On Monday, the Canucks announced starting netminder Ryan Miller will likely miss another week due to injury, meaning Jacob Markstrom would make yet another appearance when Vancouver hosts Los Angeles at Rogers Arena.
Which might not be a bad thing.
Markstrom has been a bright spot for the Canucks this year, going 3-3-2 with a .924 save percentage and 2.33 GAA. He’s also been very good over his last two outings — he stopped 32 of 33 shots in Saturday’s OT win over the Oilers, and 26 of 27 in a victory in Tampa Bay on Dec. 22.
All told, Markstrom has stopped 92 of his last 96 shots faced — a sparkling .958 save percentage.
No word yet on who the Kings will have in goal, though Jonathan Quick appears likely.
— The red-hot Braden Holtby will look to continue his banner campaign in Buffalo. Holtby has gone an impressive 7-0-1 in December with a 1.85 GAA and .943 save percentage. Linus Ullmark will counter for the Sabres.
— Even though they picked up Ben Scrivens in a trade today from Edmonton, the Habs will stick with Mike Condon in goal against the Bolts. Tampa Bay is going with Ben Bishop, as per usual.
— Awesome matchup in Nashville tonight, as the Rangers go with Henrik Lundqvist while the Preds give Pekka Rinne the nod.
— Petr Mrazek makes his second straight start in Minnesota, just two nights after helping the Wings beat the Preds 3-2 in Nashville on Saturday. The Wild will go with Darcy Kuemper, who has won each of his last three starts.
— Calvin Pickard makes his first start of the season when the Avs travel to San Jose. The Sharks are going with Martin Jones, who is looking for his second win over Colorado this season.
An update on the injury that forced Cam Fowler from Sunday’s win over the Flyers — it’s a knee sprain and, in a related move, the Ducks recalled d-man Shea Theodore from AHL San Diego on Monday.
Fowler, who didn’t play after the 6:28 mark of yesterday’s game, was initially listed as day-to-day. The Ducks have since labeled his timetable to return as “TBD” and, according to NHL.com, he isn’t expected to travel on the club’s upcoming three-game Western Canadian road swing.
That absence could prove costly.
From the L.A. Times:
Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm played 28 minutes 3 seconds and 26:01, respectively, to fill the void. The Ducks were down to three defensemen at one point because of penalties and killed three penalties in the last half of the game.
“Hampus and Sami were instrumental in coming up with the win,” Boudreau said. “That’s a tough call for them, but they hung on and did a good job.”
Fowler, 24, is an integral part of the Anaheim defense, averaging 22:38 per night. He has 12 points in 34 games this year — decreased production compared to his last two campaigns, though all of Anaheim’s usual scorers have struggled this year.
As for Theodore, he has 16 points in 27 games with the Gulls. The former WHL Seattle standout was taken 26th overall by Anaheim in 2013.
Justin Fontaine‘s tough season will take a difficult turn on Monday night — one that leads directly to the press box.
Per the Star-Tribune, Fontaine will be a healthy scratch for the first time this season, after a stretch in which he’s failed to score a goal in nine straight contests.
“I want to see him take a step in his career because we have a lot of confidence what he can do and what he can be as a player,” head coach Mike Yeo explained. “He’s shown signs of it from game to game. In certain games, it’s just a matter of making sure the consistency is there night after night, shift and shift.
“That’s what he has to discover in his game.”
In Fontaine’s defense, his health has been problematic.
The 28-year-old was on the receiving end of a David Clarkson knee during the preseason, which forced him to miss the first two games of the year.
Then, in late October, Fontaine was ruled out 4-6 weeks with a sprained left MCL.
Prior to that second knee injury, Fontaine had been a pretty decent contributor with a goal and four points in eight games, averaging over 11 minutes per night.
That production came on the heels of a very solid ’14-15 campaign, in which he scored a career-high 31 points.
On the season, Fontaine has a respectable eight points in 21 contests, but it’s clear his offensive abilities don’t compensate for what Wild head coach Mike Yeo see as an incomplete overall game.
The next few weeks will prove crucial for the Boston Bruins.
Mired in a three-game losing streak, the B’s revealed on Monday that co-leading scorer David Krejci is out week-to-week with an upper-body injury.
Though the nature of the ailment wasn’t revealed, Krejci was seen wearing a slight on his right arm following today’s practice.
The injury means it’s unlikely the 29-year-old will be able to participate in Friday’s Winter Classic against Montreal at Gillette Stadium. Carey Price and Brendan Gallagher are both currently sidelined as well; while Gallagher has hinted at a potential return in time for Jan. 1, Price is almost assuredly out.
But back to Krejci for a moment.
On pace for the best offensive campaign of his 10-year career, Krejci will be nearly impossible to replace. In addition to his offensive production, he also gobbles up ice time (over 20 minutes a night this year, for the first time in his career) and is one of the club’s busiest faceoff men, trailing only Patrice Bergeron.
At Monday’s practice, head coach Claude Julien unveiled what could be the solution in the wake of Krejci’s injury. Bergeron skated between Brad Marchand and Brett Connolly, while Ryan Spooner manned the 2C spot between Matt Beleskey and Loui Eriksson.
With Spooner moving up, Landon Ferraro — claimed off waivers from Detroit earlier this month — played on the third line with Frank Vatrano and Jimmy Hayes.
If there’s a silver lining in all this, it’s that Boston has a relatively mellow schedule coming up. The B’s are off tonight, back in action on Tuesday (against Ottawa), then off ’til Friday for the Winter Classic.
After that, they’re off for four days — returning to action on Jan. 5 versus Washington — before setting off on a tough five-game road swing on Jan.
HELSINKI (AP) Linus Soderstrom made 46 saves, Alexander Nylander scored and Sweden shut out the United States 1-0 on Monday at the World Junior Hockey Championships.
Nylander scored on a second-period breakaway. He has a goal and four assists in the tournament to lead Sweden, which is 2-0 in Group A.
The United States, which fell to 1-1 after beating Canada in its opener, couldn’t score despite having eight power-play chances in the game.
It was the first time the U.S. lost to Sweden in the world juniors since 1996, ending a 12-game winning streak.
Nylander plays in the Ontario Hockey League and is expected to be selected in the 2016 NHL draft. Soderstrom was a fourth-round pick of the New York Islanders in the 2014 draft.
In other games on Monday, the Czech Republic blanked Slovakia 2-0.
The U.S. will face Switzerland on Wednesday, and Denmark on Thursday.