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NHL Insider

Modano not sure what to expect in Dallas

Thursday, 10.14.2010 / 3:16 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

"I'm a little bit anxious over what type of reception I'll get. Obviously, I've had a lot of great moments here and spent a big chunk of my life here … almost half of it. I've had meaningful experiences with the fans and the teams here, trying to build the game of hockey in Texas and not simply Dallas alone. I think it'll be a warm reception for a little until they see the Wings."
-- Mike Modano

DALLAS -- Mike Modano was put in a rather peculiar position prior to joining his Detroit Red Wings teammates for their afternoon skate at American Airlines Center.
 
For the first time in almost two decades, he was gearing up in the visitor's locker room. So, how did it go Mike?
 
"It was a little bit strange," Modano said. "I've never been in there, so I was little lost at times finding where to go. But I'm sure I'll get that figured out before tonight (8:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US) and try to stay calm and take some deep breaths to get through it."
 
Prior to signing a one-year, $1.25 million deal with the Wings in the offseason, Modano spent the previous 16 playing in Dallas, plus the four previous seasons with the Minnesota North Stars prior to their relocation to the Lone Star State following the 1992-93 season.
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High drama rules Wednesday's NHL action

Thursday, 10.14.2010 / 10:13 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The moment may be six months old, but Predators forward Joel Ward remembers it like it just happened.

There's the Blackhawks' Patrick Kane, scoring a game-tying shorthanded goal with 13.6 seconds left in regulation of Game 5 of the teams' first-round playoff series. Moments later Marian Hossa scored in overtime, and the Hawks ended the Predators' season in Game 6 en route to the Stanley Cup.

Wednesday night, Ward got a bit of revenge, when he capped a dramatic night throughout the League by tapping in the winning power-play goal with 26.7 seconds left to lift the Predators to a 3-2 victory on the same United Center ice where Nashville's dreams were crushed last spring.

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Isles' Roloson ready to make history

Wednesday, 10.13.2010 / 5:54 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Dwayne Roloson of the New York Islanders, who turned 41 on Tuesday, is scheduled to make his season debut Wednesday night when the Islanders visit the Washington Capitals. When he does, Roloson will become the ninth "regular" goaltender in NHL history -- and the 11th overall -- to play in a game at age 41 or older.

Two 45-year-olds have played goal in the NHL. Hall of Famer Johnny Bower was 45 when he finished his career with the Toronto Maple Leafs with one appearance in 1969-70, while Moe Roberts, a retired NHL goaltender serving on the Chicago Blackhawks' training staff, came out of retirement to play one period in relief of starter Harry Lumley in a game against the Detroit Red Wings on Nov. 25, 1951.
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Hjalmarsson regrets hit, hopes Pominville gets better

Wednesday, 10.13.2010 / 4:15 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Shortly after the Chicago Blackhawks finished their morning skate Wednesday, defenseman Brian Campbell was in the hallway at United Center doing lunges to rehab his sprained knee while wearing a weighted vest.
 
Inside the Hawks' locker room, Campbell’s defense partner wore a different kind of weight on his shoulders. Niklas Hjalmarsson officially was suspended for two games by the NHL for a hit on Buffalo's Jason Pominville during Monday's game in Buffalo.
 
Pominville got a concussion and stitches above his left eye when his head hit the glass. Hjalmarsson will miss Wednesday's game against Nashville and Friday's game at Columbus.

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Plenty of familiar faces for Bolts in Montreal

Wednesday, 10.13.2010 / 2:13 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- It may be the home opener for the Montreal Canadiens, but Wednesday night's game at the Bell Centre will be a big homecoming for many members of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Aside from the Lightning's Quebec contingent of Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier and newcomer Simon Gagne, the brand new coaching staff of Guy Boucher and assistants Dan Lacroix and Martin Raymond will be competing against the organization that gave them their first shot in professional hockey.

While Boucher admitted in a conference call earlier this week that he'll have to fight off some emotions for the game, he suggested Wednesday morning that once the final buzzer sounds he may allow those emotions to take over.

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Staal skating, no timetable yet for return

Wednesday, 10.13.2010 / 12:48 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

"It was really nice. It feels good mentally and for the body to get out there, get on the skates and get moving again."
-- Pittsburgh center Jordan Staal on skating again

As his skate blades cut through the Consol Energy Center ice and his hair, tucked underneath the bill of his ball cap, whipped backwards Wednesday morning, Pittsburgh center Jordan Staal could feel himself taking a major step forward in his recovery from a foot infection.

Staal may still be weeks away from suiting up for the Penguins again, but this week he finally laced up the skates and took a few twirls, proving the most difficult time of his young career may finally have an end in sight.

"It was really nice," Staal told reporters Wednesday morning. "It feels good mentally and for the body to get out there, get on the skates and get moving again."
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Time was right for Wild's Cullen to go home

Wednesday, 10.13.2010 / 10:56 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

After playing 880 NHL games over 12 seasons with five different organizations, Matt Cullen finally felt comfortable enough to go home.

The Minnesota native will play his first regular-season game as a member of the State of Hockey's home team Thursday, when the Wild open their slate at Xcel Energy Center against Edmonton.

The moment is not lost on the 33-year-old former runner-up for the prestigious Minnesota Mr. Hockey award.

"It's one of those things that not many people get the opportunity to do and I've been around long enough to realize how fortunate I am that it worked out the way it did," Cullen told NHL.com while in Helsinki with the Wild last week. "Time makes you appreciate it more. I think you realize how lucky you are for what you have, and I have been really lucky."

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Boucher taking first game back in Montreal in stride

Tuesday, 10.12.2010 / 3:25 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

"I don't want to make it seem bigger than it is. It's a special day, but it has to be business. It's very important to not send out the vibe of too much emotion on my players." -- Guy Boucher

Guy Boucher walked into a Montreal-area restaurant for the perfect cap to a beautiful June day of fishing only to see his face on television and hear the analysts talking about the Canadiens' home opener.

Boucher, who two weeks earlier was named coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, was aware the NHL's schedule was coming out that day. He couldn't believe the ironic twist fate had thrown at him.

"My first reaction was, 'Are you kidding me?'" Boucher recalled in a phone interview with NHL.com Tuesday.

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Fowler making most of lead role in Anaheim

Tuesday, 10.12.2010 / 2:43 PM / NHL Insider

John Manasso - NHL.com Correspondent

In a start that must rate as a worst-case scenario, the Anaheim Ducks at least have one positive in 18-year-old defenseman Cam Fowler.
 
In opening their season on a three-game road trip, the Ducks are 0-3, have been outscored 13-2 and in their opener lost veteran defenseman Andy Sutton, a free-agent signing Anaheim had slotted to play on its top pair with Lubomir Visnovsky. Sutton suffered a fractured thumb as a result of a fight with Detroit's Ruslan Salei and could be out 4-6 weeks, forcing the Ducks to sign Andreas Lilja -- last seen in training camp with the Sharks on a tryout deal -- in the last few days.
 
Amid all of that chaos, Fowler, the 12th pick at the 2010 Entry Draft, ranks second on the Ducks in time on ice per game at 22:50 and posted an even rating in his first two games before going minus-2 in Monday’s 5-1 loss at St. Louis -- a fairly impressive feat, considering the Ducks own a minus-11 goal differential and Visnovsky himself is minus-5.

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Injuries, suspension limit Devils to 15 skaters

Monday, 10.11.2010 / 3:10 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

"My hands aren't tied. We'll have guys ready to go and we'll play. There's no excuses here … we'll have everyone contributing." -- John MacLean

NEWARK, N.J. -- If the New Jersey Devils are to avoid their longest season-opening losing streak since 2001-02, they'll have to do it shorthanded from the opening drop of the puck on Monday afternoon when they play host to the Pittsburgh Penguins at Prudential Center.
 
Devils General Manager Lou Lamoriello informed the media about an hour-and-a-half before faceoff that defenseman Anton Volchenkov (broken nose) and forward Brian Rolston (lower body) would be sidelined. Also, wing Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, who received a one-game suspension after instigating a fight with less than five minutes to play in Saturday's game against the Washington Capitals, was placed on waivers.

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Quote of the Day

With this being the last year [at the Coliseum], we'd love to try to get back to the dance like we did against Pittsburgh and prove ourselves and go even further. It's an important year.

— New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano