Curious move from Isles head coach Jack Capuano for tonight’s game against the Wild — even though starting netminder Jaroslav Halak and backup Thomas Greiss are healthy, it’s third-stringer J.F. Berube that’ll get the start in goal.
Why? Well, while the rest of the NHL was enjoying time off during the All-Star break, Berube set the AHL on fire by winning four straight games with a sparking .967 save percentage, and one shutout.
“He’s been playing,” Capuano said of Berube, per the Isles website. “The fact that he’s been playing, playing well and won his last four starts with a .967 save percentage, he deserves to get in there.”
Berube, 24, was claimed off waivers from Los Angeles prior to the start of the regular season. While he’s spent the majority of the year with New York’s AHL affiliate in Bridgeport, he has appeared in one previous game for the Isles, stopping 30 of 34 shots in a 4-1 loss to Chicago back in early October.
For the Wild, Devan Dubnyk starts in goal.
— James Reimer starts for the skidding Maple Leafs in Boston. No definitive word on a B’s starter yet, though Tuukka Rask appears likely.
— Marquee matchup at Prudential as Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers take on Cory Schneider and the Devils. Schneider is coming off his first-ever All-Star Game appearance.
— Mike Condon gets the nod for Montreal in Philly, while the Flyers look like they’ll counter with Steve Mason. Anthony Stolarz is expected to back Mason up, now that Michal Neuvirth is out injured.
— Craig Anderson goes for the Sens in Pittsburgh, while Marc-Andre Fleury counters for the Penguins.
— Battle of the backups tonight in Washington: Al Montoya versus Philipp Grubauer. Montoya and Grubauer are giving Roberto Luongo and Braden Holtby a night of rest, after the two participated in Nashville for the ASG.
— The Jets will continue to roll with Connor Hellebuyck as they host the Stars. Dallas looks as though it will go with Antti Niemi.
— No confirmations out of Nashville, but Pekka Rinne is likely for the Preds, Brian Elliott for the Blues.
— Corey Crawford will assume his usual starting gig in Colorado tonight, while the Avs will go with Calvin Pickard as Semyon Varlamov continues to attend to his legal issues.
— In John Tortorella’s first game behind the bench since breaking his ribs, Joonas Korpisalo will start for Columbus. He’ll go up against Cam Talbot, who gets the nod for the host Oilers.
— January’s rookie of the month, Louis Domingue, will once again start for the Coyotes tonight. Jonathan Quick, fresh off an All-Star Game victory for the Pacific Division, looks like he’ll go for the Kings.
— The same can’t be said for Quick’s running mate at the ASG, Anaheim goalie John Gibson. He’ll get the night off tonight as Frederik Andersen will start for the Ducks. Martin Jones goes for the Sharks.