Video: Cam Ward flashes the glove on David Perron

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Update: The Carolina Hurricanes ended up beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2.

Maybe you’ll blame it on Pittsburgh’s penchant to play poorly against weaker opponents. Marc-Andre Fleury’s not exactly having the greatest night so far.

Still, some of it comes down to Cam Ward being sharp, which David Perron found out all too well on the latest Save of the Year contestant:

It wasn’t the only time Ward baffled Perron tonight, although this save was more solid that astounding:

Goalie nods: Hackett goes for Sabres in McEichel Derby

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All the latest from the blue paint…

No Lindback for Buffalo

The NHL’s two worst teams — standings-wise, anyway — will do battle tonight when the Sabres host the Coyotes in Buffalo, and Buffalo will start little-used Matthew Hackett in net ahead of Anders Lindback, who’s been quite solid of late.

Hackett, 25, is 0-3-0 this year with a .893 save percentage and 4.34 GAA. He’s spent the majority of the season AHL Rochester, but was summoned to the Sabres after Chad Johnson went down to injury almost immediately after being acquired via trade.

In hist last outing, a 3-0 loss to Nashville, Hackett allowed three goals on 43 shots, good for a .930 save percentage.

For the Coyotes, Mike Smith will get the start in goal. Smith’s turnaround after a dreadful start has been one of the few bright spots in Arizona this season, and is worth mentioning — the veteran has been very good in nine games this month, allowing just 21 goals on 326 shots for a .936 save percentage.

Elsewhere…

Anaheim at Boston: Frederik Andersen vs. Tuukka Rask (probable)

Kings at Isles: Jonathan Quick (probable) vs. Jaroslav Halak

Devils at Caps: Cory Schneider vs. Braden Holtby

Pens at ‘Canes: Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Cam Ward

Preds at Bolts: Pekka Rinne (probable) vs. Ben Bishop

Sharks at Wings: Antti Niemi vs. Jimmy Howard

Rangers at Sens: Cam Talbot vs. Andrew Hammond

Panthers at Leafs: Roberto Luongo vs. Jonathan Bernier

Habs at Jets: Dustin Tokarski vs. Ondrej Pavelec

Avs at Canucks: Semyon Varlamov vs. (No Vancouver starter yet.)

PHT Morning Skate: Canes’ players sample girl scout cookies for the first time

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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.

Carolina Hurricanes’ Andrej Nestrasil, Anton Khudobin, and Riley Nash sample Girl Scout cookies for the first time:

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Abysmal Leafs fail to sell out Air Canada Centre for first time in arena’s history; will we see more non-sellouts? (The Hockey News)

Referee KO’d after LNAH player takes out his legs. (Puck Daddy)

Ottawa Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond isn’t the only player with ties to McDonald’s these days. Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty recently had a little fun with Bruins’ fans in an ad for his McDonald’s burgher “Max 67”.

From afterthought to savior, it’s been 10 wild months for Devan Dubnyk. (Sportsnet)

Prior to puck drop on Monday night the Toronto Maple Leafs honored defenseman Eric Brewer for playing in his 1,000th NHL game over the weekend.

Goalie nods: Red-hot Schneider looks to deliver playoff blow to Kings

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Schneider looks to stymie L.A.

The Los Angeles Kings are desperate for points in the Western Conference playoff chase, and will look to get two against one of the NHL’s most in-form goalies tonight at Prudential.

Cory Schneider gets the start for New Jersey, looking to continue what’s been an outstanding month of March; he’s gone 3-3-1 with a 1.94 GAA and .939 save percentage in seven starts, bumping his overall numbers on the season to .929 (second-best save percentage in the NHL) and 2.16 (fifth-best GAA).

The Kings have lost three of four and their offense has sputtered over that stretch, scoring just five times. That doesn’t bode well for a matchup against Schneider, who has held opponents to two goals or fewer in 25 of his last 31 appearances.

For L.A., no word yet on who’ll start but Jonathan Quick appears likely.

Elsewhere…

‘Hawks at ‘Canes: Corey Crawford vs. Anton Khudobin

Wild at Leafs: Devan Dubnyk vs. Jonathan Bernier

Sharks at Sens: Antti Niemi vs. Andrew Hammond

Sabres at Stars: Anders Lindback vs. Kari Lehtonen

Avs at Flames: Semyon Varlamov vs. Karri Ramo

Jets at Oilers: Ondrej Pavelec (probable) vs. Ben Scrivens

Canes’ sign Merrimack goaltender Tirronen to a one-year deal

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The Carolina Hurricanes have signed free-agent goaltender Rasmus Tirronen to a one-year entry-level contract the club announced.

The deal is worth $575,000 at the NHL level and $65,000 in the minors.

The 24-year-old spent this season playing at Merrimack College where he had a 12-14-3 record to go along with a 2.40 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in 31 games.

“Rasmus had an outstanding senior season for Merrimack,” said Canes’ GM Ron Francis. “He’s a big presence in the net and we look forward to following his development next season.”

In 68 career games for Merrimack, Tirronen went 22-34-8 with a 2.45 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.

Prior to attending Merrimack, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound netminder was 24-9-0 with a 2.41 goals-against average and .908 save percentage during one season with Topeka of the North American Hockey League.