Philipp Grubauer

Goalie nods: Grubauer goes for Caps, Peters for ‘Canes


All the latest from the blue paint…

Interesting times in Washington

Philipp Grubauer gets the call over Braden Holtby (again) on Friday when the Caps host the Rangers at Verizon. The German ‘tender has been a revelation for Washington since his recall from AHL Hershey, starting five of 10 games (tonight will be his sixth) while posting a 4-1-1 record with a 2.20 GAA and .934 save percentage.

This will also mark Gubauer’s second straight start, as he stopped 26 of 29 shots in a 3-2 loss to Anaheim on Monday. He’ll be going up against another backup making waves in Cam Talbot, who’ll make his third straight start for the Rangers ahead of Henrik Lundqvist.

Peters over Ward

Carolina’s goaltending situation took another curious turn on Friday, as the ‘Canes announced Justin Peters would make his third straight start when they host Pittsburgh at PNC Arena.

Trade rumors were swirling around Peters and Anton Khudobin last week, but the new story might be Peters taking a run at Cam Ward’s No. 1 gig. Peters stopped 47 of 50 shots in a 3-2 OT loss to Tampa Bay on Saturday, earning him Monday’s start against Columbus — a 4-3 loss in which he only made 21 saves.

Despite that, the ‘Canes opted to stand pat in goal. That means Ward now will go at least nine days between games; he last played in a 4-2 loss to Washington on Dec. 20, and the ‘Canes don’t play again until Sunday in Toronto.


Senators at Bruins: Robin Lehner vs. Tuukka Rask

Blue Jackets at Devils: Curtis McElhinney vs. Martin Brodeur

Sabres at Maple Leafs: Ryan Miller vs. Jonathan Bernier

Wild at Jets: Niklas Backstrom vs. Ondrej Pavelec

Avalanche at Blackhawks: Jean-Sebastien Giguere vs. Antti Raanta

Predators at Stars: Carter Hutton will go for Nashville; Kari Lehtonen is likely but unconfirmed for Dallas.

Oilers at Flames: Devan Dubnyk vs. Reto Berra

Sharks at Coyotes: Antti Niemi vs. Mike Smith

Vigneault: ‘After three losses in a row, I think we’ve got everybody’s attention’

Alain Vigneault
Leave a comment

Alain Vigneault has maintained for much of the season that the New York Rangers needed to play better.

The head coach said it a week ago, after the Blueshirts had beaten the Predators, 3-0, despite getting outshot, 31-19.

He’d said it a couple of weeks before that, after they’d beaten the Hurricanes in very similar fashion. (Final score: 3-0. Shots: 33-23 for Carolina.)

But as long as the Rangers kept winning, it was tough, according to Vigneault, to get the message across.

“Sometimes, the results might be going your way, so when you’re pointing out certain things, it might be a little bit more challenging for them to understand because the results are so positive,” Vigneault said, per the New York Post.

“But after three losses in a row, I think we’ve got everybody’s attention.”

Derek Stepan‘s injury — he’ll miss 4-6 weeks with broken ribs — has no doubt captured their attention as well. (Oscar Lindberg will center Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast tonight at home to Carolina.)

The Rangers also play Wednesday, in Brooklyn against the Islanders (on NBCSN).

Benn, Holtby and Galchenyuk are NHL’s three stars of the week

Cory Schneider, Alex Galchenyuk ,
Leave a comment

Stars winger Jamie Benn, Capitals goalie Braden Holtby and Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.


Benn shared the League lead in goals (4) and points (6) as the Stars (19-5-0, 38 points) won two of three games to continue their best start to a season in the franchise’s 48-year history.

Holtby posted a 4-0-0 record with a 1.75 goals-against average, .945 save percentage and one shutout to backstop the Capitals (17-5-1, 35 points) to the top of the Metropolitan Division standings.

Galchenyuk tied for first in the NHL with four goals and added one assist to help the Canadiens (18-4-3, 39 points) earn five of a possible six points and reclaim first place in the League standings.

As much as the injuries to Carey Price and Brendan Gallagher have been frustrating for the Canadiens, those are short-term issues that should be forgotten soon enough. Galchenyuk’s play, in contrast, is reason for long-term optimism. The 21-year-old is trending towards becoming the elite No. 1 center the Habs have needed so badly. He’s not there yet, but when’s all said and done, he could turn out to be the best forward (or player, period) taken in the 2012 draft.

Stepan to miss 4-6 weeks with broken ribs


Derek Stepan is out 4-6 weeks with broken ribs, the New York Rangers announced today.

Stepan was hurt Friday on a controversial hit by Boston’s Matt Beleskey. The Bruins’ forward did not receive any supplemental discipline for the check, despite admitting it was “maybe…a little bit late.”

At any rate it’s a big loss for the Rangers, who suddenly find themselves on a three-game losing streak. Considering the timeline, New York could be without one of its top centers for 12-18 games, give or take.

The Rangers host Carolina tonight.

Related: Yep, Alain Vigneault went there — ‘I remember Aaron Rome in this building’

Price to miss minimum six weeks, so no Winter Classic for him

Carey Price,
1 Comment

Carey Price will miss a minimum of six weeks with a lower-body injury, the Montreal Canadiens announced today.

That means Price will miss the Winter Classic against the Bruins on New Year’s Day. The 28-year-old goalie has only appeared in 12 games this season.

On the bright side, the reigning Hart Trophy winner will not require surgery. And considering the Habs have already built up a 13-point playoff cushion in the standings, well, if something like this were going to happen during the season, now is as good a time as any.

Related: The latest on Price’s injury