Author: Joe Yerdon

Reto Berra

Flames rookie goalie to make first NHL start against Chicago


The Calgary Flames are starting rookie goalie Reto Berra on Sunday night. While that makes for a normally sweet headline for a young kid, he may be up to his ears in shots.

His opponent? The defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.

The Flames recalled Berra on Saturday after putting goalie Joey MacDonald on waivers and are putting him right to the test. Coincidentally, Berra was a teammate of Patrick Kane’s during the lockout last season in the Swiss League with EHC Biel.

Flames coach Bob Hartley says this start won’t be a one-off for Berra.

The Flames have to be hoping Kane spilled all of his tricks and secrets to Berra while they played in Switzerland. On paper, this doesn’t set up to be one of the most fair match-ups we’ve seen this year. Good luck, kid.

Kaleta clears waivers, next stop: Rochester

Patrick Kaleta

If Patrick Kaleta is going to straighten up his game, he’ll be doing it in the AHL for now.

The troubled Buffalo Sabres forward cleared waivers and was sent to the team’s minor league affiliate in Rochester.

Team GM Darcy Regier said before the Sabres’ 6-3 loss to Anaheim on Saturday night they tried to trade Kaleta but found no takers for him. They’re also worried they’re under the NHL’s thumb for what Kaleta has done over the past few seasons topped off by his 10-game suspension for elbowing Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson.

Kaleta will need to adjust his game in the AHL along the same lines how Minnesota Wild forward Matt Cooke adjusted his on the fly in Pittsburgh after numerous high-profile bad hits. If he can do that, there’s likely a spot for him back in Buffalo. Kaleta has another year remaining on his contract with the team.

Devils moves: Schneider off IR, Harrold on it; Merrill called up

Cory Schneider

The New Jersey Devils had some activity going into their game on Sunday against Zach Parise and the Minnesota Wild.

The team activated goalie Cory Schneider off of injured reserve and put defenseman Peter Harrold on it. They’ve recalled 2010 second-round pick Jon Merrill from Albany to take Harrold’s place.

According to Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice, Schneider’s return means he’ll start in Minnesota against the Wild.

Meanwhile, Merrill’s recall could put him in line to play in his first NHL game. The former University of Michigan standout spent part of last season in the AHL after departing college. Harrold hasn’t played since October 22.

Elias: Zatkoff first Pens goalie to record a shutout in first NHL win

Jeff Zatkoff, Robert Bortuzzo, RJ Umberger

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Jeff Zatkoff made his first NHL win a memorable one with a 19-save shutout against the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0.

Even better for him? He made team history by doing it that way.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, Zatkoff is first goaltender in Penguins history to record a shutout in his first NHL win. He’s also the first Penguins rookie to record a shutout since Marc-Andre Fleury did it in 2006.

Zatkoff inherited the backup job when Tomas Vokoun went out with a blood clotting issue in preseason. As Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review shared, Zatkoff was just trying to improve on what he failed to do against the New York Islanders last week – close down a game with a win.

“(Saturday) I just kept telling myself it’s about the process: minute by minute, shot by shot,” Zatkoff said. “I tried not to look at the clock, just make saves. I don’t think I looked up until that last timeout at about two minutes.

“It was a pretty long two minutes.”

Kings’ Stoll left Saturday’s game with unspecified injury

Jarret Stoll
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The Los Angeles Kings are already hurting with Jeff Carter on injured reserve and now they could be without Jarret Stoll as well.

Stoll left their game against the Nashville Predators on Saturday night with an unspecified injury. As Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times writes, the Kings are keeping things quiet about what’s up.

Stoll played just two shifts in the second period before departing and Kings coach Darryl Sutter only said he was still being evaluated following the game.

Lower-body? Upper-body? Body-body? Take your pick, but there likely won’t be an update on him until later today. The Kings can’t afford to have another center go down with injury, however, as a Stoll injury leaves their third line in trouble as Colin Fraser would likely slide up to fill in.