All the latest from the blue paint…
Neuvirth faces ‘Hawks
The New York Islanders are looking to avoid their longest losing streak of the season tonight, but will have to do it without the services of their No. 1 netminder.
Jaroslav Halak will miss this evening’s tilt in Chicago with a lower-body injury, meaning Michal Neuvirth will try to keep the Isles’ skid from extending to four games.
Neuvirth, acquired at the trade deadline from Buffalo in exchange for Chad Johnson, has started three games for the Isles, going 1-1-1 with a .889 save percentage and 2.57 GAA. In his last outing, a 3-1 loss to Montreal on Saturday, Neuvirth allowed just two goals on 29 shots and finished with a .931 save percentage, his best outing as an Islander to date.
For the ‘Blackhawks, Corey Crawford will get the start in goal.
Pens at Devils: Thomas Greiss (probable) vs. Cory Schneider
Sens at ‘Canes: Andrew Hammond vs. Anton Khudobin
Sabres at Bruins: (No Buffalo starter yet) vs. Niklas Svedberg
Habs at Panthers: Dustin Tokarski (probable) vs. Dan Ellis
Wild at Preds: Devan Dubnyk vs. Pekka Rinne (probable)
Sharks at Jets: Antti Niemi vs. Ondrej Pavelec
Blues at Flames: Brian Elliott vs. Jonas Hiller
Flyers at Canucks: No starters yet for either team.
Per La Presse, Montreal youngster and current AHL Hamilton forward Michael Bournival played games with both the Canadiens and Bulldogs this season while experiencing dizziness.
Bournival, who suffered a concussion last spring, will reportedly undergo testing this week in an effort to figure out his injury status. The 22-year-old had only appeared in 29 games with Montreal this season, scoring three goals and five points while averaging 7:53 TOI per night — something of a step backwards, especially after a solid rookie campaign in which he scored 14 points in 60 regular season and made 14 playoff appearances.
This year, Bournival hasn’t been as regular a lineup fixture. He was healthy scratch on numerous occasions to start the season, and didn’t get his first game until Nov. 4.
Earlier this month, Bournival was demoted to the Bulldogs shortly after Montreal acquired forwards Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn at the Mar. 2 trade deadline. He subsequently appeared in five games for Hamilton, registering just one assist while going scoreless over his last four contests, and was held out of Sunday’s game against the Marlies.
The Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens might not seem like natural rivals, but they don’t seem to like each other, either. At least, that’s certainly the case with Brandon Prust and Ben Bishop.
The tough guy and goalie mixed it up again on Monday (particularly when Prust received a goalie interference penalty while checking Bishop behind his net) as the Lightning edged the Habs 4-2.
Technically, Tampa Bay didn’t tie Montreal for the Atlantic Division’s top spot, as the Canadiens hold a game in hand. This win definitely makes a big difference as far as the race for the division title is concerned, though.
Let’s be clear: if it comes down to a head-to-head tiebreaker, the Lightning will win that in a walk. They were victorious in all five games between the teams with Montreal only nabbing one out of a possible 10 standings points.
It should be an interesting ride to the finish line in that regard, and things could be awfully entertaining if the two teams happen to meet in the 2015 postseason.
Check out two angles of that Prust hit on Bishop, via My Regular Face:
The hit didn’t bother Lightning head coach Jon Cooper all that much, it seems.
Not that long ago, Max Pacioretty was chasing in on other peoples’ mistakes. He found himself on the other end of that proposition on Monday.
A very unfortunate Pacioretty pass found its way to Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos, who scored against Carey Price:
That goal was unassisted … technically.
So far, it’s been one of those nights for the Montreal Canadiens, who find themselves down 3-0 to Tampa Bay as of this writing.
All the latest from the crease…
Lindback takes on Caps
Anders Lindback will look to continue his personal reclamation project when the Sabres host the Caps in Buffalo.
Acquired from Dallas in the Jhonas Enroth trade, Lindback — who was dreadful as Kari Lehtonen’s backup — has been quite effective since Buffalo dealt Michal Neuvirth to the Isles. The lanky Swede has yet to win a game for the Sabres, yet allowed just 12 goals on 160 shots over a five-game stretch, good for a .925 save percentage and 2.68 GAA.
In his last outing, a 2-0 loss to the Rangers, Lindback stopped 31 of 32 shots for a .969 save percentage. He also did this to Toronto in overtime last week:
For the Capitals, no word yet on who’ll start. Braden Holtby was in for yesterday’s 2-0 win over Boston and could go back-to-back; if not, it’ll be Philipp Grubauer, who’s up from AHL Hershey with Justin Peters injured.
Habs at Bolts: Carey Price vs. Ben Bishop
Leafs at Oilers: Jonathan Bernier vs. Ben Scrivens
Coyotes at Kings: (No Arizona starter yet) vs. Jonathan Quick (probable)