Anders Lindback

Goalie nods: Lindback faces former team, McElhinney back for Jackets

News and notes from the crease…

Lindback starts against Preds

Anders Lindback will go for the Bolts tonight against the team that traded him to Tampa — the Nashville Predators.

Lindback, who has never faced the Preds, last played on Saturday and gave up three goals on 19 shots in a loss to the Devils. His numbers on the season aren’t good — 2-6-1, 3.12 GAA, .882 save percentage — but tonight represents a chance to get back on track, against a Nashville team that has issues scoring goals.

Speaking of the Preds, it’s expected Carter Hutton will get the start in goal.

McElhinney back from injury

Curtis McElhinney will return from a two-game absence (lower body) to take on the Flyers in Philadelphia tonight.

McElhinney, injured last week in a win over the Rangers, has been very good since taking Columbus’ No. 1 gig from the injured Sergei Bobrovsky. The 30-year-old has won three of four starts with a 2.12 GAA and .930 save percentage.

As for the Flyers, Steve Mason will be in goal.


Bruins at Sabres: No confirmations yet, but Chad Johnson vs. Ryan Miller seems likely.

Coyotes at Maple Leafs: Again, no confirmations, but it sounds like Mike Smith vs. James Reimer.

Wild at Penguins: Niklas Backstrom for Minnesota, sounds like Jeff Zatkoff is probable for Pittsburgh.

Flames at Red Wings: Karri Ramo vs. Jonas Gustavsson

Panthers at Sens: Scott Clemmensen vs. Craig Anderson

Habs at Blues: Carey Price vs. Jaroslav Halak

Canucks at Stars: Roberto Luongo vs. Kari Lehtonen

Oilers at Avs: Devan Dubnyk vs. Semyon Varlamov

Sharks at Kings: Antti Niemi vs. Martin Jones

Video: Dylan Larkin adds to his rookie goals lead

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So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.

The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.

No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.

He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.

Latest report leaves Carey Price’s injury timeline fuzzy

Carey Price
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There’s one thing we seem to know about Carey Price‘s injury situation: he first got hurt stepping on a puck on Oct. 29, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Contrary to earlier reports about him missing about a month, it sounds like his window of recovery is still up in the air (which, to be fair, could mean that he’ll still miss about a month when it’s all said and done).

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Price underwent testing with Montreal’s team doctor on Saturday and is expected to go through more; we may not know more about his expected injury timeline until early this coming week.

So, basically, Price’s situation is fuzzier than his mustache right now.

Leg injuries can be tricky anyway, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are mixed signals regarding Price, and this may remain a fluid situation for some time.

(But we’ll hopefully know more soon enough.)

Lightning lament life as a .500 team

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have plenty of time to rise above mediocrity, yet it still must be deserving to finish at .500 for two straight months.

After last night’s 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders, that’s exactly where they find themselves:

Record at the end of October: 5-5-2

Record at the end of November: 11-11-3

As of this writing, the Lightning found themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff picture. It all stands as a pretty tough thing for the reigning Eastern Conference champs to swallow.

The uncomfortable-yet-vital question is: can the Lightning break out of this funk?

Looking at their schedule, it won’t be easy, at least not right away.

They crawl through California during a three-game road trip to start December, and they also face six of eight on the road from Dec. 2 – 18.

The Lightning soak up home dates to finish 2015 after that, but what damage will be done by then?

Frankly, the Bolts will need to dig deep to break this pattern. If nothing else, they’ve fought with their backs against the wall before.

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


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).