News and notes from around the crease…
Luongo returns from concussion
Out of action since getting bowled over by Carolina’s Radek Dvorak last week, Roberto Luongo will return from his concussion tonight when the Panthers host Calgary.
Luongo has fared well fin his second stint with in Florida, going 4-5-1 with a 2.54 GAA and .923 save percentage. He’ll need to continue that solid play if the Panthers are to snap their current four-game losing streak.
For the Flames, Joey MacDonald gets the start in goal.
Hiller back from three-game break
Jonas Hiller will start for the first time in a week on Friday when the Ducks host the Preds in Anaheim.
Hiller was given all three games off last week after showing signs of fatigue, according to head coach Bruce Boudreau. The Swiss goalie has been very good for the Ducks this year and will be an important figure come playoff time but, tonight, he’ll be looking to build on his outstanding numbers at the Honda Center: 16-5-4, 2.01 GAA and .927 save percentage.
For Nashville, Pekka Rinne will be in net.
Habs at Sens: Peter Budaj vs. Craig Anderson
‘Hawks at Jackets: Sergei Bobrovsky for Columbus; no word yet on Chicago starter
Caps at Devils: Jaroslav Halak vs. Cory Schneider
Buffalo at Detroit: Matthew Hackett vs. Jimmy Howard
Oilers at Coyotes: Ben Scrivens vs. Thomas Greiss
Joni Ortio was pulled from the Calgary Flames net midway through Friday’s game against the Nashville Predators, and then dispatched him to the minors just minutes after the game.
Ortio allowed four goals on just 13 shots before getting yanked from Calgary’s net. The Flames went on to lose in a wild, high-scoring affair, by a final score of 6-5. Joey MacDonald came into the game for Calgary, and was credited with the loss despite allowing only two goals on nine shots.
Not long after the game ended, the Flames announced Ortio had been reassigned to the Abbotsford Heat in the American Hockey League.
The Flames later clarified the transaction.
“Joni Ortio was required to be assigned to the (Heat) as he was an emergency recall for Karri Ramo, who returns tomorrow,” the club stated later via social media.
The 22-year-old Ortio is a sixth-round pick, 171st overall, of the Flames from the 2009 NHL Draft. He had appeared in nine games, winning in four of his starts since he was recalled earlier in February.
But Friday’s outing was a rough one, especially after allowing two quick goals early.
“When you let in the first two shots, you know it’s going to be a struggle. It’s not fun,” said Ortio, as per Kristen Odland of the Calgary Herald.
The Calgary Flames are starting rookie goalie Reto Berra on Sunday night. While that makes for a normally sweet headline for a young kid, he may be up to his ears in shots.
His opponent? The defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.
The Flames recalled Berra on Saturday after putting goalie Joey MacDonald on waivers and are putting him right to the test. Coincidentally, Berra was a teammate of Patrick Kane’s during the lockout last season in the Swiss League with EHC Biel.
Flames coach Bob Hartley says this start won’t be a one-off for Berra.
The Flames have to be hoping Kane spilled all of his tricks and secrets to Berra while they played in Switzerland. On paper, this doesn’t set up to be one of the most fair match-ups we’ve seen this year. Good luck, kid.