Nashville Predators

Video: Vasilevskiy robs Ribeiro with spectacular toe save

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Mike Ribeiro was looking at a wide open net, but Andrei Vasilevskiy didn’t give up. The result was a spectacular toe save from the 20-year-old Vasilevskiy late in the first period between the Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Here, see it for yourself:

The Stars’ poor goaltending is costing them valuable points

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In the category of “good team, too bad about the goaltending,” the Dallas Stars have replaced the Minnesota Wild atop the list.

Consider:

— Based on team save percentage, only the Oilers have had it worse between the pipes this season. Edmonton’s at .889; Dallas is at .896.

— Starter Kari Lehtonen ranks 25th in “quality starts,” with just 13. His quality-start percentage is a paltry .419. (In contrast, Pekka Rinne’s is .813.)

— Backup Anders Lindback has been even worse than Lehtonen.

True, the Stars’ defense is young and mistake-prone. It’s not all the goalies’ fault. But per Dave Lozo of Bleacher Report, this is a pretty damning quote from veteran Trevor Daley:

“I think most nights we’ve felt we had chances to win and we were the better team. That’s the frustrating part. We’ve got to not let that sneak in. We have to move on to the next win and keep being the better team because at the end of the day we’re going to get the right results.

“I think we can very easily pop off 10 in a row. We have that capability. You look at our last 10 or 12 games, we probably should have won all of them.”

The Stars have only won six of their last 12.

To be fair to Lehtonen, he did play well (save for one blunder that resulted in a goal) in Sunday’s 3-2 overtime win against the Rangers. Perhaps he can build off that.

The Stars, five points back of a playoff spot, are in Boston to take on the Bruins tonight.

Related: The Wild’s poor goaltending is costing them valuable points

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: Mike Fisher catches Erik Gudbranson below the belt

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In the waning moments of regulation in what would eventually be a shootout win for the Nashville Predators on Sunday, Mike Fisher gave Florida Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson an, um, “cup check.”

(Please keep your inevitable Carrie Underwood jokes clean, commenters.)

In case you’re wondering, Fisher hasn’t been suspended by the NHL before and there was no penalty on the play.

Also, in a bit of good fortune for Fisher, that concluded the Panthers – Predators games for this season (barring an unlikely 2015 Stanley Cup Final series). Gudbranson will probably have to wait until 2015-16 to have a word with Fisher for that one.

Video: Gionta takes Nielsen for ride with stick caught in skate

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Buffalo Sabres captain Brian Gionta had an eventful game against the New York Islanders. He got two shots on goal, which sadly accounted for 20% of Buffalo’s total, and he was involved in a bizarre incident in the first period.

Gionta’s stick ended up getting caught in Frans Nielsen’s skate, knocking the 30-year-old forward to the ice. Buffalo’s captain continued to skate forward, dragging Nielsen from one end of the ice to the other as he tried to free his stick.

Nielsen, who was playing in his 500th game, was fine and went on to record an assist in the Islanders’ 3-2 victory.

That certainly doesn’t happen every game, but when it does it doesn’t always result in one player dragging the other. For example, Edmonton forward Nail Yakupov got his stick caught in Ryan Ellis’ skate earlier this season and stopped playing to help untangle the Predators’ defenseman:

Scott Hannan also got his stick stuck in Rick Nash’s skate back in March 2014, but in that case Hannan let go of his stick: