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The Hockey News Daily Dish: Oct. 12

Player News…

Jason LaBarbera, G, Los Angeles Kings

2008/10/12: Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jason LaBarbera allowed three goals on 41 shots in Saturday's regular season opener loss at San Jose. INTEL: The Los Angeles Times reported earlier on Saturday that head coach Terry Murray plans to rely heavily on LaBarbera during the early going, perhaps even using him in the first three games over four nights. He did well on Saturday despite the loss and will face a rematch with these Sharks on Sunday back at Staples.

Evgeni Nabokov, G, San Jose Sharks

2008/10/12: San Jose Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov was rarely tested in Saturday's win against Los Angeles, allowing just one goal on 13 shots. INTEL: Nabokov and the Sharks will look for the home-and-home sweep on Sunday night, although it is possible Brian Boucher might get the starting nod.

Eric Belanger, C, Minnesota Wild

2008/10/12: Minnesota Wild forward Eric Belanger scored a pair of goals in Saturday's game against the Boston Bruins, while October captain Mikko Koivu and Pierre-Marc Bouchard each chipped in with a pair of assists. The Wild return to the ice on Tuesday at Atlanta.

Marc Savard, C, Boston Bruins

2008/10/12: The first line was clicking for the Boston Bruins on Saturday night at Minnesota, at least in the third period. Marc Savard picked up a pair of goals with assists both times from Michael Ryder and P.J. Axelsson. The triumvirate combined for the six points, a plus-5 rating and 14 of the team's 37 shots on net.

Manny Fernandez, G, Boston Bruins

2008/10/12: Boston Bruins backup netminder Manny Fernandez got a start in Saturday's game at Minnesota, his former team. He allowed four goals on 26 shots in the loss. INTEL: Fernandez did nothing to force his way into more playing time and it might be a while before he gets another start. Tim Thomas won in Colorado in the opener on Thursday and should start at least three in a row with no back-to-back situations looming.

Marty Turco, G, Dallas Stars

2008/10/12: Dallas Stars goaltender Marty Turco was beaten for three goals on 32 shots in Saturday's loss at Nashville. INTEL: So far, that's an overtime loss and regulation loss against the Jackets and Preds, not exactly the cream of the crop in the Western Conference. Turco gets a rematch with the Preds on Wednesday before things get tougher at St. Louis on Thursday.

Jean-Pierre Dumont, RW/LW, Nashville Predators

2008/10/12: Nashville Predators forward J.P. Dumont picked up three assists in Saturday's game against Dallas while right winger Martin Erat got into the act with a pair of helpers. The Preds will be back in action on Monday at Chicago.

Jason Arnott, C, Nashville Predators

2008/10/12: Nashville Predators center Jason Arnott posted a pair of power play goals in Saturday's win over the Stars, one of his former teams. He also added an assist and plus-1 rating. INTEL: Arnott did not jell very well with his linemates in Friday's opener at St. Louis, but there were no problems on Saturday night.

Dan Ellis, G, Nashville Predators

2008/10/12: Nashville Predators goaltender Dan Ellis bounced back from a below-average game in Friday's opener to pick up a win on Saturday against Dallas. Ellis allowed just one goal on 20 shots. INTEL: Backup Pekka Rinne might get the start in Monday's game at Chicago, which would give Ellis the start on Wednesday in Dallas in a rematch against these Stars.

Olli Jokinen, C, Phoenix Coyotes

2008/10/12: Phoenix Coyotes center Olli Jokinen picked up a first period power play goal in Saturday's win against Columbus in his debut for his new team. The goal was assisted on by Kevin Porter and Kyle Turris. He also added an assist. INTEL: The durable Jokinen should once again perform at or near a point-per-game clip this season.

Ilya Bryzgalov, G, Phoenix Coyotes

2008/10/12: Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov allowed just one goal on 29 shots in Saturday's regular season opener win against the Columbus Blue Jackets. INTEL: Bryzgalov was sharp in the win and he should get the start over backup Mikael Tellqvist on Sunday in Anaheim despite the back-to-back situation.

Miikka Kiprusoff, G, Calgary Flames

2008/10/12: Calgary Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff was shaky at times in Saturday's overtime loss against the Canucks, allowing five goals on 34 shots. INTEL: Backup netminder Curtis McElhinney had a strong camp and it would not be surprising to see 'Iron' Mike Keenan give him a start in Tuesday's game against Colorado just to try and light a fire under Kipper.

Pavol Demitra, W/C, Vancouver Canucks

2008/10/12: Vancouver Canucks forward Pavol Demitra picked up his first goal with his new club in grand fashion, sliding home a rolling puck past Miikka Kiprusoff at the 3:54 mark of overtime in Saturday's come-from-behind win at Calgary. INTEL: Demitra had done very little through the first six periods of the season, but perhaps the OT winner will jump-start his game and give him a little confidence.

Rod Brind'Amour, C, Carolina Hurricanes

2008/10/12: Carolina Hurricanes veteran center Rod Brind'Amour picked up a goal and assist in Saturday's overtime victory at Tampa Bay, while Matt Cullen also had a marker. INTEL: Brind'Amour and Cullen have each scored in both of Carolina's games so far during the regular season. They'll try and make it three games in a row on Monday against Detroit.

Joni Pitkanen, D, Carolina Hurricanes

2008/10/12: Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen picked up a pair of assists and a plus-1 rating in Saturday's overtime win at Tampa Bay. INTEL: So far through two games, Pitkanen has managed three points (1 G, 2 A) and a plus-4 rating. Fellow defenseman Dennis Seidenberg also picked up an assist in the win.


Michael Peca, C, Columbus Blue Jackets

2008/10/11: Columbus Blue Jackets veteran center Michael Peca is facing a multi-game suspension after bumping referee Greg Kimmerly on Friday night in Dallas. INTEL: Usually, a player gets 10 games for initiating contact with an official, so expect Peca to be absent for a while.

Injury News…

Lee Stempniak, RW/LW, St. Louis Blues

2008/10/12: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Blues forward Lee Stempniak was unable to play in Saturday's game at N.Y. Islanders due to a sore left knee. INTEL: Stempniak tweaked the knee in Friday's regular season opener against Nashville, although he was able to remain in the game and finish with an assist. He is considered day to day, although he might be held out of Monday's game in Toronto.

Kevin Bieksa, D, Vancouver Canucks

2008/10/11: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa, who is on the second defensive pairing with Willie Mitchell, was forced to limp off the ice in the first period of Saturday's game at Calgary due to some sort of a lower body injury. He was immediately met by a trainer on the bench and his return is questionable.

Rick DiPietro, G, New York Islanders

2008/10/11: For the second straight game to open the regular season, New York Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro (hip, knee) dressed as the backup for Saturday's game against the Blues. INTEL: Joey MacDonald made his second consecutive start and was rarely tested through the first two periods. It's uncertain if DiPietro will be back for Monday's game against the Sabres.

Radek Martinek, D, New York Islanders

2008/10/11: The Associated Press is reporting that New York Islanders defenseman Radek Martinek was forced to leave Saturday's game in the first period against the Blues. INTEL: Martinek suffered an undisclosed injury after being hit from behind. A team spokesman added that he was being evaluated by doctors, but the source and severity of the injury were not disclosed.

Zach Boychuk, C/W, Carolina Hurricanes

2008/10/11: The Raleigh News & Observer is reporting that center Zach Boychuk (wrist) might be cleared for contact in practice by Monday. INTEL: The team's 2008 first-round pick in the NHL Entry Draft is wearing a brace on his wrist, but he might be cleared for contact by the medical staff some time this weekend. He might be ready for game action some time on the team's upcoming west coast road trip.

Bryan McCabe, D, Florida Panthers

2008/10/11: The Associated Press is reporting that Florida Panthers defenseman Bryan McCabe will miss the next two weeks due to a back injury suffered in Friday's regular season opener at Carolina. INTEL: McCabe had an MRI on Saturday which showed a contusion and strained lower back. However, he did not suffer a fractured vertebra. "There's no fracture," general manager Jacques Martin said. "So that's good news for us. He's probably going to need probably a couple of weeks, but that's encouraging."

Jimmy Howard, G, Detroit Red Wings

2008/10/11: The Detroit News is reporting that Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard is expected to be assigned to Grand Rapids of the AHL when he returns from a finger injury. INTEL: Howard is the third goaltender and needs a long-term injury to starter Chris Osgood or backup Ty Conklin before he returns to Detroit.

Brian Rafalski, D, Detroit Red Wings

2008/10/11: Defenseman Brian Rafalski was unable to practice on Friday due to a knee injury, but he was able to play in Ottawa on Saturday. The same is true for forward Kirk Maltby, who was able to play despite a bruised right knee.

Chuck Kobasew, RW, Boston Bruins

2008/10/11: The Boston Globe reports that Bruins forward Chuck Kobasew suffered a fracture in his right leg in Thursday's regular season opener at Colorado and he is out indefinitely. INTEL: Kobasew will be replaced on the third line by Milan Lucic, who scoots up from the fourth line. Lucic will skate with David Krejci and Blake Wheeler.

Steve Downie, RW/C, Philadelphia Flyers

2008/10/11: Philadelphia Flyers forward Steve Downie (knee) is OUT for Saturday's game against the Rangers. INTEL: Apparently the coaching staff didn't like what they saw from Downie after Saturday's morning skate. Downie remains day to day and is questionable for Monday's game against the Canadiens.

Joel Perrault, C/RW, Phoenix Coyotes

2008/10/11: Phoenix Coyotes center Joel Perrault will begin the regular season on injured reserve due to a concussion. INTEL: Perrault was unable to take part in any of training camp, so this does not come as a surprise. Perrault's absence helped rookie Kevin Porter win a roster spot with one less veteran to compete against.

Marcel Goc, C/W, San Jose Sharks

2008/10/11: The Los Angeles Daily News is reporting that Sharks center Marcel Goc is questionable for Saturday's game against the Kings due to a back injury. INTEL: Goc was unable to play in Thursday's regular season opener due to the injury. Consider the fourth-line center day to day at this point.

Dan Hinote, W/C, St. Louis Blues

2008/10/11: Blues veteran forward Dan Hinote missed his second straight game on Saturday at N.Y. Islanders due to a leg injury. Hinote has a cut on his leg and is questionable to return for Monday's game in Toronto.

Barret Jackman, D, St. Louis Blues

2008/10/11: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Blues defenseman Barret Jackman left Friday's regular season opener against the Predators after being hit in the groin area with a skate. INTEL: Jackman scored a goal before departing the game and he finished with a plus-1. Apparently the injury wasn't too serious, as he is back in the lineup for Saturday's game at N.Y. Islanders.

Ryan Craig, LW/C, Tampa Bay Lightning

2008/10/11: Lightning coach Barry Melrose told the St. Petersburg Times reports that forward Ryan Craig (groin) might now be out for two weeks. INTEL: Craig suffered a groin injury in practice on Wednesday after hitting a rough patch of ice.

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