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Posted On Thursday, 02.02.2012 / 6:10 PM

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

Budding rivalry for Canucks and Red Wings?

VANCOUVER -- The Red Wings and Canucks typically play exceptional, entertaining games.

With two of the League's top teams loaded with skill and eager to control the puck, there has rarely been a shortage in fast-paced hockey full of quality scoring chances and great saves, and Thursday's meeting between No. 1 and 2 in the Western Conference promises more of the same.

“It's always fun to play the good teams,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said.

That was again the case when they last met on Dec. 21, but the tone changed after Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall caught Vancouver center Ryan Kesler with his head down. The thunderous open-ice check -- deemed legal both on the ice and by those in charge of supplementary discipline -- added an edge to the rest of the game, starting with Kesler trying to fight Kronwall right after getting up.

Kesler ended up with the only penalty, but the Canucks scored a crucial insurance goal shorthanded after Jannik Hansen wiped out Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard on a partial breakaway. Howard responded by popping up and chasing down a celebrating Hansen, and perhaps a real rivalry was born.

"It's almost become a little bit of a rivalry, really, a lot of emotions out there," Kronwall said, adding he hadn't thought about potential carry over from his hit. "Any time we play Vancouver we know it's going to be a physical game. A lot of times it's more of a playoff character game really, not a lot of room and hard fought."

That last game finished with a knee-on-knee collision between Kesler and Henrik Zetterberg. Afterwards Kesler called out Kronwall for not backing up his hit with a fight, and Howard sounded off about the lack of protection from crease crashers.

"This game is all about emotion and it got a little bit of the best of me last time," Howard said. "It always is (a great game) whenever we play them. Both teams play similar, both want possession of the puck and both make it hard on the opposing goalie and D. Whenever we play here they are always crashing the net and got guys trying to take my sightlines away but it's on me to try and find it out there and not lose sight of the puck."

Kesler, whose job includes doing just that on the Canucks' power play, didn't have much to say on the Kronwall hit now, and expects a spirited but clean game.

"I completely forgot about it until you brought it up again, so that's how much it's on my mind right now," Kesler said of the hit. "I think you expect a hard-fought game, you expect two teams to battle hard and battle clean, that's what you're going to see."

As for Babcock, he couldn't even figure out what the fuss was about.

"I didn't know the game was chippy last time until some of the guys told me about the articles. There was a hit and the guy reacted, that happens in the NHL a lot -- so what?" he said.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.02.2012 / 5:35 PM

NHL.com - NHL.com Countdown to the Trade Deadline blog

Caps make pair of minor deals

The Washington Capitals acquired defenseman Kevin Marshall from the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday in exchange for right wing Matt Ford. They also acquired center Mike Carman from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defenseman Danny Richmond.

Both players will report to the Caps' AHL team, the Hershey Bears.

Marshall, 22, had two goals, three assists and 55 penalty minutes in 32 games this season with the Adirondack Phantoms of the AHL. The Boucherville, Que., native made his NHL debut on Nov. 21 against Carolina and has appeared in 10 NHL games, all with the Flyers, collecting eight penalty minutes. He has seven goals, 21 assists and 255 PIM in 185 career AHL games.

The 6-foot-1, 207-pound defenseman was originally drafted by Philadelphia in the second round (No. 41) of the 2007 NHL Draft.

Carman, 23, had three goals, three assists and 10 PIM in 28 games this season with the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL. The native of Apple Valley, Minn., has 14 goals, 11 assists and 79 penalty minutes in 107 career AHL games and was a three-time member of Team USA at the World Junior Championship from 2006-08. He was originally taken by Colorado in the third round (No. 81) in the 2006 draft.

Ford, 27, had 10 goals and 18 assists in 39 games with Hershey this season while Richmond tallied four assists in 24 games with Hershey.

Ford appeared in 76 games with the AHL's Lake Erie Monsters last season, where he scored a career-high 26 goals and added 16 assists for a career-high 42 points. He has 50 goals and 50 assists for 100 points in 190 career AHL games with Hershey, Lake Erie and the Hartford Wolf Pack, and will be assigned to Adirondack.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.02.2012 / 4:54 PM

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

Canucks hope to fix power play by imitating Wings

VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Canucks have no problem admitting they emulate the Detroit Red Wings in terms of how they've built their team and want to play.

Coach Alain Vigneault would like them to imitate Detroit in front of the net too.

With his team struggling slightly not only on the power play -- it's relative when you lead the League -- but also just to generate man advantages, Vigneault stressed the need for improved net presence from his Canucks. Not only should it help a power play that hasn't scored in six chances over three games, but it should create more chances after Vancouver failed to get even one advantage during a 3-2 overtime win over rival Chicago on Tuesday.

"I'd like to take a page out of Detroit's book," Vigneault said. "I feel they're the best team in the League as far as net presence and always having somebody there -- square to the puck and making it hard on the goaltender. We need to screen the goalie more than looking to tip pucks. And they have so many big bodies that like to do that and go in those tough areas. They're one of the most physical teams in the League."

Detroit also has one of the NHL's best net-front presences in Tomas Holmstrom, who returns to action against the Canucks after missing a game with swollen knees. He's a player that Vancouver's Ryan Kesler has tried to learn from since taking over that hard role atop opposing creases last season, a job his coach believes will be key to ending the Canucks' 3-for-23 skid over the last eight games.

"I try to get better at that every day, it's still pretty new to me," said Kesler, a center who used to anchor the second unit. "I always try to pick up little things and he's pretty good at it. Tips is one thing, just learning how and when to take the goalie's eyes away."

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Posted On Thursday, 02.02.2012 / 4:40 PM

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

Clowe returns for Sharks, but Niemi injured

SAN JOSE -- Sharks forward Ryane Clowe was activated from injured reserve and will return to the lineup Thursday night against Dallas, but San Jose will be without No. 1 goaltender Antti Niemi, who suffered a lower-body injury Wednesday during practice.

Backup goalie Thomas Greiss will start against the Stars. Tyson Sexsmith was recalled from Worcester of the AHL to serve as Greiss’ backup Thursday night, and veteran Antero Niittymaki, who cleared waivers, was assigned to Worcester. In another roster move, defenseman Jason Demers (lower body) was placed on injured reserve.

Niemi was injured when he was hit by a puck. A smiling Niemi called it a “mid-body” injury and said he’ll be back on the ice for practice Friday and will ready to play Saturday at Phoenix.

“It should be fine,” Niemi said.

Clowe missed the past six games because of a facial fracture he suffered Jan. 10 at Minnesota. He played three games after that – the first two while wearing a protective cage – before going on injured reserve. He wore a protective visor during Thursday morning’s optional skate at HP Pavilion, and he’ll wear one tonight in a game for the first time since his junior hockey days.

“I think it’s probably smart for another little bit to keep it on,” Clowe said. “I don’t want anything to happen, get smacked there again. It was weird, really weird. That was the first time I’ve worn a visor in a while, but it was a little better than a cage.”

“I was advised it was the right thing to do. I think it’s something where I know that if I wear it for a little bit I can take it off eventually here pretty soon hopefully.”

Clowe is known for his rugged, aggressive style of play, as well as his willingness to drop the gloves. Will he have to be more cautious in light of his injury?

“Obviously the fighting part will be not there, I guess. Who knows?” Clowe said. “I’m not going to say it’s not going to be there because you see what happened to (defenseman Colin White) last game. I don’t’ think it will change my style. I can’t be cautious. I wouldn’t play if I felt I had to be timid out there. I’ll be my normal self, I think.”

White rarely fights because an eye injury he suffered in 2007, but he fought during the third period against Columbus on Tuesday night after taking a shoulder to the head.

Clowe seemed more concerned about adjusting to the visor and to live-game action after a long layoff than about his injury.

“I think the first period will be a bit of a battle tonight,” Clowe said. “I’m sure I’ll be sucking wind. I’m sure I’ll have spit and snot and everything else in my visor that I’ll be trying to battle through. That’s what I’ve got to get used to, and then the legs come after that. I’ve got to be able to see first.”

Niemi has had back-to-back shutouts, beating Calgary and Columbus, but Greiss has been on a hot streak, too. He allowed just one goal in each of his past three starts, beating Columbus twice and losing to Edmonton in a shootout.

“He’s kept teams to one goal and he’s come in and played very well,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. “There isn’t any added pressure on him, by any means. He just comes in and plays his game, and that’s what we want to see.”

Greiss will face a Dallas team that is coming off a 6-2 win Wednesday night at Anaheim but had scored a total of seven goals in its previous six games.

“They have a couple of really good shooters,” Greiss said. “(Mike) Ribeiro is really crafty. You have to be ready for him, especially on the power play. He can throw a couple moves at you.

“Their whole team likes to try to go to the net. A couple of … disturbers, too. It should be a fun game.”

Sexsmith, a third-round pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, struggled last year at Worcester when he played despite having a hernia, but he made the AHL All-Star team this year. He has a 2.15 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage for Worcester.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Sexsmith said. “I’ve been in San Jose for a few years now, just waiting for my chance – having a good year down in Worcester. I finally got a chance to come up here and see what it’s like.”

After playing Wednesday night at Anaheim, the Stars held an optional morning skate with just three players on the ice – forward Toby Petersen, defensemen Nicklas Grossman and Adam Pardy and goaltender Richard Bachman. Grossman missed the Anaheim game because of the flu, but he’ll likely return to the lineup Thursday night.

Bachman will start for Dallas in place of Kari Lehtonen, Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said Wednesday night after his team’s win over Anaheim. Bachman is 6-2-1 with a 2.50 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage. In the Sharks’ 5-2 victory against Dallas on Dec. 8, Bachman saw his first action of the season for the Stars in relief of Andrew Raycroft and stopped all 11 shots he faced. After that, he played well enough to earn the backup job.

“As a young goaltender, he came in and took a veteran’s job,” McLellan said. “When you do that, you’re doing something well. They ran him for a while and got a number of wins from him, so he feels good about being in the league. After that, the rest will be up to us to try to get to him and get to some second chances in and around the net. But based on the pre-scout, he’s played pretty well for them.”
Here’s how the lineups could look Thursday night when the San Jose Sharks face the Dallas Stars at HP Pavilion:

Patrick Marleau - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Ryane Clowe - Logan Couture - Benn Ferriero
Jamie McGinn - Michal Handzus - Torrey Mitchell
Brad Winchester - Andrew Desjardins - Jim Vandermeer

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

Thomas Greiss
Tyson Sexsmith

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

Sheldon Souray - Stephane Robidas
Alex Goligoski - Philip Larsen
Nicklas Grossman - Trevor Daley

Richard Bachman
Kari Lehtonen
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Posted On Thursday, 02.02.2012 / 4:36 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Avs get another crack at beating division foe

DENVER -- If the Colorado Avalanche miss the playoffs for the second year in a row, coaches and players will have to look no further than at an abysmal record against Northwest Division opponents.

The Avalanche have lost 11 of 13 games against teams in the division this season, including two of three meetings with the Minnesota Wild, tonight's opponent at the Pepsi Center.

"It would be nice to know where we'd be if we had a better record in our division," Avalanche coach Joe Sacco said this morning.

The Pepsi Center has been a friendly place for the Wild, who broke an 11-game winless streak here with a 3-2 victory on Jan. 24 and have posted a 9-1-2 record in their past dozen visits.

"We have to prepare ourselves better," said Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who will start in goal for the Avalanche. "I think most of those losses that we had, we didn't play for 60 minutes. We didn't have a good start and we shot ourselves in the foot. The last game against Minnesota is a prime example. They outworked us for most of the game and you're not going to win any games in this League if you don't work hard. We should be ready and excited about these games."

The Avalanche have lost three games in a row (all by 3-2 scores) to fall into 10th place in the Western Conference, one point behind an eighth-place Wild team that has played two fewer games. Colorado and ninth-place Dallas each have 54 points, but the Stars have played three fewer games.

"We have to start winning some games," Giguere said. "We can't just keep losing and think there are 28 or 27 more games. We have to put some points in the bank, because those games that you are losing now are going to end up hurting you in the end."

After playing nine of 12 games on the road in January, the Avalanche will split 12 games in February between home and the road. Tonight's game is the first of a four-game homestand.

"We have to try and capture some of the momentum that we've lost over the last couple of games," said Sacco, who needs one win for 100 in his NHL coaching career, all with Colorado. "I like the fact that we have a four-game homestand. It's been a long time since we've had any sort of homestand. You have to take care of business at home, and that's what we'll be looking to do."

The Wild, meantime, is looking to put Tuesday's stunning 5-4 loss to Nashville behind it. The Predators scored four goals in the final 10 1/2 minutes to wipe out a 4-1 deficit.

"We've all been through games like that, in this League or other leagues," said Wild left wing Dany Heatley, who has 3 goals and 3 assists in a three-game point-scoring streak. "We're in too tight of a race to let that linger and bother us."

Wild coach Mike Yeo has already turned the page, pointing out his team has won two of the past three games and played well in all three, with the exception of the last 10 minutes against Nashville.

"If we want to dwell on anything, it should be the fact that we should have won the game," he said.

Sacco said he didn't feel the need to discuss the Wild's meltdown with his players, since the Avalanche are coming off a poor performance in Tuesday's 3-2 loss in Edmonton.

"We're in the same boat," he said. "The Edmonton game was a game that we obviously wanted to win, just like Minnesota wanted to beat Nashville. I know the circumstances might be a little bit different, but we should have as much of a sour taste in our mouth as they should. We have to make sure we're ready to bring our 'A' game tonight."

The Wild has experienced plenty of success in Denver largely because of goalie Niklas Backstrom. He's gone 8-2-1 at the Pepsi Center with two shutouts, a 2.12 goals-against average and .934 save percentage. Backstrom is 5-1-1 in the past seven games, permitting one goal or fewer in five of them.

"We need to get out of this skid here and make sure we start putting points in the bank," said Avalanche defenseman and Minnesota native Erik Johnson. "If you're going to be successful, you have to take care of your divisional games. We haven't done that to date, and we've talked about it a lot and this is one of those games tonight."
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Posted On Thursday, 02.02.2012 / 4:16 PM

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

Holmstrom plans on setting up shop like usual

VANCOUVER -- Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom will play Thursday night after missing one game with swollen knees, and plans to go straight to his usual spot in front of Vancouver's net. The 39-year-old isn't worried about his health.

The knees are a long way from the heart.

"I play my game, I like the game I play, and it's a good spot to be, the puck is going to be there sooner or later," Holmstrom, who didn't play in Calgary on Tuesday and was hobbling around with ice on his knees, told NHL.com. “I never think about if I take a beating.”

Holmstrom has taken plenty of pounding during 14 NHL seasons establishing himself as the League's best net-front presence. He's a fourth liner now, but remains invaluable on the first power-play unit, screening opposing goalies and scoring on tips and rebounds.

For Holmstrom, it's an easier job now -- even at his age -- then when he first started.

"After the lockout it seems like you can get to the net much easier, you can't do the cross checking before you get to the net, but when the puck comes there, hell still breaks loose," he said with a smile. "But back then you got three cross checks to the neck before you get to the paint, and then you get cross-checked again. So it's a huge difference."

Detroit was 0-for-3 on the power play without Holmstrom against the Flames, though his replacement, Jan Mursak, who will come out of the lineup against the Canucks on Thursday, did set up a goal in just 7:32 of ice time on the fourth line.

Here are the rest of the expected lineups and changes for the Red Wings and Canucks:
Johan Franzen - Pavel Datsyuk - Todd Bertuzzi
Valtteri Filppula - Henrik Zetterberg - Jiri Hudler
Drew Miller - Darren Helm - Danny Cleary
Cory Emmerton - Justin Abdelkader - Tomas Holmstrom

There is one change on defense as well, with Jakub Kindl replacing Mike Commodore on the third pairing, ending a run of four-straight starts for the latter.

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

Jimmy Howard, who was given a day off Wednesday and, along with fellow All Star Pavel Datsyuk, ordered to stay away from the rink entirely, makes his sixth-straight start while Ty Conklin backs up.
Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Alexandre Burrows
Chris Higgins - Ryan Kesler - David Booth
Mason Raymond - Cody Hodgson - Jannik Hansen
Manny Malhotra - Maxim Lapierre - Dale Weise

Dan Hamhuis - Kevin Bieksa
Alexander Edler - Sami Salo
Keith Ballard - Aaron Rome

As the Canucks wrap up a six-game homestand broken up by the All-Star break, the only change is in goal, where Roberto Luongo returns after watching Cory Schneider's often-spectacular 37-save effort in a 3-2 overtime win over Chicago on Tuesday.

The win included a highlight-reel diving save to take away an empty net after he gave the puck away behind his own net, prompting Luongo to joke about trying to top his partner with a "backhand sauce up the middle and then dive back to see if I can get it."

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Posted On Thursday, 02.02.2012 / 3:44 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com Countdown to the Trade Deadline blog

Several teams face interesting trade decisions

Earlier Thursday, we touched on the situation for the Dallas Stars as the Trade Deadline approaches. The Stars could go in a few different directions, and they are not alone.

There are probably 28 teams that still think the Stanley Cup Playoffs are a remote possibility, though that number could shrink by a few well before the deadline. Still, there is a group of teams that will have to decide if now is the time to strike and add a player or players to bolster a playoff run, or if sticking to the original plan of patience and developing a contender through young players.

Here’s a look at a few of those teams that could swing the number of buyers and sellers and alter the market of available players in drastic fashion:

DALLAS STARS: As already discussed, the Stars are in ninth place and could buy, sell or stay put. GM Joe Nieuwenduk has retooled the roster and there are young centerpieces in place like Jamie Benn, Alex Goligoski and Loui Eriksson and a couple of potential impact prospects in Scott Glennie, Jamie Oleksiak and Jack Campbell.

OTTAWA SENATORS: Nobody thought the Senators would even be in a position to battle for a playoff spot, let alone solidly in the top six of the Eastern Conference. Now that the Senators are a legitimate playoff contender, should GM Bryan Murray try to add veterans one year after dealing a bunch of them away and starting a rebuild? The Senators have prospects and young players at every position and no obvious long-term holes, but Murray may want to build on the momentum of this surprising campaign.

COLORADO AVALANCHE: The Avalanche have yo-yoed a bit in recent seasons, ending up with high picks in 2009 and 2011 with a surprise playoff appearance in 2010 mixed in. Colorado is back in the mix again this season. GM Greg Sherman made a big splash by paying a high price for young goaltender Semyon Varlamov, but veteran Jean-Sebastien Giguere has taken control of the nets in Denver and has helped the Avalanche to within a point of eighth place in the Western Conference. The Avalanche could make a push, or they can sit tight and be content with a nice collection of young talent with which to build. If they stumble and decide to sell, don’t be surprised if Sherman tries to obtain high picks in the 2012 Entry Draft after dealing his first pick in 2012 and a No. 2 in either 2012 or 2013 for Varlamov.

WINNIPEG JETS: The Jets are five points back in both the race for the Southeast Division title and the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Winnipeg is a young team and given it is the first year back in Manitoba there may not be as much pressure to make the playoffs as there might be in places like Dallas, Minnesota and Florida. Still, the Jets have plenty of salary-cap space and could also look to add some help up front and make a push for an even more memorable return for the NHL in Winnipeg.
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Posted On Thursday, 02.02.2012 / 3:14 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Wild, Avalanche

DENVER -- These are the projected lineups for tonight’s game between the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center:

Dany Heatley - Kyle Brodziak - Nick Johnson
Cal Clutterbuck - Matt Cullen - Devin Setoguchi
Darroll Powe - Warren Peters - Carson McMillan
Matt Kassian - Chad Rau - Jed Ortmeyer

Nick Schultz - Jared Spurgeon
Justin Falk - Nate Prosser
Greg Zanon - Clayton Stoner

Niklas Backstrom
Josh Harding

Injuries: RW Pierre-Marc Bouchard (concussion), C Mikko Koivu (shoulder), LW Guillaume Latendresse (concussion) and RW Jarod Palmer (concussion) are out.


Gabriel Landeskog - Ryan O'ReillyMilan Hejduk
TJ Galiardi - Paul Stastny - Peter Mueller
Daniel Winnik - Jay McClement - Chuck Kobasew
Cody McLeod - David Van Der Gulik - Kevin Porter

Erik Johnson - Stefan Elliott
Kyle Quincey - Ryan Wilson
Jan Hejda - Ryan O'Byrne

Jean-Sebastien Giguere
Semyon Varlamov

Injuries: LW Matt Duchene (knee) is out.
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Posted On Thursday, 02.02.2012 / 1:06 PM

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

Byfuglien returns to lineup as Jets visit Lightning

TAMPA -- Two teams on the outside looking in at the postseason hook up tonight when the Winnipeg Jets visit the Tampa Bay Times at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

The Jets, heading into a stretch of three road games in four nights amid a season-long six-game road swing got some good news as defenseman Dustin Byfuglien returns to the lineup after missing 16 games with a knee injury.

"Looks like Buf is ready to go," Jets coach Claude Noel said. "That's a welcome addition. He stabilizes the other guys."

The unknown is how much Byfuglien will be able to play, but Noel cautioned about expecting too much.

"In all fairness, he hasn't played for a while so we have to be a little bit patient," Noel said. "He'll have enthusiasm, and most times it goes good for the first game and then drops off later, but we'll monitor his condition level and see where he's at."

Even if Byfuglien's minutes on the ice are minimal, his teammates are glad to see him return.

"He's an important guy on our team," goalie Ondrej Pavelec said. "Lately we've had trouble scoring goals and I'm pretty sure this guy will help us."

Tampa Bay has won seven straight home games against the Thrashers/Jets and is riding a season-long five game winning streak. This is the third meeting between these two teams this season, with Tampa Bay and Winnipeg each winning at home.

"They've got some dangerous players," Noel said. "(Steven) Stamkos alone has 32 goals; that's pretty awesome for one guy to have that many goals. Who are you going to check? Lecavalier and St. Louis or Stamkos and whoever he's with? It should be a really good challenge. It should be a really good game."

Here are tonight's projected lineups:

Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Blake Wheeler
Kyle Wellwood - Nik Antropov - Eric Fehr
Tanner Glass - Jim Slater - Chris Thorburn
Aaron Gagnon - Alexander Burmistrov - Antti Miettinen

Tobias Enstrom - Dustin Byfuglien
Ron Hainsey - Zach Bogosian
Johnny Oduya - Mark Stuart

Ondrej Pavelec
Chris Mason

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

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

Mathieu Garon
Dwayne Roloson
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Posted On Thursday, 02.02.2012 / 1:02 PM

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

Hurricanes focus on improving road record

BOSTON -- While the Carolina Hurricanes have enjoyed their matchups with the Boston Bruins this season to the tune of a 3-0-0 record against the defending Stanley Cup champions, they've struggled on the road regardless of the opponent.

Entering tonight's game at the TD Garden, the Hurricanes are 28th in the NHL in the road standings with a 5-13-6 record. Coach Kirk Muller, however, is quick to point out that over their last 10 games, the Hurricanes have played four contests away from Raleigh and compiled a 1-1-2 record.

"We're kind of looking at it more, not so much over the year, like game to game and we've taken it in 10-game segments," Muller said after his team's morning skate. "And with that we're really pleased with our effort on the road, and that's what we've got to keep building on."

Chad LaRose did not make the trip to Boston due to flu-like symptoms. Drayson Bowman was recalled from Charlotte of the AHL to fill LaRose's spot.

Defenseman Jaroslav Spacek, who missed the last seven Hurricanes games with an upper-body injury, is expected to return to the lineup. Here's a look at the projected full roster that will take the ice against the Bruins:

Jiri Tlusty - Eric Staal - Tuomo Ruutu
Jeff Skinner - Jussi Jokinen - Riley Nash
Andreas Nodl - Brandon Sutter - Patrick Dwyer
Anthony Stewart - Tim Brent - Drayson Bowman

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

Cam Ward
Justin Peters

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Quote of the Day

I feel that responsibility, I've felt it for the last two years. We core guys get a lot of minutes, we get a lot of opportunity out there. Our teammates, the organization and fans look to us to be the guys to put the puck in the net and to create momentum out there.

— Jordan Eberle on taking his game and the Edmonton Oilers to the next level