Goalie nods: Andersen returns for Ducks, backups battle in Habs-Caps (Update: Neuvirth out)

All the news and notes on a busy Black Friday…

Freddy’s back

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.)

UPDATE: Neuvirth was injured during pregame warmup and will be unable to play. Holtby gets the start instead, and video coach Brett Leonhardt will serve as backup.


— 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.

Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby

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Sometimes a suspension will shame a player, or at least inspire him to change the way he plays.

That apparently won’t happen regarding Brandon Dubinsky‘s one-game timeout session for cross-checking Sidney Crosby.

Dubinsky told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that he won’t alter his style, whether it’s against Crosby or someone else.

“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”

In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.

One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.

Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?

Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).

Bad news for Boedker: Coyotes won’t face Sens again in 2015-16


Sorry Mikkel Boedker, you won’t get to face the Ottawa Senators again this season.

OK, it could happen if the speedster is traded from the Arizona Coyotes. He could also face the Senators in the unlikely instance that the two teams fight it out in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.

Beyond those two possibilities, Saturday night was it, and Boedker must have been licking his chops much like an actual coyote.

For the second straight game, Boedker managed a hat trick against the Senators, helping Arizona beat Ottawa 4-3 last night. His third tally stood as the game-winner in a 4-3 victory.

You can watch all three goals in the video above.

It’s oddly fitting that Boedker has three goals this season … against teams not named the Ottawa Senators.

Hey, Tortorella called the Penguins whiners again

John Tortorella

Don’t forget, the Blue Jackets – Penguins rivalry isn’t just about the bitterness between Sidney Crosby and Brandon Dubinsky; John Tortorella can fuel the fire, too.

Torts must not have been happy about the one-game suspension that Dubinsky received for cross-checking Crosby, as he channeled his vintage self in essentially calling the Penguins a bunch of whiners.

You can see from this glorious Sportsnet video, Tortorella said: “Pittsburgh whines enough for the whole league.”

(He also said the Blue Jackets weren’t going to whine by … whining. Good stuff.)

As Puck Daddy notes, this isn’t the first time Torts claimed that the Penguins are whiners.

Both the Blue Jackets and Penguins lost their games on Saturday, but clearly some eyes and ears were still focused on their last confrontation.

In case you’re wondering, the two teams next face off in Pittsburgh on Dec. 21.


Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’


Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).