Goalie nods: Halak starts again, Mason goes for Flyers


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.


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.

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.