Mike Halford

Joonas Korpisalo, Matt Cullen

Goalie nods: Columbus gives Korpisalo his NHL debut

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Columbus will get a look at one of its brightest young goalie prospects when it hosts the Lightning.

Joonas Korpisalo, the 62nd overall pick in 2012, will make his NHL debut tonight at Nationwide. The 21-year-old was recalled last week in the wake of Sergei Bobrovsky‘s injury and, with veteran Curtis McElhinney having struggled in his last outing, Korpisalo will get a chance to run with the starting gig — at least for one night.

A former standout in Finland’s SM-liiga, Korpisalo has been pretty good for AHL Lake Erie this year, going 5-4-2 with a .928 save percentage and 2.12 GAA.

Korpisalo gets a pretty decent draw in his first big-league contest.

While the Lightning are offensively gifted and boast one of the league’s best snipers in Steve Stamkos, they head into tonight’s action really banged up at forward, and possibly without five regulars in the lineup.

Speaking of the Bolts, they’ll start Ben Bishop.

Elsewhere…

— Battle of the backups in Boston, where the B’s will go Jonas Gustavsson while the Oilers counter with a rare start from Cam Talbot.

— Marquee matchup in Pittsburgh: Braden Holtby, who’s been an absolute workhorse, starts for the Caps. Marc-Andre Fleury counters for the Penguins, his first start under new head coach Mike Sullivan.

— Looks like it’ll be Jonathan Quick for the Kings tonight as they continue their lengthy road trip, this time in Ottawa. The Sens will go back to Craig Anderson after Saturday’s debacle (a record 27 shots allowed in the first period) against Montreal.

Petr Mrazek gets the call for Detroit, as the Wings host the Sabres. Buffalo will counter with Chad Johnson.

Crawford, Hall, Faulk named NHL’s three stars of the week

Los Angeles Kings v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Five
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Chicago goalie Corey Crawford, Edmonton winger Taylor Hall and Carolina defenseman Justin Faulk have been named the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Dec. 13, the league announced on Monday.

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Crawford went 3-0-0 with a 0.33 goals-against average, .989 save percentage and two shutouts to help the Blackhawks (17-10-4, 38 points) climb into second place in the Central Division.

Hall tied for first in the NHL with 3-3—6, including two game-winning goals, to help the Oilers (13-15-2, 28 points) complete a perfect 5-0-0 homestand with a pair of victories.

Faulk also collected 3-3—6, highlighted by a trio of multi-point performances, to lead the Hurricanes (12-14-4, 28 points) to a pair of wins in three starts.

Worth pointing out that Faulk has 12 goals this year, and all 12 have come with the man advantage (which is crazy).

That’s put him in the conversation for the most power play goals by a defenseman in a season — the record is held by Sheldon Souray, who scored 19 with Montreal during the 2006-07 campaign.

Report: Ducks solve three-goalie problem by waiving Khudobin

Anton Khudobin, Joel Ward
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The crowded crease in Anaheim is no longer.

On Monday, TSN reported the Ducks waived veteran goalie Anton Khudobin, ending the uncomfortable situation of having three netminders — Khudobin, John Gibson and Frederik Andersen — on the active roster.

Khudobin, acquired from Carolina at the draft for James Wisniewski, was supposed to be a one-year stopgap solution as Andersen’s backup, while Gibson got extensive playing time in the American League.

But things didn’t go to plan.

The Ducks have struggled mightily this season and, while neither Khudobin nor Andersen were to blame, Gibson has gone 4-3-1 with a 1.74 GAA and .934 save percentage since his recall.

For a team desperate for wins, those numbers are too hard to ignore — hence the decision to keep Gibson at the NHL level, and send Khudobin to AHL San Diego.

Assuming he clears, that is.

The 29-year-old doesn’t have an ideal cap hit — $2.25 million — but he does come off the books at the end of this season, and has played OK at times. His numbers on the season are pedestrian (3-3-0, 2.70 GAA, .908 save percentage) but he has won three of his last five starts for the club, and posted a pair of shutouts.

Whatever the case, it’s clear Anaheim has decided its two goalies moving forward are Gibson and Andersen.

Which now brings up another intriguing query: Who’s No. 1?

Blue(shirt) Monday: Rangers waive Stoll

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The New York Rangers made a fairly noteworthy move today, placing veteran Jarret Stoll on waivers, per TSN.

Stoll, 33, had appeared in 29 games for the Blueshirts this season, scoring one goal and two points while averaging just under 14 minutes a night.

While he’d been a healthy scratch a couple of times, Stoll was one of the more regular presences in Alain Vigneault’s bottom-six forward group.

That said, he did struggle — his possession metrics weren’t great, and he seemed a step slow at times.

Signed to a one-year, $800,000 deal this summer, Stoll’s contract with the Rangers came after his offseason arrest for cocaine and MDMA possession in Las Vegas. He eventually plead guilty to a pair of misdemeanors, but the incident all but ended his time with his old team, the Los Angeles Kings.

Stoll had been a valuable depth center for the Kings during their two Stanley Cup championships. All told he spent seven seasons in L.A., scoring a career-high 47 points during the 2009-10 campaign.

As for his future… well, it remains to be seen if anyone will take a flier. Stoll has a lot of miles on the odometer (over 800 games played during a 13-year career) and hasn’t looked great in recent weeks.

Most recently, he was made a healthy scratch in Saturday’s 5-4 OT loss in Calgary.

Prized Avs prospect Rantanen to play for Finland at World Juniors

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

The Finnish entry at this year’s World Junior Hockey Championships will be stacked.

After word broke that Toronto would release Kasperi Kapanen for the tournament, the Denver Post reported the Avalanche would do the same with Mikko Rantanen, their first-round pick (10th overall) at this year’s draft.

Rantanen, 19, is currently starring with Colorado’s AHL affiliate in San Antonio, leading the club with 21 points in 17 games.

Rantanen played at last year’s World Juniors and, like he’s doing with the Rampage this year, led the Finns in scoring (with four goals in five games.)

The former SM-liiga standout actually made the Avs out of training camp this year, and appeared in six games before getting demoted to the American League.

He, along with Kapanen, should make Finland one of the favorites at this year’s WJC, which will be held in Helsinki.