News and notes from the crease…
Pittsburgh to start Zatkoff
Jeff Zatkoff will make his first appearance since Nov. 2, getting the nod in goal for Pittsburgh tonight against the Islanders.
The little-used backup to Marc-Andre Fleury did record a shutout in his last game, a 19-save victory over Columbus, but has been largely inactive and still carries a 3.36 GAA and .865 save percentage on the year.
Zatkoff will square off with Kevin Poulin, who has assumed full-time starting duties for the Isles since Evgeni Nabokov went down to a groin injury.
Neuvirth goes for Caps
Michal Neuvirth will get just his fifth start of the season tonight against Montreal.
The Czech ‘tender hasn’t played since allowing three goals on 35 shots in a 4-3 shootout loss to Phoenix on Nov. 9. All told, Neuvirth has made just six appearances this season and has two wins — one against Calgary in early October, another against Florida on Nov. 2.
Peter Budaj will be in goal for the Canadiens tonight, giving Carey Price the night off.
— Reto Berra will once again be in goal for Calgary tonight, but it’s unclear who he’ll face in the Florida net. Tim Thomas has played well as of late, but might be in line for a rest.
— Roberto Luongo goes for Vancouver tonight in the first of a back-to-back (the Canucks host Chicago tomorrow). No word yet on who Columbus will put in goal — Sergei Bobrovsky has carried the load as of late, but backup Curtis McElhinney was stellar in a mid-October win over the Canucks.
— Ben Bishop confirmed for Tampa against Anaheim. No confirmation yet on who the Ducks will have in goal.