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Goalie nods: Halak starts again, Mason goes for Flyers

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News and notes from around the crease…

Caps riding Halak

Jaroslav Halak will make his seventh straight start on Thursday when the Caps take on the Kings in L.A.

Halak, who has all but taken Washington’s No. 1 gig and bolted Braden Holtby to the pine, was brilliant in his last outing, stopping 43 of 45 shots in a 3-2 win over the Ducks in Anaheim. The Slovakian netminder is now 4-2-0 since joining the Caps at the trade deadline, with a .931 save percentage and 2.35 GAA.

For the Kings, Jonathan Quick is likely to get the start.

Mason back in

The red-hot Philadelphia Flyers will go back to Steve Mason tonight against Dallas.

Mason, who will be starting for the ninth time in the last 10 games, got a rest on Tuesday (when Ray Emery beat Chicago), which came after winning back-to-back games against Pittsburgh over the weekend. The former Columbus ‘tender has stopped 69 of the last 74 shots he’s faced, and has seen his overall save percentage rise to .914 on the year as a result.

For the Stars, it looks as though Tim Thomas will get the nod in net.

Elsewhere…

Wild at Devils: Ilya Bryzgalov vs. Cory Schneider (read more on Bryz here)

Blue Jackets at Canadiens: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Carey Price

Bolts at Sens: Robin Lehner for Ottawa; Ben Bishop likely for Tampa Bay

Pens at Red Wings: Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Jimmy Howard

Sabres at Oilers: Matt Hackett vs. Ben Scrivens

Panthers at Coyotes: Roberto Luongo vs. Mike Smith

Ducks at Sharks: Antti Niemi for San Jose; Frederik Andersen likely for Anaheim.

Video: Mika Zibanejad’s check to Tyler Bozak’s head

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Saturday’s been unkind to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and not just on the scoreboard (where it’s 3-0 early on against the Ottawa Senators).

The Maple Leafs lost Tyler Bozak to an apparent upper-body injury thanks to a questionable hit by Sens forward Mika Zibanejad.

You can judge that check (which drew a minor penalty for illegal check to the head) in the video above. Again, Bozak will not return to tonight’s game.

It’s unclear if Bozak will miss time beyond this contest.

Malcolm Subban hospitalized after taking puck to throat

Malcolm Subban
AP
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Scary stuff on Saturday: multiple reporters (including the Maine Hockey Journal’s Chris Roy) note that Malcolm Subban was taken to a hospital after a puck struck his throat during warm-ups.

There’s no word yet on Subban’s condition beyond that he was taken away in an ambulance.

The AHL’s Providence Bruins seem like they’ve been left scrambling for a backup goalie in Subban’s absence.

Subban stated days ago that he’s taken some significant steps forward during the 2015-16 season.

 

Senators get Kyle Turris back on Saturday

Ottawa Senators' Kyle Turris celebrates his game-winning goal against the Montreal Canadiens during overtime of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
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The Ottawa Senators cannot pin all of their troubles on missing their No. 1 center, yet it probably feels like a huge relief to get him back.

After missing six games with his latest injury, Kyle Turris is in the lineup as the Senators take on the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Again, it’s not all a matter of missing Turris, but the Senators went 1-5-0 during his six-game absence. They’ve really been falling since late December, to be honest.

Will Turris be enough to stop the bleeding? Perhaps to an extent, but the Senators are in for a serious battle if they hope to fight through the East bubble.

Habs’ win was a showcase for P.K. Subban, Connor McDavid

Montreal Canadiens defensemen  P.K. Subban (76) holds off Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Montreal, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. (Graham Hughes /The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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Times have been tough for Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers fans lately, even if they’ve been frustrating in different ways.

Saturday’s 5-1 Habs win highlights a few things, but the most tantalizing thought for those fans is that it’s likely that we’ll see more great things from P.K. Subban and Connor McDavid … sometimes against each other.

Perhaps this will be a confidence booster for Montreal. More than anything else, it directed attention to Subban, who’s quietly been absolutely fantastic for the floundering Canadiens.

Consider how much of an offensive burden he’s currently carrying:

From one current All-Star to someone who could be a perennial one: McDavid certainly seemed to grab Subban’s attention.

Then again, when you make moves like these, who won’t notice?

The Oilers did lose, mind you, so it’s not surprising that Todd McLellan mentioned that the team can’t depend upon McDavid for everything.

That said, the funny thing about that quote is that McDavid might just carry the Oilers for two decades, at least if health and other factors go the right way.

If that’s true, Subban vs. McDavid could be a fun matchup to watch a few times per season for a long, long time.