All the latest from the blue paint…
Detroit sticks with Petr Mrazek
Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard’s recent slump has been bad enough spark speculation about him potentially losing the starting job to 23-year-old netminder Mrazek. That debate only intensified after Mrazek posted a 23-save shutout against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.
Under these circumstances, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock has decided to start Mrazek against the New York Islanders despite the lack of rest. The only other time Detroit attempted to start Mrazek on back-to-back days this season, he allowed three goals on seven shots to the Buffalo Sabres before being pulled just 13:37 minutes into the second game.
There’s no word yet on who the Islanders will counter with.
Capitals at Rangers: Braden Holtby vs. Cam Talbot
Panthers at Senators: Craig Anderson will start for Ottawa; Roberto Luongo is the probable goaltender for Florida.
Bruins at Hurricanes: Tuukka Rask is expected to be fine for today’s game after dealing with dehydration issues on Saturday, so there’s a fair chance he’ll be between the pipes for Boston. Carolina will likely go with Anton Khudobin after using Cam Ward on Saturday, but that hasn’t been confirmed.
Flames at Predators: Jonas Hiller is confirmed for Calgary while there’s a fair chance Nashville will counter with Pekka Rinne.
Ducks at Devils: It’s not know who Anaheim will start, but Cory Schneider will be in goal for New Jersey.
Sharks at Penguins: Alex Stalock vs. Marc-Andre Fleury
Blackhawks at Jets: Corey Crawford vs. Ondrej Pavelec
Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford may have been pulled in the first period of Friday’s game, but the team in front of him was just as culpable after some defensive lapses against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Columbus had a pair of goals on breakaways in the opening period, including a beautiful short-handed tally from Cam Atkinson, who recorded the hat trick in the Blue Jackets decisive victory over Chicago.
And Jonathan Toews has had enough of the defensive miscues.
“We just gave away too many Grade-A scoring chances. We’re doing that to our goaltenders way too often lately,” said Toews, as per Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Wild won again, defeating the Calgary Flames earlier in the evening. That moves Minnesota to within one point of the Blackhawks for third in the Central Division.
Cam Atkinson recorded the hat trick for the Columbus Blue Jackets against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday, and his second goal of the evening was a beauty.
Sent in a short-handed breakaway, Atkinson completely fooled Blackhawks starter Corey Crawford with a move to the forehand, tucking the puck into a wide open net to give Columbus a 4-2 lead late in the first period. Crawford was pulled after that goal.
The Blue Jackets went to win by a final score of 5-2, with Atkinson scoring an empty net goal for his third of the evening. He’s now up to 19 goals on the season. His career high sits at 21, which is a total he recorded last season.
Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford had a difficult first period against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.
Crawford was pulled after allowing four goals on 13 shots, including a pair of breakaway goals for Columbus. At the time Crawford was yanked, the Blue Jackets had gained a 4-2 lead. Scott Darling entered the game for Chicago.
All the latest from the blue paint…
No surprises from Wild
Devan Dubnyk will make his 33rd straight start tonight when the Wild host the Flames in Minnesota.
Dubnyk, lights-out since arriving in Minnesota, is 9-3-0 in march with a 1.82 GAA and .941 save percentage and was stellar in his last outing, stopping 37 of 38 shots in a win over the Islanders. At this point, it’s very conceivable that he’ll remain the starter for most, if not all, of Minnesota’s final eight games of the regular season — head coach Mike Yeo said he worries more about not starting Dubnyk as opposed to starting him too often — which means Dubnyk (33-11-3) has an outside chance at a 40-win campaign, which should strengthen his case for a Vezina finalist spot.
For the Flames, Karri Ramo gets the start in goal.
Jackets at ‘Hawks: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Corey Crawford
Stars at Oilers: Kari Lehtonen (probable) vs. Richard Bachman