All the latest from the blue paint…
Zepp goes for Flyers
Philly will turn to Rob Zepp for the fourth straight game when it takes on the Leafs in Toronto this evening.
Zepp, 33, has fared reasonably well in his first-ever NHL campaign. He’s posted a 5-2-0 record, though his GAA (2.80) and save percentage (.893) leave something to be desired.
At the same time, the Flyers need wins right now — they head into tonight’s action four points back of Boston for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference — and Zepp has provided those; he’s won two of his last three starts, which included impressive victories against the NHL-leading Predators and Washington, who currently holds the east’s other wild card.
For Toronto, Jonathan Bernier will be in goal.
Canucks at Sabres: Eddie Lack vs. Michal Neuvirth (more here)
Coyotes at Rangers: Mike Smith vs. Cam Talbot
Habs at Jackets: Carey Price vs. Curtis McElhinney
Hawks at Panthers: (No word on a Chicago starter yet) vs. Roberto Luongo
Blues at Jets: Brian Elliott vs. Michael Hutchinson
Wild at Preds: (Devan Dubnyk likely) vs. Pekka Rinne
Sens at Kings: (No word on an Ottawa starter yet) vs. Jonathan Quick
Wings at Sharks: (No word on a Detroit starter yet vs. Antti Niemi
Willie Desjardins is playing it safe. Instead of giving Jacob Markstrom his first NHL start of the season tonight in Buffalo, the Canucks’ coach is sticking with Eddie Lack.
From play-by-play man Jon Abbott:
Lack is coming off a 40-save win Tuesday in Boston.
Markstrom, recalled from the AHL in the wake of Ryan Miller’s injury, has been enjoying an excellent season with the Utica Comets. As such, Vancouver hockey fans are curious to see what he can do at the NHL level.
And tonight is only Buffalo, right?
But the Canucks can’t take the Sabres, even without Zemgus Girgensons and Tyler Ennis, lightly. Vancouver has some significant injuries as well, and losing to the worst team in the NHL would be a disappointing end to what’s been a successful road trip.
At any rate, with Miller expected to miss 4-6 weeks, Markstrom should get his opportunity eventually. The Canucks’ next back-to-back set is March 21-22 in Los Angeles and Arizona, respectively.
Related: Canucks ‘confident’ in Lack
Buffalo’s Michal Neuvirth has become the sixth player — and first goalie — to be fined for diving this season, the NHL announced on Wednesday:
Neuvirth was issued a Warning following an incident flagged by NHL Hockey Operations during NHL Game No. 251 vs. Toronto on Nov. 15. His second Citation, which triggered the $2,000 fine, was issued for an incident during NHL Game No. 886 vs. Nashville on Feb. 22.
Predators forward Mike Santorelli received a minor penalty for interference on the goaltender on the play, at 2:23 of the second period.
The incident involving Santorelli that led to the fine:
With that, Neuvirth joins Montreal’s P.K. Subban, the Islanders’ Cal Clutterbuck, Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist, Florida’s Vincent Trocheck and Nashville’s James Neal as the six players to be publicly outed as divers, under new rules put forth by the league this season.