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Elite battle at Bridgestone
Two goalies most have penciled in as Vezina candidates will square off tonight in Nashville when Carey Price and the Habs take on Pekka Rinne and the Preds.
Price, widely considered to be the Vezina favorite, has been nothing short of brilliant all season long and heads into tonight’s action leading the NHL in wins (40), save percentage (.938), GAA (1.86) and shutouts (nine). The 27-year-old’s dominance has led to serious discussion about Hart Trophy consideration as league MVP.
Rinne, meanwhile, has been solid as well. He’s second to Price in both GAA (2.09) and wins (38), sitting fifth overall in save percentage (.927). What’s interesting about the two, however, is that Price has never been named a Vezina finalist over the course of his seven-year career; Rinne, who’s in his ninth NHL campaign, has been a finalist twice and fell just short of capturing the Vezina in 2011, when he finished a few votes shy of eventual winner Tim Thomas.
So with Price and Rinne likely to both be finalists this year, the conversation turns to who’ll be the third nominee. Right now, it seems like a three-horse race between New Jersey’s Cory Schneider, Washington’s Braden Holtby and Minnesota’s Devan Dubnyk.
Wild at Isles: Devan Dubnyk vs. Jaroslav Halak
Kings at Rangers: Jonathan Quick (probable) vs. Cam Talbot
Blues at Pens: Jake Allen vs. Marc-Andre Fleury
Ducks at Jackets: John Gibson vs. Sergei Bobrovsky
Coyotes at Wings: Mike Smith vs. Jimmy Howard
Panthers at Bolts: Roberto Luongo vs. Andrei Vasilevskiy
Jets at Canucks: Michael Hutchinson vs. Eddie Lack