News and notes from around the crease…
Ryan Miller will start for the first time since Feb. 22
Miller suffered a knee injury that has cost him more than a month of ice time and potentially his opportunity to lead the Canucks in the playoffs. That’s because Eddie Lack was great in Miller’s absence and has been solid for the bulk of the campaign. Lack did admittedly get off to a rocky start, but he quickly put that behind him and now has a 2.45 GAA and .921 save percentage in 41 contests.
Those numbers are superior to Miller’s 2014-15 statistics, but Vancouver still might need him during the playoffs. With that in mind, he’ll have an opportunity to shake off the rust in tonight’s game against Edmonton.
Ondrej Pavelec will be a healthy scratch despite three straight shutouts
At any other point in the season, Pavelec being benched, let alone scratched, after posting three consecutive shutouts would be a big controversy, but with the Winnipeg Jets’ playoff position secure, this isn’t a shocking development. By starting Michael Hutchinson against the Calgary Flames this afternoon, it gives him a chance to stay sharp ahead of the postseason while also allowing Pavelec to get a breather after playing in three games over four days.
Connor Hellebuyck, 21, is projected to serve as the backup goaltender for Winnipeg today.
Sharks at Kings: Alex Stalock will play between the pipes for San Jose. It’s not known who will play for Los Angeles, but Jonathan Quick is typically a good bet.
Wild at Blues: Devan Dubnyk vs. Brian Elliott
Pens at Sabres: Marc-Andre Fleury will start for Pittsburgh. There’s a fair chance Anders Lindback will play for the Sabres, but that isn’t confirmed.
Habs at Leafs: Carey Price vs. Jonathan Bernier
Devils at Panthers: Cory Schneider vs. Al Montoya
Blue Jackets at Islanders: No confirmed starters yet for this one, but Islanders goaltender Michal Neuvirth has an undisclosed injury and Kevin Poulin was recalled as a result.
Red Wings at Canes: Petr Mrazek vs. Cam Ward
Bruins at Lightning: Tuukka Rask will probably start for Boston; Ben Bishop will get the nod for Tampa Bay.
Preds at Stars: Carter Hutton vs. Jhonas Enroth
Hawks at Avs: Scott Darling vs. Semyon Varlamov
Ducks at Coyotes: Neither team has revealed its starter.