Some news and notes from the blue paint…
Elliott starts for St. Louis
The Blues will give Brian Elliott just his second start of the season on Friday as they take on the Panthers in Florida.
Elliott, who had been in a timeshare with Jaroslav Halak over the last two seasons, has been demoted to No. 2 this season as Halak (7-1-1) has carried the load. Elliott’s lone start this season came in a 4-3 shootout loss to Winnipeg on Oct. 15 — his only other action this season came three days prior, in relief of Halak during a 6-2 loss to San Jose.
Ottawa rolls with Lehner
Robin Lenher will make his second start of the season as well on Friday when Ottawa takes on the Islanders.
Lehner, 22, hasn’t played since a 3-1 loss to Edmonton on Oct. 19, in which he stopped 18 of 20 shots. The Swedish netminder has watched from the bench a lot this season as the Sens have gone almost exclusively with Craig Anderson, though that might change given the latter’s mediocre efforts as of late.
Anderson is in the midst of a three-game losing streak and gave up 11 goals in his two most recent losses to Chicago and San Jose. On the year, he has a 4-4-2 record with a 3.16 GAA and .911 save percentage.
FYI, Evgeni Nabokov will start for the Islanders tonight in Ottawa.
Harding back for Minnesota
Josh Harding will see his first action in over 10 days as the Wild take on Montreal at Xcel Energy Center tonight.
Harding, 29, has put forth a tremendous campaign this far, going 5-2-1 with a 1.00 GAA and .953 save percentage, challenging Niklas Backstrom for the Wild’s No. 1 gig.
Speaking of Backstrom, it’s interesting to see him being sat after a rough outing against Chicago on Monday. The ‘Hawks burned the veteran netminder for five goals on 28 shots.
(For the Canadiens, Carey Price will get the start.)
— As we reported earlier, Semyon Varlamov will start for the Avs tonight in Dallas. Kari Lehtonen goes for the Stars.
— It’s Jimmy Howard vs. Joey MacDonald tonight in Calgary for the Red Wings-Flames game. Worth noting that Howard’s backup, Jonas Gustavsson, is dealing with a sore neck and might not be able to go tomorrow night against Edmonton. If that’s the case, AHL Grand Rapids call-up Peter Mrazek will get the start.
— Braden Holtby vs. Steve Mason in Philly for Caps-Flyers.
— Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Marc-Andre Fleury in Pittsburgh for Jackets-Pens.
— Ben Bishop vs. Justin Peters in Carolina for Bolts-‘Canes.