CamTalbot

Goalie nods: Talbot in for Blueshirts, Mason starts fifth straight

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Here’s all the latest from the crease…

King Henrik dethroned, temporarily

Interesting decision out of New York on Tuesday, as the Rangers announced they’ll turn back to rookie netminder Cam Talbot in the second of back-to-back games.

Henrik Lundqvist, who was in goal for Monday’s 2-0 loss to Montreal, told the team he wanted to play tonight against the Islanders, but it appears the club is taking the cautious approach with the veteran netminder after he missed a pair of games to injury last week.

Lundqvist went 3-0-1 against the Isles last year, so rolling with Talbot — he of the two career NHL appearances — is a bit of a risky move. That said, Talbot was terrific in relief of Lundqvist over the aforementioned two-game absence, going 1-1-0 with a 1.94 GAA and .934 save percentage.

Philly keeps rolling with Mason

Remember the Flyers’ goalie timeshare? Yeah, neither do we.

Philadelphia announced that Steve Mason will start his fifth straight game on Tuesday against Anaheim, a game in which he’ll be looking for his third consecutive victory.

Mason, 25, has been a revelation for Philly this season, posting a 2.15 GAA and .930 save percentage in eight games played. His stellar netminding has all but rendered Ray Emery as a full-time backup — Emery, 31, has only appeared in two games this season and hasn’t seen game action since Oct. 12.

Elsewhere…

— Despite head coach Jack Capuano alluding to more playing time for Kevin Poulin, the Isles will start Evgeni Nabokov against the Rangers on Tuesday. Poulin got Saturday’s game against Philly — a 5-2 loss — and wasn’t great, allowing four goals on 31 shots.

— The Tampa Bay Lightning will continue to roll with Ben Bishop tonight against the Devils, to nobody’s surprise.

St. Louis will start Jaroslav Halak against the Jets on Tuesday. It will be Halak’s third straight start and ninth in 10 games this season.

PHT Morning Skate: Adam Henrique wants to make NHL 17 great again

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Martin Jones is a calming presence in the Sharks’ net. (Sports Illustrated)

–The Rangers should go after Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. (The Hockey News)

–Some people have pretty wild hockey tattoos. (BarDown)

–Watch the highlights of last night’s game between the Penguins and Capitals. (Top)

–A great piece on how Bruce Boudreau impacted the Ducks and Capitals. (Sportsnet)

–It should be an interesting off-season for the Anaheim Ducks. (Daily Breeze)

Adam Henrique is a funny guy. He took to Twitter to try and get himself on the cover of NHL 17:

Capitals accuse Letang of leaving his feet, hitting Johansson in head

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Get this: the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins seem divided on the legality of Kris Letang‘s hit on Marcus Johansson.

(Take a moment to gather your thoughts amid this shocking revelation.)

You can watch the hit over and over in the video above. This post features some takes on that check, which the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reportedly reviewing.

Generally speaking, the three things people discuss regarding the check is how late it might be, if Letang used his feet and if Johansson’s head was the principal point of contact.

Letang told his side of the story:

The Capitals disagree:

While Barry Trotz pleads the Fifth after his previous comments about Brooks Orpik‘s suspension:

No doubt about it, Letang’s status is the top story to follow in this series between Games 3 and 4. We’ll find out soon enough how it all shakes out.

Penguins ride Murray’s masterpiece to 2-1 series lead vs. Capitals

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If Marc-Andre Fleury suiting up bothers Matt Murray, then the rookie goalie channeled those feelings into a masterful performance on Monday.

The Washington Capitals absolutely dominated Game 3, but Murray was even better, stopping 47 shots as the Penguins stole one 3-2 to take a 2-1 series lead.

(Capitals fans might see some parallels to Washington’s Game 5 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers; they fell 2-0 despite a 44-11 shots on goal edge thanks to Michal Neuvirth‘s heroics.)

Murray stopped chance after chance before Alex Ovechkin finally broke through for his first goal of this series. Justin Williams then brought the Penguins’ lead down to 3-2 to make for a hold-your-breath final minute.

A driven Ovechkin and strong overall play from the Capitals (despite this defeat) aren’t the only reasons why Game 4 might present some twists.

First things first: Kris Letang might get suspended for Game 4 (if not for more than one game) thanks to this controversial check on Marcus Johansson.

Beyond that, there could be some bumps and bruises from this contest.

Bryan Rust left during the first period and didn’t return to the game after blocking a shot. Brian Dumoulin seemed shaken up after an Alex Ovechkin hit in the third period. The Capitals might have a player or two to look at, as well.

In other words, the Penguins could really lack for quality defensemen with Letang possibly suspended and possible injury absences for Dumoulin and Olli Maatta.

This series is living up to the hype … and really building up the hate.

Yes, NHL is reportedly looking at Letang’s hit on Johansson

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It remains to be seen if Kris Letang will get suspended for his hit on Marcus Johansson … and if he does, for how long.

(You can read initial reactions and some analysis about the specifics of the check vs. the one that got Brooks Orpik suspended here.)

There are a few things we do know already.

For one thing, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reportedly looking into it.

Another factor that could help Letang avoid a suspension or limit the duration of supplemental discipline: Marcus Johansson returned during the second period.

In fact, Johansson delivered some hits on Letang.

There have been some nasty moments in Game 3, and more might be coming. The Penguins lead 2-0 with a few minutes remaining in the middle frame.