All the latest from the blue paint…
Neuvirth faces ‘Hawks
The New York Islanders are looking to avoid their longest losing streak of the season tonight, but will have to do it without the services of their No. 1 netminder.
Jaroslav Halak will miss this evening’s tilt in Chicago with a lower-body injury, meaning Michal Neuvirth will try to keep the Isles’ skid from extending to four games.
Neuvirth, acquired at the trade deadline from Buffalo in exchange for Chad Johnson, has started three games for the Isles, going 1-1-1 with a .889 save percentage and 2.57 GAA. In his last outing, a 3-1 loss to Montreal on Saturday, Neuvirth allowed just two goals on 29 shots and finished with a .931 save percentage, his best outing as an Islander to date.
For the ‘Blackhawks, Corey Crawford will get the start in goal.
Pens at Devils: Thomas Greiss (probable) vs. Cory Schneider
Sens at ‘Canes: Andrew Hammond vs. Anton Khudobin
Sabres at Bruins: (No Buffalo starter yet) vs. Niklas Svedberg
Habs at Panthers: Dustin Tokarski (probable) vs. Dan Ellis
Wild at Preds: Devan Dubnyk vs. Pekka Rinne (probable)
Sharks at Jets: Antti Niemi vs. Ondrej Pavelec
Blues at Flames: Brian Elliott vs. Jonas Hiller
Flyers at Canucks: No starters yet for either team.
Out since Feb. 20 with a knee injury, Bruins center David Krejci could be back in the lineup as soon as this weekend, according to coach Claude Julien.
Krejci has yet to take contact, so there are still hurdles to clear. The 28-year-old had 26 points in 38 games before he suffered a partially torn MCL in his left knee against the Blues.
The Bruins play the Panthers in Sunrise Saturday and are in Tampa Bay Sunday for a game against the Lightning. After that, they get three days off before hosting Anaheim Thursday.
Boston has gone an impressive 8-2-1 in the 11 games Krejci has missed with his latest injury, perhaps reducing the temptation to rush him back into action.
Related: Bruins aim to complete sweep of Sabres
NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the Buffalo Sabres host the Waahington Capitals at First Niagara Center at 7:00 p.m. ET tonight. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.
The Washington Capitals regained the top wild card seed in the Eastern Conference with a 2-0 win over the Boston Bruins on Sunday night and will look to open a three-game road trip on a winning note tonight in Buffalo.
The Caps lead the Bruins by two points in the race for the first wild card spot, but Boston has a game in hand entering Monday’s action.
The Sabres have lost six straight (0-5-1) including a 6-1 loss to the Washington Capitals on March 7. The Sabres won the other meeting between the two clubs 2-1 in Washington on Nov. 22.
Buffalo has only eight non-shootout wins since beating the Capitals in November.
Tonight marks the third and final meeting between the two clubs this season.
Washington went 3-6-0 from Feb. 22-March 13, but following a players-only meeting after Friday night’s 4-2 loss to Dallas, saw an immediate result last night.
Nicklas Backstrom picked up a pair of assists in Sunday’s win and now leads the league with 53.
Alex Ovechkin, who has four goals in his last four trips to Buffalo, has failed to score in two straight games matching his longest drought since late December.
Braden Holtby has made 13 consecutive starts for the Capitals.
Washington recalled goaltender Philipp Grubauer from the AHL’s Hershey Bears on Sunday. Grubauer has made one appearance for the Caps this season making 23 saves in a 3-2 shootout victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Feb. 6.
Buffalo’s Matt Hackett has a 5.19 G.A.A. in two starts this season and allowed four goals against Washington on March 7.
Anders Lindback has a career-worst 3.36 G.A.A. this season, but has a .925 save percentage in five games since joining the Sabres.