Frederik Andersen will make his first start for Anaheim since being recalled last week as the Ducks host the Flames. Andersen won six of his first seven games while posting a 1.66 GAA and .943 save percentage, but was sent to AHL Norfolk when Viktor Fasth returned from injury.
Fasth is once again on the shelf, though, meaning Andersen is back in the Ducks’ mix. He’ll go up against Reto Berra, who has been getting big minutes for Calgary lately.
Budaj takes on Neuvirth
Battle of the backups at Verizon tonight — Montreal’s Peter Budaj goes up against Washington’s Michal Neuvirth. The interesting storyline here is that both Budaj and Neuvirth have played sparingly this season, yet will battle for the second time in a week as both got the nod last Friday (when Montreal beat Washington 3-2.)
— Jimmy Howard takes on Kevin Poulin in the Detroit-New York Islanders matchup; Brian Elliott goes for the Blues in San Jose, taking on Antti Niemi; Cory Schneider vs. Cam Ward square off in the Devils-‘Canes game; it’s Ilya Bryzgalov vs. Sergei Bobrovsky in the Edmonton-Columbus tilt.
— Good matchup in Buffalo tonight as James Reimer will draw back in for Toronto for the first time since allowing five goals in a 6-0 beating by Columbus on Monday. He’ll go up against Ryan Miller, who continues to play well despite winning just four times in 19 appearances this season.
— Corey Crawford will go for Chicago after a rare break on Wednesday (Antti Raanta was in goal for a 3-2 win over Calgary). He’ll be up against Dallas netminder Kari Lehtonen, looking to bounce back after allowing five goals in a loss to St. Louis on Saturday.
Red Wings rally by Bruins in another game that evokes the Eighties
Things looked pretty grim for the Detroit Red Wings after the Boston Bruins chased Jared Coreau from the net with a quick 3-0 lead. Maybe the Red Wings took note that this has been a weird, high-scoring week in the NHL, because they rallied back and eventually won 6-5 via a shootout.
To recap the zaniest games of each day from this odd few days of hockey:
(That’s the coach’s answer to slamming a video game controller in a frustrating loss.)
Fitting in with this week’s other wilder contests, there were flurries of goals even beyond the trio that quickly gave Coreau the boot. The Red Wings warped a 4-1 Bruins lead to a 4-4 tie with three goals in a little more than 10 minutes of time.
Adam McQuaid then regained Boston’s lead 21 seconds after it was tied, but the Red Wings didn’t give up. Instead, they applied a ton of pressure in the third period until Gustav Nyquist tied it up with about three minutes left.
Detroit still has a long way to go to protect its remarkable playoff streak, especially when teams like the Bruins can at least salvage “charity points” with losses. If the Red Wings want to make an unlikely push, they’ll need to show the kind of resolve that was on display on yet another wild night in the NHL.
#RedWings win a game after allowing 4 first-period goals for the first time since November 1, 1991 vs Hartford
PHT brings you the hard-hitting math, as you know, so here’s the latest burst: Connor McDavid is more than a point-per-game player.
You see, he scored the 100th point of his promising NHL career, and he did so in just his 92nd career game on Wednesday. Let us remind you that he’s just 20 years old (and he turned 20 on Jan. 13). Yeah.
Point 100 came on via an assist on a Zack Kassian goal as the Edmonton Oilers went up 1-0 against the Florida Panthers.
Here’s the clip:
Considering how quickly McDavid got to 100 and how young he is, it tempts you to do all sorts of speculative math. Maybe you’ll even wonder where No. 97 will finish on all-time lists:
In case you're wondering, it took Jagr 118 games to get to 100 points. Of course, he's only 5 shy if 1,900 right now
In the video above, you can see Bob McKenzie lay out the Detroit Red Wings’ status as the trade deadline begins to look like more of a consideration.
Considering their playoff streak, it’s not that shocking that they’re at least struggling with the idea of being sellers. More than a few people probably did a double-take (or spit-take?) when McKenzie noted that management might opt to re-sign forward/remarkable reclamation project Thomas Vanek instead of moving him for assets.
It’s reasonable to question that logic, but then you see what he’s doing lately, particularly the chemistry he seems to be building with Andreas Athanasiou.
Wednesday’s gorgeous assist to Athanasiou illustrates some of that brilliance, if stats bore you:
If stats tell some of the story, well, they’re impressive. Vanek now has a seven-game point streak with the assist; if he doesn’t score another point, he’ll have 10 points during that span. He also has at least a point in 11 of his last 12 contests.
Athanasiou’s really “feeling it” lately, too. If he stays at a goal tonight, he’ll have five goals and eight points in his last seven games, only failing to generate a point in two of those contests. His speed and skill really seem to be coming to the surface, a great sign for the 22-year-old.
Still, Vanek is 32, and the Red Wings would need a heck of a run to even make the playoffs. So that’s where the discussion gets a little sticky.
There’s still time to sort that out, though. In the meantime, fans should enjoy what those two have been accomplishing, even if many want the window to close on that combo soon.