Goalie nods: Hiller tries to regain Flames gig from Ramo

All the latest from the blue paint …

Battling for the Flames job

The Calgary Flames have been much better than expected, which makes the battle for the starting job far more lucrative than anticipated.

Jonas Hiller has had the upper hand for stretches, but it seemed like Karri Ramo wrestled it back as December rolled around. Now Hiller has another chance to assert himself as the No. 1 guy, as this marks his second straight start, and it’s an interesting one against the Chicago Blackhawks.

On one hand, Chicago remains one of the best teams in the league, so it could be a busy night for the Swiss-born goalie. On the other, the Blackhawks are coming off a loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday, so the Flames may face a fatigued team.

Hiller’s currently on a four-game losing streak. He’s 9-8-1 with a .912 save percentage and a 2.50 GAA.

Those aren’t lousy numbers, yet they aren’t outstanding either. His best chance to make an impression is to shut down the Blackhawks, then.

It’s unclear who he’ll face at the moment, though one might lean a bit toward Antti Raanta since Scott Darling played last night.

Elsewhere …

Kings at Maple Leafs: It should be Jonathan Quick vs. James Reimer.

Rangers at Oilers: Expect Cam Talbot vs. Ben Scrivens.

Video: Bobby Ryan with a goal of the year candidate

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Bobby Ryan may be battling a broken finger, but it sure didn’t slow him down Thursday night.

The Sens’ forward dangled Kings’ defenseman Brayden McNabb before beating Jonathan Quick for his sixth of the season.

You know its’ good when the opposing team is voting it goal of the year.

Video: Sens’ Alex Chiasson robbed by the glove of Quick

Ottawa Senators Alex Chiasson had a glorious chance to open the scoring Thursday night against the L.A. Kings, but was robbed by the glove hand of Jonathan Quick.

Here’s a look at the play:

It was reviewed, but ruled no goal.

Here is the official explanation from the league:

At 15:15 of the first period in the Los Angeles Kings/Ottawa Senators game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine Alex Chiasson’s shot at 14:32. Video review supported the referee’s call on the ice that the puck did not cross the Los Angeles goal line. No goal Ottawa.

Goalie nods: Darling starts third straight for Chicago

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Darling goes again

Scott Darling will make his third consecutive start tonight when Chicago takes on the B’s at TD Garden.

Darling, who has spent the majority of this season in AHL Rockford, has been tremendous when called upon — especially in his latest stint with Corey Crawford (ankle) sidelined. The 25-year-old has gone 4-1-0 with a 1.76 GAA and .939 save percentage in five games this season and emerged the victor in each of his previous two starts: a 3-1 win over Nashville (32 saves) and a 3-2 shootout win over the Devils (22 saves).

For the Bruins, Tuukka Rask will get the nod in goal.

Elsewhere…

Flames at Sabres: Karri Ramo vs. Jhonas Enroth

Devils at Flyers: Cory Schneider vs. Ray Emery

Jackets at Caps: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Braden Holtby

‘Canes at Lightning: Evgeni Nabokov for Tampa Bay, Cam Ward likely for Carolina.

Kings at Sens: Craig Anderson for Ottawa, Jonathan Quick likely for L.A.

Isles at Blues: Jaroslav Halak vs. Jake Allen

Jets at Avs: Calvin Pickard for Colorado, no word yet on a Winnipeg starter.

Goalie nods: Hutchinson pushing for Jets’ starting gig

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News and notes from around the crease…

Winnipeg goes back to Hutch

Goalie controversy in Winnipeg?

Maybe. Just maybe.

Michael Hutchinson, who’s rotated starts with Ondrej Pavelec recently, will get the call tonight when the Jets take on the Stars in Dallas.

The decision comes after Pavelec allowed four goals on 25 shots in Sunday’s 4-3 OT loss to Anaheim. Hutchinson, meanwhile, has been excellent of late, stopping 124 of his last 132 shots faced — good for a .939 save percentage — and hasn’t lost in regulation in five straight games, with the Jets securing eight of a possible 10 points over that stretch.

Pavelec was great to start the season but has cooled off in recent weeks, and it wouldn’t be a shock if head coach Paul Maurice kept using Hutchinson extensively for the rest of this month. The Jets have some pretty big games on the horizon — from Dec. 13-31 they’ll face the likes of Anaheim, Boston, Chicago, Minnesota (x2) and the red-hot New York Islanders.

For the Stars, Kari Lehtonen is your likely starter.

Elsewhere…

‘Hawks at Devils: Scott Darling for Chicago, no word on a New Jersey starter.

Flyers at Jackets: Steve Mason vs. Sergei Bobrovsky

Caps at Bolts: Braden Holtby vs. Ben Bishop

Canucks at Habs: Ryan Miller vs. Carey Price

Flames at Leafs: Jonas Hiller vs. Jonathan Bernier

Kings at Sabres: Jhonas Enroth for Buffalo, Jonathan Quick likely for L.A.

Isles at Wild: Jaroslav Halak vs. Niklas Backstrom

Preds at Avs: Pekka Rinne vs. Calvin Pickard

Oilers at Sharks: Antti Niemi for San Jose, no word yet on an Edmonton starter.