Hammond looks to remain unbeaten in regulation
Andrew Hammond and the Ottawa Senators will look for a sixth straight win tonight when they play host to the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs. Hammond enters the game with a 12-0-1 record to go along with a 1.55 goals-against average since getting called up from Binghamton.
The Sens enter tonight’s action two points back of the Boston Bruins for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Since the last meeting between the Leafs and Senators (Jan. 21), Ottawa is 17-6-2 while Toronto has gone 5-17-3.
James Reimer gets the nod for the Leafs.
Blue Jackets at Flames: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Karri Ramo
Canucks at Kings: Eddie Lack vs. Jonathan Quick
Capitals at Jets: Braden Holtby vs. Ondrej Pavelec
Rangers at Hurricanes: Cam Talbot vs. Anton Khudobin
Islanders at Devils: Jaroslav Halak vs. Cory Schneider
Bruins at Panthers: Tuukka Rask vs. Roberto Luongo
Sharks at Canadiens: Antti Niemi vs. Carey Price
Sabres at Predators: Matt Hackett vs. Pekka Rinne
Blackhawks at Stars: Corey Crawford vs. Kari Lehtonen
Penguins at Coyotes: Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Mike Smith
Flyers at Oilers: Steve Mason vs. Ben Scrivens
Sounds as though Andrew Shaw has avoided a date with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.
Per Sportsnet, Shaw won’t face any supplemental discipline after headbutting the Islanders’ Brock Nelson during the second period of Chicago’s 4-1 win over the Isles on Tuesday night.
Shaw was given a five-minute major and game misconduct for the incident. Nelson appeared no worse for wear and took regular shifts for the remainder of the contest, finishing with 17:11 TOI.
Shaw, 23, does have a disciplinary history — he was suspended three games in April 2012 for charging Coyotes’ goaltender Mike Smith — and Chicago has been punished twice already this season; Dan Carcillo was given a six-game suspension for cross-checking Mathieu Perreault, and Joakim Nordstrom was given two games for boarding Oliver Ekman-Larsson last week.
As for why Shaw didn’t get suspended…
Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct for head butting Islanders’ Brock Nelson during the second period tonight.
Here’s a look at the play:
Shaw, who is no stranger to supplemental discipline, could be hearing from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for Tuesday’s incident.
The 23-year-old was suspended three games in April 2012 for charging Coyotes’ goaltender Mike Smith.
By shutting out the Arizona Coyotes 1-0 on Monday, the Los Angeles Kings end the night back in the West’s final wild card spot.
They had to grind this one out as Jonathan Quick made all 25 saves while Andy Andreoff scored the only goal on an increasingly spry Mike Smith (beaten just once on 35 shots). Los Angeles carried much of the play, but much like Washington out East, it wasn’t an easy night despite facing a “tanking” opponent.
Here is a quick look at the West wild card race after this one:
Minnesota (first wild card spot): 83 points, 35 regulation/overtime wins in 69 games played
Los Angeles (second wild card spot): 81 points, 32 ROW in 69 GP
Winnipeg: 80 points, 28 ROW in 69 GP
San Jose: 76 points, 31 ROW in 69 GP
Colorado: 75 points, 23 ROW in 69 GP
Dallas: 74 points, 29 ROW in 70 GP
It’s important to mention that the Kings could conceivably catch thee Calgary Flames (who have 81 points but two more ROW) and Vancouver Canucks (82 points, one game in hand on Los Angeles, plus three more ROW than the Kings) in the Pacific Division, too.
At this point, almost every win and loss could be framed as crucial. Regardless, the Kings would likely have some serious regrets if they dropped this one, but they managed to grit this one out. The West’s top teams probably aren’t happy, either.
Of course, a lot can still change in a month.
Skapski starts vs. Sabres
Mackenzie Skapski will make his second career NHL start tonight as the New York Rangers visit the Buffalo Sabres. The 20-year-old got his first NHL win with a 24 save performance defeating the Sabres 3-1 on Feb. 20. Skapski was 12-7-3 to go along with a .914 save percentage and a 2.38 in 24 AHL games prior to being recalled.
Anders Lindback gets the nod for Buffalo.
Blackhawks at Sharks: Corey Crawford vs. Antti Niemi
Leafs at Canucks: Jonathan Bernier vs. Eddie Lack
Panthers at Hurricanes: Dan Ellis vs. Cam Ward
Canadiens at Islanders: Carey Price vs. Michal Neuvirth
Jets at Lightning: Ondrej Pavelec vs. Andrei Vasilevskiy
Wild at Blues: Devan Dubnyk vs. Brian Elliott
Devils at Coyotes:Cory Schneider vs. Mike Smith
Flames at Avalanche: Karri Ramo vs. Semyon Varlamov
Predators at Kings: Pekka Rinne vs. Jonathan Quick