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.
The Montreal Gazette shared a rare file photo of a young Mario Lemieux looking with admiration at Guy Lafleur. To give you an idea of him just being a face in the crowd at that point, he apparently wasn’t even listed in the caption of the photo that ran. Check that photo out in the story linked here. (Montreal Gazette)
A review of the first episode of “Hockey Wives.” (Sportsnet)
Are the Buffalo Sabres winning their way out of “McEichel?” (Hockey News)
Editor’s Note: Play one-day fantasy hockey tonight! Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $25,000 league for Thursday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first place wins $2,000. Starts Thursday at 7:30pm ET. Enter Now!
How has Winnipeg fared since Dustin Byfuglien and Bryan Little got injured? (Jets Nation)
Some kudos to Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk. (SB Nation NHL)
Andrew Hammond made 35 saves as the Ottawa Senators edged the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 in overtime Tuesday night.
With the win, Hammond improves to 11-0-1 tying Hall of Famer Frank Brimsek’s record by starting his career with 12 straight games allowing fewer than three goals.
Brimsek reached the milestone with the Boston Bruins during the 1938-39 season.
Sens’ forward Kyle Turris set up Mark Stone for the game-winner in highlight-reel fashion with less than a minute remaining in overtime.
Patrick Wiercioch had the other Sens’ goal while captain Erik Karlsson had two assists.
Ottawa has now won four straight and improved to 14-2-2 in its last 18 games. The Sens’ win coupled with the Bruins’ loss to the Sabres moves Ottawa four points back of Boston for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Senators and Bruins meet in Ottawa on Thursday.
Elias Lindholm had the lone Hurricanes’ goal.
Anton Khudobin made 31 saves in the loss.
Carolina Hurricanes General Manager Ron Francis proposed a change to how face-offs are conducted during Tuesday’s session at the GMs meetings in Boca Raton, Florida.
According to hockey insider Bob McKenzie, the rule change would see the defending team put down their stick first during a face-off, which would give a potential edge to the team in the offensive zone.
As with any rule changes the competition committee and the NHL’s Board of Governors will have to give approval prior to the change taking place.
Related: NHL GMs support 3-on-3 overtime, but exact format still uncertain
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.
All the latest from the blue paint…
Ottawa sticks with Andrew Hammond
Ottawa is seven points back in the battle for a Wild Card spot with just 15 games remaining in its schedule. Under those desperate circumstances, the Senators are putting their fate in the hands of 27-year-old rookie Andrew Hammond. Given that Hammond hasn’t allowed more than two goals in any of his 11 appearances this season, it’s hard to fault Senators coach Dave Cameron for his desire to ride the hot hand.
The Senators will be challenged by the Philadelphia Flyers, which are coming off of a 7-2 victory over Detroit on Saturday. Steve Mason played in that contest, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see former Senators goalie Ray Emery start to provide Mason with a breather.
Panthers at Rangers: Dan Ellis will probably start for Florida while Cam Talbot has been confirmed for New York.
Canes at Blue Jackets: No word yet on Carolina, but there’s a good chance it will be Anton Khudobin after Cam Ward played Saturday. Sergei Bobrovsky will get the nod for Columbus.
Blues at Stars: Jake Allen will start for St. Louis. Nothing’s confirmed for Dallas, but it will likely be Kari Lehtonen.
Bruins at Capitals: Bruins coach Claude Julien wouldn’t reveal Sunday’s starter, but Braden Holtby will probably play for Washington.
Preds at Ducks: Nothing’s confirmed, but it will likely be starters Pekka Rinne and Frederik Andersen between the pipes.