Panthers need only six rounds to defeat Flyers in shootout

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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 NHL.com, 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

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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.

Elsewhere…

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

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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.

Elsewhere…

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)

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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.

Goalie nods: Varlamov re-injures groin, Pickard coming back up

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Varly injured

Not a nod for tonight, but some pressing goalie news — Colorado No. 1 Semyon Varlamov, dogged all year with groin problems, aggravated the injury during Monday’s practice and will miss Tuesday’s game against Nashville as a result.

With Varlamov hurt, the Avs will recall Calvin Pickard from AHL Lake Erie — and what’s more, head coach Patrick Roy said that it’ll be Pickard, not backup Reto Berra, who’ll start against the Preds.

Colorado’s goaltending hasn’t been good this season. The team’s save percentage is bottom 10 in the league, and the rotating crease conundrum hasn’t helped matters; Varlamov’s groin has kept him from getting in a rhythm and Berra has been a nightmare when called upon in relief situations, which has forced Colorado to rush the 22-year-old Pickard into action.

Elsewhere…

Devils at ‘Canes: Cory Schneider vs. Cam Ward

Pens at Rangers: Henrik Lundqvist for New York, Marc-Andre Fleury likely for Pittsburgh.

Panthers at Blues: Roberto Luongo vs. Martin Brodeur