All the latest from the blue paint…
Smith seeks better showing against Ottawa
Arizona Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith surrendered five goals on 33 shots on Jan. 10 against the Senators, but he’ll be back between the pipes tonight in Ottawa. Smith has started in every game since Devan Dubnyk was traded to Minnesota.
Smith has struggled mightily this season, posting a 3.41 GAA and .890 save percentage in 33 contests, but he held Toronto to a single goal on Thursday, so this is an opportunity for him to string a couple good games together.
Ottawa will counter with Robin Lehner.
Islanders at Red Wings: Chad Johnson vs. Petr Mrazek
Kings at Bruins: Jonathan Quick is the probable goaltender against Tuukka Rask.
Panthers at Devils: Roberto Luongo vs. Keith Kinkaid
Canes at Rangers: Neither goaltender is confirmed, but it will probably be Cam Ward facing Henrik Lundqvist.
Leafs at Flyers: James Reimer vs. Steve Mason
Stars at Jets: It’s believed that Kari Lehtonen will play against Michael Hutchinson.
Blue Jackets at Lightning: Curtis McElhinney and Ben Bishop are both considered probable.
Oilers at Flames: No word on who Edmonton will go with, but Calgary will send out Jonas Hiller.
Hawks at Sharks: Chicago will start Antti Raanta. San Jose’s starter remains a mystery, although odds are it will end up being Antti Niemi.
The Boston Bruins have decided to send goaltender Niklas Svedberg to AHL Providence so that he can participate in a conditioning stint, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston. Top prospect Malcolm Subban has been summoned to serve as the team’s number two netminder in his absence.
Svedberg is a 25-year-old rookie that’s had a strong season with a 2.22 GAA and .922 save percentage in 12 contests. However, the Bruins have been justifiably leaning on Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender Tuukka Rask and Svedberg has only gotten one January start as a result.
So this is an opportunity for Svedberg to stay sharp by getting some work in the minors, but it’s also a chance to reward 21-year-old Subban. He has a 2.47 GAA and .921 save percentage in 22 AHL games this season and was selected as the AHL Player of the Week for Jan. 19-25 after he recorded a 0.99 GAA and .967 save percentage in three starts.
Depending on how long Svedberg’s conditioning stint lasts, Subban might make his NHL debut during this stint as Boston is scheduled to play three games in four days from Feb. 7-10. Subban was taken with the 24th overall pick in 2012 and is the younger brother of Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Retired Hall of Famer Mike Bossy thinks that the 2014-15 New York Islanders are the real deal. (New York Post)
The Tampa Bay Lightning arranged for a surprise reunion between an Air Force father with his two children. (Puck Daddy)
Here are the highlights from San Jose’s 6-3 win over Anaheim:
After playing in 37 NHL games with the Edmonton Oilers, heading back to the Western Hockey League has been an adjustment for Leon Draisaitl. On the plus side though, it’s moved him from a struggling team to one that leads its league. (Edmonton Sun)
With Kyle Okposo sidelined, Cal Clutterbuck is serving as an alternative captain with the Islanders. (Newsday)
Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask made a stunning paddle save during Thursday’s game against the Islanders last night:
Would the Calgary Flames be a good fit for Mike Richards and what would it take for the Los Angeles Kings to be able to unload his contract onto them? (Calgary Sun)
You can watch the highlights from Montreal’s 1-0 win against the Rangers below:
All the latest from the blue paint…
All Devan, all the time
Devan Dubnyk has been the goalie of record for Minnesota since coming over from Arizona two weeks ago, and that won’t change tonight when the Wild face the Flames in Calgary.
Dubnyk, who’s posted a .911 save percentage and 2.04 GAA in five games, is coming off a 2-1 win over Edmonton in which he stopped 23 of 24 shots. He’ll need a similar performance tonight if the 12th-place Wild want to stay within striking distance of the eighth-place Flames, who are currently seven points up in the standings:
For Calgary, Jonas Hiller starts in goal.
Bruins at Isles: Jaroslav Halak for New York, Tuukka Rask likely for Boston.
Habs at Rangers: Carey Price vs. Henrik Lundqvist
Jets at Flyers: Michael Hutchinson vs. Steve Mason
Jackets at Panthers: Curtis McElhinney vs. Roberto Luongo
Wings at Bolts: Petr Mrazek vs. Ben Bishop
Stars at Sens: Robin Lehner for Ottawa, Kari Lehtonen likely for Dallas.
Coyotes at Leafs: Mike Smith vs. Jonathan Bernier
Preds at Blues: Carter Hutton vs. Brian Elliott
Sabres at Oilers: Jhonas Enroth vs. Ben Scrivens
Ducks at Sharks: Ilya Bryzgalov likely for Anaheim, Antti Niemi likely for San Jose.
Simon Gagne’s attempt to stage a comeback after being out of the NHL for a season was successful as he participated in 23 games with Boston. On Jan. 12 though, he made it known that he was permanently leaving the Bruins.
“The last month has been extremely difficult for me with my father being sick and his passing,” Gagne said at the time. “To play in the NHL you have to be 100% mentally, emotionally and physically committed to the game. At this time I know that I cannot be close to those levels. The Bruins organization and my teammates have been great to my family and I during this time.”
The Bruins suspended him so that they could maintain a full roster. They took another step towards finalizing the process on Wednesday by placing him on unconditional waivers. If he clears, he will be released, according to an Associated Press source.
Gagne, who is a veteran of 822 NHL games, averaged 11:18 minutes per contest and recorded four points during his tenure with Boston. At the age of 34, he still might eventually attempt to return to the NHL once more.