St. Louis will have a new bench boss tonight, but the same ol’ guy in net.
In the first game of the Mike Yeo era — Yeo took over as head coach following Ken Hitchcock’s firing on Wednesday — the Blues will go back to beleaguered No. 1 Jake Allen when they host the Leafs at Scottrade.
Allen, struggling through a nightmarish campaign, returned from a “mental reset” break to start (and lose) to Winnipeg on Tuesday. He allowed four goals on 23 shots in what would be Hitchcock’s final game behind the bench.
For Allen, it was his first nod in nearly two weeks (though he did see some relief action in a 5-1 loss to Minnesota on Jan. 26). The club — in this instance, mostly GM Doug Armstrong — has said on numerous occasions that Allen is “the guy” and will stick with him, so it’s of little surprise Yeo’s giving him the start this evening.
That said, Yeo maybe wishes it was a different opponent. The high-flying Leafs boast the NHL’s sixth-best offense, and the second-best power play.
For Toronto, Frederik Andersen‘s in goal.
— Fresh off a 37-save win over the Sabres, Carey Price is back in goal when Montreal visits Philly. The Flyers will counter with Michal Neuvirth.
— Henrik Lundqvist was yanked in Tuesday’s loss to Columbus, but he’ll draw back in as the Rangers take on the Sabres. Robin Lehner goes for Buffalo, after allowing five goals in his last start.
— Having lost three of his last four, Mike Condon will look to bump the slump as the Sens take on Tampa Bay. He’ll go up against Andrei Vasilevskiy, who has now started five of the Bolts’ last six.
— Edmonton workhorse Cam Talbot gets yet another start as the Oilers invade Nashville. Pekka Rinne, beaten four times on 38 shots in Tuesday’s loss to Pittsburgh, gets back in for the Preds.
— It’s Ondrej Pavelec versus Kari Lehtonen as the Jets take on the Stars in Dallas.
— Corey Crawford gets his second start in a row as the ‘Hawks head to the desert. The Coyotes are, once again, going with veteran netminder Mike Smith.
— Fresh off an extended All-Star break, veteran Ryan Miller gets the call as the Canucks host San Jose. Martin Jones goes for the Sharks.