Thomas Greiss will be back in goal for the New York Islanders tonight at home to Tampa Bay.
Greiss got Saturday’s game off, as it was Jean-Francois Berube between the pipes for the 5-0 loss to Pittsburgh. Berube then missed practiced yesterday. The Isles then announced this morning that Berube was day-to-day with a lower-body injury and that Christopher Gibson had been recalled on emergency loan from AHL Bridgeport.
With Jaroslav Halak out long-term with his own lower-body injury, Greiss is the best bet to be the Isles’ starter when the playoffs begin next week. The 30-year-old has enjoyed an excellent season overall (21-11-4, .924 SV%), but his numbers have been slipping of late (.909 SV% in March).
“Thomas has been in some big games before,” Isles coach Jack Capuano told reporters recently. “I know what he’s capable of doing. Obviously, it’s unfortunate that Jaro got hurt but (Greiss) loves the opportunity that he’s in.”
There’s still a slim chance that the Isles fail to even qualify for the playoffs. They have five games remaining in the regular season, four of them against opponents currently in a playoff spot, the other against Buffalo.
Ben Bishop will be in goal for the Lightning.
— Mike Smith for the Coyotes in St. Louis. Brian Elliott for the Blues.
— Henrik Lundqvist for the Rangers in Columbus. Joonas Korpisalo for the Blue Jackets.
— Al Montoya for the Panthers in Toronto. Jonathan Bernier for the Maple Leafs.
— No starters have been announced for tonight’s Canucks-Kings game in Vancouver.
Related: Capuano calls out Strome, Nelson and Bailey
More injuries for the St. Louis Blues — the club announced today that forward David Backes and goalie Jake Allen will miss the remainder of the regular season with lower-body injuries, and that both will be reevaluated prior to the playoffs.
The news about Allen would seem to ensure that Brian Elliott will be the Blues’ starting goalie for the first game of the playoffs. That is, assuming Elliott can stay healthy the rest of the way — not a given the way things have gone for the Blues this season.
As for Backes, here’s what the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had to say:
Backes was one of two players to have played in every game this season for the Blues (Troy Brouwer was the other), though he had an upper-body injury in January during which he played in games but never practiced. Backes is second on the club with 21 goals and fourth with 45 points overall. Backes had a goal and an assist on Sunday night against Colorado and was on the ice when the Blues clinched the game with an empty net goal with just under 3 minutes to play. He had 16:54 of ice time against Colorado and was credited with two blocked shots.
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock is expected to address the media later today. The team is also dealing with injuries to Robby Fabbri, Jay Bouwmeester and Steve Ott.
The Flyers announced today that defenseman Andrew MacDonald will miss Wednesday’s big game in Detroit with an upper-body injury.
MacDonald is considered day-to-day after getting knocked out of Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh on a hit by the Penguins’ Tom Kunhackl.
It’s expected that Evgeny Medvedev will take MacDonald’s spot in the lineup against the Red Wings. Medvedev hasn’t played since March 12, more than three weeks ago.
The Flyers have four games left in the regular season, all in a five-day span — at Detroit Wednesday, home to Toronto Thursday, home to Pittsburgh Saturday, and at the Islanders Sunday.
According to Sports Club Stats, they have a 78.7 percent chance of making the playoffs.
Ryan Strome, Brock Nelson, and Josh Bailey.
Those were the three names that were named today by Islanders coach Jack Capuano.
“We need Strome to be better. We need Brock to be better. We need Bailey to be better. We need guys to be better if we’re going to have any chance at all,” Capuano said, per the Daily News.
And just to make it clear, the coach added, “The guys mentioned need to pick their pick their s—t up and start playing.”
The Isles host Tampa Bay tonight. They were throttled, 5-0, on Saturday by Pittsburgh.
With just four wins in their last 10 and the playoffs starting next week, it’s no wonder Capuano is sounding worried. Only two of those four wins came in regulation, and they were over non-playoff sides Ottawa and Columbus.
New York is also dealing with key injuries to Jaroslav Halak, Mikhail Grabovski and Travis Hamonic, making it even more necessary for others to step up.
“The video doesn’t lie,” said Capuano. “It doesn’t come down to X’s and O’s, it doesn’t come down to systems. It comes down to how hard you want to compete.”
Blackhawks winger Artemi Panarin, Sharks defenseman Brent Burns, and Penguins goalie Matt Murray have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.
Panarin led the League with 3-5-8 in three outings as the Blackhawks (46-26-7, 99 points) won two of three starts for the week to clinch a berth in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Burns finished second among all scorers and first among defensemen with 1-6-7 in four games as the Sharks (44-29-6, 94 points) gained six of a possible eight standings points.
Murray went 3-0-0 with a 1.95 goals-against average, .929 save percentage and one shutout as the Penguins (46-25-8, 100 points) recorded four victories for the week to extend their overall winning streak to six games and move into second place in the Metropolitan Division.
Panarin now holds a 20-point lead in the rookie scoring race. Most observers believe it’s down to him, Connor McDavid and Shayne Gostisbehere for the Calder Trophy.
Related: McDavid named rookie of the month — where does the Calder Trophy race stand right now?