Michael Hutchinson got the hook after just 12 minutes of Saturday’s 7-0 loss in Nashville. The 25-year-old allowed three goals on seven shots, before Ondrej Pavelec surrendered four more on 27 shots.
Hutchinson will start again tonight in St. Louis, where the Jets will try to halt a five-game winless streak — one in which they’re allowed 23 goals total.
That Hutchinson is being given another opportunity tells you all you need to know about Ondrej Pavelec’s play of late. After a decent October, Pavelec has registered an .875 save percentage in November.
Together, Hutchinson and Pavelec have given up 16 goals in their last three games. And while coach Paul Maurice isn’t hanging everything on his netminders, he’s certainly hanging some of it on them.
“When we’re God-awful in front of him, there’s always the chance, right, that (the goalie) can always keep the game tied,” Maurice said, per the Winnipeg Sun. “Everybody has got to pitch in.”
Jake Allen will start for the Blues.
— Anders Lindback for the Coyotes. Jaraslav Halak for the Islanders.
— Anton Khudobin for the Ducks. Eddie Lack for the Hurricanes.
— Jacob Markstrom for the Canucks. Mike Condon for the Canadiens.
— Jimmy Howard for the Red Wings. Craig Anderson for the Senators.
— Andrei Vasilevskiy for the Lightning. Roberto Luongo for the Panthers.
Anaheim’s Nick Ritchie will make his NHL debut tonight in Carolina, and the 19-year-old will do it on a line with Ryan Kesler and Chris Stewart.
So much for easing the rookie into The Show. That’s the second line.
“He’s a big guy and we want to see what he can do,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau told the club’s website. “If you bring up your prized rookie from the minors, you don’t want to play him six minutes. You want to see if he can play. He’s done a great job in the AHL, so we’re giving him the opportunity here.”
The 10th overall pick in the 2014 draft, Ritchie has nine goals in 12 games for AHL San Diego. He was called up Saturday, along with center Michael Sgarbossa.
The Ducks desperately need some more offense. They’ve scored an NHL-low 28 goals in 17 games.
Related: Nick Ritchie is looking to make the leap
The Pittsburgh Penguins did some clarifying today.
Or maybe it was damage control.
Regardless, they insist they’re not “mad at each other,” as Evgeni Malkin expressed Saturday after a 4-0 loss to New Jersey.
“It’s a little bit not what I want to say,” Malkin said, per NHL.com’s Wes Crosby. “It’s not mad at each other. … It’s just the game. We don’t like how we play.”
Sidney Crosby added that he spoke to Malkin and believes his teammate was misunderstood.
“He did not mean we are mad at each other,” said Crosby. “He meant we are frustrated.”
Understandable. The Penguins have lost three of their last four. Though they’re 10-7-0 on the season, if not for the play of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, their record would undoubtedly look worse. Offensively — the supposed strength of the roster — it has been a serious struggle.
Pittsburgh plays its next four games at home, starting tomorrow versus Minnesota.
And the Penguins would be wise to find their form soon, because in December the schedule turns tough, with eight games out of 14 on the road.
The Tampa Bay Lightning will have a decidedly different lineup tonight in Sunrise versus the Panthers. Forwards Tyler Johnson, Cedric Paquette and Jonathan Drouin will all miss the game with injuries. AHL call-ups Jonathan Marchessault, Mike Blunden, and Matt Taormina will all play.
“We are banged up right now,” coach Jon Cooper told the Tampa Bay Times.
On the bright side, Cooper doesn’t consider any of the injuries to be long-term concerns, and none of the three have been ruled out for Thursday’s home game versus the Rangers.
The Lightning lost 5-4 in a shootout Saturday at home to Florida. They’re 5-8-3 since starting the season 3-0-0.
Related: Ondrej Palat out 3-5 weeks
Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian should be back in the lineup “sometime this week,” according to head coach Dan Bylsma.
And if it were up to Bogosian, it would be tomorrow at home versus Dallas.
“I’m not going to sit here and say I’m in,” he told John Vogl of the Buffalo News. “That’s up to coach, but I feel like I’m ready to go.”
Bogosian has been sidelined all year with a lower-body injury. This morning at practice, he was skating on the second pairing with Jake McCabe:
If it’s not tomorrow versus Dallas, Bogosian’s next chance to play would be Thursday in St. Louis.
Bogosian logged big minutes for the Sabres last season after being traded from Winnipeg. Three times he surpassed 30 minutes of ice time in a game. This season, his return could be a boon for a team that’s already enjoying some success. Buffalo is 6-2-1 in its last nine games.
Related: Comeback close for Bogosian?