Cory Schneider #35 of the New Jersey Devils skates to the net during the first period against the New York Rangers in a preseason game at the Prudential Center on September 16, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey.
(September 15, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

Goalie nods: Devils turn to Schneider, Thomas starts in Boston

News and notes from around the blue paint…

Jersey goes with Schneider

After Martin Brodeur’s poor performance in Sunday’s outdoor game loss to the Rangers, the Devils will give Cory Schneider the nod tonight in St. Louis.

Schneider has very good in January, boasting a .956 save percentage with four wins and a shutout — in fact, his only regulation loss this month came back on Jan. 4, a 2-1 defeat in Buffalo.

Schneider will be going up against Jaroslav Halak in the Blues’ goal.

Timmy returns

Tim Thomas will make his second trip back to Boston on Tuesday night, but his first start against the team he led to the 2011 Stanley Cup.

The 39-year-old veteran has been a steadying presence for Florida over the last two months. He posted a .936 save percentage in five December games and has been almost as good in January, sporting a .920 over 10 games (Thomas has been head coach Peter Horachek’s workhorse in goal this month).

Tonight Thomas will go against his former battery mate, Tuukka Rask, in the Bruins’ goal.

Elsewhere…

Lightning at Maple Leafs: Ben Bishop vs. Jonathan Bernier

Red Wings at Flyers: Jonas Gustavsson vs. Steve Mason

Senators at Blue Jackets: Craig Anderson vs. Curtis McElhinney

Hurricanes at Canadiens: Carey Price for Montreal, no starter yet for Carolina.

Capitals at Sabres: Braden Holtby vs. Jhonas Enroth

Predators at Jets: Carter Hutton vs. Ondrej Pavelec

Kings at Coyotes: Thomas Greiss for Phoenix, no starter yet for L.A.

Blackhawks at Flames: Antti Raanta vs. Reto Berra

Wild at Ducks: Darcy Kuemper (who you can read more about here) vs. Jonas Hiller

Stars end Capitals’ winning streak, pass Blackhawks for West lead

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For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”

They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:

  • Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
  • This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
  • By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.

Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).

Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.

Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.

Blackhawks fall to Ducks in OT, lose Hossa to injury

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The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.

(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)

Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)

You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:

It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.

Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:

Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).

Understatement: Saturday was a rough night for Panthers

Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson (33) checks Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau (11) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
AP
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If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.

You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.

The pain goes beyond that … literally so.

For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.

(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)

The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.

Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.

Fractured jaw from fight sidelines Chris Stewart for 4-8 weeks

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It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.

The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).

The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.

One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.