations he's used most of the season, he will split up Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg and put the Swedish star forward at center of the second line while bumping up power forward Johan Franzen to the top line -- and likely flip-flopping Bertuzzi and Hudler at right wing on the top two units.
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POSTED ON Sunday, 02.19.2012 / 10:46 AM

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

Could Sharks snap the Wings' record home streak?

DETROIT -- Based on the recent past, it probably isn't just a coincidence the Detroit Red Wings have rattled off an NHL record 22 straight home victories without once facing the San Jose Sharks.

Not only have the Sharks knocked the Red Wings from the playoffs in the Western Conference semifinals the past two seasons, but San Jose has also won five straight regular-season games against Detroit regardless of location.

That includes a 4-2 victory at Joe Louis Arena on Oct. 28, which still stands as one of just two regulation losses for the Red Wings on their home ice this season. Think there isn't some extra importance being placed on the Sharks' second visit to the Motor City by Detroit on Sunday (12:30 p.m., NBC)?

"They've beat us every time we played them this year," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "It must be time to say, 'Enough's enough.' We got to do something about that. They're a good team. They're on a long road trip. We've played well at home. They should throw the puck to the net a lot, got big forwards, they're active on the back end, so it should be a fun game."

San Jose expects nothing less.

"They've definitely won some games here at home 3-2 or 2-1, so they've found ways to win," Sharks forward Ryane Clowe said after a practice on Saturday at Joe Louis Arena. "I expect a tight game, but it's important for us to have a good start."

When did the Sharks start to take notice of the Wings' impressive home winning streak?

"I think when they got around 16 or 17 wins and got closer to breaking the [old record of 20]," Clowe said. "There were games in there where they just won by a goal or won in a shootout, so they were finding ways to win. I expect them to be fired up for us. We've played them a couple times and beat them, so they'll be ready. But we've got to get our own streak going here."

Antti Niemi will likely be in goal to start for the Sharks, who've lost two straight games and find themselves looking for a turnaround game in the middle of a brutal nine-game road trip. Niemi hasn't been on top of his game of late, but coming to Detroit always seems to cure whatever ails him.'

The Finnish goalie has played well inside Joe Louis Arena since his days playing with the Chicago Blackhawks.

"We've been able to play some better games here," Niemi said. "That's something that gives us extra confidence, for sure. I've felt good playing here so far. I think playing a top team, you don't need to dig deep to get the motivation when you play these guys."

Still, Detroit's streak can't be overlooked.

"That's unbelievable," Niemi said. "You would think you would have some bad bounces, and it would be almost impossible to do. It's hard to win a couple of back-to-back games, even at home. Doing it that many times? It's huge."
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POSTED ON Saturday, 02.18.2012 / 5:03 PM

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

Wings will ride hot hand in MacDonald on Sunday

DETROIT – Mike Babcock has decided to ride the hot hand with his goalie situation, which means journeyman backup Joey MacDonald will get his seventh straight start for the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.

MacDonald will face the San Jose Sharks, who’ve beaten the Red Wings in five straight regular-season games dating back to last season. San Jose hopes to get back to winning itself, but also to end Detroit’s NHL record 22-game home winning streak – which was extended in dramatic fashion Friday night by Pavel Datsyuk’s game-winning goal that beat the Nashville Predators with just 5.8 seconds left in regulation.

“I get the opportunity again, against a great hockey team again,” said MacDonald, who was recalled from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League after starter Jimmy Howard broke his finger Feb. 2 against Vancouver. “We’ll just see if we can keep it rolling. It feels great the coaching staff has the confidence in me to throw me out there again against another great hockey team. I’ve just got to keep building on [five straight wins] and take advantage of the opportunity.”

Howard was originally hoping to return Friday night against the Predators, then set his sights on Sunday’s game against San Jose. Now, he’s slated to start on Tuesday in Chicago, which will be his first game in 19 days.

“That's the game plan now,” said Howard, who opted to stay at Joe Louis Arena and workout on Saturday afternoon rather than attending Detroit’s outdoor practice at Clark Park on the city’s West side. “Joey's doing a great job. We'll let my finger heal up here for a couple more days. It's getting better. The x-rays we had last week are showing improvements, the bone is healing. Hopefully it gets better.”

Datsyuk also missed Detroit’s outdoor skate with what the team said was a slight sore throat and went through the workout back at Joe Louis Arena with Howard and injured forward Patrick Eaves (concussion) – who didn’t wear full equipment, but took shots on Howard.

San Jose practiced at The Joe on Saturday afternoon and is expected to start goalie Antti Niemi – who usually plays well in Detroit – on Sunday, despite some recent struggles to stop the puck. Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray won’t suit up against the Wings because of a fractured Adam’s Apple that happened on Thursday night in Tampa Bay while trying to block a pass.

Murray also sat out a loss Friday night in Carolina.
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POSTED ON Saturday, 02.18.2012 / 3:50 PM

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

Penner returns for Kings, but Sutter wants improvement

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter issued probably his harshest assessment yet of disappointing winger Dustin Penner after the team’s Saturday morning skate.

Penner will return to the lineup on Saturday night against Calgary, and an unusually chatty Sutter made it clear it was only by necessity because Kevin Westgarth has a sore hand.

“He’s a veteran,” Sutter said of Penner. “He better step up to the plate - very simple. He came out of the lineup because he was horse (expletive).  He better step up to the plate or he might not get another look. Simple.”

Penner has been a healthy scratch the past three games and has been a major disappointment to the team that is paying him $4.25 million this season.

He has five goals and 13 points with a minus-6 rating in 43 games this season. L.A. has opted to play rookies Dwight King and Jordan Nolan, who have a combined 12 games of NHL experience, on the second line although Penner has been available.

Westgarth fought Paul Bissonnette of Phoenix on Thursday night.

“If we really needed it tonight (Westgarth would be in), but it’s not the type of team we’re playing,” Sutter said.

Stoll out: Jarret Stoll is not yet ready to return from a hip muscle injury, Sutter said.

The Kings put Trent Hunter on waivers Friday to open up a roster spot for Stoll but his activation will have to wait, meaning King and Nolan will stay up with the club in the meantime.

Hunter cleared waivers Saturday.

Leapfrog game: Los Angeles would fall out of the top eight of the Western Conference with a loss tonight, but Sutter said he didn’t look at it that way.

“You know what? There’s two spots for seven or eight teams, so I don’t see any difference in those teams,” Sutter said. “It comes down to … head-to-head against those teams.”

A lack of scoring is sinking L.A., and Sutter addressed what he perceived to be criticism for a lack of effort in that department.

“They connect effort with scoring and that’s really unfair to the players,” Sutter said.

Sutter said all these close, low-scoring games his team is involved in is good for a team that is still young.
“For me that’s a good measuring stick for a lot of guys that haven’t either been in that position or haven’t had success in that position,” he said. “The biggest mistake that everybody made with this group here was (giving them big) expectations because they lost in the first round last year. That’s got nothing to do with anything.”

Gagne skating: Simon Gagne has been skating for the first time since he suffered a concussion on Dec.26 but there is no timetable for his return.

Simmer honored: Former King Charlie Simmer will be honored before the game in the third edition of the Kings Legends Night series.

Simmer played on the Triple Crown line with Marcel Dionne and Dave Taylor in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He is second on the franchise’s all-time scoring list among left wings with 222 goals and ninth on the team’s all-time scoring list.

Simmer is a television color analyst for Calgary. The Kings will wear their vintage purple-and-gold uniforms.

Here are the projected lineups for both teams:

FLAMES

Alex Tanguay - Olli Jokinen - Jarome Iginla
Tom Kostopoulos - Michael Cammalleri - Blake Comeau
Lance Bouma - Roman Horak - Krys Kolanos
Paul Byron - Matt Stajan - Tim Jackman

Chris Butler - Jay Bouwmeester
Mark Giordano - Scott Hannan
T.J. Brodie - Cory Sarich

Miikka Kiprusoff

KINGS

Dustin Brown - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams
Dwight King - Mike Richards - Jordan Nolan
Kyle Clifford - Andrei Loktionov - Trevor Lewis
Brad Richardson - Colin Fraser - Dustin Penner

Drew Doughty - Rob Scuderi
Willie Mitchell - Jack Johnson
Matt Greene - Davis Drewiske

 Jonathan Quick
Jonathan Bernier
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POSTED ON Saturday, 02.18.2012 / 2:58 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - NHL.com Countdown to the Trade Deadline blog

Report: Flyers, Jackets discussing Nash deal

PHILADELPHIA -- Could the Flyers be the leader in the race to acquire Columbus Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash?

For the third straight game, a top Blue Jackets executive is here in Philadelphia. General manager Scott Howson was in attendance last Saturday for the Flyers-Rangers game and had two long conversations with Flyers GM Paul Holmgren. Blue Jackets senior advisor Craig Patrick was here for Thursday for a game against the Buffalo Sabres, and today both Howson and Patrick are here. Howson again spent time talking with Holmgren prior to the game.

Sources tell CSNPhilly.com's Tim Panaccio that the Flyers are listening and having serious discussions about the cost of acquiring Nash. Panaccio speculates that cost could be high.

"As for the asking price for a player of Nash’s caliber? Probably Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn,” Panaccio wrote. “But … it may be something else. It may be James van Riemsdyk, another player, plus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. Or a high draft pick besides a player. The Flyers don't want to move Couturier or Schenn, but if I'm Howson, I want both those players."

Panaccio reports his source tells him the Flyers are more interested in adding another defenseman, like they did Thursday when they acquired Nicklas Grossman from the Dallas Stars. However, when asked if it was "unlikely" he'd go after a star player, Holmgren paused, and replied: "Unlikely? I don't know if I'd use that word, but probably not something that we're talking about at length."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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POSTED ON Saturday, 02.18.2012 / 12:52 PM

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

Caps, Lighting face critical contest

The Washington Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning meet for the fourth time this season Saturday night at Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Both clubs are on the outside looking in at the post-season though the Capitals, coming off a 2-1  win over the Florida Panthers on Friday night, have the better prospects sitting just one point out of the final playoff spot.

For the Lightning, it’s another “do or die” game, as they continue their four-game homestand after an overtime win Thursday night against the San Jose Sharks. They are currently eight points from the playoff picture, and in the middle of what appears to be a look toward the future from management.
 
On Thursday morning, Pavel Kubina was removed from the lineup pending a trade, and just minutes before the faceoff against San Jose, Dominic Moore was sent to the Sharks in exchange for a second-round draft pick.

Despite the changes, Lightning coach Guy Boucher is determined to push those distractions aside.

“Instead of taking me five minutes to refocus, it takes 10,” Boucher said. “The reality is that when trades happen guys come in and out, the focus has to be on how will we replace that guy, not on how the situation will hurt for the next few days.

“Kubina is not here now; Moore is not here, so the focus is, who is going to take care of that spot? So, we have to act fast and make sure that person understands the job. The more we cry about whatever, the more we get away from our job, which is to teach.”

One subject Boucher will be teaching about is how to stop Troy Brouwer, who has scorched the Lightning for five goals in their last three meetings.

Troy Brouwer, yeah – there are a lot of guys we have to watch out for on that team,” Boucher said.

Washington coach Dale Hunter will make sure Tampa Bay sees plenty of Brouwer tonight.

“Everybody gets a hot hand against some team,” Hunter said. “Troy gets enough time as it is, but he might have to get an extra shift or two.”

Here are the projected lineups for both teams:

CAPITALS

Alex Ovechkin - Marcus Johansson - Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera - Mathieu Perreault - Alexander Semin
Jay Beagle - Brooks Laich - Mike Knuble
Matt Hendricks - Jeff Halpern - Joel Ward

Karl Alzner - John Carlson
Jeff Schultz - Dennis Wideman
Roman Hamrlik - Dmitry Orlov

Tomas Vokoun
Michal Neuvirth

LIGHTNING

Tom Pyatt - Vincent Lecavalier - Martin St. Louis
Steve Downie - Steven Stamkos - Teddy Purcell
Ryan Malone - Nate Thompson - JT Wyman
Ryan Shannon - Adam Hall - Brett Connolly

Eric Brewer - Victor Hedman
Brett Clark - Matt Gilroy
Brendan Mikkelson - Bruno Gervais

Mathieu Garon
Dwayne Roloson
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POSTED ON Saturday, 02.18.2012 / 12:42 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Mixed allegiances for Hodgson, Franson

Like lots of kids in Toronto, Cody Hodgson grew up cheering the Maple Leafs.

Not many, however, were almost born watching them. And it’s a safe bet none celebrated that occasion 22 years later by playing them.

The Vancouver Canucks center will celebrate his 22nd birthday against the Toronto Maple Leafs team he was almost born watching.

Hodgson said his mom was watching a game at the old Maple Leaf Gardens on Feb. 17, 1990 when she went into labor. After going straight from the rink to the hospital, Cody was born the next morning, and subsequently raised in a family filled with Leafs fans.

“Growing up there and being a Leaf fan for a lot of my childhood, a lot of my boyhood idols were Leafs players – Doug Gilmour, Wendel Clark and those guys, legends in the city,” said Hodgson.

But all of his family’s long-time allegiances switched, Hodgson said, as soon as Vancouver drafted him 10th overall in 2008. So there will be no Frankenstein jersey blends of the Canucks and Maple Leafs in the Hodgson household when the two teams meet Saturday afternoon.

“No it’s all Canucks jerseys now,” Hodgson said. “Ever since the draft, they’re always supportive no matter where I go or what team I play for.”

For Hodgson it’s just another game, even if the one 22 years ago wasn’t.

“You just go out and compete and do what you can to win the game,” said Hodgson, who can help extend Vancouver’s win streak against the Leafs to 10 games dating back to 2003. "You try to treat like it's just another game."

It definitely won’t be that for Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson and the large contingent of family members that made the six-hour drive southwest from his hometown of Sicamous, B.C.

Like Hodgson, Franson grew up cheering the Maple Leafs. He just did it in Canucks country, which makes for an odd dynamic on a weekend that started with Franson being honored by another local hockey team.

The Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League inducted Franson into their Ring of Honor on Friday night, even creating a bobblehead in his likeness for the first 500 fans at the game, which naturally led to some good-natured ribbing in the Leafs’ locker room.

“Oh yeah, I’m taking heat, but that’s fine,” said Franson, who won a WHL championship with the Giants in 2006 and a Memorial Cup in 2007. “I’m honored to be in this position and I’ll take some heat from the boys anytime for that. They've treated me with nothing but respect and I can’t say enough about the Giants, they’ve been a class act from Day One and I wouldn’t trade my three years here for nothing.”

Franson was also excited to see his younger brother Cain, an 18-year-old forward with the Giants, play live for the first time in years, but admitted Canucks fans won’t be happy to see his family Saturday.

“There will be a lot of Leafs jerseys coming from Sicamous, everyone will have one,” said Franson, who is making his first trip to Vancouver with the Maple Leafs after being acquired in a trade with Nashville last summer. “The Leafs have been in my family a long time.”
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POSTED ON Saturday, 02.18.2012 / 12:27 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Maple Leafs, Canucks

The Toronto Maple Leafs have their hands full trying to hold onto eighth place in the Eastern Conference against a Canucks team trying to stay close to Detroit atop the western standings. Not only is Vancouver 8-0-3 in the last 11 despite not always playing its best hockey during that stretch, but the Canucks haven’t lost to the Maple Leafs since 2003, a stretch they’ll try to extend to 10 wins Saturday.

Here’s a look at the expected lineups for a 4 p.m. start Saturday in Vancouver:

CANUCKS

Vancouver’s forward lines will start against Toronto the way they finished against Colorado on Wednesday, with Cody Hodgson moved back up to the Triple-H third line with Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen that produced the winning goal.

Daniel SedinHenrik SedinAlexandre Burrows
Mason RaymondRyan KeslerDavid Booth
Chris HigginsCody HodgsonJannik Hansen
Manny MalhotraMaxim LapierreByron Bitz

Dale Weise is ready to return after missing four games with a minor injury, but for now appears to have lost his fourth-line spot to Bitz and will be scratched.

Assuming coach Alain Vigneault was being honest when he said Kevin Bieksa, who was hobbling slightly around the hallways while his teammates skated on Friday, will play against the Leafs, the only change is Chris Tanev’s call up from the AHL and insertion onto a third pairing that has struggled at times lately.

Dan HamhuisKevin Bieksa
Alexander EdlerSami Salo
Aaron Rome – Chris Tanev

Andrew Alberts and Alexander Sulzer, who skated with Hamhuis in practice, are the expected scratches. As for Keith Ballard, who has missed four games already with a mysterious head/neck issue that sounds a lot like a concussion, he isn’t expected to make a road trip that starts the next day, after suffering a setback trying to skate on his own during a team day off Thursday.

“Didn’t pan out the way he wanted and the way our medical staff wanted,” said Vigneault. “Keith told me this morning he’s got ‘upper-body symptoms.’ It's from the neck up so we're going to keep him behind here and try to sort that out.”

Roberto Luongo is back in goal, with Cory Schneider backing up and confirming the roles would be reversed to start a six-game road trip Sunday in Edmonton.
 
MAPLE LEAFS

The sight of defenseman Carl Gunnarsson out on the ice turning laps before the Zamboni was even off it in Vancouver on Friday was a welcome one for Maple Leafs brass concerned he might have suffered a high ankle sprain four days earlier.

Instead of missing a month, though, it looks now like Gunnarsson won’t be out much longer than the mandatory week from being placed on injured reserve, and could be back as early as Tuesday, but perhaps more likely Thursday.

In the meantime, the Leafs already have a glut of defensemen to sort out, one that left Luke Schenn a surprised healthy scratch in Edmonton on Wednesday.

“It’s never fun sitting out,” said Schenn, who has also had to deal with seeing his name in trade rumors around the NHL. “Sometimes it’s from the approach of get a player going. If that’s what it is them when I get back in, make the most of it.”

Coach Ron Wilson confirmed Schenn would get back in against the Canucks on Saturday night, but said the decision to sit him was also about getting fellow defenseman Mike Komisarek, who was chatting with general manager Brian Burke after practice Friday, playing time in back-to-back games after the veteran sat out four of the previous five as a healthy scratch.

“With seven, eight defensemen who are NHL capable the hard part is keeping everyone involved,” Wilson said. “Luke had been off for a couple of games. … He’s just got to keep the game simple and be physical.”

While the back end rotates, the Leafs forward lines are expected to be the same:

Joffrey LupulTyler BozakPhil Kessel
Clarke MacArthurMikhail GrabovskiNikolai Kulemin
Matthew Lombardi – Tim ConnollyColby Armstrong
Darryl BoyceDavid SteckelMike Brown

Joey Crabb and Jay Rosehill are the healthy scratches

Schenn moves back onto a pairing with rookie Jake Gardiner, who Wilson said may be the “most consistent defenseman the last 15 or 20 games.”

"He gets back to pucks and he makes good decisions with the puck," Wilson said. "He's fearless physically – and he's not a very big guy – but he uses his body really well, he protects the puck and he just bumps it along. He's been well coached along the way. And he's very reliable back there. He's going to make a mistake every once in a while, like everybody in our League, but he's minimized the mistakes and he hasn't made the kinds of mistakes you would expect someone so young – he hasn't made many of those rookie mistakes."
Keith Aulie - Dion Phaneuf
Jean-Michael Liles - Cody Franson
Jake Gardiner - Luke Schenn

Carl Gunnarsson remains on injured reserve, while Mike Komisarek is expected to be a healthy scratch.

After alternating the last few starts with Jonas Gustavsson, James Reimer gets a chance to follow up his 29-save, 4-3 overtime win in Edmonton on Wednesday with another start Saturday. Reimer has given up three or more in his last four starts, with the only two wins in that stretch both coming against the lowly Oilers.
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POSTED ON Saturday, 02.18.2012 / 12:11 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Koivu out for Wild against Blues

ST. LOUIS -- The Minnesota Wild will be without captain Mikko Koivu for today's matchup with the St. Louis Blues.

Koivu is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. Also, defenseman Mike Lundin (lower-body) is out of the lineup. Defenseman Justin Falk will replace Lundin and Jeff Taffe, a former Blues draft choice, will be in for Minnesota.

Here are the projected lineups for today's matchup between the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild from Scottrade Center.

BLUES

David Perron - David Backes - T.J. Oshie
Andy McDonald - Patrik Berglund - Jamie Langenbrunner
Vladimir Sobotka - Jason Arnott - Chris Stewart
Chris Porter - Scott Nichol - B.J. Crombeen

Barret Jackman - Kevin Shattenkirk
Kent Huskins - Alex Pietrangelo
Kris Russell - Roman Polak

Brian Elliott
Ben Bishop

Elliott will start in goal after Jaroslav Halak came down with the flu Friday. Halak was supposed to start but could play Sunday in Chicago if he's feeling better. Ben Bishop has been recalled from the Peoria Rivermen as the backup. Depending on matchups, if Huskins doesn't dress, Carlo Colaiacovo, who injured his right wrist and missed one game, would be reinserted back into the lineup. Also, if Porter doesn't dress, Ryan Reaves is expected to fill his slot.

WILD

Dany Heatley - Jeff Taffe - Devin Setoguchi
Matt Cullen - Kyle Brodziak - Nick Johnson
Cal Clutterbuck - Erik Christensen - Jed Ortmeyer
Darroll Powe - Warren Peters - Matt Kassian

Nick Schultz - Nate Prosser
Marco Scandella - Jared Spurgeon
Justin Falk - Greg Zanon

Josh Harding
Niklas Backstrom

The Wild are missing RW Guillaume Latendresse (concussion), C Jarod Palmer (concussion), LW Pierre-Marc Bouchard (concussion), D Clayton Stoner (lower-body) and RW Carson McMillan (lower-body) because of injuries. The team recalled F Jed Ortmeyer from the Houston Aeros Friday and reassigned F Cody Almond.
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I was in there icing my face as she was trying to push a baby out.

— Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf on going to the hospital with a facial laceration while his wife was in labor following Game 1 on Wednesday