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

Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’

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Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).

Comeback Kings: Gaborik pulls L.A. past Kane, Blackhawks

Jake Muzzin, Scott Darling

Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.

In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.

Gaborik’s first goal:

And here’s video of the OT-GWG:

Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.

With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record


When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.

So, how would you protect a lead against the Stars?


You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.

Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.

“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?

Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.

Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.

It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.

Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.

On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?

It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?

* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.