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Posted On Friday, 01.13.2012 / 9:46 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

TBL @ WSH- 16:34 of the Third Period

At 16:34 of the third period in the Lightning / Capitals game, video review concluded that Steven Stamkos' shot cross the goal line in a legal fashion. Good goal Tampa Bay.

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Posted On Friday, 01.13.2012 / 8:26 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

PHX @ CBJ - 8:48 of the Second Period

At 8:48 of the second period in the Coyotes / Blue Jackets, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that the puck went off Lauri Korpikoski's skate and into the net in a legal fashion. Good goal Phoenix.

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."

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Posted On Friday, 01.13.2012 / 7:15 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

DiPietro to have sports hernia surgery

New York Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro is headed for another operation that could once again cut his season short.

The Islanders on Friday confirmed a report in Newsday that the injury-plagued goalie will have surgery Tuesday to repair a sports hernia and may not play again this season. DiPietro hasn't played since leaving the Islanders' game in Dallas on Dec. 3 with a groin injury. The paper says the injury nagged him long enough that the more serious sports hernia was discovered by the team's medical staff.

"This is something I thought would just heal up and go away, and instead it got more and more debilitating," DiPietro told Newsday on Thursday from Boston, where he will have the surgery. "I'm almost bionic at this point."

GM Garth Snow told the paper the best-case scenario for DiPietro's return would be the beginning of April. The regular season ends April 9.

It's the latest in a series of health problems for the 30-year-old goaltender, who was the first player taken in the 2000 NHL Draft and signed a 15-year contract in the summer of 2006.

DiPietro had the best season of his career in the first year after signing the contract, going 31-29-9 with a 2.58 goals-against average, a .919 save percentage and five shutouts in 2006-07 despite missing a month after suffering a concussion in March. He was superb again in the first half of the 2007-08 season, earning the start for the Eastern Conference in the All-Star Game.

But DiPietro injured his hip during the skills competition the night before the game in Atlanta and struggled in the second half before being shut down for the season in March and undergoing hip surgery.

Since then, he has played only 47 games -- just eight this season -- while undergoing a myriad of surgeries. He had another on his hip and one on his left knee in the summer of 2008, a second knee operation in January 2009 and surgery to repair facial fractures after a fight with Penguins goaltender Brent Johnson last February. He has also battled numerous groin and knee problems that have kept him off the ice for lengthy stretches of time.

DiPietro still has nine years left on his contract and told Newsday he has no plans to retire. "Nothing like that has even crossed my mind," he said. "Knock on wood, the doctors have said this is something you can come back from, lots of athletes have. I know I still want to play."

Snow told the paper neither he nor owner Charles Wang has broached the issue of retirement with DiPietro.

"I have confidence he can get through this," Snow said. "He'll have the surgery and in a few weeks, hopefully, he'll be back on the ice."

DiPietro is 3-2-3 this season with a 3.73 goals-against average and a save percentage of just .876. In 315 regular-season games, he is 130-133-8-31 with a 2.86 goals-against average, a .903 save percentage and 16 shutouts.

"This isn't something I ever thought would happen again," he said of the latest surgery. "I'm going to do whatever it takes to come back healthy, as fast as possible."
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Posted On Friday, 01.13.2012 / 5:34 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Knee surgery to end Carcillo's season

Chicago Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo, who received a seven-game suspension earlier this month for an illegal hit on Edmonton Oilers defenseman Tom Gilbert in which he was also injured, will miss the rest of the season after it was announced Friday he will need reconstructive knee surgery.

The following statement was issued by Blackhawks Head Team Physician Dr. Michael Terry:

"Daniel Carcillo will undergo anterior cruciate ligament reconstructive surgery on his left knee on Tuesday, Jan. 17. This decision was made today after much evaluation and consideration of various options. We anticipate a full return in six months."

Carcillo, 26, finished his first season with the Blackhawks with 2 goals, 11 points, 82 penalty minutes and a plus-10  rating in 28 games.

Over parts of five NHL seasons with Phoenix (2006-09), Philadelphia (2009-11) and Chicago, the King City, Ontario, native has registered 38 goals, 84 points and 1,068 penalty minutes in 310 regular-season games, as well as 5 goals and 11 points and a plus-6 rating in 33 Stanley Cup Playoff contests.
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Posted On Friday, 01.13.2012 / 4:51 PM

NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Barry meets the GEICO Gecko

Barry and the GEICO Gecko

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Posted On Friday, 01.13.2012 / 3:07 PM

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

Potential lineups for Blue Jackets, Coyotes

Columbus' Todd Richards will coach his first home game tonight when the Phoenix Coyotes invade Nationwide Arena.

"It's exciting to be at home and play a home game in front of your family and friends," Richards told the Columbus Dispatch. "But honestly…when the game gets going, you lose where you're at. You're focused on the game. When the game starts, you're just looking at the ice. You kind of block everything else out -- the crowd, the noise. You really zero in."

One of the things the crowd could make noise for is the return of defenseman Rostislav Klesla, who was the first draft pick in Blue Jackets history. The fourth pick of the 2000 Entry Draft, Klesla played parts of 10 seasons in Columbus before being traded to Phoenix last season. The Blue Jackets have announced they will play a video tribute to Klesla during the game.

Here are the likely lineups for the teams. The Coyotes, who lost in Detroit last night, opted against skating this morning:

BLUE JACKETS

Vinny Prospal - Derick Brassard - Rick Nash
Ryan Johansen - Antoine Vermette - Tomas Kubalik
Ryan Russell - Samuel Pahlsson - Derek Dorsett
Dane Byers - Derek MacKenzie - Jared Boll

Fedor Tyutin - Nikita Nikitin
Marc Methot - John Moore
Aaron Johnson - David Savard

Curtis Sanford will start in goal, with Steve Mason the backup.

COYOTES
Mikkel Boedker - Daymond Langkow - Shane Doan
Ray Whitney - Kyle Chipchura - Radim Vrbata
Taylor Pyatt - Gilbert Brule - Lauri Korpikoski
Raffi Torres - Boyd Gordon - Paul Bissonnette

Keith Yandle - Derek Morris
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Adrian Aucoin
Rostislav Klesla - Michal Rozsival

Jason LaBarbera will start in goal, with Mike Smith the backup.

For more on tonight's game, check out the preview here.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Friday, 01.13.2012 / 3:00 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Day after big hit, Kopitar says he's feeling OK

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar said he is OK after he was knocked out of Thursday night's game by Dallas captain Brenden Morrow.

Kopitar spoke briefly to a few reporters after the team's off-ice workout on Friday morning and said he felt good.

Would he have skated if the Kings practiced?

"I feel good so I don't see a reason why not," Kopitar said. "The bottom line is I feel good. I don't have any issues."

Kopitar was sent crashing into the end boards in a spectacular shoulder hit by Morrow with about eight minutes remaining in the third period. He was prone on the ice before he left on his own power although he appeared to favor a shoulder.

The Kings later announced it as an upper-body injury. Kopitar indicated that he was put in a quiet room but that it was all precautionary.

Asked if he thought Kopitar would play on Saturday in Calgary, Kings coach Darryl Sutter said, "Assuming we had practice today, he would practice. That's the way I look at it."

Kopitar, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury last March, was thankful to come out of it unharmed.

"It could have been worse, for sure," Kopitar said. "It's something I have to put behind me."
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Posted On Friday, 01.13.2012 / 2:06 PM

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

Panthers wary of injury-riddled Penguins

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers will face a reeling and wounded Pittsburgh team Friday night at the BankAtlantic Center, but they're not about to take the Penguins lightly.

Pittsburgh comes into the game on a six-game losing streak and without the services of stars Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal and Kris Letang.

When asked about facing a struggling Pittsburgh team, Dineen quickly replied, "It's a dangerous team, too. I have a lot of respect (for them). I coached against Danny Bylsma in the American League and watched how his team played so well last year under similar circumstances. They are definitely a little bit wounded, but that's an animal you always beware of."

That sentiment was echoed by Panthers center Stephen Weiss.

"Even a team like that, as good as they are, when injuries creep up to those type of players, it's tough to sustain that and they've had to do it for almost two years now," Weiss said. "It's starting to catch up a little bit, but that's a good hockey club. They play so well as a team, their systems. They're having a tough time putting it in, but they don't give up much a game. So we'll have to be ready."

For the Panthers, the game represents an opportunity to solidify their hold on first place in the Southeast Division and build off one of their most impressive victories of the season.

After going 0-1-1 on a trip to face the Rangers and Devils, the Panthers came home Monday night and handed the defending Western Conference champion Vancouver Canucks a 2-1 defeat.

"We felt that was a really important game against the Canucks, one of the top teams in the League, a Stanley Cup finalist last year," Dineen said. "That was a really important game and in review I think (we were) very strong from the goaltending on out."

Pittsburgh won the Stanley Cup in 2009, but the team the Panthers will face Friday night will look vastly different. The biggest reason, of course, is that the Penguins will be without Crosby.

"Certainly it's different when he's not in the lineup," Weiss said. "You come to the rink with a bit of a smile on your face when he's not playing because he's that good, but that team has a lot of weapons. Just the way they play as a unit is tough enough, so we'll have to be ready. With them losing a few in a row, they'll be even a little bit more ready to go, so it'll be a good hockey game."
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Posted On Friday, 01.13.2012 / 1:48 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Blue Jackets place Carter on IR

The Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday placed center Jeff Carter on injured reserve.

Carter suffered a shoulder injury Jan. 8 in a 7-4 loss to Anaheim.

The 27-year-old Carter has 10 goals, including a team-leading five on the power-play, and 17 points in just 30 games with the Blue Jackets this season. It's the second major injury Carter has suffered this season -- he broke his foot in mid-October and missed a month.

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Posted On Friday, 01.13.2012 / 1:44 PM

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

Theodore skates, but Clemmensen to start vs. Pens

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Goalie Jose Theodore took part in Florida's morning skate Friday, but he will not dress when the Panthers take on the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight.

This will be the fourth consecutive game Theodore has missed since sustaining a knee injury in a 3-2 victory over Montreal on New Year's Eve.

Veteran Scott Clemmensen, who is coming off a strong performance in Monday's 2-1 victory over Vancouver, will be in net against Pittsburgh, with recent AHL call-up Brian Foster again serving as his backup.

Theodore could be ready to return Monday night when the Panthers face Boston before heading out for three road games in four nights.

The Panthers also could be close to getting three of their four injured forwards back in the lineup.

Jack Skille (shoulder), Sean Bergenheim (groin) and Scottie Upshall (lower body) all took part in Friday's morning skate, albeit wearing non-contact jerseys.

Here are tonight's projected lineups:

PENGUINS

Chris Kunitz - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Pascal Dupuis - Dustin Jeffrey - Tyler Kennedy
Steve Sullivan - Matt Cooke - Richard Park
Eric Tangradi - Craig Adams - Arron Asham

Brooks Orpik - Deryk Engelland
Matt Niskanen - Ben Lovejoy
Paul Martin - Zbynek Michalek

Marc-Andre Fleury
Brent Johnson

PANTHERS
Tomas Fleischmann - Stephen Weiss - Kris Versteeg
Tomas Kopecky - John Madden - Mikael Samuelsson
Marcel Goc - Shawn Matthias - Michal Repik
Krystofer Barch - Mike Santorelli - Matt Bradley

Jason Garrison - Brian Campbell
Dmitry Kulikov - Mike Weaver
Ed Jovanovski - Erik Gudbranson

Scott Clemmensen
Brian Foster
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Quote of the Day

There was a lot of talk off the ice. From a player's standpoint, that's not the talk in the room. GMs make decisions, coaches make decisions, but as a team you have to come together and be ready to go, and we are.

— San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels on his team's approach entering training camp