Mike Halford

Eddie Lack, Stanislav Galiev

Goalie nods: With Ward (concussion) on IR, Lack assumes No. 1 duties in Carolina

It’s Eddie Lack time for the ‘Canes.

Lack, who’s been Cam Ward‘s understudy for most of this season — Ward’s started 30 times, Lack 15 — will now transition into the starter’s role, beginning tonight when Carolina takes on the Leafs in Toronto.

Ward was placed on IR yesterday with a concussion, which resulted in 21-year-old Czech netminder Daniel Altshuller being recalled from AHL Charlotte.

Altshuller is relatively inexperienced, in the midst of his first American League campaign after spending time with ECHL Florida.

Carolina’s third-round pick in 2012, Altshuller has played well for the Checkers this season, going 9-1-1 with a 1.71 GAA, a .941 save percentage and one shutout in 11 games.

But he likely won’t challenge Lack for minutes.

As such, this marks a real opportunity for the Swedish ‘tender to take hold of the No. 1 job, as Ward’s a pending UFA with no guarantee of returning next season. Lack, who signed a two-year extension with Carolina right before the start of the season, hasn’t been great this year — 8-9-1, 2.97 GAA, .891 save percentage — but has gone 5-2-2 in his last nine starts.

For Toronto, James Reimer gets the start in goal.


Jacob Markstrom gives the in-form Ryan Miller a rest when the Canucks take on the Bruins in Boston. Markstrom will likely be up against Tuukka Rask.

Craig Anderson versus Cory Schneider as the Sens go up against the Devils at Prudential.

— Both the Flyers and Penguins will roll with their No. 1s in the latest installment of the Battle of Pennsylvania: Steve Mason versus Marc-Andre Fleury.

Karri Ramo goes back in for the Flames tonight, after Bob Hartley went with Jonas Hiller for a brief stretch. Ramo will be up against Sergei Bobrovsky for Columbus.

— Stanley Cup Final rematch between the ‘Hawks and Bolts tonight, and each team will be going with the guys that were in goal for last June’s decisive Game 6: Corey Crawford, and Ben Bishop.

— It’s Pekka Rinne up against Connor Hellebuyck as the Preds visit Winnipeg.

— After getting a rest the other night in favor of Anders Nilsson, Cam Talbot returns to the Edmonton net. Looks like Antti Niemi will go for Dallas.

— San Jose will look to rebound from a shootout loss to Ottawa, and will do so with Martin Jones in goal. No confirmation from Arizona yet, but it looks like the Coyotes will stick with Louis Domingue.

Devan Dubnyk gets the night off after playing on Wednesday against the Ducks, so Darcy Kuemper starts in L.A. He’ll be up against Jonathan Quick.

‘Hawks scratch Panik after oversleeping


Richard Panik got off to a nice start with the Blackhawks — but that took a turn on Thursday.

Per CSN Chicago, Panik will be scratched for tonight’s Stanley Cup Final rematch against Tampa Bay because he overslept and missed part of today’s morning skate.


Panik did get on the ice late — well after line rushes — but will be out of the lineup. Coach Joel Quenneville said the Blackhawks will dress seven defensemen for the game.

Jiri Sekac, who the Blackhawks acquired from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for forward Ryan Garbutt, will probably not arrive in Florida in time for Thursday’s game.

Quenneville said Sekac “could” play on Friday when the Blackhawks face the Florida Panthers.

Panik, acquired from Toronto earlier this month, has two goals and three points in five games with the ‘Hawks.

Hartley to dress tough guys Bollig, Engelland for rematch versus Torts

CALGARY, AB - MARCH 17: Brandon Bollig #25 of the Calgary Flames skates off the ice after fighting Ryan Reaves #75 (not pictured) of the St Louis Blues during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on March 17, 2015 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Much has been made of the Bob Hartley-John Tortorella rivalry, with the latest installment set to take place tonight in Columbus as Hartley’s Flames battle Tortorella’s Blue Jackets.

This morning, Hartley provided the first bit of theatrics.

Per the Flames’ Twitter account, veteran tough guys Brandon Bollig and Deryk Engelland will dress for tonight’s affair at Nationwide.

Bollig (who leads the club with four fights) has only played in six of Calgary’s last 20 games and Engelland (second to Bollig in fighting majors) 14 of the last 20, so make of those decisions what you will.

Right now, Columbus’ only lineup change for tonight is re-inserting Scott Hartnell following his healthy scratch. But in light of what Hartley’s done, it’ll be interesting to see how Tortorella responds.

Back in 2014, Tortorella — then the coach in Vancouver — received a 15-day suspension for attacking Hartley following a game-opening line brawl between the Canucks and Flames. Hartley was fined $25,000 for his choice of starters that night: Kevin Westgarth and Brian McGrattan who, at the time, were two of the NHL’s most active enforcers.

Prior to tonight’s game, Tortorella expressed remorse over how he conducted himself back in Vancouver.

“I didn’t like what happened at the beginning of the game, and it was absolute stupidity how I went about it,” he explained, per the Dispatch. “My heart was in the right place, but my mind … it’s inexcusable and I’m totally embarrassed by it.”

Hartley doesn’t seem to be similarly shaken by the incident.

Last postseason, he was again fined for player selection in the opening round against Vancouver, a $50,000 punishment for his involvement in a end-of-game brawl.

Foligno still out, still irate over ‘joke of a hit’ from Malone


Columbus captain Nick Foligno has been out of the lineup since Jan. 8, when he took a high hit from Carolina’s Brad Malone.

Today, Foligno minced no words in expressing his frustration with the play — and NHL’s decision not to punish Malone.

“I thought it was a joke of a hit and I was disappointed in the league for thinking otherwise,” Foligno said, per the Columbus Dispatch. “But I was more pissed off about being away from the team for a couple of weeks. I’m not made to watch.

“I was driving the guys insane.”

Foligno has missed the last five games with an upper-body injury. When asked to specify the nature of said ailment he declined, telling reporters they could draw their own conclusions.

Following the Malone hit, the Department of Player Safety announced it had reviewed the incident, judging that the shoulder — not Foligno’s head — was the principle point of contact.

The DoPS also ruled the hit wasn’t late, nor was it elbowing.

Agent: No contract talks between Sabres and McGinn, who ‘loves Buffalo’

BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 17: Jamie McGinn #88 of the Buffalo Sabres celebrates his goal against the Anaheim Ducks with teammates along the bench at First Niagara Center on December 17, 2015 in Buffalo, New York. Buffalo defeated Anaheim 3-0.  (Photo by Jen Fuller/Getty Images)

Though he’s only been there for half a year, Jamie McGinn has really embraced playing in Buffalo.

McGinn, a pending UFA, sits fourth on the team in goals (10) and points (21), earning widespread acclaim from teammates for his net-front presence and winning board battles. He says he loves playing for the Sabres, his agent says he loves playing for the Sabres… yet, as the NHL trade deadline draws closer, McGinn’s name continues to pop up as a potential target.

Per the Buffalo News, agent Thane Campbell says there’s been no talks with GM Tim Murray about a new deal for his client.

But that hasn’t stopped Campbell from expressing McGinn’s affinity for the organization.

“He loves Buffalo,” Campbell explained. “He loves the city. He really likes the teammates. He really feels comfortable there. He feels the coaches have respect for his game, and he feels that it’s a good fit for him.”

From Murray’s perspective, hanging onto McGinn might not make sense. The 27-year-old could be a fairly hot commodity at the deadline and, given Murray’s penchant for stockpiling assets to aid in Buffalo’s rebuild, adding more draft picks could be the play.

(Don’t forget Buffalo is hosting the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.)

(But also don’t forget Buffalo already has eleven picks to make.)

In the end, this could all come down to money, as it often does.

McGinn’s making $2.95 million annually on his current deal, but this would be the first time he’s eligible for unrestricted free agency. Hitting the open market could prove too enticing, especially for a hybrid guy like McGinn who’s got some offensive talent, can play the power play, but also provides physicality.

He current sits third on the Sabres in hits, with 98.