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Goalie Nods: Hurricanes go back to Eddie Lack

The last time we saw Eddie Lack in the crease for the Carolina Hurricanes he allowed four goals on 16 shots against the Tampa Bay Lightning and drew the wrath of his coach, Bill Peters (who had no regrets about it).

It was a poor performance, in what has been a rough season for Lack that has included a concussion and a second straight disappointing stat line since he joined the team at the start of the 2015-16 season.

He is going to get an opportunity to redeem himself for that poor showing this past week when he gets the start on Sunday night in Arizona against the Coyotes as the Hurricanes look to snap their current five-game losing streak. That streak is a part of a 14-game stretch that has seen the team win just four games.

Lack enters the game on Sunday currently sitting 60th out of the 60 goalies that have appeared in at least 10 games this season in save percentage, and is looking for anything to help salvage his season and time with the Hurricanes. When they acquired him a year ago it was with the intention that he might be able to challenge Cam Ward, or at least give him a capable platoon partner in the net, to help solidify a position that has been a consistent weakness for several years now.

None of that has happened.

In his 43 appearances with the Hurricanes over two years he has managed only an .896 save percentage which currently places him among the bottom of the NHL’s goaltender leaderboard.

He gets an opportunity to get back on track against a Coyotes team that beat the Hurricanes — and Ward — on Friday night.

The Coyotes will go with Mike Smith.

Elsewhere on Sunday…

Thomas Greiss goes for the New York Islanders, who will be without defenseman Johnny Boychuk, when they visit the Calgary Flames. The Flames will start Brian Elliott.

Matt Murray is back in the starters net for the Pittsburgh Penguins for their Sunday evening game against the Buffalo Sabres. Anders Nilsson gets the call for the Sabres.

— It will be Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Cory Schneider when the Blue Jackets pay a visit to New Jersey to take on the Devils. Both teams are playing the second half of a back-to-back this weekend.

— No word yet from the Sharks and Wild on their starters. It will likely be Martin Jones vs. Devan Dubnyk.

— Richard Bachman will make his first start in the NHL this season for the Vancouver Canucks when they visit the Anaheim Ducks. Bachman appeared in just one NHL game a year ago. The Ducks have yet to announce their starting goaltender for Sunday night’s game.

Jake Allen goes for the St. Louis Blues as they try to snap their five-game losing streak when they visit the Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche have yet to announce their starter.

Video: Calls go Penguins’ way early in Game 1; own goal plagues Predators

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However you feel about the context of each call, it’s tough to deny that some big decisions ended up going favorably early for the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Nashville Predators in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

To start, a would-be 1-0 goal by P.K. Subban was waved off thanks to Filip Forsberg being deemed offside. More on that here.

In a rare span, the Predators were whistled for two penalties during the same sequence in the first period, giving the Penguins a 5-on-3 advantage for a full two minutes. Pittsburgh started off the advantage a little rocky, but then Evgeni Malkin made it 1-0. (Video of that tally in the headline above.)

The controversy comes as Sidney Crosby seemed to get away with interference/elbow shortly before that goal was scored. That sequence will feed a conspiracy theory or two.

The Predators have managed to avoid tough stretches for much of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but things seemed to really escalate from there. The Penguins managed three goals in a staggering 4:11 of game time, with Nick Bonino putting a puck off Mattias Ekholm for a painful own goal, making it 3-0 as the first period concluded.

The Penguins seemed to take control of the game after that disallowed goal, adding to the argument that some combination of the decision and the slowdown helped turn the tide.

How will the Predators respond to this adversity in Game 1? Find out on NBC and via the stream below.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Subban goal waved off hours after Bettman defends offside challenges

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The Nashville Predators were controlling the play early in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, showing little concern for the big stage of Game 1. It looked like that early edge would come with the reward of a P.K. Subban 1-0 goal.

(Subban had to feel that much more satisfied as he was being booed early and often by Penguins fans in Pittsburgh.)

But, alas, the dreaded goal review negated such a goal, as it was determined that Filip Forsberg was offside. You can watch the process in the video above, while this is a GIF of the moment in question.

As a reminder, Gary Bettman said all the right things about reviews working “exactly as they are intended to” mere hours ago, even as snarky folks make snarky jokes about a rapid contest being interrupted by replays that … might not entertain everyone.

Whether the NHL likes it or not, this will be a talking point for many.

Updated Stanley Cup Final lineups: Carl Hagelin, Colin Wilson out in Game 1

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PHT provided early looks at what the Nashville Predators’ and Pittsburgh Penguins’ lineups might look like, and those viewpoints ended up being mostly correct.

That’s especially true when it comes to the Penguins. As expected, Carl Hagelin will not suit up for the Penguins in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Patric Hornqvist indeed returns while Jake Guentzel avoids a healthy scratch.

Here’s the lines that Pittsburgh listed on Twitter:

The Predators provide a surprise, however, as Colin Wilson is not in the mix. Instead, the Predators will have Craig Smith and Mike Fisher in the lineup.

Game 1 is just minutes from beginning. Check it out on NBC or stream it via the link below.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Daly addresses Voynov potentially returning to Kings

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An interesting development on Monday, prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final — following Gary Bettman’s state of the league address, deputy commissioner Bill Daly was asked about the possibility of former Kings d-man Slava Voynov returning to the NHL.

Voynov hasn’t played in L.A. since the ’14-15 campaign, when he was suspended indefinitely while facing domestic violence charges.

“If that was ever something that was proposed, we’re on record as saying that would require a proceeding before the commissioner,” Daly said, when asked about Voynov’s possible return.

When asked if Voynov had “served his time,” Daly offered the following:

“Ultimately that’s not my decision, that’ll be Gary’s decision.

“I don’t want to speculate either on what that might be. I’ve heard from time to time that he might have an interest in coming back to the National Hockey League, but that hasn’t advanced in any material way to this point.

“So let’s wait and see if it happens.”

The Voynov topic arose when a reporter asked Daly about the league’s stance, on the understanding that “at one point, the Kings were considering trying to bring [Voynov] back.”

That came on the heels of a report from John Hoven of Mayor’s Manor, who said Kings management and scouts had seen Voynov play “multiple times” this season.

In July of 2015, Voynov pleaded no contest to a reduced misdemeanor charge and was sentenced to 90 days in jail. Months later, he returned to his native Russia and signed a three-year pact with SKA Saint Petersburg.

The move freed L.A. from Voynov’s $4.16 million average annual cap hit. Per The OC Register, Voynov’s decision to “self-depart” the U.S. may have kept the door open for a return to North America at some point in the future.

In October, Team Russia tried to include Voynov on its active roster for the World Cup of Hockey, claiming it was in negotiations with the league on the matter. The NHL eventually ruled him ineligible — “our position was the NHL suspension disqualified him,” Daly explained — and he was eventually replaced by Bolts blueliner Nikita Nesterov.