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On the Beat

On the Beat (Eastern Conference): Jacques Leamire plays hookey from Devils practice, Crosby ahead of schedule, Habs Ryan White ruled ineligible to play during game.

Thrashers get better each period; Sabres recall Nathan Gerbe; Ward, Brind’Amour to be in lineup; Rangers in Chicago; Alfredsson & Kovalev scoring has gone south; Chris Pronger knows the team needs to take baby steps; Varlamov out. These stories and more after the jump.

Be sure to tune into the Illegalcurve Radio show tonight (7pm cst) as the guys will have Anthony San Filippo of the Delaware County Daily Times on the show this evening.

Word from the team beat writers.

  • Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution shows that the Thrashers clearly improve each period (both shots and goals for).
  • Derek Morris was back on the ice for the Bruins after missing the last two days with an undisclosed injury while Dennis Wideman remains questionable.
  • The Buffalo Sabres have called up Nathan Gerbe from Portland although coach Ruff hasn’t said if he will be playing tonight against the Capitals.
  • The News and Observer’s Chip Alexander is reporting that both Cam Ward and Rod Brind’Amour will be in tonight’s lineup.
  • Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette wonders what would have happened if Ryan White had scored a point last night as the Habs won 4-1 but because neither Canadiens GM Bob Gainey and Habs VP hockey operations Julien BriseBois notified the NHL, he was ruled ineligible and was forced to leave the game.

    Photo Courtesy: CKLQ Radio in Brandon

    Photo Courtesy: CKLQ Radio in Brandon

  • The Devils held an optional practice this morning with only 5 players showing up and even coach Jacques Lemaire played hookey.
  • The New York Rangers are off to Chicago and Andrew Gross will be at practice today where he will get a sense of what the Rangers’ lineup will look like – if Wade Redden and Donald Brashear are back in, then who sits.
  • Bruce Garroch of the Ottawa Sun is waiting for Daniel Alfredsson and Alexi Kovalev can step up anytime as both are showing an aversion to scoring.
  • While last night’s victory over the Islanders was nice, the Flyers Chris Pronger knows the team needs to build upon this and with them playing 6 games over the next 11 days, they will have that opportunity. 
    Photo Courtesy: Len Redkoles/Getty Images

    Photo Courtesy: Len Redkoles/Getty Images

  • Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is ahead of his usual scoring schedule, writes Seth Rorabaugh of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, as he reached the twenty goal mark for the fifth consecutive season.
  • Todd Fedoruk will be back in the lineup for the Tampa Bay Lightning after nine straight scratches reports Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times.
  • It appears that the Washington Capitals will be without the services of Semyon Varlamov, who has suffered from a history of lower body injuries, and is currently listed as day to day.