Evgeni Nabokov

Goalie nods: Nabokov faces Sharks, Halak starts fourth straight


News and notes from around the crease…

Nabokov faces ex-mates

Evgeni Nabokov will face San Jose for the first time in his career tonight, when the Sharks take on the Isles at Nassau.

Nabokov spent the first 10 years of his NHL career in San Jose, winning 293 games while backstopping the Sharks to a pair of Western Conference finals. Friday’s start will mark the second straight for the Russian netminder, as he was in goal for Monday’s 7-4 over the Canucks on Monday.

For the Sharks, Antti Niemi will get the nod in goal.

Halak starts for Washington

Jaroslav Halak will get his fourth start for the Caps since coming over from Buffalo at the trade deadline, as he’ll be in goal tonight versus the Canucks.

Halak is 1-2-0 with a 2.37 GAA and .920 save percentage since joining the Caps and played very well in his last game, stopping 32 of 34 shots in a 2-0 loss to the Penguins. It’s worth noting that Washington head coach Adam Oates is going right back to Halak for tonight’s game, rather than giving Braden Holtby a shot — all told, it’ll be four straight appearances for Halak as Holtby has been backing up since Mar. 6.

No word yet on who Vancouver will start, though Eddie Lack looks probable.


Oilers at Red Wings: Jimmy Howard for Detroit, Viktor Fasth likely for Edmonton

Devils at Panthers: Cory Schneider vs. Roberto Luongo (read more here)

Predators at Blackhawks: Pekka Rinne vs. Corey Crawford

Rangers at Jets: Henrik Lundqvist vs. Ondrej Pavelec

Flames at Stars: Joey MacDonald vs. Tim Thomas

Ducks at Avs: Jonas Hiller vs. Semyon Varlamov

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: