All the latest from the crease…
Boston facing questions in goal
Here’s the latest out of Bruins camp prior to tonight’s game against New Jersey: Tuukka Rask has fallen ill, head coach Claude Julien won’t say if backup Niklas Svedberg will get the start and, just a short while ago, the club made an emergency recall, bringing up Jeremy Smith from AHL Providence.
Smith, 25, got the call ahead of Malcolm Subban, the highly-touted prospect that struggled in his NHL debut against the Blues last week. A veteran of the American League circuit, Smith is 14-8-4 with Providence this year, posting a 2.08 GAA and .931 save percentage. He’s previously spent time in the Columbus and Nashville organizations, but has yet to make his NHL debut.
If we had to guess, Svedberg will get the start tonight — he was the only goalie present at this morning’s skate. For the Devils, Cory Schneider will be in goal.
Flames at Isles: Karri Ramo vs. Jaroslav Halak
Caps at ‘Canes: Braden Holtby vs. Anton Khudobin
‘Hawks at Bolts: (No word on a Chicago starter) vs. Ben Bishop
Avs at Stars: Semyon Varlamov vs. Kari Lehtonen
Kings at Ducks: (No word on a Kings starter) vs. John Gibson
All the latest from the blue paint…
Braden Holtby owns Pittsburgh
Check the numbers:
Dec. 27: 31-save shutout in a 3-0 win.
Jan. 28: 27-save shutout in a 4-0 win.
Feb. 17: Stopped 32 of 33 shots in a 3-1 win.
All told, Holtby’s posted a 0.33 GAA and .989 save percentage against Pittsburgh this season, which is unbelievably good. It’s all part of what’s been a banner campaign from the 25-year-old, who is 29-13-9 on the season with a 2.16 GAA, .924 save percentage and six shutouts, second-most in the NHL.
The NHL’s shutout leader? That would be Marc-Andre Fleury, with eight, who will start in goal for Pittsburgh this evening. Should be a good one.
Calgary at New Jersey: Karri Ramo vs. Cory Schneider
Ottawa at Anaheim: Andrew Hammond vs. John Gibson
Cory Schneider made 38 saves and Scott Gomez netted the game-winner as the New Jersey Devils blanked the Arizona Coyotes 3-0 Monday night.
The game-winner is Gomez’s first as a member of the Devils since Jan. 13, 2007.
With the win New Jersey has won four straight for the first time since Feb. 3-10, 2013. The Devils are now 11-2-3 in their last 16 home games.
New Jersey moves eight points back of the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Arizona has lost six straight.
Gomez’s goal moves him into fifth place on the Devils’ all-time list with 473 points passing Bobby Holik. He trails Scott Niedermayer for fourth spot by just three points.
Mike Cammalleri scored twice, including the insurance marker.
Its Cammalleri’s fourth multi-goal game of the season, and his second in three games.
Jordin Tootoo had an assist in the win and now has points in three straight games for the first time since Feb. 14-19, 2012.
Mike Smith stopped 25 shots in the loss.
Schneider improves to 22-22-5 with his third shutout of the season and his sixth as a member of the Devils.
New Jersey continues its six-game home stand Wednesday against the Calgary Flames.
Only two games in the NHL tonight. The premier match-up goes in Anaheim, where the Ducks will play host to the Red Wings.
For Detroit, it’ll be Jimmy Howard starting in goal. Howard allowed a season-high six goals on 32 shots in Saturday’s 7-6 overtime victory in Dallas. He spent the last part of the game on the bench, replaced halfway through the third period by Jonas Gustavsson.
Howard has shown an ability to bounce back from tough performances this season. All four times he’s allowed four goals in a game, he’s held the opposition to two goals or fewer in his next outing.
John Gibson will start for the Ducks, who’ve won two straight after losing five of six.
It’ll be Cory Schneider for the Devils at home to Mike Smith and the Coyotes.
A rare Friday night tilt between the Vancouver Canucks and New Jersey Devils produced plenty of storylines.
— For starters, the Canucks had a dreadful opening period and got off to an even worse start in the second period, and that was costly. Playing the second game of a back-to-back and of a five-game road trip, they lost to the Devils by a final score of 4-2, after falling behind by three goals early in the middle period.
— The Canucks entered the game second in the Pacific Division. The surprising Calgary Flames were also hosting the Anaheim Ducks, with the Flames having a chance to leapfrog the Canucks in the division standings with a win.
— Zack Kassian was inserted back into the lineup, after Alex Burrows did not play due to a lower-body injury. Initially, Burrows took the pre-game skate, but a decision was made that he wasn’t good enough to go.
— Further to that development, Kassian, who has expressed frustration and confusion over being a healthy scratch in recent games, looked impressive on a line with Daniel and Henrik Sedin. He scored twice, getting the Canucks back into the game in the third period. Now, if Burrows can’t go Sunday against the New York Islanders, will head coach Willie Desjardins trust Kassian enough to play on a line with the twins?
— Devils goalie Cory Schneider recorded his first victory against his former team. Schneider was traded from the Canucks to the Devils for the ninth overall pick, which has turned into Bo Horvat, at the 2013 NHL Draft.