Video: Sabres’ Moulson welcomes Rangers’ Skapski to NHL with goal 14 seconds in

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So, Mackenzie Skapski’s NHL debut didn’t get off to the greatest of starts.

In net for the New York Rangers against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday, Skapski was beaten on a deflection from a wide open Matt Moulson just 14 seconds into the opening period, after a faceoff in the New York zone.

It did get better for Skapski. The Rangers tied the game almost six minutes later, and took the lead early in the second period.

 

Rangers’ Mackenzie Skapski to make NHL debut against Sabres

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Less than two full years after being selected by the New York Rangers, Mackenzie Skapski will make his National Hockey League debut in net against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday.

The decision, coming from head coach Alain Vigneault, comes after the Rangers lost to the Vancouver Canucks in a shootout on Thursday. Cam Talbot got the start in that game, allowing four goals on 28 shots in regulation, and two more goals in the deciding skills competition.

From the Rangers’ website:

Vigneault said he had come to a decision last night following his team’s overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks at Madison Square Garden, but that he had no spoke to either Skapski or Cam Talbot, who had started eight games in a row following a vascular injury to Henrik Lundqvist late last month.

It’s been a whirlwind season for the 20-year-old Skapski, who started with Greenville in the ECHL, before being recalled to Hartford in the American Hockey League.

Skapski was taken by the Rangers in the sixth round, 170th overall, in the 2013 NHL Draft.

Larionov, Housley to play in Wings-Preds alumni game as Nashville honors Vokoun

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The winningest goalie in Predators franchise history will soon be honored in style.

Tomas Vokoun — set to appear in Nashville for the first time since announcing his retirement — will be celebrated at Bridgestone Arena during the Red Wings-Predators game on Feb. 28, then participate in an alumni game featuring Hockey Hall of Famer Igor Larionov, Preds assistant coach Phil Housley and a host of others.

Vokoun was a member of the Predators from the expansion draft in 1998 through 2007 (recording a franchise-best 161 wins) and was in goal for some of the team’s finest moments, including its first-ever playoff appearance during the 2003-04 campaign.

The Czech netminder had his best season in 2005-06, recording a career-high 36 wins while posting a .919 save percentage and four shutouts. Vokoun finished fourth in Vezina voting that year — behind Henrik Lundqvist, Martin Brodeur and the eventual winner, Miikka Kiprusoff — and was one of only seven players to receive a first-place Hart vote as league MVP.

As for the alumni game, here is a list of expected participants from both teams, per The Tennessean:

Nashville: Stu Grimson, Jim McKenzie, Blake Geoffrion, Dan Keczmer, Jay More, Scott Nichol, Troy Vollhoffer, J.P. Dumont, Cliff Ronning, Housley and Vokoun.

Detroit: Eddie Mio, Dallas Drake, Petr Klima, Joey Kocur, Mike Krushelnyski, Igor Larionov, Kirk Maltby, John Ogrodnick, Mickey Redmond, Tim Taylor, Sergei Samsonov, Jiri Fischer, Jason Woolley and George Bowman.

Goalie nods: Canadian Olympians square off as Price faces Luongo in Montreal

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A couple of Olympic gold-medal winners will be between the pipes tonight in Montreal, where the Canadiens’ Carey Price will be staring down the Bell Centre ice at the Panthers’ Roberto Luongo.

Both Canadian netminders are enjoying excellent seasons. Price is a serious Hart Trophy candidate, while Luongo has helped keep Florida in the playoff race with a .920 save percentage in 46 appearances.

With a win, the Panthers would move to within one point of the Bruins for the final wild-card spot in the East.

So let’s hear those “Go Habs Go” chants, Boston sports fans!

Elsewhere…

Jaroslav Halak will look to rebound from a shaky performance versus the Rangers when the Islanders host the Predators, who are likely to go with Pekka Rinne.

Cam Talbot for the Rangers versus Ryan Miller for the Canucks.

Curtis McElhinney for the Blue Jackets versus Marc-Andre Fleury for the Penguins.

Ondrej Pavelec will see his first action in a week when the Jets visit Washington to take on Braden Holtby and the Capitals.

Michal Neuvirth for the Sabres versus Ray Emery for the Flyers.

Antti Niemi for the Sharks versus Kari Lehtonen (likely) for the Stars.

Goalie nods: It has to be Johnson for the Isles… right? (Update: Yep)

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All the latest from the crease…

Who goes for New York?

The Islanders won’t announce their starting goalie until 5 p.m. ET today, so we don’t know if it’s Chad Johnson or Jaroslav Halak in net for tonight’s affair against Carolina.

Update: It’s Johnson.

One would suspect Johnson gets the nod, given tonight is the second of a back-to-back; Halak played last night, and allowed six goals on 42 shots in an emotional loss to the Rangers.

That said, head coach Jack Capuano could possibly be persuaded to let Halak try and bounce back; the 29-year-old Slovak looked rattled and a bit shaky as the Blueshirts made a concerted effort to get into his kitchen.

Related: The Isles are surrendering too many goals

“I want to get shots,” captain Ryan McDonagh said, per Newsday. “We wanted to make it more difficult on Halak tonight than in other past games. He’s been a big difference in why we haven’t been able to beat them in the past.

“We talked about getting in front of the net and making it tough on him, make him fight through screens. We were a lot hungrier in front of him for sure.”

No word yet on who’ll start in goal for the ‘Canes.

Elsewhere…

Blue Jackets at Flyers: Curtis McElhinney vs. Ray Emery

Caps at Pens: Braden Holtby vs. Marc-Andre Fleury

Sabres at Devils: Cory Schneider for New Jersey, Michal Neuvirth likely for Buffalo.

Panthers at Leafs: Roberto Luongo vs. Jonathan Bernier

Stars at Blues: Brian Elliott for St. Louis, Kari Lehtonen likely for Dallas.

Sharks at Preds: Alex Stalock for San Jose, Pekka Rinne likely for Nashville.