Who’s in goal tonight? Here’s who you’ll likely see roaming the crease tonight.
Lundqvist back in action for New York
After Cam Talbot stymied the Montreal Canadiens last night for the Rangers first shutout in Montreal since February 1967, Henrik Lundqvist gets the call against the Los Angeles Kings at Madison Square Garden. He’ll go up against Kings backup-turned-starter Ben Scrivens as Jonathan Quick is out with a groin injury.
Halak to face Capitals, cause nightmarish flashbacks
Jaroslav Halak will get the start for the St. Louis Blues against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center. Give Caps fans the benefit of the doubt if they break out in a cold sweat seeing him on the ice. While with the Montreal Canadiens, his play stunned the Caps in the first round of the 2010 playoffs as the Habs knocked them out in seven games. Washington will most likely counter with Braden Holtby in goal.
Niemi to face former Blackhawks mates
Antti Niemi was a Stanley Cup winner with the Chicago Blackhawks back in 2010 and he’ll get another shot to beat his former team tonight in Chicago as he’ll start for the San Jose Sharks. In his career against the ‘Hawks, Niemi is 5-5-1 with a .914 save percentage and a 2.84 goals-against average.
Corey Crawford starts for Chicago as they try to rebound from getting stomped by the Nashville Predators on Saturday. Antti Raanta will be backing him up as he was called up to take Nikolai Khabibulin’s place after he was inured.
— Winnipeg’s Ondrej Pavelec will look to extend the Jets’ four-game win streak. He’ll face Minnesota’s Josh Harding in St. Paul.
— Kari Lehtonen will likely keep on keeping on for Dallas against Vancouver who’ll send Roberto Luongo to try and stop the Stars.
— Sergei Bobrovsky just missed out on a shutout in helping the Blue Jackets beat Craig Anderson and the Senators 4-1 Saturday afternoon.
Remember when many were keeping an eye on Erik Karlsson after he was seemingly cramping up after logging more than 40 minutes in an OT contest against the Boston Bruins.
It’s possible he was also dealing with that sort of ailment, but he earned some “hockey tough” kudos on Sunday after word surfaced that the Ottawa Senators defenseman was dealing with hairline fractures in his left heel through the series.
Sportsnet’s Jason York refers to the issue as “two small fractures” while ESPN’s Joe McDonald went into specifics, noting that Karlsson explains that the injury happened on March 28 (and was why he missed some games late in the season).
There’s some optimism as the Senators ready for the New York Rangers, at least according to Karlsson.
Either way, that’s impressive stuff from the Senators defenseman, and the sort of information that usually only surfaces after a team has been eliminated. We’ll see if he’s hindered by such issues as the playoffs go along.
The NHL officially announced the nominees for the 2017 Lady Byng on Sunday, and they’re a star-studded bunch: Johnny Gaudreau, Mikael Granlund and Vladimir Tarasenko.
The PHWA determines “the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”
(Did Tarasenko help eliminate Granlund’s team in a gentlemanly fashion?)
For more on the three finalists, click here.
It’s a feel-good story, especially if you can look beyond questions of officiating.
Clarke MacArthur could have very well never played another NHL game considering his lengthy battles with concussion symptoms. Instead, he drew a penalty on the Boston Bruins in overtime of Game 6 and then managed to score the series-clinching goal.
Now, this isn’t to say that MacArthur didn’t rightfully draw a penalty; it most clearly was. And, in the bigger picture, it’s one of those stories that almost makes you wonder if real-life sports actually do follow Hollywood scripts.
People just wonder about some other decisions during that overtime, in particular, making it frustrating for some Bruins fans to see the season end in such a way.
Whether they like it or not, that is the case, though.
The Senators took Game 6 by a score of 3-2 (OT), winning their series 4-2. They can breathe a sigh of relief in avoiding a Game 7, an especially valuable bonus since Erik Karlsson had been pushed hard lately, logging more than 40 minutes in a recent game.
Ottawa avoids a do-or-die contest. Instead, they’ll face the New York Rangers in the next round while the Bruins enter the summer following an up-and-down campaign.
Every game in this Senators – Bruins series has been decided by one goal, so why not send Game 6 to overtime?
Oh, and speaking of overtime, this contest going beyond regulation makes it 17 OT games, tying an NHL record for the most in a single round.
Ottawa appeared to take a “lazy change” with a 2-1 lead, and Patrice Bergeron made the Senators pay, putting in a rebound to collect the goal that eventually sent this contest to overtime.