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Wednesday Daily Puck: Hossa and Hawks Host Jets

Dan Pennucci

Dan Pennucci

Dan Pennucci has covered hockey for Rotowire since 2002 and is the author of Blue Line Buzz since 2011 as well as being the co-author of Morning Skate. He also is a contributor to Talking Red, a New Jersey Devils blog and podcast. He is an English teacher and formerly wrote for The Coast Star in Manasquan, New Jersey where he and his sports section won several New Jersey Press Association awards. Dan Pennucci is a supporter of the New Jersey Devils, Washington Nationals and Chelsea FC. He's attended sporting events in six countries.

Around the Rink

-Interesting stat shown in the St. Louis-Montreal game on Tuesday regarding ice time: Alex Pietrangelo had more than double the amount of penalty kill time on the season than fellow defensemen points leaders P.K. Subban and Erik Karlsson. Does this make him more of a complete defender? An argument can certainly be made that Pietrangelo is more of an all-around talent than the other two; Pietrangelo logged 3:26 per-game on the penalty kill heading into Tuesday’s clash with Montreal while Subban had a modest 53 seconds per-game while Karlsson is just over a minute. Regardless of the arguments against Subban’s ability, which there seem to be many, for some reason, both likely will find a spot on the Canadian blue line in Sochi.

-Dallas triumphed over Boston in an exciting shootout victory Tuesday in a game dominated by one person’s return to Boston: Rich Peverly. Peverly snagged the winning goal in the shootout with a slick shot by Tuukka Rask, reminding the Boston fans of what he brought to the rink.

Prior to the shootout, there was some pretty hockey played including Torey Krug’s goal for the Bruins off a great pass from Reilly Smith and a disgustingly accurate snipe off the stick of Dallas captain Jamie Benn. However, the highlight of the evening might have been Denis Seidenberg batting down a mid-air pass perfectly, eventually leading to Milan Lucic’s short-lived go-ahead goal.

-Ottawa appears to be in good hands while Craig Anderson recovers from a neck injury sustained late in Saturday’s contest against Dallas. Robin Lehner, one of the league’s top backup netminders steered the Senators to a convincing 4-1 win over Columbus, turning away all but one of the 32 shots he faced. Anderson is considered day-to-day with the injury, but Lehner figures to be a sage option until the incumbent resumes his duties. Even if Anderson returns to a normal workload, which seems likely, Lehner can be a good player to stash on your roster if you have room as he’ll be a good spot start in daily leagues and can provide solid averages to make up for the lack of wins. Those in keeper leagues will want to get their hands on Lehner.

-Mark Arcobello was a player flying off of waiver wires after the season’s first two weeks, as the Edmonton center had 10 assists over the year’s first 10 games, only to disappear for the next five games. Arcobello scored twice in Tuesday’s overtime win against Florida, including the overtime winner, as Edmonton came back after squandering a late lead. Arcobello has little track record of production, so it could be wise to let someone else gamble on the Connecticut native after the first two goals of his career. Edmonton will struggle at times, but there may not be enough pucks and forward spots to go around for the Oil.

-If you’re in a league which rewards shootout statistics, St. Louis’s grinding power forward T.J. Oshie is a player for you. He’s 21-for-39 in his career after Tuesday’s silky smooth deke around and over Carey Price.

Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)

For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check our Projected Goalies Grid

Pittsburgh (Marc-Andre Fleury) at New York Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist) 7:30
Winnipeg (Ondrej Pavelec) at Chicago (Corey Crawford) 8:00
Nashville (Carter Hutton) at Colorado (Semyon Varlamov) 9:30
Phoenix (Mike Smith) at Anaheim (Jonas Hiller) 10:30

Injury News for Teams Playing Wednesday

Pittsburgh
Beau Bennett, W (lower body)- back practicing, likely out Wednesday
Chuck Kobasew, W (lower body)- Expected to miss another three weeks from Tuesday
Chris Kunitz, PW (undisclosed)- Has missed practice but probable for Wednesday
James Neal, W (upper body)- Out indefinitely, eligible to come off IR, skating on own
Robert Scuderi, D (ankle)- Out indefinitely after suffering a broken ankle
Tomas Vokoun G (pelvis)- Out for 3-to-6 months with a blood clot

New York Rangers
Domonic Moore, C- (oblique) could return Wednesday from a strained oblique
Rick Nash, LW- (concussion) remains out, won’t be activated from IR on Thursday

Winnipeg
Evander Kane, LW (lower body)-missed Monday, likely to play Wednesday
Paul Postma, D (leg)-placed on IR, dealing with a blood clot, out indefinitely
Jim Slater, C (undisclosed)- Out of lineup since Oct. 18, no word on return date
Mark Stuart, D (hip)-Missed last two games, on IR, out Wednesday
Jacob Trouba, D (neck) No word on return date, has not resumed skating, remains out

Chicago
Michal Handzus, C (hand)- likely returning Wednesday, has missed several games
Mike Kostka, D (lower body)- placed on IR, likely out another four weeks
Brad Mills, C (lower body)- missed the last two games, out on Wednesday

Nashville
Mike Fisher, C (lower body)-didn’t practice Tuesday, likely out Wednesday, could be related to a broken foot
Matt Hendricks, C (upper body)- didn’t play Saturday or practice Tuesday, will travel to Denver, status uncertain
Pekka Rinne, G (hip)- remains out with a hip infection stemming from offseason surgery, look for a return around late November

Colorado
Alex Tanguay, RW (knee)-Out a minimum of two weeks after Saturday’s injury
Semyon Varlamov, G (legal)- Still in goal and not in jail. Legal issues looming.

Phoenix
Jeff Halpern, C (back)- Could return later in the week, likely out Wednesday
David Schlemko, D (lower body)- Didn’t play Tuesday, likely out Wednesday, weekend return possible

Anaheim
Matt Belesky, LW (thumb) practiced Tuesday, out Wednesday, could return next week
Viktor Fasth, G (lower body)- still out, undergoing treatment, return date murky
Saku Koivu, C (head)- no signs of concussion symptoms, could play Wednesday
Teemu Selanne, RW (mouth)- practiced Tuesday, likely out another week
Jakob Silfverberg, LW (hand)- out another four-to-five weeks with a broken hand
Sheldon Souray, D (wrist)- has yet to play this season
Sami Vatanen, D (undisclosed)- left game Saturday, didn’t play Monday, likely out Wednesday

Hot

Keith Yandle, D, PHX: Yandle is one of the league’s most notoriously streaky players. His stats can often be deceiving as most of his points typically come within a handful of hot stretches, but there’s no denying what Yandle has been one of the league’s most productive players, let alone blueliners of late. Despite a scoreless night in Saturday’s shootout win over San Jose, Yandle has a goal and 10 assists in the last seven games.

Bryan Little, C, WPG: Little has been a quietly one of the league’s more consistent players as the Jets adapt to the bruising Western Conference, with 13 points through 16 games. Little has three goals and five points in the last four games and is certain to see plenty of opportunities for Winnipeg.

Marian Hossa, LW, CHI: Hossa has been seeing his name on the scoresheet often with six points in the last four games, giving him a solid points-per-game rate of .80 on the season. The Blackhawks have been scoring goals in bunches of late, so Hossa, along with Johnathan Toews and Patrick Kane have been raking in the points. The Hawks’ dynamic young forward, Andrew Shaw, is another to take a look at given his four points over the last three games.

Cold

Dan Girardi, D, NYR: Girardi remains without a point on the season and is seeing a modest 37 seconds of power play time per game with just 13 shots on goal. Girardi is too good of a player to be this unproductive, but he’s also too risky of a play at this moment.

Carter Hutton, G, NSH: Despite earning a win over a talented Los Angeles squad with a 35-save performance his last time out, Hutton has allowed 12 goals in his last three starts, notching a 1-1-1 record. His two contests prior to Saturday’s win over the Kings saw him surrender nine goals on 51 shots for an .844 save percentage. Use the Preds’ backup netminder judiciously until Pekka Rinne returns.

Pascal Dupuis, RW, PIT: Dupuis is an enviable situation in Pittsburgh as he gets to ride shotgun alongside Sidney Crosby. However, Dupuis is not finding his name on the scoresheet often with just four assists in nine games and no goals since October 15. He’s clearly struggling but is in a great situation to break out of his slump.

Recommended Pickup

David Legwand, C, NSH: One of the few original Nashville Predators still remaining in the league (where are you Vladimir Orszagh?), the seasoned veteran has been sparking Nashville’s attack of late with seven points over the last four games (3-4-7). Legwand doesn’t have a high upside, but he’s a player who will see plenty of opportunity to put points on the board for Nashville.