Ottawa Senators

Goalie nods: Halak, Mason return from injury

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All the latest from the crease…

Halak back for Isles

After missing the last two games with a lower-body injury, Jaroslav Halak will be back in goal when the Isles take on the Caps tonight.

Halak, who last played in a 3-1 win over Tampa Bay on Dec. 20, watched as his teammates lost both games in his absence — Chad Johnson was in for a 3-1 defeat to Montreal, then Kevin Poulin was on the hook for a 4-3 shootout loss to Buffalo.

New York will be pleased to see Halak return. He’s been very good this year, posting an 18-6-0 record with a 2.24 GAA and .919 save percentage, with three shutouts.

For the Caps, Braden Holtby will be in goal.

Mason returns for Flyers

Steve Mason will be back in goal for Philadelphia this evening when the Flyers take on the Coyotes in Arizona.

The Flyers fared quite well without Mason, who’s missed the last four games with a back injury. They went 3-1-0 in his absence, with Ray Emery recording a pair of wins and 33-year-old Rob Zepp getting a victory in his first-ever NHL contest.

That said, Philly will be glad to see Mason return. He’s been very good this season; despite his 6-10-5 record, he’s managed to post a .921 save percentage and 2.49 GAA.

For the Coyotes, Devan Dubnyk will be in goal.

Elsewhere…

Red Wings at Bruins: Jimmy Howard vs. Tuukka Rask

Pens at Devils: Cory Schneider for New Jersey, Marc-Andre Fleury likely for Pittsburgh.

Habs at ‘Canes: Carey Price vs. Cam Ward

Sabres at Sens: Jhonas Enroth vs. Craig Anderson

Leafs at Bolts: James Reimer vs. Ben Bishop

Wild at Jets: Darcy Kuemper likely for Minnesota, Michael Hutchinson for Winnipeg (read more here.)

Avs at Blues: Semyon Varlamov vs. Martin Brodeur (read more here.)

Preds at ‘Hawks: Corey Crawford for Chicago, no word yet on a Nashville starter.

Rangers at Stars: Henrik Lundqvist for New York, Kari Lehtonen likely for Dallas.

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

PHT Morning Skate: Wolski shows off nice hands in shootout goal

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Wojtek Wolsk, who now plays for Torpedo Nizhny Novgoro in the KHL, showed off his soft hands during the shooutout in a recent game against HC Dynamo Moscow.

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $20,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Monday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts Monday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

NHL Winter Classic: Setting up rinks a shared passion for father and son (The Washington Post)

Kings’ defenseman Alec Martinez admits contract talks are in the back of his mind (L.A. Kings Insider)

Did the Devils contact Adam Oates without permission? NHL and Capitals consider case closed (The Bergen Record)

Sharks’ Nieto set for return after missing 9 games (CSN Bay Area)

Travis Green and Mike Stothers named coaches for AHL All-Star Classic (The AHL)

Curtis Lazar and Connor McDavid: Junior hockey’s odd couple (Toronto Star)

What can the NHL do to get more fans? (The Hockey News)

Canadian gold-medal Olympic men’s hockey team named CP Team of the Year (The Canadian Press)

Sabres recall Pysyk from AHL

The Buffalo Sabres have recalled defenseman Mark Pysyk from the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League the club announced Sunday.

According to Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News, the recall is a result of defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen falling ill on Saturday.

Pysyk, 22, is on his second recall with the Sabres this season. He was recalled by the Sabres on Dec. 21 and appeared in two games averaging over 20 minutes in ice time before being reassigned Dec. 24.

Pysyk has a goal and 10 assists in 30 AHL games this season.

Originally Buffalo’s first-round pick (23rd overall) in the 2010, Pysyk has appeared in 65 games for the Sabres scoring two goals and 10 assists.

The Sabres are back in action Monday when they visit the Ottawa Senators.

Video: Nyquist scores OT winner on incredible individual effort

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Gustav Nyquist got the puck with along the boards with 1:17 remaining in overtime. He wouldn’t relinquish it for approximately another 28 seconds, when he released a quick wrist shot for the winning goal.

It was a superb effort from the Detroit Red Wings forward, who gave his team a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. Talk about puck possession. He circled the net, protecting the puck while getting hacked and whacked and pushed around. Then came the shot, which beat Craig Anderson, who was dealing with traffic to his right.

Goalie nods: Lightning get Ben Bishop back

All the latest from the crease…

Ben Bishop returns

Bishop has missed four straight games with a lower-body injury, but he’s projected to be available for the Tampa Bay Lightning’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes tonight. Although 20-year-old Andrei Vasilevskiy did a great job in his absence, the Lightning will rely on solid goaltending from Bishop to lead them forward.

The Hurricanes will counter with Cam Ward, whose comeback campaign has been one of the lone bright spots in Carolina’s otherwise abysmal season. He has a 2.44 GAA and .911 save percentage in 23 starts and has only allowed three or more goals in one of his last five games.

With a 10-20-4 record, Carolina is the second-worst team in the NHL while Tampa Bay is locked with Montreal and Detroit in a battle for first place in the Atlantic Division.

Elsewhere…

Isles at Sabres: Kevin Poulin vs. Jhonas Enroth

Red Wings at Senators: Jimmy Howard vs. Craig Anderson

Devils at Rangers: Cory Schneider vs. Henrik Lundqvist

Bruins at Blue Jackets: Niklas Svedberg is probable; Columbus will go with Curtis McElhinney because Sergei Bobrovsky is sick.

Jets at Wild: Michael Hutchinson vs. Darcy Kuemper

Capitals at Penguins: Braden Holtby’s in for Washington while Marc-Andre Fleury will probably start for Pittsburgh.

Stars at Blues: Kari Lehtonen vs. Jake Allen

Flyers at Preds: Ray Emery for Philadelphia, but there’s no word on Nashville’s goaltender.

Ducks at Coyotes: It’s not clear who will start for Anaheim, but Devan Dubnyk will get the nod for Arizona.

Hawks at Avs: Chicago hasn’t named its starter, but Calvin Pickard is projected to get the nod for Colorado.

Oilers at Flames: While there’s no word from the Oilers, Calgary will go with Jonas Hiller.

Sharks at Kings: Antti Niemi will start for San Jose; Jonathan Quick is probable for Los Angeles.