Anders Lindback

Goalie nods: Greiss goes for Coyotes, Lindback for Bolts

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News and notes from the crease on a very busy Wednesday…

Greiss starts for Phoenix

Little-used backup Thomas Greiss will go for the Coyotes tonight as they take on the Wild in Minnesota.

Greiss has only played once this month — stopping four shots in relief of Mike Smith on Saturday — but has good numbers on the year, posting a 2-1-0 record with a 2.37 GAA and .928 save percentage.

He’ll be taking on Niklas Backstrom, who’ll play his third straight game for the Wild.

Lindback in for Tampa Bay

Another little-used backup will get the nod on Wednesday as Anders Lindback starts for Tampa Bay.

Lindback has only made seven appearances this year and has struggled, going 1-5-0 with a 3.47 GAA and .872 save percentage. Ben Bishop has taken Tampa’s No. 1 job and run with it, all but nullifying head coach Jon Cooper’s early-season assertion that he had “two starting goalies.”

Tampa Bay will host the Flyers tonight, and Ray Emery will be in the Philadelphia goal.


— Jonas Gustavsson gets the nod for Detroit over Jimmy Howard (read more here). The Wings are hosting Boston, and the Bruins will go with Tuukka Rask.

— Martin Brodeur starts over Corey Schneider for New Jersey (which has Schneider frustrated — read more here). Brodeur will square off with Cam Ward, who gets the start for the ‘Canes.

— Finnish phenom Antti Raanta will make his first NHL start for Chicago (read more here). The Hawks are going up against Calgary, and Reto Berra will be in goal.

— Carey Price will take on Ryan Miller in the Montreal-Buffalo game, Craig Anderson will take on Braden Holtby in Sens-Caps, Marek Mazanec will face off with Sergei Bobrovsky in the Preds-Jackets game and Jonathan Bernier will go head-to-head with Marc-Andre Fleury in Toronto-Pittsburgh.

— Cool matchup in Florida tonight as Henrik Lundqvist goes up against Tim Thomas, renewing their rivalry from the Rangers-Bruins days.

— Jaro Halak vs. Semyon Varlamov tonight in Colorado.

— Still no word on who the Kings and Sharks will be starting, but expect it to be Ben Scrivens vs. Antti Niemi.

After healthy scratch, Severson vows to play ‘next 80 games’

Jimmy Hayes, Damon Severson
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Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.

It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.

“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”

Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.

Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.

Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.

“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”

Virtanen to make NHL debut tonight versus Kings

Jake Virtanen
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Jake Virtanen, the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft, will make his NHL debut tonight when his Canucks meet the Kings in Los Angeles.

The 19-year-old winger was a healthy scratch for Vancouver’s first three games of the regular season. He had two goals and two assists in six preseason games.

“I can’t wait,” he told reporters. “My energy is high. I want to get a couple of hits on my first shift.”

Big and physical with goal-scoring ability, the consensus is that Virtanen will remain in the NHL and not be returned to junior after he’s played nine games. That consensus could always change based on his play, of course.

The Canucks — who won last night in Anaheim — did not have a full skate this morning, so it’s unclear who will come out of the lineup. The best guess is rookie Jared McCann, who’s been playing third-line center.

If McCann does come out, the Canucks could move Brandon Sutter to third-line center and Virtanen could take Sutter’s spot on the first line with the Sedin twins. Or, there could be more extensive line juggling.