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POSTED ON Friday, 02.17.2012 / 1:58 PM

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

Red Wings hope to extend streak without Zetterberg

DETROIT – The last three games here at Joe Louis Arena, the Detroit Red Wings have played increasingly like a playoff team facing elimination.

The desperation they’ve played with of late had more to do with an impressive home winning streak they didn’t want to end shy of becoming the NHL standard. That goal was accomplished on Tuesday night against the Dallas Stars, whom Detroit beat 3-1 for its 21st straight victory on home ice.

Now, the Wings host the Nashville Predators on Friday night in a bid to extend the mark – and doing so without injured star forward Henrik Zetterberg, veteran forward Danny Cleary and starting goalie Jimmy Howard.

Are they concerned the same level of desperation might not be there as it was before they set the home-winning streak record?

“I think we’re going to be just business as usual,” Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said following Friday’s morning skate. “We’re trying to get two points. We’re facing a [Central Division] rival, as well, that’s looking to gain points and move up in the standings. I think that’s the approach we’re going to have for tonight’s game.”

That’s a little different than the approach they took prior to the game Tuesday against the Stars, when for the first time during the streak some Wings players talked openly about going for the win to set themselves apart from the 1929-30 Boston Bruins and 1975-76 Philadelphia Flyers – who each won 20 straight home games respectively.

The Wings then backed it up by jumping out to an early 2-0 lead against Dallas in a dominating first period before making it stand up with a strong, passionate defensive effort during the final two periods for the win.

Detroit’s also been without Howard for the last four games in the streak, which means journeyman backup Joey MacDonald has been center stage to help the Wings cap it off. MacDonald’s been outstanding – posting a 1.72 goals-against average and .930 save percentage in six appearances since Howard left the lineup starting Feb. 4 in Edmonton – but there’s no denying the defensive effort in front of him has been playoff-quality.

Will the Predators see that same kind of intensity on Friday night?

“I think you look at the standings and you see how tight it is,” Wings forward Drew Miller said. “We’re fighting for points to stay at the top. We want to stay up there and making this place, Joe Louis, a hard place to play. I don’t think it’s as much about continuing the record as it is about continuing to play well at home.”

According to the Predators, that goal has already been accomplished.
Nashville has watched its division rival string so many home victories together during this streak – including a 4-1 Wings win against them on Nov. 26 – that they can’t help but be impressed by it.

“We talked about it the other day, about them playing great at home so just respect that,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “You just respect the streak, but we’ve come in here and played well and gotten games here. To us, it’s a divisional foe. Let’s get after them and see what happens.”

Trotz, however, is quite impressed by the Wings’ record home streak.

“I think it’s one of the great records in the game,” he said. “There isn’t a team in this League where you can just say, ‘Just play [and you’ll win].’ There’s so many good goaltenders who can steal games and so many things that can happen. Then you’ve got travel and we’re in the Western Conference. People can say what they want, but travel beats you up and they’ve [still] done it. More credit to them.”

Speaking of being beat up, the Wings are going through a tough stretch with injuries right now – with Zetterberg’s undisclosed lower-body ailment being the latest hurdle. He participated in Detroit’s optional skate, but wasn’t good enough to play.

Whether he plays on Sunday against the San Jose Sharks is also up in the air.

“It felt a little better,” said Zetterberg, who got hurt on the first shift of the game against Dallas but finished the game and scored the Wings’ first goal. “[It was the] first time I skated since the game. [It’s] still day to day. “I’ll probably practice [Saturday] if it doesn't get any worse tonight. We're just going to wait and see [about playing Sunday). We're doing everything we can with treatment.''

Detroit called up Tomas Tatar from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League to take Zetterberg’s spot on the active roster, while Justin Abdelkader will likely move to Zetterberg’s position on the ice at center of the second line.

Forwards Patric Hornqvist and Brian McGrattan will also miss the game with upper-body injuries and didn’t make the trip.

Here is a look at how the Predators and Red Wings could line up Friday night:

PREDATORS

Sergei Kostitsyn - Mike Fisher - Martin Erat
Gabriel Bourque - David Legwand - Craig Smith
Colin Wilson - Nick Spaling - Brandon Yip
Matt Halischuk - Jerred Smithson - Jordin Tootoo

Ryan Suter - Shea Weber
Roman Josi - Kevin Klein
Francis Bouillon - Ryan Ellis

Pekka Rinne
Anders Lindback

RED WINGS

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

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

Joey MacDonald
Ty Conklin
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POSTED ON Friday, 02.17.2012 / 1:10 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Selanne still having fun, producing for Ducks

NEWARK, N.J. -- How well the Anaheim Ducks close out the season will not only determine their playoff fate, but perhaps the career of 41-year-old Teemu Selanne.
 
"Over the last six years, I've always tried not to think about what my plan would be at the end of the regular season," Selanne told the media following his team's practice at Prudential Center on Friday. "I think there are times when you get the whole picture after the season … how much you really enjoy it and how your body feels. Then it's the right time to make a decision. So far I've really enjoyed the game and enjoy coming to the rink every morning."
 
There's no question Selanne is having fun, now that the Ducks have reeled off five wins over their last six games to move within eight points of eighth-seeded Los Angeles in the Western Conference standings.
 
"You know what, I enjoy this hockey way more now than when I was younger," he said with a huge grin. "Obviously, you start to appreciate what you have and appreciate that you can do some things that you love to do. When you get to the end of the road, you know that you have to enjoy every game and I think it's a great feeling.
 
"If I was able to enjoy the game more when I was younger, as I do now, that would have been unbelievable."
 
Selanne's next goal will move him past Brendan Shanahan and into sole possession of 12th place on the all-time NHL list. In a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday, Selanne scored his 19th goal of the season and the 656th of his career to become the fifth player in League history to score 50 goals after turning 40-years-old.
 
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he joins Gordie Howe (113), Johnny Bucyk (61), Mark Recchi (60) and Mark Messier (51).
 
"I'm surprised with how good I still feel," he said. "It's not easy to compete on this level, at this age, but most of the nights I feel great so that's why I'm still around and enjoy this game. There's a lot of things you have to do better and concentrate on, so I think the recovery time is the biggest thing."
 
Ducks defenseman Luca Sbisa, 22, hopes his recovery time is as good as Selanne's when he turns 40.
 
"Why is he still so good?" Sbisa said. "He's a guy everyone looks up to no matter if you’re 20- or 38-years-old ... you still look up to this guy. He's done everything possible in this League and just the passion he still has for this game is incredible. The guy works his tail off every game, every night, so you have to make sure you keep up with him. He's still one of the fastest guys out on the ice every game."
 
Here are the projected lineups for the Ducks:
 
Jason Blake - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Bobby Ryan - Saku Koivu - Teemu Selanne
Matt Beleskey - Nick Bonino - Andrew Cogliano
Niklas Hagman - Rod Pelley - George Parros
 
Francois Beauchemin - Cam Fowler
Luca Sbisa - Lubomir Visnovsky
Toni Lydman - Sheldon Brookbank
 
Jonas Hiller will make his 17th straight start in goal, with Jeff Deslauriers serving as backup.
 
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter: @mike_morreale
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POSTED ON Friday, 02.17.2012 / 12:04 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Sharks, Hurricanes

SHARKS

With unfavorable weather conditions in Raleigh on Thursday night, the Sharks were forced to fly in Friday morning for this evening's game. As a result, they did not have a morning skate.

Based on Thursday night's lineup in Tampa Bay, this a possible lineup for Friday night's game against Carolina. However, forward Dominic Moore, acquired from Tampa Bay before Thursday night's game, is likely to make his debut with the Sharks.
 
Patrick Marleau - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Ryan Clowe - Logan Couture - Tommy Wingels
John McCarthy - Andrew Desjardins - Brad Winchester
Jamie McGinn - Michal Handzus - Torrey Mitchell

Dan Boyle - Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Douglas Murray - Brent Burns
Colin White - Justin Braun

Thomas Greiss
Antti Niemi

HURRICANES

Justin Peters will start in goal for the Hurricanes, making his first start since losing at Nashville, 5-2, on Jan. 7. It will mark Peters' first home start of the season.

Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said goaltender Cam Ward is getting an extra day off to rest a "tweak" -- but nothing more serious than that. Ward took the morning skate with Carolina and will serve as the backup.

Here is tonight's lineup:

Jiri Tlusty - Eric Staal - Jerome Samson
Drayson Bowman - Jeff Skinner - Jussi Jokinen
Andres Nodl - Brandon Sutter - Patrick Dwyer
Anthony Stewart - Tim Brent - Derek Joslin

Tim Gleason - Bryan Allen
Jay Harrison - Justin Faulk
Jaroslav Spacek - Jamie McBain

Justin Peters
Cam Ward
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POSTED ON Friday, 02.17.2012 / 11:58 AM

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

Bruins lose Peverley for 4-6 weeks

The Boston Bruins will be without forward Rich Peverley for 4-6 weeks with a sprained ligament in his right knee.

Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli said Friday that Peverley suffered a third-degree sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee during the Bruins' game against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.

Peverley is second on the Bruins with 29 assists, and he also has nine goals and 38 points in 49 games.

The team had called up Josh Hennessey from AHL Providence on Thursday, and the native of Brockton, Mass., will make his Bruins debut tonight in Winnipeg.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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POSTED ON Friday, 02.17.2012 / 11:51 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Palmieri back in lineup for Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- Amidst all the rumors of a potential trade in the works for Minnesota Wild defenseman Marek Zidlicky, the Devils went to work Friday morning at Prudential Center in preparation for the surging Anaheim Ducks.
 
The Ducks were 20 points out of eighth place Jan. 6, but have gone 14-2-3 in 19 games since and are in the hunt for a playoff berth. New Jersey, meanwhile, is 6-1-1 in their last eight games.
 
"They're a dynamic team and their best players have been their best players lately," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said of the Ducks. "That's why they're winning."
 
With the exception of rookie defenseman Adam Larsson, who is dealing with a bruised lower back, all active players on the Devils' roster were participants during Friday's morning skate.
 
The Devils recalled forward Nick Palmieri from the team's American Hockey League affiliate in Albany on Tuesday and he'll be in the lineup Friday. Palmieri, who last was in the lineup Jan. 14 against Winnipeg, will begin the game on the fourth line, with center Jacob Josefson and Eric Boulton.
 
"We just want him to come in and play that regular role," DeBoer said. "We don't need a top-six power-play forward right now … we might need in that role down the road, but we need him coming off the bench with energy. I want him to be a player who's hard to play against, who's hard on the puck. A lot like (Steve) Bernier and (Alexei) Ponikarovsky have done for us."
 
One player leading the surge offensively for the Devils recently has been Ilya Kovalchuk, who recorded his 12th career hat trick and first as a Devil on Tuesday in a victory against the Buffalo Sabres. Kovalchuk has 13 goals and 26 assists in his last 17 games, 10 of which have been multi-point games.
 
Here are the possible line combinations for the Devils:
 
Zach Parise - Adam Henrique - Ilya Kovalchuk
Petr Sykora - Patrik Elias - David Clarkson
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Dainius Zubrus - Steve Bernier
Eric Boulton - Jacob Josefson - Nick Palmieri
 
Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Bryce Salvador - Anton Volchenkov
Matt Taormina - Kurtis Foster
 
Martin Brodeur will get the start in goal, with Johan Hedberg serving as backup.
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POSTED ON Friday, 02.17.2012 / 11:40 AM

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

Report: Bruins talking contract with four forwards

TSN is reporting the Boston Bruins, who recently signed defenseman Johnny Boychuk to a contract extension, are working on new deals for four forwards to keep them off the free-agent market.

According to the report, the team has approached centers Chris Kelly and Gregory Campbell, left wing Daniel Paille and right wing Shawn Thornton with offers that would keep them from becoming unrestricted free agents July 1.

All four played major roles in the Bruins' 2011 Stanley Cup championship.

Kelly, acquired from the Ottawa Senators at the trade deadline last season, has 14 goals, 12 assists, a plus-25 rating and in 55 games this season, and has won 55.2-percent of his faceoffs.

Campbell, Thornton and Paille make up the Bruins' fourth line -- nicknamed the "Merlot Line" by Thornton due to the maroon-colored practice jerseys they wear.

Campbell has six goals and seven assists in 52 games, Thornton has four goals, seven assists and a team-high 117 penalty minutes in 55 games, and Paille has nine goals and five assists in 51 games.

Earlier this week, the Bruins signed Boychuk to a three-year, $10.1 million deal that prevented him from becoming a free agent.

Along with the four forwards, the Bruins' only other prospective unrestricted free agent is defenseman Joe Corvo.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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POSTED ON Friday, 02.17.2012 / 10:04 AM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Barry's Best: Halak, Campbell and Filppula

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POSTED ON Thursday, 02.16.2012 / 9:23 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

CHI @ NYR - 15:15 of the Third Period

At 15:15 of the third period in the Blackhawks/Rangers game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Ryan McDonagh's pass deflected off Carl Hagelin's skate and into the net.  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 New York
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POSTED ON Thursday, 02.16.2012 / 9:03 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

SJS @ TB - 1:44 of the Second Period

At 1:44 of the second period in the Lightning/Sharks game, video review was initiated because Michal Handzus shot entered the net after the post was dislodged.

The referee, however, awarded the goal on the basis of rule 63.6 "In the event that the goalpost is displaced, either deliberately or accidentally, by a defending player, prior to the puck crossing the goal line between the normal position of the goalposts, the Referee may award a goal."  Good Goal San Jose.
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POSTED ON Thursday, 02.16.2012 / 8:47 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

CHI @ NYR - 14:48 of the Second Period

At 14:48 of the second period in the Blackhawks/Rangers game, the situation room in Toronto initiated a review of a play. Brad Richards' shot was stopped by Corey Crawford before completely crossing the goal line. The referee then blew the whistle ending the play with the puck still not completely over the goal line. No Goal New York.

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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