Roberto Luongo

Goalie nods: Corey Crawford returns

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All the latest from the blue paint …

Corey comes back for Chicago

The Chicago Blackhawks have been playing quite well in Corey Crawford’s absence, as Scott Darling and Antti Raanta have put up almost identically nice numbers. Still, there’s something to be said for stability, and Chicago will get that back tonight as Crawford faces off against the always-limping Columbus Blue Jackets.

Crawford, 29, was on quite the hot run before he went down with a lower-body injury, too. He won his last three games, allowing four goals combined. Crawford also won six of seven and eight of 10.

His overall numbers have been impressive, even if the strong team in front of him certainly helps matters; Crawford is 12-5-1 with a .929 save percentage and one shutout.

The Blackhawks will probably face Sergei Bobrovsky tonight as they hope to continue their domination of Columbus.

Elsewhere …

Coyotes at Kings: Devan Dubnyk vs. (probably) Jonathan Quick

Capitals at Devils: Braden Holtby vs. Cory Schneider

Lightning at Islanders: Andrei Vasilevskiy vs. Jaroslav Halak

Flyers at Maple Leafs: Ray Emery’s expected, Jonathan Bernier’s confirmed

Senators at Canadiens: Robin Lehner vs. Carey Price

Rangers at Hurricanes: Henrik Lundqvist vs. Cam Ward

Panthers at Penguins: Roberto Luongo vs. Marc-Andre Fleury

Avalanche at Sabres: Calvin Pickard vs. Jhonas Enroth

Predators at Wild: Pekka Rinne vs. Darcy Kuemper

Flames at Canucks: Jonas Hiller vs. Ryan Miller

Blues at Sharks: Jake Allen vs. Antti Niemi

Panthers need only six rounds to defeat Flyers in shootout


To alter a NHL slogan, history was not made when the Florida Panthers met the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. But didn’t you just get that odd feeling when the shootout began?

Only 14 more rounds in the shootout would’ve tied those two teams for the NHL record in a deciding skills competition, which was set Tuesday by the, um, Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals.

Remember that? Good times.

No, the Panthers needed only six rounds to defeat the Flyers. Dave Bolland played the hero this time, scoring the winner, as Florida went on to a 2-1 victory. Florida has won three of its last four games, with all of them being decided in either overtime or the shootout. The Panthers are on a three-game winning streak in the shootout.

The same can’t be said for the Flyers, who continue to struggle in the shootout.

On the other hand, it’s a significant win for goalie Roberto Luongo, too.

According to, that’s Luongo’s 385th career victory, which ties him for 12th on the all-time list with Mike Vernon.

Goalie nods: Andersen to start 20th straight for Ducks


All the latest from the blue paint…

Busy Freddy

Frederik Andersen will start for the Ducks tonight.

Of course he will.

The Danish netminder, who’s been an absolute workhorse for Anaheim this season, will make his 20th consecutive start this evening when the Ducks take on the Habs in Montreal.

More, from the L.A. Times:

“I know how to play goalie,” he said with a smile.

Andersen allowed four goals on 20 shots in Tuesday’s 6-2 loss at Toronto, but he’s also minded the net as the Ducks (21-7-5) have ascended to the NHL’s best record.

“He’s durable, played back-to-back last week and was better in the second game than he was the first,” Boudreau said.

The backup spot behind Andersen has been in a constant state of flux this season, with John Gibson, Jason LaBarbera and Igor Bobkov all temporarily filling the role. The job is how Ilya Bryzgalov’s, however, and it sounds as though he could make his first start of the season on Friday in Ottawa.


Panthers at Flyers: Roberto Luongo vs. Steve Mason

Avs at Pens: Calvin Pickard vs. Marc-Andre Fleury

Leafs at ‘Canes: Cam Ward for Carolina, no word yet on a Leafs starter.

Caps at Jackets: Braden Holtby vs. Sergei Bobrovsky

Blues at Kings: Martin Brodeur for St. Louis, no word yet on a L.A. starter.

Oilers at Sharks: Antti Niemi likely for San Jose, no word yet on an Edmonton starter.

Goalie nods: Reeling Coyotes give Dubnyk second straight start


All the latest from the crease…

Arizona sticks with Dubnyk

Devan Dubnyk will make his second consecutive start on Tuesday as the Coyotes look to snap their ugly nine-game home losing streak.

Tonight’s opponent will be Dubnyk’s former team, the Oilers, and it’ll be the second time in three games versus Edmonton that Dubnyk starts over Mike Smith, who’s struggled mightily this season.

Smith’s numbers reflect those struggles — 5-14-2 record, with a 3.35 GAA and .889 save percentage — and one has to wonder if the Coyotes’ No. 1 gig isn’t fully up for grabs, given how dire the situation has become at home. Dubnyk wasn’t great in his last start (three goals on 35 shots) and hasn’t recorded a win since Nov. 22, but is getting the call tonight anyway.

For the Oilers, Ben Scrivens will be in net.


Bolts at Flyers: Steve Mason for Philly, no word yet on a Tampa Bay starter (either Evgeni Nabokov or Andrei Vasilevskiy).

Ducks at Leafs: Frederik Andersen vs. Jonathan Bernier

‘Canes at Habs: Cam Ward vs. Carey Price

Blue Jackets at Red Wings: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Jimmy Howard

Caps at Panthers: Braden Holtby vs. Roberto Luongo

Sabres at Jets: Michal Neuvirth vs. Ondrej Pavelec

Bruins at Preds: Tuukka Rask (likely) vs. Pekka Rinne

Kings at Blues: Jonathan Quick (likely) vs. Jake Allen

Wild at ‘Hawks: Darcy Kuemper vs. Antti Raanta

Rangers at Flames: Henrik Lundqvist vs. Karri Ramo

Video: Backes takes slap shot to the face, returns in second period (Updated)


St. Louis Blues forward David Backes went to the front of the net, and paid the price that sometimes comes with the territory.

Trying to provide a screen in front of Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo, Backes took a slap shot to the face just before the midway point of the first period of Monday’s game. The puck appeared to have been deflected before it hit Backes. He rushed to the bench, and to the dressing room.

But Backes did return in the second period, wearing a full face mask, according to Andy Strickland of CBS Sports Radio.

Updated: Backes left the game for good at the end of the second period.