Goalie nods: Talbot goes for Rangers, Wild ride Harding

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Some news and notes from the blue paint…

Talbot starts for New York

Henrik Lundqvist gets a breather after starring in a 5-1 win over Pittsburgh on Wednesday, as the Rangers will give rookie Cam Talbot the start tonight in Columbus. Talbot has done well since inheriting the Rangers’ backup gig from Martin Biron, going 2-1-0 with a 1.96 GAA and .929 save percentage.

Tonight, Talbot will face a tough test as Columbus counters with the reigning Veniza Trophy winner, Sergei Bobrovsky.

Harding goes again

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

That’s what Minnesota appears to be doing at the moment as Josh Harding will look for his sixth straight win tonight against Washington. Harding is coming off a stellar performance on Tuesday vs. Calgary — stopping 25 of 26 shots in a 5-1 win — and comes into Thursday’s game boasting great numbers across the board: 8-2-1 record, 1.09 GAA, .951 save percentage.

For Washington, Braden Holtby will get the nod after playing well lately, having won six of his last eight starts.


— As we reported earlier, Kevin Poulin gets the start for the Islanders tonight against the ‘Canes, who will counter with Justin Peters.

Scott Clemmensen will be in goal for Florida tonight in Boston, facing off against Tuukka Rask. No Tim Thomas at TD Garden tonight.

Martin Brodeur is in net for the Devils tonight against Philly, but the Flyers have yet to officially name their starter. CSN Philly’s Sarah Baicker reports Ray Emery will get the nod over Steve Mason.

— Carey Price vs. Robin Lehner in Montreal-Ottawa, Reto Berra vs. Brian Elliott in Calgary-St. Louis.

— Ben Bishop will get the goal for Tampa vs. Edmonton, and it’s likely that Devan Dubnyk will be in goal for the Oilers.

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.