Adam Henrique

Bad rookie luck: Henrique out of action with groin pull

The Devils were already dealing with life without Travis Zajac as he tries to get his Achilles tendon healthy, but tonight they’ll be without rookie sensation Adam Henrique as well.

Henrique will miss tonight’s game against Winnipeg with a groin pull according to head coach Peter DeBoer. Rich Chere of The Star-Ledger  reports that Nick Palmieri will rejoin the Devils lineup and Dainius Zubrus will move into the middle once again to play center.

“I’m disappointed we’re missing three centermen right now and guys have to fill in,” DeBoer said. “That’s how it goes. It’s a war of attrition here in the NHL. You have to do what you have to do and in this case Zubrus is going to have to go in and play some center. He’s done it before. Hopefully we won’t miss a beat.”

The Devils’ depth up the middle was looking awfully good when Zajac initially returned. With Zajac, Henrique, and Elias all playing well up the middle, the Devils centers were set to be some of the best in the league. Now they’re dealing with injuries that leave them a bit hampered offensively.

Henrique has been challenging injured Oilers rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for top honors as a first year player. If Henrique manages to miss more than today’s game, that will throw a wrench into the Calder Trophy race.

Goalie nods: Niemi expected for Stars against Penguins

Antti Niemi, Jonathan Toews
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Talk about getting thrown into the fire.

Antti Niemi is expected to be the starting goalie tonight in Dallas when his Stars host Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Niemi has, not surprisingly, been given the assignment over Kari Lehtonen, the latter of whom struggled badly during the preseason, allowing 15 goals on 84 shots.

Not that Niemi was razor sharp himself. He allowed eight goals on 65 shots, for a save percentage of .877.

Considering the Stars have a combined $10.4 million in cap space tied up in those two veteran netminders, it’s no wonder the number-one question facing the club is whether the goaltending has indeed been fixed.

We’ll start to find out tonight.

Marc-Andre Fleury will undoubtedly be in goal for Pittsburgh, though that hasn’t been confirmed.


Craig Anderson, the goalie the Senators decided to keep, versus Robin Lehner, the one they traded to the Sabres.

Cam Ward will start for Carolina when the Hurricanes visit the Predators, who will obviously go with Pekka Rinne. The consensus is that Eddie Lack will eventually supplant Ward as Carolina’s starter, but that apparently hasn’t happened yet.

Brian Elliott goes for the Blues versus Cam Talbot for the Oilers. Elliott was excellent in the preseason, stopping all but two of the 57 shots he faced, while Jake Allen allowed six goals on 60 shots.

Steve Mason for the Flyers versus Ben Bishop for the Lightning.

Ondrej Pavelec for Winnipeg versus Tuukka Rask for Boston.

Devan Dubnyk likely for the Wild versus Semyon Varlamov for the Avs.

Flyers want to prove doubters wrong

Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux
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Jakub Voracek totally understands why nobody’s expecting much from the Philadelphia Flyers. When a team finishes 14 points out of the playoffs the year before, that’s typically going to be the case.

“We weren’t good enough last year, let’s face it,” Voracek told CSN Philly. 

So, no, it doesn’t upset him that the Flyers aren’t considered among the Stanley Cup favorites.

That being said, “it makes you feel you want to prove them wrong.”

The Flyers get going tonight with a tough game against the Lightning in Tampa Bay. They also play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers, before a rematch with the Panthers Monday in Philadelphia.

“My biggest concern would be getting off to a good start,” GM Ron Hextall said. “That’s one thing that we need to do.”

That’s something they didn’t do last year. In fact, they won just once in their first six games. By the end of November, they were 8-12-3 and in a big hole — one that proved too deep to climb out of.

Related: Flyers to start season with seven defensemen