Columbus Blue Jackets

Video: Jackets’ Johansen with an open ice hit on Crosby


The last time the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets met, a little over two weeks ago, Sidney Crosby and Brandon Dubinsky dropped the mitts in a second period fight.

Tonight it was Ryan Johansen getting physical with Crosby.

The Blue Jackets forward stepped into the Penguins captain with a big open-ice hit early in the first period.

Crosby was able to skate away from the hit unharmed.

Goalie nods: Ducks give another start to Gibson

All the latest from the crease …

Giving Gibson the ball

Could we see at least a mild goalie battle for the Anaheim Ducks, albeit a few months later than expected?

Going into the season, it seemed like John Gibson and Frederik Andersen would trade starts on a playoff-caliber team. Anaheim’s remained a playoff team, but Andersen ran with the top job when Gibson got hurt. Now Gibson seems like he’s taking advantage of the opportunity he received when Andersen was injured.

The interesting wrinkle is that Andersen seems ready to play again, yet as the OC Register’s Eric Stephens notes, head coach Bruce Boudreau is going with the “winning hand” in Gibson.

While Andersen’s record (29-8-5) towers over that of Gibson (7-5-0), his .916 save percentage is only slightly shinier than Gibson’s .914 mark. Perhaps Boudreau will merely ride the hot/winning hand for the rest of 2014-15, then?

Sunday serves as a good opportunity for another win for Gibson – at least on paper – as the Ducks face the struggling Dallas Stars with Jhonas Enroth in net.

Elsewhere …

Kings at Jets: Likely Jonathan Quick, while Michael Hutchinson is a safe bet.

Blue Jackets at Penguins: Curtis McElhinney vs. Marc-Andre Fleury.

Lightning at Panthers: A good chance of Ben Bishop, while Al Montoya is confirmed.

Leafs at Capitals: Leaning toward James Reimer vs. Braden Holtby, but neither team has confirmed those choices.

Blues at Canucks: Jake Allen vs. Eddie Lack.

Goalie Nods: Mason returns for the Flyers

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Mason looks for his first win vs. Rangers

Steve Mason will make his first start since Feb. 8 tonight when the Flyers play host to the New York Rangers. Mason allowed one goal on nine shots in relief of Rob Zepp on Thursday night. Mason is 0-2-0 with a 2.59 G.A.A. and .914 save percentage in two starts against New York.

Cam Talbot, who has shutout the Flyers twice this season, gets the nod for the Rangers.


Hurricanes at Islanders: Cam Ward vs. Chad Johnson

Devils at Blue Jackets: Cory Schneider vs. Curtis McElhinney

Coyotes at Bruins: Mike Smith vs. Tuukka Rask

Maple Leafs at Canadiens: Jonathan Bernier vs. Carey Price

Wild at Avalanche: Devan Dubnyk vs. Semyon Varlamov (unconfirmed)

Blues at Oilers: Brian Elliott vs. Ben Scrivens (likely)

Senators at Sharks: Andrew Hammond vs. Antti Niemi

Clarkson set to debut on Jackets’ top line


David Clarkson will make his Blue Jackets debut tonight when Columbus plays host to the New Jersey Devils.

Clarkson, who was acquired from Toronto on Thursday, is expected to start on the Jackets top line alongside Nick Foligno and Ryan Johansen.

Clarkson had 10 goals and 15 points to go along with a minus-11 rating in 58 games with the Leafs prior to Thursday’s trade.

Columbus looks to snap a four-game skid tonight

The Devils won the lone meeting between the two clubs 3-2 on Nov. 1.

Saturday’s meeting is the first of three over the course of the next month between the two clubs. They’ll meet again on Friday night at the Prudential Center in New Jersey.

Related: Clarkson hoping to get back to the ‘role that I played in New Jersey’

Sens’ Murray on Clarkson: ‘I didn’t think he was worth quite the contract that he got’


Senators GM Bryan Murray confirmed to the Ottawa Sun that he had discussions with the Toronto Maple Leafs regarding a trade to acquire David Clarkson.

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported the Sens had conversations with the Leafs regarding Clarkson.

“What happened was [Dave Nonis] called me and asked if we’d be interested in talking about [Clarkson],” Murray told the Sun. “I think [Clarkson] will be better elsewhere and there’s no question that what happened in Toronto was not a good thing for him or the team.

“I threw some names at [Nonis] and he said he would take their contracts and I said, ‘It has to be more than that and you’d have to eat some money too.’ We just talked one day and I told him I’d think about it.”

Ottawa’s interest in the forward is not all that surprising. The Sens were reportedly interested in the 30-year-old’s services when he was an unrestricted free agent two summers ago.

In the end Murray was concerned the Leafs wouldn’t retain enough of Clarkson’s salary to make the deal worthwhile.

“I just called back [two days later] and said it doesn’t work,” Murray said. “When he played in New Jersey, I always thought he was a competitive guy. I didn’t think he was worth quite the contract that he got [from Toronto].

“We talked [to] him before he went to Toronto. I think he’s competitive and he plays with grit. I watched us play [Los Angeles Thursday] and I thought we need that grit in our lineup, a guy who can stand up for our players, but it wasn’t him.”

Related: Clarkson hoping to get back to the ‘role that I played in New Jersey’