Goalie nods: Stars go with Lehtonen versus Florida, Enroth ‘likely’ to play tomorrow

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News and notes from around the crease…

His name is Jhonas

Kari Lehtonen will begin life on a short leash tonight against Florida — he’ll start against the Panthers, but will have newly acquired backup Jhonas Enroth on the bench for the first time since GM Jim Nill acquired him from Buffalo on Wednesday.

Lehtonen, who has been criticized this year for his uneven play, is 4-2-1 with a 2.70 GAA and .916 save percentage since the All-Star break — decent numbers, but hardly the type Dallas needs as it looks to get back into a playoff position.

Per Stars head coach Lindy Ruff, Enroth will “likely” play at some point this weekend. Based on that, he’ll probably be in goal tomorrow when Dallas takes on the Avs in Colorado.

For Florida, sounds like Al Montoya is likely for tonight’s affair.

Elsewhere…

Flyers at Jackets: Ray Emery vs. Curtis McElhinney

Devils at ‘Hawks: Cory Schneider vs. Corey Crawford

Sharks at Coyotes: Antti Niemi vs. Mike Smith

Bruins at Canucks: Ryan Miller for Vancouver, no word yet on a Bruins starter.

Hitchcock gets win No. 692, tying him for fourth on all-time list

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The St. Louis Blues held on to beat the Arizona Coyotes by a final score of 2-1, and Ken Hitchcock picked up another milestone victory in his coaching career, moving right alongside Dick Irvin Sr for fourth on the all-time list.

Dmitrij Jaskin scored the winning goal, and the seventh of this season, just past the midway point of the second period. He also had five hits. His backhand off the rush somehow found room and got by Mike Smith, just trickling over the goal line.

“I didn’t see it (go in) until I went behind the net. It was a good surprise to me,” said Jaskin, as per Lou Korac of NHL.com.

 

Goalie nods: Mason out 2-3 weeks, Howard backs up tomorrow

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All the latest from the crease…

Flyers lose Mason, again

Steve Mason will be out 2-3 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, per the Courier-Post. News of the timetable comes just two days after Mason exited Sunday’s win over Washington following a setback with his knee, which has caused the 26-year-old problems all season long.

With Mason out, Ray Emery will assume starting duties with 21-year-old Anthony Stolarz backs up. Stolarz is with the team because Rob Zepp, who’s appeared in six games for the Flyers this season, is currently hurt with AHL Lehigh Valley.

Jimmy’s back

On the other end of the injured goalie spectrum, Detroit’s Jimmy Howard will dress for the first time in over a month when the Wings take on the Penguins tomorrow.

Howard, who hurt his groin on Jan. 10 against Washington, will serve as Petr Mrazek’s backup and could return to the crease in Detroit’s following game on Saturday against Winnipeg.

The 30-year-old’s return will be a welcome one. Howard was playing extremely well at the time of his injury, going 16-7-7 with a 2.11 GAA and .920 save percentage, with two shutouts.

Elsewhere…

Stars at Bruins: Niklas Svedberg for Boston, Kari Lehtonen likely for Dallas.

Ottawa at Buffalo: Robin Lehner vs. Jhonas Enroth

Oilers at Isles: Viktor Fasth vs. Jaroslav Halak

Flyers at Habs: Ray Emery vs. Carey Price

Ducks at Panthers: Ilya Bryzgalov vs. Roberto Luongo

Coyotes at Blues: Mike Smith vs. Jake Allen

Bolts at Preds: Andrei Vasilevskiy vs. Pekka Rinne

Wild at Jets: Michael Hutchinson for Winnipeg, no word on a Minnesota starter.

Video: Blackhawks lose to Coyotes in the shootout after overtime review

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Hockey can be a game of inches and sometimes less than that. Depending on who you ask, it can also be cruel, too.

The Chicago Blackhawks found that out the hard way on Monday against the Arizona Coyotes.

The Blackhawks thought they had the winning goal with about 15 seconds remaining in overtime, only a review concluded the puck never crossed the goal line. The Coyotes went on to win the game by a final score of 3-2 in the shootout.

From the NHL’s Situation Room blog:

At 5:00 of overtime in the Arizona Coyotes/Chicago Blackhawks game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play at the Arizona net. Video review confirmed that the rebound from Andrew Shaw’s shot at 4:44 did not cross the Arizona goal line. No goal Chicago.

The puck jumped up into the air after Mike Smith made the initial save, and landed on the goal line but never conclusively and fully crossed over, according to the league. As that scramble continued, Brandon Saad hit the crossbar.

So close, but so far.

The loss ended Chicago’s run of back-to-back wins. They have now lost three times in the last five games.

Lucas Lessio and Antoine Vermette scored in the shootout for Arizona.

Get your game notes: Arizona at Chicago

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Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Chicago Blackhawks hosting the Arizona Coyotes at 8:30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

TOP STORYLINES

• The Hawks are returning home following their annual Ice Show road trip. In a matinee game yesterday, Chicago defeated St. Louis 4-2 to close out their season-long 7-game trip at 4-3-0.

• Chicago will now begin a season-high 8-game home stand.

• In 2014, the Sochi Olympics followed the Ice Show road trip, and in 2013, the Hawks went 6-0-1 on the home stand following their Ice Show trip.

• CHI is looking for its first 3-gm win streak since it won 8 straight from Nov. 26 to Dec. 11.

• With 45 points, Arizona is 13th out of 14 teams in the Western Conference, 16 points out of a playoff spot. Only EDM (37 pts) and BUF (35 pts) have fewer points in the NHL this season (CAR also has 45).

• The Coyotes went 0-1-1 on their two-game home stand before this trip to Chicago.

• AZ scored just 2 goals in those 2 games, losing 2-1 (SO) to CAR on Thursday and 3-1 to DET on Saturday in its most recent game.

• This is the 2nd of 3 meetings between AZ and CHI. The Hawks won 6-1 on Jan. 20 in Chicago.

• Coyote defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored Arizona’s only goal in the loss to DET on Saturday to set a new career high with 16 goals this season (had 15 last season).

• The 23-year-old defenseman – AZ’s 1st round pick (6th overall) in 2009 – leads the team and all NHL defensemen in goals.

• In addition, Ekman-Larsson is tied for the NHL-lead with 7 game-winning goals (w/ 3 others). No defenseman has ever led the NHL in that category for a full season.

• Patrick Kane had 1 assist in yesterday’s win over STL. With 59 points, he is tied for the NHL lead with Tyler Seguin and Jakub Voracek.

• No American-born player has ever won the Art Ross Trophy (league’s top scorer) since the trophy was first awarded in 1948 (Kane is from Buffalo, NY).

• Only 1 American-born player has won the Hart Trophy (league MVP) – Billy Burch of Yonkers, NY in 1925 for the Hamilton Tigers. That season, Burch had 20G-7A in 27 games played.

• Stan Mikita in 1968-1969 was the last Blackhawk to lead the NHL in points for a season.

• Since the start of the 2012-2013 season, Kane has played AZ 6 times. The Hawks are 5-0-1 in those games, and Kane has produced a multi-point game in each of those meetings (4G-10A).

• Kane had 1 goal and 2 assists in the win vs. AZ in the first meeting this season.

GOALIES

• Mike Smith has started 36 of Arizona’s 53 games, and has a 9-22-5 record. At .319, Smith has the worst points percentage of any goalie in the league w/ a minimum of 25 starts.

• Smith has made 3 straight starts, and despite allowing just 4 total goals, has a 1-1-1 record in those games.

• Smith’s GAA has risen each season since coming to AZ in 2011-12 – the year AZ made it to the Western Conf. Final:

• Corey Crawford won his 2nd straight start yesterday, stopping 25 of 27 STL shots. He had not won 2 straight starts since Jan. 11, and will look to win 3 straight for the first time since Nov. 29.

• Antti Raanta started the first game vs. AZ on Jan. 20, stopping 35 of 36 shots in the 6-1 win.