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Posted On Saturday, 03.10.2012 / 1:29 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Report: Karlsson questionable for Senators

KANATA, Ont. – Here are the projected lineups for a game Saturday night between the Ottawa Senators and the Buffalo Sabres. The Senators held a full practice, while the Sabres went with an optional skate.

SENATORS

Colin GreeningJason SpezzaMilan Michalek
Rob KlinkhammerKyle TurrisDaniel Alfredsson
Nick Foligno – Jim O’Brien – Chris Neil
Kaspars DaugavinsZack SmithErik Condra

Filip KubaErik Karlsson
Jared CowenSergei Gonchar
Chris PhillipsMatt Gilroy

Ben Bishop
Alex Auld

According to Cassie Campbell-Pascal of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, Erik Karlsson (general soreness) is a game-time decision for the Senators. Karlsson took part in practice Saturday, but did not participate Friday. If Karlsson does not play, Matt Carkner will re-enter the lineup.

Jesse Winchester (concussion) skated with the team during practice for the second consecutive day and he “appears to be symptom-free,” according to coach Paul MacLean. “At some point we have to do the protocol and see where he ends up, but it’s a process.” There is still no timetable set for his return.

Craig Anderson (hand) also saw ice time Saturday morning. “It’s positive, he practiced again today and he handled the puck,” MacLean said. “He’s getting more comfortable with that and I think they’re still making some adjustments to his glove.” There is no timeline on his return.

Zenon Konopka, Bobby Butler and Carkner would be the healthy scratches if Karlsson can play.

SABRES

The following are the lines from the Sabres’ practice Friday. Thomas Vanek, who is day-to-day with an upper-body injury and Patrick Kaleta (general soreness) are game-time decisions. On Friday, Marcus Foligno was called up on an emergency basis from Rochester. On Saturday morning, Lindy Ruff said of Foligno, “I want him to be the best Foligno on the ice.” This would appear to indicate that Marcus will be playing Saturday night, but it is uncertain whom he would be replacing, leaving the Buffalo lines in a great amount of flux.

Ville LeinoCody HodgsonJason Pominville
Drew StaffordTyler EnnisBrad Boyes
Nathan GerbeDerek RoyCorey Tropp
Matt EllisCody McCormickPatrick Kaleta

Jordan LeopoldTyler Myers
Christian Ehrhoff – Alexander Sultzer
Robyn RegehrMike Weber

Ryan Miller
Jhonas Enroth

Andrej Sekera (flu-like symptoms) did not travel with the team.
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Posted On Saturday, 03.10.2012 / 1:19 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Ducks, Stars

DALLAS-- Here are the projected lineups for a game Saturday between the Anaheim Ducks and Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.

DUCKS

Niklas Hagman - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Bobby Ryan - Saku Koivu - Teemu Selanne
Andrew Cogliano - Ryan O’Marra - Matt Beleskey
Jason Blake - Rod Pelley - Devante Smith-Pelly

Francois Beauchemin - Cam Fowler
Luca Sbisa - Lubomir Visnovsky
Tony Lydman - Sheldon Brookbank

Jonas Hiller
Jeff Deslauriers

Injuries: Nick Bonino (lower body), Dan Ellis (sports hernia).
Scratches: Nate Guenin, George Parros

Notes:  The Ducks head into Saturday after losing 3-1 in St. Louis on Thursday, the first game of a three-game road trip. Anaheim is 0-3-0 against the Stars in Dallas this season, most recently losing 1-0 on Jan. 24 in the final game for both clubs before the NHL All-Star break. The Ducks have dropped four of their last six games and No. 1 goaltender Jonas Hiller has lost three consecutive starts between the pipes for Bruce Boudreau’s club. Anaheim recalled center Ryan O’Marra from Syracuse of the AHL on Saturday with Nick Bonino picking up a lower-body injury in the loss to the Blues. O’Marra had 17 points (8-9-17) and was a plus-17 player for Oklahoma City before being traded to the Ducks organization.

STARS

Loui Eriksson - Mike Ribeiro - Michael Ryder
Brenden Morrow - Jamie Benn - Steve Ott
Eric Nystrom - Vernon Fiddler - Radek Dvorak
Ryan Garbutt - Tom Wandell - Adam Burish

Alex Goligoski - Stephane Robidas
Mark Fistric - Trevor Daley
Philip Larsen - Adam Pardy

Kari Lehtonen
Richard Bachman

Scratches: Toby Petersen, Tomas Vincour, Jake Dowell
Injuries: Sheldon Souray (lower body)

Notes:  The Stars head into this contest with the Ducks on a nine-game point streak. Dallas is 8-0-1 dating back to their last loss in regulation on Feb. 19 against the Predators.  On Thursday, the Stars beat the Sharks 4-3 in a shootout with Tomas Vincour getting a game-tying goal late in the third period and also the deciding tally in the shootout. Winger Michael Ryder is currently on an eight-game point streak. The Stars are 4-1-0 in their four games against the Ducks this year and are averaging four points a game against Anaheim, having outscored them by 20-8. This game concludes a short two-game homestand for Dallas. The Stars could get captain Brenden Morrow back after he missed 18 games in a row with a lower body injury. Steve Ott could also return after missing the San Jose game with back spasms. 

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Posted On Saturday, 03.10.2012 / 1:11 PM

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

Projected lineups for Capitals, Bruins

BOSTON – Tim Thomas makes his fourth straight start in net for the Boston Bruins today against the Washington Capitals at TD Garden.

This is the first time last year’s Vezina Trophy winner has started more than three games in a row.

Tuukka Rask suffered a serious groin/abdominal injury one week ago today. Rask spoke for the first time since the injury today and reported little pain and a positive attitude about being able to return six weeks from the injury.

The Bruins’ lineup will be different from their last outing, as Benoit Pouliot will be scratched. The Bruins will dress seven defensemen.

Coach Claude Julien said before that game that injured defenseman Andrew Ference and forward Daniel Paille skated this morning and are “inching closer” to returning to the lineup.

With Mike Green suspended for three games, the Capitals will reinsert Roman Hamrlik into their lineup. The veteran blueliner has been a healthy scratch the past eight games. Forward Mike Knuble also gets back in after sitting out Washington’s last two games. Knuble will replace Jeff Halpern.
               
Here’s a look at both teams’ lineups after warm-ups:

BRUINS

Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Tyler Seguin
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Brian Rolston
Gregory-Campbell - Chris Kelly - Jordan Caron
Lane MacDermid - Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo
Greg Zanon - Adam McQuaid
Mike Mottau

Tim Thomas
Marty Turco

CAPITALS

Alexander Ovechkin - Brooks Laich - Marcus Johansson
Jason Chimera - Mathieu Perreault - Alexander Semin
Mike Knuble - Keith Aucoin - Joel Ward
Matt Hendricks - Jay Beagle - Troy Brouwer
Karl Alzner - John Carlson
Roman Hamrlik - Dmitry Orlov
Jeff Schultz - Dennis Wideman

Tomas Vokoun
Michal Neuvirth



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Posted On Friday, 03.09.2012 / 11:02 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

NYR @ CHI- 19:07 of the Third Period

At 19:07 of the third period in the Rangers/Blackhawks game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Patrick Kane directed the puck into the net with his stick.  Good goal Chicago.
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Posted On Friday, 03.09.2012 / 9:36 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

WPG @ CGY - 6:47 of the First Period

At 6:47 of the first period in the Jets/Flames game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that the puck deflected off Jarome Iginla's skate and entered the net in a legal fashion. Good goal Calgary.

78.4 "If an attacking player has the puck deflect into the net, off his skate or body , in any manner, the goal shall be allowed."
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Posted On Friday, 03.09.2012 / 9:13 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

FLA @ PIT 8:53 of the Third Period

At 8:53 of the third period in the Panthers/Penguins game , video review was used to determine that the shot by Pascal Dupuis did not completely cross the goal line. No goal Pittsburgh.
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Posted On Friday, 03.09.2012 / 7:21 PM

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

Scott faces old team in return to Chicago

CHICAGO -- After he was dealt to the New York Rangers at the NHL's trade deadline on Feb. 27, former Chicago Blackhawks enforcer John Scott said he was shocked at the move.

Scott, in his second year of playing for the Hawks, was traded for a fifth-round pick in the NHL Draft this June. On Friday, he was already back in the Windy City with his new team a little more than a week after the deal was completed.

"It'll be weird in warmups, but I think that will go away as soon as the game starts," said Scott, whose wife and infant daughter remained in Chicago after the trade. "It's worn off by now, but it took a solid couple days just to take it all in and realize, 'Hey, I'm not in Chicago anymore. I'm in New York.' Change of venues. Change of scenery. It's sunk in now, and I'm used to it."

Scott, a defenseman by trade, spent time playing on the blue line and up front for the Hawks. He's found himself as a fourth-line forward for the Rangers and expects to stay there for the time being. He's played five straight games and could find himself back in the lineup on Friday night at the United Center against his old team thanks to an injury that will keep Brandon Dubinsky out for a second straight game.

"I fit in nicely on the fourth line," the 6-foot-8 Scott said. "We've been doing pretty well, getting some chances here and there. I didn't really want to mess things up. They had a good thing going when I got
there. I just went in there and tried to lay low and not mess up the winning ways they had going."

As for the talent that teams really love about him, his fighting acumen, Scott said he won't be surprised if several former teammates ask him to square off. After Scott's departure, Chicago recalled
6-foot-2, 225-pound rookie forward Brandon Bollig to fill the vacant fighting role -- and he's scrapped in two straight games.

"He'll probably ask me to go," Scott said. "They've got [Jamal Mayers] and [Andrew Shaw], so they've got a tough team and it's always a lively game versus Chicago. I won't turn anybody down, no."

Scott was informed that Hawks forward Bryan Bickell said he knew his former teammates' tricks during scraps, to which the new Rangers' tough guy kiddingly responded: "Well, I'll turn Bickell down then."

Scott never scored a goal for the Blackhawks, but found himself on a breakaway on Thursday night in Ottawa -- getting stopped by Ben Bishop. Scott said it was actually the second breakaway attempt of his NHL career, with the first happening against the Phoenix Coyotes when he was with the Minnesota Wild.

He didn't score on that one either.

"Oh my God, another breakaway," Scott said of Thursday's golden scoring opportunity. "[Bishop] is a big goalie. I tried to go low blocker, but he kicked it away.  I just missed the net the first time [against Phoenix]."

Scott will not only have his wife and in-laws at the United Center for Friday's game, but also some friends from California who originally planned the trip before he was traded.

Still, if you're going to get traded ...

"... it could've been to a worse place right?" Scott mused. "If I had a list of teams, this would probably been top three that I'd wanted to go to, so I was ecstatic when I heard it was the Rangers. I could've gone to a lot worse teams, that's for sure."
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Posted On Friday, 03.09.2012 / 3:31 PM

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

Hjalmarsson back for Hawks

CHICAGO -- Jonathan Toews isn't ready to return from his concussion just yet, but the Chicago Blackhawks will get a key member of their team back from a similar injury Friday night at the United Center.

The Hawks will host the New York Rangers and will have defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson back in uniform for the first time in six games after he, too, has battled recent concussion symptoms. In fact, Hjalmarsson has missed 13 of the past 14 games because of his injury, after initially sitting out seven consecutive games because of it, then returning for a game and leaving the lineup again.

Hjalmarsson could be paired with rookie Dylan Olsen and will likely see time on the penalty kill, as well.

"It gives you important minutes," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said after Chicago's morning skate. "I think [he] defends as good as anybody in our own end. He can kill penalties for us and play important minutes."

Hjalmarsson has scored one goal to go with 11 assists in 55 games thus far, but he's got a plus-six rating and is consistent defensively. He also blocks shots well and returns to the lineup just in time to replace Sami Lepisto -- who is out "indefinitely" after sustaining a left leg injury in a 5-1 loss Tuesday in St. Louis.

The Hawks also picked up puck-moving defenseman Johnny Oduya before the trade deadline expired last month, which gives Quenneville some of that quality depth on the blue line that coaches crave this time of year. Chicago also has 40-year old Sean O'Donnell in its stable of defensemen.

"It's nice to have that predictability that [Hjalmarsson] provides us back there and with the recent addition of Johnny [Oduya] it helps with three solid pairs," Quenneville said. "Getting one more back there really helps us."

Chicago's Marian Hossa didn't participate in the team's morning skate Friday, but Quenneville said he will play against the Rangers. The same wasn't said about injured defenseman Steve Montador, who's been out for 14 straight games with what's believed to be a concussion.

Montador had been skating on his own last week, but hasn't been able to get on the ice this week. Quenneville deemed it a "sideways step or a backwards step" in his recovery process.

The Rangers, who lost 4-1 on Thursday night in Ottawa, didn't hold a morning skate. They played the Senators without forward Brandon Dubinsky, and he still might not be ready to go against Chicago.

If not, look for former Blackhawks enforcer John Scott -- who was dealt to New York on trade deadline day for a fifth-round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft -- to fill a spot on the fourth line. Ray Emery will get the start in net for the Hawks, while Henrik Lundqvist is expected to start for New York.

Here is a look at how the Rangers and Blackhawks might lineup on Friday night:

RANGERS
Artem Anisimov - Derek Stepan - Marian Gaborik
Carl Hagelin - Brad Richards - Ryan Callahan
Ruslan Fedotenko - Brian Boyle - Brandon Prust
Mike Rupp - John Mitchell - John Scott

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto - Anton Stralman
Marc Staal - Stu Bickel

Henrik Lundqvist
Martin Biron

BLACKHAWKS
Andrew Brunette - Patrick Kane - Marian Hossa
Patrick Sharp - Marcus Kruger - Viktor Stalberg
Bryan Bickell - Dave Bolland - Andrew Shaw
Jimmy Hayes - Jamal Mayers - Brandon Bollig

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook
Johnny Oduya - Nick Leddy
Niklas Hjalmarsson - Dylan Olsen

Ray Emery
Corey Crawford
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Posted On Friday, 03.09.2012 / 3:23 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Revved-up Baertschi ready for NHL debut

CALGARY -- Sven Baertschi has had two nights to mull over his National Hockey League debut with the Calgary Flames.
 
He didn't get much sleep in either of them.
 
The Portland Winterhawks standout admitted that, with his first game just hours away, catching up on sleep during his afternoon nap isn't likely.
 
"It's really hard to describe how I feel right now," Baertschi said. "It's pure excitement and a little bit nervous, but I'm pretty sure I won't be able to nap this afternoon. I'm just going to lay in bed and try to relax and settle things down."
 
An emergency recall from the Western Hockey League after a rash of injuries has ravaged the Flames' lineup, Baertschi is getting his professional career underway sooner than expected. It hasn't allowed the Langenthal, Switzerland product much time to prepare.
 
That's fine, said the reigning WHL player of the week.
 
"Probably better because it's my dream," Baertschi said. "I'm just a couple hours away and it's a really exciting time. It's the same as celebrating Christmas with your family."
 
Captain Jarome Iginla is interested in seeing what kind of youthful exuberance Baertschi will bring in his first taste of the big leagues.
 
"I wouldn't be too surprised if you see him out there a lot," Iginla said. "It's nice to see the young guys bring that enthusiasm and energy and excitement. On the guys, we build on it."
 
Baertschi is expected to play on a line with fellow Flames' first-round pick Greg Nemisz and veteran Tom Kostopoulos. Kostopolous, who played in his 600th NHL game in Tuesday's win over the Montreal Canadiens, will do what he can to keep the call-up level.
 
"I'll be yapping in his ear all game about nothing important, but everyone here just wants him to have fun and relax and enjoy it as much as possible," Kostopoulos said. "Sometimes talking too much is counterproductive. I'll help him out when I can, but we all just want to see him play and see what he can do."
 
The mandate for Baertschi from coach Brent Sutter is simple -- enjoy.
 
"Number one is I want him to enjoy the fact that this is his first professional game," Sutter said. "It's something I want him to remember and have good memories about it."
 
And undoubtedly, sweet dreams.
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Posted On Friday, 03.09.2012 / 3:03 PM

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

Melrose Matchup: Red Wings at Predators

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Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres