Just when it looked like Chad Johnson grabbed the No. 1 gig in Calgary, Brian Elliott made his move.
Elliott, who has won each of his last two starts while posting a .927 save percentage, will get his third nod in the last four games as the Flames take on the Avs in Colorado tonight. Elliott’s start comes with Johnson having lost each of his last three starts — allowing 12 goals on just 84 shots, an .857 save percentage.
Interesting times, to say the least.
We’ve been following this goalie battle throughout the season, and for good reason. The Flames acquired Elliott in the hopes he’d solidify their longstanding goalie issues, and came into the campaign as the unquestioned No. 1 (what’s more, he and the club were already in contract extension talks).
The veteran netminder struggled in his first few months with the Flames, though there was always the belief he’d have another crack at the starting gig after Johnson took it over. For as good as Johnson’s been, he’s 30 years old and never had sustained success as a No. 1.
Now could be Elliott’s shot.
— Marc-Andre Fleury gets another crack at the Devils after a 23-save win against them on Friday. He’ll be up against Cory Schneider, who was on the losing end of the aforementioned tilt.
— The Caps will go right back to Braden Holtby, after he posted a 23-save shutout of the Lightning prior to the break. The Isles will go with Jaroslav Halak.
— Antti Raanta gets another start for the Rangers, though this one is due to Henrik Lundqvist falling ill with the flu. Raanta will go up against Mike Condon, who starts for the visiting Sens.
— Great matchup in Columbus, as the Blue Jackets and Sergei Bobrovsky host Tuukka Rask and the Bruins.
— It’s Robin Lehner versus Petr Mrazek as the Sabres take on the Red Wings in Detroit.
— The red-hot Devan Dubnyk, who is 8-0-1 with a 1.41 GAA and .951 save percentage in December, looks to pad those stats with a start in Nashville. The Preds will counter with Pekka Rinne, who hasn’t had as much success this month (.867 save percentage).
— Corey Crawford will make his second start since returning from an appendectomy, as the ‘Hawks host the Jets. Winnipeg will go with Connor Hellebuyck.
— No surprises in Arizona, as the Coyotes will continue to ride veteran Mike Smith. For the visiting Stars, Kari Lehtonen looks to make another start after a 29-save win over the Kings last Friday.
— Another good matchup in Anaheim, as Martin Jones and the Sharks take on John Gibson and the Ducks.