All the news and notes on a busy Black Friday…
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.
Breaking: the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers don’t like each other.
The stakes might be higher for the Penguins than the Flyers – aside from those who still believe Philly has a shot at a playoff run – their rivalry rarely subsides.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Sunday featured at least one fight, with Cameron Gaunce squaring off against Brandon Manning in a pretty spirited bout.
Manning isn’t shy about fighting, by the way; this was his seventh bout of the season, according to Hockey Fights.
Higher on the radar for the Penguins is the situation for Conor Sheary, who has been absent from the ice since about midway through the first period. PHT will keep an eye out for updates on what could be yet another injury for the health-challenged Pens.
Life is difficult, complex and confusing. Good thing we have dog videos.
Forgive this video being one night late, but for those of us who watch cute animal clips, time is a furry circle. Or something like that.
Anyway, this golden retriever got a little “ice time” before the Washington Capitals’ game against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday in what would end up being a 4-1 win for the Caps. It’s an excellent video featuring a top-notch, hilarious pooch.
Alternate joke: Now that is some puck retrieval.
Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews are locked with identical goals (34), assists (27) and points (61) on Sunday, which is remarkable since Laine has played in 67 games versus 75 for Matthews. He won’t get a chance to beef up his numbers on Sunday, either.
It looks like the high-scoring rookie is missing the Winnipeg Jets’ contest against the Vancouver Canucks because of an illness, according to TSN’s Sara Orlesky.
The Jets are almost assured to miss the playoffs, so seeing Laine lose a chance to bolster his Calder argument adds a little extra sadness to the night.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced a Monday hearing for San Jose Sharks tough guy Micheal Haley for his “roughing/sucker punch” on Calle Jarnkrok of the Nashville Predators.
The league didn’t specify if Haley will face a telephone or in-person hearing on Monday afternoon. They did, interestingly, use the phrase “sucker punch” in that official announcement.
Haley received a match penalty during the game. Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer was highly upset about the hit that inspired Haley’s actions.
“When you run someone from behind in a game like that, you probably deserve to get a punch in the mouth,” DeBoer told reporters.
In other bad news for the Sharks, CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz reports that Logan Couture‘s situation isn’t looking promising after he was hurt on Sunday.