All the latest from the blue paint…
Niemi looks to rebound from loss vs. Blues
Antti Niemi has lost two of his last three starts – both coming against the St. Louis Blues. He has allowed 11 goals on 48 shots as the Sharks were out-scored 14-4 against St. Louis. Niemi was pulled after 33 minutes Thursday’s 7-2 loss to the Blues. Alex Stalock started the Sharks’ only other game against New York this season – a 4-0 loss on Oct. 19. Niemi is 16-10-4 this season with a 2.63 G.A.A. and a .910 save percentage.
Henrik Lundqvist gets the start for the Rangers, who will look to extend their win streak to five games.
Senators at Coyotes: Craig Anderson vs. Mike Smith
Islanders at Blue Jackets: Chad Johnson vs. Sergei Bobrovsky
Red Wings at Capitals: Jimmy Howard vs. Braden Holtby
Penguins at Canadiens: Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Carey Price
Hurricanes at Blues: Cam Ward vs. Brian Elliott
Flames at Canucks: Jonas Hiller vs. Ryan Miller
Jets at Kings: Michael Hutchinson vs. Jonathan Quick
Marc Methot’s tumultuous season will take another turn tonight, as the veteran defenseman will dress for the first time since Dec. 6 and play in just his third game of the year when the Sens take on the Avs in Colorado.
Methot, 29, has missed extensive time with a lingering back injury, which put a crimp on contract extension talks. Those talks, as you may remember, got pretty contentious — prior to the season starting, Sens assistant GM Pierre Dorion expressed anger after Methot’s agent, Larry Kelly, leaked what Dorion called “false” contract details.
That leak seemed to stall negotiations and, in mid-November, trade rumors started to pop around Methot — an unrestricted free agent at season’s end — with the likes of Detroit and Anaheim reportedly in the mix.
So, back to tonight.
Methot will draw in and give both the Sens and scouts an extended look at where he’s at physically. When healthy, Methot can contribute on the back end; he scored a career-high six goals and 23 points last season while averaging 21:45 TOI per game.
If Ottawa is unwilling to meet his contract demands — and given the internal payroll cap, that’s quite possible — Methot could be on the move. Per ESPN sources, Sens GM Bryan Murray is making calls around the league in the hopes of adding offense and the veteran defenseman could be an asset to exchange in a potential deal.
All the latest from the blue paint…
Cam gets Kings
After Henrik Lundqvist beat Anaheim last night, the Rangers will give Cam Talbot the start this evening when they take on the Kings for the first time since last year’s Stanley Cup Final.
Talbot, who’s emerged as one of the league’s better backups over the last season-and-a-half, last played on Dec. 21 against Carolina, stopping all 18 shots faced for his third shutout of the season. The 27-year-old is 3-3-1 on the year with a 2.02 GAA and .928 save percentage, and has just one loss in his last four outings.
No official word yet on who’ll start for the Kings, though Jonathan Quick was the first goalie off the ice at today’s morning skate.
Devils at Bruins: Cory Schneider for New Jersey, no word yet on a Boston starter.
Caps at Flyers: Steve Mason for Philly, no word yet on a Washington starter.
Sabres at ‘Canes: Jhonas Enroth vs. Cam Ward
Blackhawks at Wild: Corey Crawford vs. Niklas Backstrom
Stars at Preds: Kari Lehtonen likely for Dallas, Pekka Rinne likely for Nashville.
Sharks at Blues: Antti Niemi vs. Brian Elliott
Sens at Avs: Craig Anderson vs. Semyon Varlamov
Jets at Coyotes: Ondrej Pavelec vs. Mike Smith
Panthers at Canucks: Roberto Luongo vs. Ryan Miller
Wayne Simmonds had the lone Flyers’ goal in regulation and then added the shootout winner as the Philadelphia topped the Ottawa Senators 2-1 Tuesday night.
The win snaps the Flyers’ five-game winless skid (0-4-1) and is their first shootout win (1-5) of the season.
Mike Hoffman had the lone Sens’ goal while Craig Anderson made 33 saves in the loss.
Steve Mason improved to 7-12-6 with a 41 save performance.
Claude Giroux is in the lineup tonight as the Philadelphia Flyers play host to the Ottawa Senators.
The Flyers’ captain missed Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the Devils after suffering a skate cut on his left leg Friday night in Carolina.
According to NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman, Giroux is expected to play on a line with Brayden Schenn and Jakub Voracek.
Zac Rindaldo is a healthy scratch.
Giroux has 13 goals and 43 points in 38 games this season.