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Posted On Tuesday, 02.07.2012 / 1:14 PM

By Lonnie Herman - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Lightning recall Oberg as insurance

TAMPA -- In what qualifies as somewhat of a mystery move, the Tampa Bay Lightning recalled defenseman Evan Oberg from Norfolk (American Hockey League) on Tuesday.

This is Oberg’s eighth recall with the Lightning since he was acquired from Florida on Dec. 2. He has appeared in one game, logging 1:21 of ice time.

But what makes the call-up unusual this time is the timing and circumstances. Previously, Oberg arrived when Tampa Bay faced multiple injuries, including injuries to Victor Hedman and Marc-Andre Bergeron.

Currently, the Lightning defensive corps is as healthy as it has been all season, with Hedman returning to the lineup and Marc-Andre Bergeron set to return at any time.

Lightning coach Guy Boucher prefers to dress seven defensemen as a rule, but with Bergeron back, the team will be carrying nine players on the blueline, scratching two each game.

The addition of Oberg to the roster has lead to some speculation about a pending trade, something Boucher was quick to dismiss at his conference after the morning skate Tuesday.

“There are no trades or anything to speculate on,” Boucher said. “We don’t say everything and obviously some of our defensemen have little ‘boo-boos’ that we’re not sure about, so it’s just a precaution thing.

“If something happens, it will be something out of the blue. There is nothing hidden. It’s just the fact that we have some players that are practicing and playing but we just want to make sure. If I were 100-percent sure of Bergeron returning today we wouldn’t need to take that precaution, but right now there are things that I can’t talk about that we’re taking precautions on. Nothing gigantic.”

Later, Boucher indicated that Bergeron appeared ready to play on Tuesday night against the L.A.Kings.

“Bergeron, our top-scoring defenseman, might be back tonight,” Boucher said, “so that might be interesting too.”
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Posted On Tuesday, 02.07.2012 / 1:08 PM

By Lonnie Herman - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Kings vs. Lightning

TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning will wrap up their homestand Tuesday night when the Los Angeles Kings make a rare visit to the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

The Kings have not played in Tampa since Nov. 14, 2009. Only San Jose has currently gone longer without visiting Tampa Bay. The Kings are in the middle of a season-long six-game cross-country road trip which has not begun well. L.A. has dropped their past two decisions, losing 1-0 in St. Louis and 2-1 against Carolina on Saturday night.

Tuesday night, the Lightning complete a stretch that had them at home -- where they are 15-7-2 -- for seven of their past nine games. They arrived limping, in the throes of a season-long seven game losing streak, but have turned that around and have captured 13 of a possible 14 points since. The run has put Tampa Bay back in the Stanley Cup Playoff hunt, currently 10 points out of the final post-season spot.

For Lightning coach Guy Boucher, it’s a matter of the team jelling at the right time.

“To see the effort from the players at all positions means there is a team chemistry; a team vision and cohesion,” Boucher said. “That’s what you’re after the entire year. Sometimes it takes more time than others but that’s what we have right now.”

But why did it take the Lightning 51 games to reach this point? Boucher points to several factors, but mostly attributes misplaced expectations and loss of focus as the culprits.

“The reality is, it often happens that a player that has some success the previous year comes in thinking they’ll take their game to a way other level,” Boucher said. “The expectations are not in the right place. It took a long time for us as individuals and a team to get the right expectations. That, and the injuries and away games early in the season. But to battle through that and get to where we are now was the whole point. It just took time.”

Dwayne Roloson gets the nod and will start Tuesday night for Tampa Bay. It will be Roloson’s first start since the All-Star break, when he made 33 saves to beat Phoenix Jan 21. Mathieu Garon has started the past four games.

“I knew I wanted to get Roli in soon enough after the break,” Boucher said. “He played well last game he played so I wanted to find a way to get him back in, but at the same time, Garon was doing well.”

The prospect of facing L.A.’s goaltender Jonathan Quick and his 22 wins and 1.91 goals against average is no concern to Boucher at all.

“Pavelec, Tim Thomas, we’ve been meeting them all;” Boucher said. “One great goalie or another great goalie, to me, it’s the same approach.”

Steven Stamkos, the NHL’s leading goal scorer, echoed Boucher’s thoughts about facing Quick.

“We don’t get to see Quick that often, but we pretty much have the same plan against any goalie; the basics,” Stamkos said. “Try to get traffic in front and put lots of pucks on the net and hope for the best.”

The “best” would be heading out on the road with another win, but Stamkos, who turned 22 Tuesday and was drenched in shaving cream in an on-ice celebration, knows that won’t come easily.

“These guys are a very good defensive team,” Stamkos said. “They play a lot of low-scoring games. They’re physical and they’re fast, so we have to play our best defensive game today because these guys don’t give up a lot and they can capitalize on chances. We know the importance of this one.”


Dustin Brown - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams
Dustin Penner - Mike Richards - Jarret Stoll
Kyle Clifford - Andrei Loktionov - Trevor Lewis
Brad Richardson - Colin Fraser - Trent Hunter

Rob Scuderi - Drew Doughty
Willie Mitchell - Jack Johnson
Alec Martinez - Matt Greene

Jonathan Quick
Jonathan Bernier


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

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

Dwayne Roloson
Mathieu Garon
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Posted On Tuesday, 02.07.2012 / 12:55 PM

By Steve Hunt - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Coyotes vs. Stars

DALLAS -- Here are the projected lineups for Tuesday night’s game between the Phoenix Coyotes and Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.


Ray Whitney-Martin Hanzal-Radim Vrbata
Raffi Torres-Daymond Langkow-Mikkel Boedker
Larui Korpikoski-Boyd Gordon-Shane Doan
Taylor Pyatt-Kyle Chipchura-Gilbert Brule

Keith Yandle-Adrian Aucoin
Oliver Ekman-Larsson-Rotislav Klesla
Michael Roszival-Derek Morris

Mike Smith (starter)
Jason LaBarbera

Scratches: Paul Bissonnette, Chris Summers.

Injuries: David Schlemko (foot).

Notes:  The Coyotes beat Detroit 3-1 on Monday night in Glendale, ending a seven-game losing streak against the Red Wings. Martin Hanzal had two goals against Detroit, who has now beaten the Sharks and Red Wings in consecutive games. Dave Tippett’s club is 4-3-1 in the second game of back-to-backs so far this season and has a goal differential of plus-1 in those contests. These clubs have already met three times this year but only once in Dallas, where the Stars won 2-1 in overtime back on Oct. 10. Phoenix is 1-0-1 in the two meetings in Glendale. The Coyotes are 12-11-4 on the road and are 4-4-2 in their past 10 games.


Steve Ott-Jamie Benn-Michael Ryder
Eric Nystrom-Mike Ribeiro-Loui Eriksson
Adam Burish-Vernon Fiddler-Radek Dvorak
Toby Petersen-Tom Wandell-Tomas Vincour

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

Kari Lehtonen (starter)
Richard Bachman

Scratches: Mark Fistric, Adam Pardy, Jake Dowell.

Injuries: Brenden Morrow (upper body).

Notes: Dallas begins a stretch with Tuesday night’s game against Phoenix where it will play in a different building in 11 straight games. There are a number of home games, five to be exact, coupled with six road contests but the Stars won’t have consecutive games in the Lone Star State until Feb. 24 against Minnesota, when they start a three-game homestand. The Stars beat the Wild 2-1 in a shootout Saturday night at American Airlines Center and will be without captain Brenden Morrow, who continues to be bothered by a combination neck/shoulder issue. Morrow will miss a second straight game and also won’t travel for a quick, two-game road trip to Columbus and Buffalo later this week.
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Posted On Tuesday, 02.07.2012 / 12:50 PM

By John Manasso - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Predators ready to get Rinne more rest

NASHVILLE – Despite goalie Pekka Rinne having the benefit of the All-Star break off, Nashville coach Barry Trotz nonetheless gave him a rare night off this past Thursday eventhough the Predators were not in a back-to-back games situation.

Rinne, who has won 11 straight and has 30 wins, ranks second in the League with 47 starts. Trotz said it was an effort to get back-up Anders Lindback, who has played in only 10 games, a start.

Trotz said Lindback is going to start playing more for the Predators.

“I wanted to re-introduce everybody back into the lineup, if you will, and Anders is going to have to play some games here,” Trotz said of both goalies and forwards alike. “I don’t want him sitting too long either.”

Rinne, however, is back in the lineup for Tuesday night's showdown with Vancouver.

Lindback has played so rarely the past two seasons that despite being on the roster for virtually the entire 2010-11 season, he preserved his rookie status entering this one. He also has been sent to the minors at times simply to get in some games.

But that has changed perhaps because Rinne, by winning so much of late – the Preds have won 14 of their past 17 -- has given the Predators the luxury of not having to be desperate to earn every point.

With 68 points and 29 games remaining, Nashville basically only has to average a point per game to reach a threshold that should get the team into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

“I think it gives you a little bit of breathing room,” Trotz said. “If you’re trying to catch everybody, you need every point, yeah, you don’t have that luxury. From our standpoint, we’re going to need both of them anyways. But when I can get Peks some rest, when I feel I can get him some rest, I try to do that. And we’ve been managing his practice, sort of, and game time, even in terms of drills we select so he’s not getting worn out."

Trotz said that forward Jerred Smithson, one of Nashville’s better faceoff men and penalty killers, would likely get back in the lineup. Smithson, a mainstay in the lineup as a checking line player, has only played in four of the past 12 games, owing both to injury and a logjam of 14 healthy forwards.
Projected lines:
Colin Wilson - David Legwand - Patrick Hornqvist
Sergei Kostitsyn - Mike Fisher - Martin Erat
Jerred Smithson - Nick Spaling - Jordin Tootoo
Matt Halischuk - Craig Smith - Brandon Yip
Ryan Suter - Shea Weber
Roman Josi - Kevin Klein
Francis Bouillon - Ryan Ellis
Pekka Rinne
Anders Lindback
Out: Brian McGrattan, Gabriel Bourque, Jack Hillen
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Posted On Tuesday, 02.07.2012 / 12:30 PM

By Erin Nicks - Correspondent / - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Blues vs. Senators

KANATA, Ont. -- Here are the projected lineups for Tuesday’s game between the Ottawa Senators and the St. Louis Blues at Scotiabank Place:

Milan MichalekJason SpezzaColin Greening
Erik CondraKyle TurrisDaniel Alfredsson
Nick FolignoZack SmithChris Neil
Kaspars DaugavinsZenon KonopkaJim O'Brien

Filip KubaErik Karlsson
Jared CowenSergei Gonchar
Chris PhillipsMatt Carkner

Craig Anderson
Alex Auld

Brian Lee is day-to-day with a lower-body injury while Bobby Butler is a healthy scratch.


Jamie LangenbrunnerDavid BackesT.J. Oshie
David PerronPatrik BerglundMatt D'Agostini
Chris PorterVladimir SobotkaChris Stewart
B.J. CrombeenScott NicholRyan Reaves

Carlo ColaiacovoAlex Pietrangelo
Kris RussellRoman Polak
Barret JackmanKevin Shattenkirk

Brian Elliott
Jaroslav Halak

Jason Arnott is day-to-day with a bruised shoulder. He made the trip to Ottawa but is not expected to play. Alexander Steen (concussion), Andy McDonald (concussion) and Kent Huskins (ankle) remain out.
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Posted On Tuesday, 02.07.2012 / 11:51 AM

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer / - At the Rink blog

Capitals projected lineup; Laich likely to play

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Brooks Laich left Verizon Center late Sunday afternoon on crutches with his left knee in a large brace.

About 42 hours later, Laich was on the ice at Washington’s practice facility, and if he has his way, the versatile forward will be in the lineup Tuesday night in a key division showdown with the Florida Panthers.

“I wanted to skate. It felt OK. I’m not really in charge right now, unfortunately,” Laich said. “Today felt really good. I woke up this morning feeling pretty good.

“I want to play every game. Especially tonight could be the most important game of our year, a team that we have to beat."

Laich did not practice Monday with the Capitals. He went to the doctor in the afternoon, and he said the prognosis was good -- or at least he can’t do any more damage. He was one the ice Tuesday ahead of his teammates and stayed for the morning skate.

He skated on the fourth line during an early drill, but it shouldn’t be a surprise to see him  move up in the lineup as the game progresses. That is, of course, if he convinces the coaches and trainers that he is OK to play.

“I hope so. I felt good on the ice -- turning, pivoting and everything felt pretty good,” Laich said. “Usually the decision isn't up to the player. It's whether the coaching staff – you've got to try and convince them sometimes. Hopefully, we'll see tonight.”

Here’s the projected lineup for the Capitals:

Alex Ovechkin - Marcus Johansson - Troy Brouwer

Jason Chimera - Mathieu Perreault - Alexander Semin

Matt Hendricks - Jeff Halpern - Joel Ward

Mike Knuble - Brooks Laich - Keith Aucoin

Karl Alzner - John Carlson

Jeff Schultz - Dennis Wideman

Dmitry Orlov - Roman Hamrlik

Tomas Vokoun

Michal Neuvirth

NOTE: Jay Beagle will play in place of Laich if he is not able to go.
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Posted On Tuesday, 02.07.2012 / 11:49 AM

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

Briere back in lineup for Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers will have forward Danny Briere back in the lineup when they host the New York Islanders Tuesday.

Briere has missed the last six games with a concussion suffered in a Jan. 21 game against the New Jersey Devils.

"I'm back and I'm in," Briere said following the Flyers' morning practice here at Wells Fargo Center. "Things have been going well the last two-and-a-half, three days. I feel ready. I feel like it's time. No symptoms the last few days. We'll give it a go. I know I'm excited."

Teammates were also excited, especially coming off their lost weekend -- a 6-4 home loss to the Devils on Saturday followed by a 5-2 defeat at the Rangers on Sunday.

"It's going to be awesome," Scott Hartnell told "Anytime you come off an injury, especially a concussion, he might be a little bit nervous. But I know everyone on our dressing room … can't wait to see him back. He looks good in practice the last few days. I'm excited for him to get back in the lineup."

Briere has 17 goals and 13 assists in 43 games, and likely will center the second line. The hope is his presence can lighten the checking load on the team's top line of Claude Giroux, Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr.

"Anytime you get pieces back in the lineup it's good," said coach Peter Laviolette. "I think it'll add to the offensive punch. … When you take a guy like Danny and put him back in the lineup, it makes it harder to defend. You can't just focus on one line or one player."

Briere said he's been symptom-free for about three days, and after meeting with doctors Monday, Briere said it came down to his decision.

"We had some talks (Monday)," said Briere. "And just basically what they told me was it's all up to me, depending on how I felt this morning waking up. It was good even after the contact I had yesterday. That was part of the reason why."

Briere, who had been averaging 18:15 of ice time per game prior to his injury, said he feels capable of playing his usual ice time.

"I'm 100 percent," he said. "It's all about the symptoms. It's not like a knee or a shoulder where you're finding your way back. Basically when you don't have symptoms you're ready to go. It's not something that's lingering or preventing you from doing a few things. Whenever you're symptom-free, you're 100 percent.

"The conditioning is not going to be an issue. I was working with Blair Betts for a few days, and you know how hard he works. That wasn't relaxing. I think it's more the timing of the game -- making plays, read and react. That's something that we'll see. I don't know what to expect in that regard. Conditioning I should be OK."

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Tuesday, 02.07.2012 / 11:36 AM

By Dave Lozo - Staff Writer / - At the Rink blog

Janssen back in lineup for Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils aren't back to 100 percent healthy just yet, but they will add a dose of toughness to the lineup for Tuesday night's showdown with the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Right wing Cam Janssen, who hasn't played since Jan. 19, will take the place of forward Brad Mills in the lineup for Tuesday's game. Mills was sent to the Albany of the AHL, opening a spot for Janssen.

"I'm very, very excited," Janssen said. "What a cool game to come back to, first time at MSG this year. I'm just very excited. They've got a fun team to play against, a rough team. Last game we played them was a really rough game. The rougher the better, for guys like me."

Coach Peter DeBoer is welcoming back Janssen to the lineup three days after the Devils found themselves in a fight-filled contest against the Philadelphia Flyers, one that saw Ilya Kovalchuk drop the gloves with Brayden Schenn after the Flyers' Zac Rinaldo slew footed Zach Parise. Rinaldo draw a $2,500 fine from the League for the slew foot and was fined another $2,500 for another incident in the game.

"We want everything he brings," DeBoer said when asked if he wanted Janssen to tone down his game. "We've been in some physical games. There's probably been a couple nights here the last few weeks where we could've used them, Philly is one example. He knows how to walk that line and how to play that role as good as anybody I've had."

Kovalchuk joked he's happy to have Janssen back to ease his fighting workload.

"It's nice," Kovalchuk said. "He deserves to be back in. He's practiced really hard. He's one of those guys that brings a lot of energy to the room. We're all excited."

Defenseman Adam Larsson (back), Ryan Carter (hand), and Henrik Tallinder (leg) won't be back for the Devils. None of the three skated Tuesday, with DeBoer saying they are "not ready yet."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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Posted On Tuesday, 02.07.2012 / 12:34 AM - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

CGY @ ANA- :24 seconds of overtime

At  the :24 seconds mark of overtime in the Flames/ Ducks game, video review was used to determine that Teemu Selanne's shot did not cross the goal line. No goal Anaheim
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Posted On Monday, 02.06.2012 / 8:12 PM - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

EDM @ TOR -17:47 of the first period

At 17:47 of the first period in the Oilers/ Maple Leafs game following a scrum in front of the Maple Leafs net in which the puck crossed the goal line, the referee determined on the ice that there was goaltender interference by  incidental contact . No goal, no penalty.

According to rule 69.3 "If an attacking player initiates contact with a goalkeeper, incidental or otherwise, while the goalkeeper is in his goal crease, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed."
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Quote of the Day

As a player, it's obviously a sad day, but to be on the ice with some of those guys and show our respect as both teams did around center ice, it's definitely a nice touch.

— New Jersey defenseman Damon Severson on the ceremony to honor the fallen Canadian soldiers before the game Saturday in Ottawa
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