ThomasGreiss

Goalie nods: Greiss to face Pens, Miller looks to bump mini-slump

News and notes from around the crease…

Greiss goes for Coyotes

He was scheduled to start tonight’s game against Pittsburgh anyway, but Thomas Greiss figures to have a bit more pressure on him now that Mike Smith is out with a lower-body injury.

Greiss came on in relief of Smith during last night’s 4-3 OT loss to the Rangers, allowing two goals on nine shots — including the winner in the extra frame. Now, the 28-year-old German will carry the load until Smith is healthy. Greiss hasn’t played much this year, boasting a 7-5-2 record in just 16 appearances, but does have a good save percentage (.924) and goals-against average (2.38).

For the Penguins, Marc-Andre Fleury will get the start in goal.

Miller looks to rebound

Ryan Miller is aiming to snap his first slump as a Blue tonight when he squares off against Toronto.

After starting 8-0-1 with St. Louis, Miller has lost his last two starts while allowing seven goals, posting an .844 save percentage. Miller’s slide was exacerbated by the fact his backup, Brian Elliott, was stellar in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Pittsburgh, stopping all 33 shot faced for his fourth shutout of the season.

For the Leafs, no official starter has been named… but it appears Jonathan Bernier is set to return from a groin injury.

Elsewhere…

Kings at Capitals: Jaroslav Halak for Washington; Martin Jones could go for L.A. after Jonathan Quick played last night against Philly.

Isles at ‘Canes: Anders Nilsson vs. Cam Ward

Red Wings at Blue Jackets: Jimmy Howard vs. Sergei Bobrovsky

Sens at Panthers: Roberto Luongo for Florida; Robin Lehner probable for Ottawa.

Sabres at Canadiens: Matthew Hackett vs. Carey Price

Stars at Blackhawks: Corey Crawford likely for Chicago; Tim Thomas could go for Dallas after Kari Lehtonen played last night against Winnipeg.

Avs at Preds: Semyon Varlamov for Colorado; no word yet on a Nashville starter.

Sharks at Oilers: Ben Scrivens for Edmonton; Antti Niemi likely for San Jose.

Report: Sens protesting Kings goal after clock issue

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 10:  Trevor Lewis #22 of the Los Angeles Kings scores a goal on Mike Condon #1 of the Ottawa Senators to take a 3-2 lead as Marc Methot #3 and Anze Kopitar #11 react during the second period at Staples Center on December 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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There was more than one controversial moment during Saturday’s game between the L.A. Kings and Ottawa Senators.

Sens defenseman Mark Borowiecki was given a major penalty for slamming Tyler Toffoli from behind into the boards, causing the Kings forward to undergo the league’s concussion protocol before he eventually returned to the game.

Later in the evening, there was a report from Darren Dreger of TSN that the Senators are protesting the Kings’ third goal of the game, which came with two seconds left in the second period. It was a pivotal moment in the game, as L.A. took a two-goal lead into the third period, before eventually winning 4-1.

Senators coach Guy Boucher didn’t place blame on a clock issue, but instead he put the onus on his team to not get scored on in that situation late in the period.

From LA Kings Insider:

“I’ll be honest with you, at that point for us we’ve just got to shut it down. We keep it at 1, it wasn’t about getting a goal there it was about getting off the ice. We had done the job in the second period, we had looked very good, we had the momentum, we needed to get into the third period with a one-goal lead. We’ve done it so many times this year coming back so I was confident we could come back, so no. I’m not looking at clocks, I’m not looking at penalties, I’m looking at ourselves just doing better.

The Kings now begin a stretch of nine games away from home. They play seven of those games before the holiday break, before resuming the trip on Dec. 28 versus the Canucks. The trip ends the following night in Edmonton.

Video: Unlikely combatants Kucherov and Daley drop the gloves

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Emotions were running high at times during the first period between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, in a rematch of the 2016 Eastern Conference Final.

Unlikely combatants Nikita Kucherov and Trevor Daley dropped the gloves for a spirited scrap early in the first period, after the two got tangled up in front of the Pittsburgh goal.

It’s been an ugly (or disastrous) start for the Avalanche in Montreal

Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar, top, and his team react during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Chicago Blackhawks in Chicago, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
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Welcome back, Gabriel Landeskog!

Congratulations on game No. 1,500, Jarome Iginla!

Those are sentiments you probably won’t be hearing from the Colorado Avalanche later on Saturday evening. Yes, they did get their captain back in the lineup from injury. Yes, Iginla was playing in the milestone 1,500th game of his NHL career — certainly an impressive feat in a day when the game is getting younger and getting quicker.

But then, the puck dropped and it all went down the drain for the Avalanche in the opening period. Actually, the opening 10 minutes. Facing the Montreal Canadiens, the Avs found themselves down 5-0 by the 8:41 mark. Of the first period.

Right?

Brian Flynn started the onslaught. Paul Byron got the Habs’ fifth goal.

Shots were at one point 13-2 for Montreal. Perhaps most concerning? This disastrous showing follows Matt Duchene calling out his team for a recent loss and, previous to that, coach Jared Bednar ripping the team for a lack of intensity.

Calvin Pickard got the start in net for Colorado, but he was pulled after giving up three goals on 10 shots. Semyon Varlamov entered the game and quickly allowed two goals on the first three shots he faced.

Hey, remember in November when the Habs lost 10-0 to the Columbus Blue Jackets? Well, Montreal was halfway to double digits on Saturday, and the first period wasn’t even at the halfway mark.

As of the completion of this post, Montreal was up 6-0. With 5:30 remaining in the first period.

Video: Borowiecki slams Toffoli from behind into the boards

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Tyler Toffoli reportedly went through the concussion protocol for a portion of Saturday’s game against the Senators, after Ottawa defenseman Mark Borowiecki slammed the L.A. Kings forward from behind into the boards.

The incident occurred less than three minutes into the game.

Borowiecki was given a major penalty for boarding. He received another major, this time for fighting, later in the period after him and Matt Greene dropped the gloves. Now the question becomes: Will Borowiecki face supplemental discipline?

Toffoli missed the remainder of the first period, but returned for the second.

The Kings went on to win by a final score of 4-1.