Mike Halford

DALLAS, TX - MARCH 15:  Alex Pietrangelo #27 of the St. Louis Blues and Jamie Benn #14 of the Dallas Stars in the third period at American Airlines Center on March 15, 2015 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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WATCH LIVE: Stars at Blues

Two of the Central Division’s and Western Conference’s powerhouses will do battle tonight in St. Louis, as the Blues host the Stars at Scottrade. You can catch the game at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, or watch live online using NBC Sports’ Live Extra.


Some relevant linkage for tonight’s affair:

Goalie nods: Elliott to make career-high 15th straight start for Blues

With games against the Stars and Kings, Blues to find out ‘if we’ve improved enough’

NHL on NBCSN: Stars look to extend winning streak to five games in Central Division clash with Blues

After ‘adversity’ in January, the Dallas Stars are back on track

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    Video: Forsberg, Eichel and McDavid (again) star in Goals of the Week

    A decidedly young feel in the latest installment of Goals of the Week.

    Filip Forsberg, 21, is the resident greybeard, but only when stacked up against the No. 1 and No. 2 picks at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft — 19-year-olds Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel.

    Probably worth mentioning this is McDavid’s second straight Goals of the Week appearance. He’s quite good at the hockey.

    Goalie nods: Elliott to make career-high 15th straight start for Blues

    St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott (1) lunges to make a save against the Nashville Predators during the first period Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Sanford Myers)

    It’s unclear how much longer the ride will last for Brian Elliott.

    But one thing’s for certain — the ride’s been terrific.

    Elliott, who’s been lights-out since Jake Allen went down to injury in early January, will make his 15th consecutive start tonight when the Blues take on Dallas at Scottrade.

    Elliott has gone 9-3-3 with a 1.78 GAA and .945 save percentage since his goaltending counterpart hurt his knee. Now, it looks like Allen is primed to return — he was taking warmup shots in the net opposite Elliott at this morning’s skate — which means yet another goalie controversy is brewing for head coach Ken Hitchcock.

    Of course, the last thing Hitch wants to discuss right now is goaltending.

    “I don’t want to talk about him,” Hitchcock said of Elliott, per NHL.com’s Lou Korac. “As soon as I start talking, something happens. Just write his number down, that’s No. 1, put it on the board, and have him play. That’s about all I’m doing now. I’m not looking, I’m not trying to analyze. Just write the number down and let him play.”

    For Dallas, Kari Lehtonen is likely in goal after Antti Niemi beat the Preds in OT last night.


    Michal Neuvirth gets another crack at the Devils after allowing two goals on 24 shots in a loss to them on Saturday. Cory Schneider goes for New Jersey.

    Philipp Grubauer gives workhorse Braden Holtby a night off in Washington. Jonathan Quick is likely for the visiting Kings.

    — With Cam Ward hurt, Eddie Lack gets a home start against the Jets. Winnipeg will counter with Ondrej Pavelec, who returned from injury on Saturday to make 21 saves in a shootout win over Edmonton.

    — Columbus will keep rolling with Joonas Korpisalo, even though Curtis McElhinney was activated from IR yesterday. The Bruins look like they’ll go with Tuukka Rask.

    — Former teammates Robin Lehner and Craig Anderson will face off as Buffalo visits Ottawa.

    Martin Jones will go for his third straight win when the Sharks take on the Bolts in Tampa. The Lightning are starting Ben Bishop.

    — The red-hot Frederik Andersen will start again when the Ducks take on the Oilers. Edmonton is going with Cam Talbot.

    Arizona’s goalie situation sure is something

    Arizona Coyotes' Louis Domingue waves to the crowd after the Coyotes' NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. Domingue earned his first NHL shutout as the Coyotes won 1-0. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
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    After being forced to dress a beer-leaguer as their emergency backup in last night’s win over Montreal, the Coyotes have recalled goalie Niklas Treutle from AHL Springfield.

    On it’s own, not much of a story.

    But within the context of the Coyotes’ insane crease conundrum, pretty interesting.

    No. 1 netminder Mike Smith has been out since mid-December following core muscle surgery. Anders Lindback, originally signed to be Smith’s No. 2, suffered some kind of “off-ice injury” yesterday, which forced the club to sign Nate Schoenfeld — a local amateur ‘tender and son of ex-Coyotes coach Jim — to back up Louis Domingue.

    (Per TSN, the Lindback injury might be serious, and he could be done for the season.)

    Domingue, of course, came into this season as Arizona’s No. 3 on the depth chart. Prior to the year, he had a grand total of seven games of NHL experience.

    He’s played 23 already this year, and is firmly entrenched as the Coyotes’ starting netminder.

    And his new backup is Treutle (pronounced troyt-LAY, in case you were curious), a 24-year-old undrafted free agent that — prior to signing with the Coyotes — spent all of his professional career in the German League.

    Signed from EHC Red Bull Muchen this offseason, Treutle has spent the ’15-16 campaign exclusively in the Springfield, where he’s gone 9-11-5 with a .909 save percentage and 2.91 GAA.

    It’ll be curious to see how long the Domingue-Treutle combo will last. Smith has returned to partial practice and appears on track for a late-February/early-March return, but his timetable has never been very specific.

    Whatever the case, life is going to be tough for Domingue and Treutle in the coming days. The Coyotes host the high-octane Dallas Stars this Thursday then, next Monday, head out on a five-game road swing that begins with a date against league-leading Washington.

    Evander Kane apologizes for missing practice, promises it ‘won’t happen again’

    FILE - In this Dec. 26, 2015, file photo, Buffalo Sabres' Evander Kane (9) celebrates his goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins in Boston. On Monday, Dec. 28, 2015, Kane said he's done nothing wrong and is looking forward to clearing his name after being the subject of a sex offense investigation. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

    Though he’s yet to actually serve his punishment for oversleeping and missing practice, Evander Kane has expressed his remorse.

    “I wanted to apologize to my teammates, the Pegula family as well, our coaching staff and general manager,” Kane told the Buffalo News on Tuesday, one day after missing Sabres practice because he overslept after attending the NBA All-Star Game. “It’s something that should have never happened. It’s something that I can promise you won’t happen again and it’s something that I’m definitely going to learn from.”

    Kane was in Toronto on Sunday evening for the NBA’s ASG, and apparently enjoyed some of the city’s nightlife afterward.

    He’d already played for the Sabres Sunday afternoon, scoring once in a 4-1 win over Colorado at First Niagara Center.

    From the Buffalo News:

    The party apparently went too hard and too long into the night. Kane posted some videos on his Snapchat page — which have since been deleted — of some drinking escapades after the game.

    Shortly after missing practice, the Sabres announced Kane would sit out tonight’s game against Ottawa.