Ottawa Senators

DeKeyser earns high praise from Babcock

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If Danny DeKeyser were a car, he wouldn’t be flashy like a Ferrari or Lamborghini, or even that awesome car Homer built that played La Cucaracha with its horn.

Which is to say, DeKeyser isn’t P.K. Subban or Erik Karlsson, two past Norris Trophy winners with the ability to both put up points and bring the crowd to its feet. (Nor is he a defenseman that sings La Cucaracha.)

That said, DeKeyser will get you from A to B, and he’ll do it with the minimum amount of hassle.

And as with cars, there’s a lot to be said for reliability.

Per the Detroit Free Press, Wings coach Mike Babcock says DeKeyser “makes the least mistakes of anybody on our back end. He’s an elite skater, he’s got an elite mind, he’s ultra competitive, he comes every day ready to play.”

That’s high praise for a 24-year-old who wasn’t even drafted. DeKeyser, you’ll recall, signed with the Wings in March of 2013 as a free agent out of college.

In the short time since turning pro, DeKeyser has become yet another late-blooming d-man to make an impact in the NHL, joining the likes of current undrafted players Mark Giordano, Dan Boyle, Dan Girardi, Chris Tanev, and Torey Krug, as well as past stars like former Wing Brian Rafalski.

Related: Undrafted Giordano has some draft advice for NHL GMs

Goalie nods: Calgary sticks with Ramo versus Boston

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Karri goes for Flames

Karri Ramo will make his second consecutive start for the Flames tonight when they host Boston at the Saddledome.

Ramo, a surprise starter against Vancouver on Saturday, played very well in his rare appearance, stopping 28 of 30 shots for just his ninth win of the season. The decision to start Ramo came after Jonas Hiller — Calgary’s goalie of record for eight straight games from Jan. 27 to Feb. 12 — had lost two of his last three starts, including a 5-3 defeat in L.A. in which he was hooked in the third period.

For the Bruins, Tuukka Rask is likely to start in goal.

Elsewhere…

Rangers at Isles: Cam Talbot vs. Jaroslav Halak

‘Canes at Sens: Cam Ward vs. Robin Lehner

Habs at Wings: Carey Price vs. Jimmy Howard

Oilers at Jets: Viktor Fasth vs. Michael Hutchinson

Coyotes at Avs: Mike McKenna vs. Semyon Varlamov

Wild at Canucks: Devan Dubnyk vs. Eddie Lack

Bolts at Kings: Andrei Vasilevskiy vs Jonathan Quick

Senators sign Methot to four-year, $19.6M extension

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You don’t often see NHL teams divulging contract details, but it seems like the Ottawa Senators are just that excited about keeping defenseman Marc Methot in the fold.

The team announced his four-year, $19.6 million extension on Monday. That works out to a $4.9 million cap hit starting in the 2015-16 season.

Ottawa also provided the blueliner with a modified 10-team no-trade clause. At 29, he gets a nice amount of freedom in dictating his future if the Senators decide to part ways.

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun indicates that Methot compromised on term (he reportedly wanted a five or six-year pact) while the Senators bumped up his salary.

There was some concern that the Senators wouldn’t get a deal done with the then-pending unrestricted free agent, but it’s clear he wanted to stay in Ottawa. With Cody Franson dealt to the Nashville Predators, the trade market continues to dry up when it comes to defensemen.

Methot has had a rough 2014-15 campaign in some respects, collecting five assists while being limited to just 17 games played. (That said, his possession stats have been strong this season.)

He’s currently in his third season with the Senators after playing with the Columbus Blue Jackets for six years. His previous cap hit was $3 million, so this is a healthy bump for the blueliner.

Video: Sens’ Neil (fractured left thumb) out indefinitely

Trade rumors surrounding Senators tough guy Chris Neil officially cooled off Saturday afternoon.

The Ottawa forward suffered a fractured left thumb during a fight with the Oilers’ Luke Gazdic.

The Senators announced that Neil is out indefinitely.

The 35-year-old, who has spent his entire 13-year NHL career with Ottawa, became the subject of trade rumors last month.

Sens GM Bryan Murray told the Ottawa Citizen that he had received inquiries about the availability of Neil.

However, earlier this month Murray approached Neil with the idea of being traded and he said no.

Neil has four goals and seven points in 38 games this season to go along with eight fights and 78 penalty minutes.

Goalie nods: Ducks start Gibson for first time in three months

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Gibson back for Anaheim

John Gibson will make his first start since Oct. 30 when the Ducks take on the ‘Canes in Carolina tonight.

Gibson, who burst onto the scene last year and appeared in four playoff games, started this season with Anaheim but has spent much of the last three months in AHL Norfolk (though he was shelved for a while with injury.)

A recent injury to Frederik Andersen — he’ll miss the next three games while on IR with an upper-body injury — and Ilya Bryzgalov’s spotty play in relief paved the way for the 21-year-old Gibson to make his return; it’ll be interesting to see if he can improve on his numbers from limited work earlier in the season (Gibson is 2-2-0 on the year, with a 2.65 GAA and .915 save percentage.)

For the ‘Canes, Cam Ward gets the start in goal.

Elsewhere…

Leafs at Isles: Jonathan Bernier vs. Jaroslav Halak

Oilers at Habs: Viktor Fasth vs. Dustin Tokarski

Pens at Sens: Thomas Greiss vs. Robin Lehner

Blues at Bolts: Brian Elliott for St. Louis, Ben Bishop likely for Tampa Bay.

Jets at Preds: Pekka Rinne likely for Nashville, no word yet on a Winnipeg starter.

Panthers at Wild: Roberto Luongo vs. Devan Dubyk

Rangers at Avs: Cam Talbot for New York, no word yet on a Colorado starter.

Flames at Kings: Jonas Hiller for Calgary, Jonathan Quick likely for L.A.