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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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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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