News and notes from around the crease…
Harding goes again
Josh Harding will be back in goal for Minnesota on Tuesday against Nashville and, at this point, one has to wonder if he’s making a legit push for the No. 1 gig.
While incumbent starter Niklas Backstrom expects to return from a knee injury in a matter of days, Harding is one of the NHL’s hottest goalies at the moment.
Through seven games he’s posted a 3-2-1 record with a 1.11 GAA and .948 save percentage, carrying a Wild team that’s only scored five goals in its last four games.
The Wild have a busy week ahead, including a home-and-away series against the defending Cup champs Chicago on Oct. 26 and 28. It’ll be interesting to see how head coach Mike Yeo handles his goalies for those two contests.
Bernier back in
Jonathan Bernier will start for Toronto tonight against Anaheim, the first time Leafs coach Randy Carlyle has faced the Ducks since getting fired during the 2011-12 campaign.
Bernier, 25, has come back to earth a bit recently after his white-hot start to the season. He’s lost three of five, including Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Chicago — though Bernier did stop 37 of 40 shots in a game largely dominated by the ‘Hawks.
— Cory Schneider will get his second straight start tonight against Columbus. The Devils’ netminder shut out the Rangers in his last appearance, and will be up against reigning Vezina winner Sergei Bobrovsky this evening. Bobrovsky gets back in the Blue Jackets’ net after Curtis McElhinney starred in Sunday’s win over Vancouver, stopping 37 of 38 shots.
— On the injury front, Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist is day-to-day with a “minor issue.” In Carolina, Anton Khudobin is expected to miss at least another week with a lower-body ailment.