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Posted On Sunday, 02.19.2012 / 6:53 PM

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

Projected lineups for Blue Jackets, Rangers

NEW YORK -- Henrik Lundqvist is back in net for the Rangers, but that's the only lineup change they'll have for Sunday night's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden.

Ruslan Fedotenko, out since leaving a Feb. 9 game against the Lightning due to an illegal hit from Dominic Moore, who has since been dealt to the Sharks, skated in Greenburgh, N.Y. during the day, but coach John Tortorella offered no update on his winger's status.

The Rangers have yet to disclose the injury but have said it's not a concussion. Fedotenko tried riding a bike the day after the Moore hit but didn't feel well, so the Rangers shut him down. He took part in the team's morning skate Tuesday, but was held out of the lineup for that night's game in Boston and Thursday's home contest against the Blackhawks.

RANGERS
Artem Anisimov - Derek Stepan - Marian Gaborik
Carl Hagelin - Brad Richards - Ryan Callahan
Brandon Dubinsky - Brian Boyle - Brandon Prust
Michael Rupp - John Mitchell - Stu Bickel

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto - Anton Stralman
Marc Staal - Steve Eminger

Henrik Lundqvist
Martin Biron

The Jackets' lineup is more guesswork. Interim coach Todd Richards said Saturday following a home loss to the Blackhawks that the plan was to start Steve Mason in net. Rookie Ryan Johansen has been a healthy scratch of late, but he could possibly find himself in the lineup.

Here's what Columbus used Saturday:

BLUE JACKETS
R.J. Umberger - Derick Brassard - Rick Nash
Vinny Prospal - Mark Letestu - Jeff Carter
Antoine Vermette - Samuel Pahlsson - Derek Dorsett
Colton Gillies - Derek Mackenzie - Ryan Russell
 
John Moore - James Wisniewski
Aaron Johnson - Fedor Tyutin
Brett Lebda - David Savard

Steve Mason
Allen York

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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Posted On Sunday, 02.19.2012 / 3:13 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Avalanche's projected lineup for Sunday

WINNIPEG -- The Colorado Avalanche will have an opponent with which to commiserate, but they do not expect any sympathy from the Winnipeg Jets.

Like the Jets, the Avalanche (29-26-4) have 62 points and find themselves in a battle to break into the playoff top-eight after winning at Edmonton, 3-1, on Friday night. Sitting in 11th place, the Avalanche sit three points behind the eighth-place Calgary Flames and will also need to overtake the Los Angeles Kings and Dallas Stars.

"It's going to be an exciting game," Colorado coach Joe Sacco predicted. "It should be almost a playoff-type atmosphere."

The Avalanche will welcome back Matt Duchene, who missed 20 games with a knee injury. Duchene has 12 goals in 39 games before suffering the first major injury of his career.

"We're excited to have him back," Sacco said. "It's not going to be the easiest transition when you miss that amount of time, so it's going to take a little bit of time to get his feet well. But we're a team now that has played much better."

"Offensively, we still need more guys contributing," Sacco said of the  and Matt helps in that area."

Sacco would like to manage Duchene's minutes on a line with Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk, but admitted that the plan may be subject to change.

"You always say that," Sacco said, "but it never really happens. It just depends on how the game is going and how he is feeling. We'll monitor as we go along. He has looked good in practice. He looks like he has a lot of energy, a lot of jump."

Duchene spent Saturday making sure that he was well-rested for the tonight's game and watched the Calgary-Los Angeles game on Hockey Night in Canada to tire himself out before bed.

"It's great to be back," Duchene said.

Duchene hopes that his play will merit extra ice time in spite of his long lay-off, and Sacco admitted that Duchene's first-line status and role on the Colorado power play will cause his minutes to accumulate quickly.

"It doesn't matter which way you contribute," Duchene said, "as long as you contribute."

While regaining Duchene's services, Colorado will be without Peter Mueller and T.J. Galiardi.

Semyon Varlamov will again start in net for the Avalanche after stopping 26 of 27 shots at Edmonton.

Here are the projected lines and pairings for the Avalanche:

AVALANCHE

Matt DuchenePaul StastnyMilan Hejduk
Mark OlverRyan O'ReillyGabriel Landeskog
Daniel WinnikJay McClementKevin Porter
Cody McLeodDavid Van Der GulikChuck Kobasew

Kyle QuinceyErik Johnson
Jan HejdaRyan O'Byrne
Shane O'BrienRyan Wilson

Sergei Varlamov
Cedrick Desjardins
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Posted On Sunday, 02.19.2012 / 3:07 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Jets' projected lineup for Sunday

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets bought themselves more time in the Eastern Conference playoff race with a 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins on Friday night that began an eight-game homestand.

Now the Jets (28-26-6) have a chance to make further headway when the Colorado Avalanche visit the MTS Centre tonight. The Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs both lost on Saturday night. With a win tonight, the Jets could pass the Capitals and tie the Maple Leafs at 64 points. A Jets win and a regulation loss for the Florida Panthers would also slide Winnipeg to within one point of the Southeast Division lead.

Zach Bogosian will miss his third consecutive game on the Winnipeg blue line. In an attempt to generate more production from his fourth line, Jets coach Claude Noel will replace Antti Miettinen with Eric Fehr.

But Fehr drew a sharp challenge from Noel. Fehr has just one goal in 31 games this season and has struggled to make an impact in his first year with the organization after being acquired in an offseason trade with the Capitals.

"I'd like him to show me that he wants to have success," Noel said of Fehr. "It's that simple. Help me to help you. I'll play him 20 minutes if he can help me. All I want from him is to just perform. Ask yourself at the end of the day, 'What impact did I have on the game?'"

"Show it to me," Noel continued. "I'm waiting."

Ondrej Pavelec will start in net for the Jets.

Here are the projected lines and pairings for Winnipeg:

JETS

Andrew LaddBryan LittleBlake Wheeler
Evander KaneAlexander BurmistrovKyle Wellwood
Tanner GlassJim SlaterChris Thorburn
Tim StapletonNik AntropovEric Fehr

Toby Enstrom – Dustin Byfuglien
Johnny OduyaRon Hainsey
Randy JonesMark Stuart

Ondrej Pavelec
Chris Mason
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Posted On Sunday, 02.19.2012 / 2:11 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

SJ @ DET - 14:33 of the Second Period

At 14:33 of the second period in the Sharks/Red Wings game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that the puck was played off Justin Abdelkader's stick and went into the Detroit net. Good Goal San Jose.
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Posted On Sunday, 02.19.2012 / 1:27 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

STL @ CHI - 19:36 of the First Period

At 19:36 of the first period in the Blues/Blackhawks game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Jamie Langenbrunner kicked the puck to Andy McDonald who shot the puck into the net in a legal fashion. Good Goal St. Louis.
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Posted On Sunday, 02.19.2012 / 12:31 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

DeBoer not taking postseason for granted

MONTREAL -- After three seasons of missing the playoffs as head coach of the Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils bench boss Peter DeBoer is likely sincere when he says his club's incredible run since the All-Star break has not necessarily allowed him to sleep much better at night.

"I'm never comfortable this time of year. You're a bad weekend away from being in a dogfight for eighth," DeBoer said Sunday morning. "You're never comfortable until you're in."

In that case, the Devils opponents Sunday evening are not the least bit comfortable, seeing as the Montreal Canadiens sit six points out of the final playoff spot, with four teams to leapfrog in order to get there.

The Habs have put together a 5-1-1 stretch to remain on the periphery of the playoff hunt, and DeBoer is cognizant of the effect the trade of defenseman Hal Gill to the Nashville Predators on Friday can have on a team's attitude.

"We're going to see a desperate team," DeBoer said. "I think they've been playing well, I've watched the last few games on tape. They always give us a hard time, they have a lot of speed, a lot of skill. You never know how a team's going to react once you begin making trades or selling off guys. I've been on that end of that, and a lot of times you get a positive reaction because other guys are getting an opportunity. So we have to be prepared for that."

The Devils have been on a tremendous run since the All-Star break with a 7-1-1 record, and DeBoer gives all the credit for that to his leadership group of goaltender Martin Brodeur and forwards Zach Parise, Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias.

Brodeur has a 6-0-1 record with a .936 save percentage and 1.82 goals against average since the break, while Kovalchuk has 17 points, Parise has 10 points and Elias has 8 points in those nine games.

"We came out of the All-Star break and realized as a group that we had to find another level. It started with our best players. Marty Brodeur's come back and been outstanding, Kovalchuk, Parise, Elias, all those guys have found another level that we knew they had. It's translated into wins," DeBoer said. "Those guys realized that we needed a push here in order to get in. We went into the All-Star break sitting tied for eighth with a tough stretch of games coming out of it. We knew that the rubber was kind of hitting the road, so to speak, and we needed to find another level. Those guys have done that."

The Devils have done this largely without rookie defenseman Adam Larsson, who has been out with a bruised back since taking a big hit from Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban and slamming hard into the boards in New Jersey on Feb. 2. In addition to that, Henrik Tallinder has been out since Jan. 17 with a leg injury, and it appears another defenseman will also be missing Sunday as Kurtis Foster will likely be replaced by minor league call-up Peter Harrold.

In light of this, DeBoer says Brodeur's play of late has been more vital than ever.

"We need him to be our best player on a lot of nights, especially with some of the injuries on defense we've been dealing with," he said. "He's been great."

Brodeur will be playing his final game of the season in his hometown, where he has a career record of 18-8-1 with a 1.55 GAA, .944 save percentage and five shutouts.

Carey Price will get the start in goal for the Canadiens, who did not skate Sunday morning.

Here are the expected lineups for Sunday night's game.

DEVILS


Zach PariseAdam HenriqueIlya Kovalchuk
Petr SykoraPatrik EliasDavid Clarkson
Alexei PonikarovskyDainius ZubrusSteve Bernier
Eric BoultonJacob JosefsonNick Palmieri

Andy GreeneMark Fayne
Bryce SalvadorAnton Volchenkov
Matt TaorminaPeter Harrold

CANADIENS

Max PaciorettyDavid DesharnaisErik Cole
Mathieu DarcheTomas PlekanecRene Bourque
Ryan WhiteScott GomezAndrei Kostitsyn
Louis LeblancLars Eller

Josh GorgesP.K. Subban
Alexei EmelinRaphael Diaz
Tomas KaberleChris Campoli

Yannick Weber
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Posted On Sunday, 02.19.2012 / 12:23 PM

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

Blues-Blackhawks projected lineups

CHICAGO -- Here are the projected lineups for today's Central Division matchup between the St. Louis Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center.

BLUES

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

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

Brian Elliott
Ben Bishop

Elliott gets the start after a 13-save effort in blanking Minnesota Saturday afternoon. Bishop will once again back up as Jaroslav Halak continues to battle the flu and did not make the trip. The Blues are expected to use the same lineup as Saturday, but there is a chance D Carlo Colaiacovo and F Chris Porter could replace somebody today. The Blues continue to play without injured players LW Alex Steen (concussion symptoms) and Matt D'Agostini (concussion).

BLACKHAWKS

Patrick Sharp - Jonathan Toews - Patrick Kane
Andrew Brunette - Marcus Kruger - Marian Hossa
Bryan Bickell - Dave Bolland - Viktor Stalberg
Jimmy Hayes - Jamal Mayers - John Scott

Duncan Keith - Dylan Olsen
Nick Leddy - Brent Seabrook
Sean O'Donnell - Sami Lepisto

Corey Crawford
Ray Emery

The Blackhawks, who have won two straight after an 0-8-1 slide, are without defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson and Steve Montador because of injuries. C Brendan Morrison and RW Michael Frolik are expected to be healthy scratches. Crawford is expected to start again after stopping 33 shots Saturday at Columbus.
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Posted On Sunday, 02.19.2012 / 12:00 PM

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

Projected Predators-Stars lineups

DALLAS -- Here are the projected lineups for tonight's game between the Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.

PREDATORS

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

Ryan Suter-Shea Weber
Hal Gill-Kevin Klein
Roman Josei-Francis Bouillon

Pekka Rinne (starter)
Anders Lindback

Scratches: Ryan Ellis, Jack Hillen.

Injuries: Patric Hornqvist (upper body), Brian McGrattan (upper body).

Notes:  Barry Trotz's Predators are 0-3-1 in their last four games away from the Music City and they are 0-2-0 against the Stars so far this season. D Hal Gill figures to make his Nashville debut today in Dallas after being acquired on Friday in a trade with Montreal. The addition of Gill makes the Preds, who were already pretty deep at the blueline, even deeper, which could pay huge dividends down the stretch and come playoff time. Nashville fell 2-1 at Detroit on Friday. Unlike Dallas, they did not play on Saturday and figure to be well-rested for this one.

STARS

Loui Eriksson-Mike Ribeiro-Michael Ryder
Steve Ott-Tom Wandell-Tomas Vincour
Eric Nystrom-Vernon Fiddler-Radek Dvorak
Ryan Garbutt-Jake Dowell-Adam Burish

Alex Goligoski-Stephane Robidas
Nicklas Grossman-Trevor Daley
Philip Larsen-Mark Fistric

Richard Bachman (starter)
Kari Lehtonen

Scratch: Toby Petersen.

Injuries: Jamie Benn, (knee), Brenden Morrow (upper body), Sheldon Souray (foot).

Notes:  The Stars head into today's game with Nashville after a 2-1 overtime loss at Phoenix last night. Dallas is 0-8-2 in the second leg of a back-to-back this season and the only team in the NHL yet to win the second game of a back-to-back. It looks like Glen Gulutzan's club will be without All-Star center Jamie Benn for a second straight game as he continues to recover after being cut by the skate of Chris Giordano in a 3-2 overtime win over Calgary on Thursday. Dallas is 2-0-0 against the Predators this season and the Stars have won four of the last five meetings.
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Posted On Sunday, 02.19.2012 / 11:15 AM

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

Weiss set to tie Panthers' games played mark

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Center Stephen Weiss is by far the longest-tenured member of the Florida Panthers. After Sunday night's game against Anaheim, no one will have played more games for the franchise, period.

Weiss will play in his 613th game for the Panthers Sunday, tying Radek Dvorak for most in franchise history.

While Dvorak had two different stints in Florida (1995-99 and 2007-11), Weiss has been a mainstay for the Panthers since making his NHL debut in April 2002.

The fourth overall pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Weiss earlier this season became Florida's all-time leader in assists.

Weiss again is likely to center a line between Tomas Fleischmann and Kris Versteeg against the Ducks. The Panthers will have a new defenseman in the lineup after recalling Nolan Yonkman from San Antonio Saturday to replace rookie Colby Robak, who was sent down.

Here are the projected lineups for Sunday's game between the Ducks and Panthers:

ANAHEIM 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
Jeff Deslauriers

FLORIDA PANTHERS

Tomas Fleischmann - Stephen Weiss - Kris Versteeg
Sean Bergenheim - Marcel Goc - Mikael Samuelsson
Tomas Kopecky - Shawn Matthias - Jack Skille
Krys Barch - Mike Santorelli - Matt Bradley

Brian Campbell - Erik Gudbranson
Keaton Ellerby - Mike Weaver
Nolan Yonkman - Tyson Strachan

Jose Theodore
Scott Clemmensen
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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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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