Ilya Bryzgalov

Goalie nods: Bryzgalov back in, Luongo looks to ‘exorcise that demon’


News and notes from around the crease…

Bryzgalov goes again

Ilya Bryzgalov will get his second start coming off an injury when he takes on the Kings in Los Angeles tonight.

Bryzgalov, 33, returned to action on Sunday against Anaheim and stopped 31 of 34 shots in a 3-2 loss. The Russian netminder had been sidelined after getting bowled over against Dallas on Dec. 1.

Bryzgalov has very good numbers on the year — a 2.35 GAA and .932 save percentage — but is still looking for a few more wins, as has he has just one (a 3-0 victory over Nashville) thus far.

Martin Jones, the NHL’s reigning third star of the week, will get the nod for L.A.

Luongo starts at Xcel

History to be damned, says Canucks head coach John Tortorella. Roberto Luongo is starting tonight in Minnesota.

For more, here’s Mike Russo of the Star-Tribune:

Luongo gets the start for the Canuckleheads. He is 3-9-2 with a 3.56 goals-against average and .873 save percentage at the X, and that includes a 0-0 tie in his first-ever start at the X with Florida in 2000. Luongo has been pulled in his past three starts here and has just had such struggles here that former Van. coach Alain Vigneault didn’t play him in Minnesota since Oct. 19, 2010. Luongo joked yesterday to ask AV if he was playing.

“He’s going to exorcise that demon, I guess, if that’s what everybody thinks this is,” Canucks coach John Tortorella said. “He’s a pro. He needs to play.”

Josh Harding will start for the Wild.


Flames at Bruins: Reto Berra vs. Tuukka Rask

Jets at Sabres: Ondrej Pavelec vs. Ryan Miller

Panthers at Leafs: Scott Clemmensen vs. Jonathan Bernier (likely)

Lightning at Islanders: Ben Bishop vs. Evgeni Nabokov

Capitals at Flyers: Braden Holtby vs. Steve Mason

Ducks at Red Wings: Jonas Hiller vs. Jonas Gustavsson

Coyotes at Canadiens: Carey Price in for Habs. No word yet on who Phoenix will start.

Sharks at Blues: Antti Niemi vs. Jaroslav Halak

Blackhawks at Preds: Antti Raanta vs. Carter Hutton

Avs at Stars: Jean-Sebastien Giguere will go for Colorado. No word on a Dallas starter yet.

The Leafs will be without Reimer on Saturday

James Reimer
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James Reimer (lower body) won’t be available to play in Saturday’s game against Washington.

Reimer was injured during a team practice earlier this week and although the injury didn’t appear to be serious, it will prevent him from suiting up in at least one game.

The Leafs originally thought that the 27-year-old would be good to go for this tilt, but head coach Mike Babcock said Reimer didn’t feel good enough to play.

Reimer’s emerged as the go-to-guy for the Maple Leafs this season and for good reason.

He has 7-3-4 record with a 2.07 goals-against-average and a .934 save percentage in 15 games.

Another reason the Leafs have been counting on him so much is because Jonathan Bernier‘s been awful.

Bernier will get another opportunity to prove himself on Saturday night, but he faces a stiff test against Alex Ovechkin and company.

The 27-year-old has an 0-7-1 record with a 3.17 goals-against-average and a .895 save percentage in ’15-16.

In a corresponding move, the Leafs sent defenseman Scott Harrington to the minors and recalled goalie Garret Sparks.

Sparks was Toronto’s seventh round pick in 2011.

The 22-year-old has an 8-2-1 record with the Toronto Marlies this season.

War of words continues between Rangers and Bruins on Saturday


The Rangers are getting ready for their second straight matinee game on Saturday, but head coach Alain Vigneault wasn’t done addressing yesterday’s loss to the Bruins.

After Friday’s game, Bruins coach Claude Julien wasn’t pleased with Henrik Lundqvist‘s “acting” that led to a goalie interference penalty being called on forward Brad Marchand (above) and he let everyone know it in his postgame press conference.

On Saturday, it was Alain Vigneault’s turn to lash out.

“Well, (the Rangers public relations staff) filled me in a little bit on what was said after the game,” Vigneault said via the New York Daily News. “I mean it’s a little disappointing. Obviously everybody saw the knee to the head. The comments on Hank were very inappropriate. The way Hank conducts himself, on the ice, away from the rink, off the ice, the example that he sets. Who would you rather have as a son, Henrik Lundqvist or Brad Marchand? For him to say things like that about Hank, totally wrong, and probably Claude is getting a little older and needs to check his eyesight.”

The Rangers will take on the Flyers at 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.

Dubinsky to have hearing for cross-check on Crosby


Brandon Dubinsky and the NHL’s Department of Player Safety will have a chat about his cross-check on Sidney Crosby.

The hearing is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, per beat reporter Aaron Portzline.

As you can see in the above video, Dubinsky delivers a two-handed cross-check to Crosby’s neck, so the fact that he’s getting a hearing is no surprise.

“There’s no secret. I try to play him as hard as I can,” said Dubinsky. “That being said, I don’t try and do anything dirty. I felt like my stick ride up his back a little bit. He’s kind of bent over there in front. But again, that’s not the type of player I am. I’m going to play hard, but try and play fair and play in between the whistle.”

Crosby isn’t willing to give Dubinsky the benefit of the doubt.

Anyone who follows the NHL knows that Dubinsky and Crosby aren’t fans of each other.

The two have engaged in some serious battles, including this fight last February:

Report: Habs will be Price-less for the next month

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It looks like the Canadiens will be without star goaltender Carey Price for the next month, per RDS.

“We still don’t know what the nature of the injury is, but we’re convinced it’s his right knee,” hockey analyst François Gagnon said on a french television show on Friday. “The Canadiens are preparing for him to be out for more than a week. They’re preparing for him to be out for a month.”

Price missed nine games with a lower-body injury between Oct. 30 and Nov. 19.

The 28-year-old won all three of his starts since returning, but he was forced from Wednesday’s game against the Rangers leading some to believe he came back too soon.

After Friday’s win over the Devils, Michel Therrien denied the validity of the report.

The Canadiens will have to provide an update on Price’s injury at some point, but their camp doesn’t typically give many details when it comes to this sort of thing.