The latest news from the crease…
Gustavsson gets the net for Detroit
Jonas Gustavsson will make his second straight Saturday start of the season after blanking the Toronto Maple Leafs 1-0 last weekend. The Red Wings are in Philadelphia looking for their first win since Game 2 of the 1997 Stanley Cup final. Gustavsson made 30 saves in his only other start of the season.
Ray Emery goes for the Flyers. Emery made 22 saves as the Flyers defeated the Penguins 5-3 on Wednesday night. He carries a 2.84 GAA and a .897 save percentage into his fourth appearance of the season.
Sabres at Sharks: Jhonas Enroth vs. Alex Stalock
Stars at Islanders: Anders Lindback vs. Chad Johnson
Devils at Senators: (Update) Cory Schneider vs. Robin Lehner
Rangers at Canadiens: Henrik Lundqvist vs. Carey Price
Bruins at Maple Leafs: Tuukka Rask vs. Jonathan Bernier
Blackhawks at Blues: Antti Raanta vs. Brian Elliott
Penguins at Predators: Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Pekka Rinne
Lightning at Wild: Evgeni Nabakov vs. Darcy Kuemper
Panthers at Coyotes: Roberto Luongo vs. Mike Smith
Capitals at Flames: Braden Holtby vs. Karri Ramo
All the latest from the crease…
Jimmy Howard will return from a one-game absence when Detroit takes on Montreal at the Bell Center tonight. Howard, who sat out Saturday’s win over Toronto with a groin strain, has been excellent to start the season, posting a 2-1-1 record with a 1.72 GAA and .934 save percentage; that said, Detroit has also received stellar goaltending from Jonas Gustavsson, as he posted a 30-save shutout in the aforementioned weekend victory against the Leafs.
For Montreal, Carey Price will get the start — he’s coming off a solid 32-save effort in a win over Colorado on Saturday.
Sharks at Bruins: Antti Niemi for San Jose; Tuukka Rask probable for Boston
Rangers at Devils: Henrik Lundqvist vs. Cory Schneider
Leafs at Isles: Jonathan Bernier vs. Jaroslav Halak
‘Canes at Jets: Anton Khudobin vs. Ondrej Pavelec
Coyotes at Preds: Devan Dubnyk for Arizona; Pekka Rinne likely for Nashville
Flyers at ‘Hawks: Steve Mason vs. Antti Raanta
Canucks at Stars: Ryan Miller for Vancouver; Kari Lehtonen probable for Dallas
Panthers at Avs: Roberto Luongo vs. Reto Berra
Lightning at Flames: Karri Ramo for Calgary; no word on a Tampa Bay starter
All the latest from the blue paint…
Big challenges for backups
If a variety of NHL head coaches want to gauge how much they can truly trust their No. 2 options, then Saturday presents plenty of interesting tests.
No pressure, kid – Calvin Pickard looks primed to man the Colorado Avalanche’s net as Patrick Roy takes his struggling team to face Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens. Those are some long odds for Pickard, 22. If Roy is providing any words of advice, it appears that they won’t be too specific, as he told NHL.com’s Arpon Basu that he’s actually very hands-off with goalies:
Jake finally gets his shot – Brian Elliott has made it really tough for Jake Allen to argue that the St. Louis Blues’ goaltending situation is a true 1A/1B situation, but Allen finally starts against Mike Smith and the Arizona Coyotes tonight. The Coyotes don’t have the most dangerous offense on paper, so the Blues probably expect impeccable work from their potential goalie of the future.
Goaltending coach Jim Corsi (yes, that Corsi) had glowing words for Allen:
Battle of backups – It looks like there will be at least two battles between backup goalies tonight. The Washington Capitals look primed to roll out Justin Peters against a Florida Panthers team starting Al Montoya after Roberto Luongo shut out the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. Robin Lehner gets a chance to work his way back into more of a platoon with the Ottawa Senators while the Columbus Blue Jackets must trust Curtis McElhinney considering the fact that they’re tied for the NHL lead with the most back-to-back games this season. Sergei Bobrovsky can only do so much.
Opportunities for Svedberg, Gustavsson – On paper, facing Jhonas Enroth and a Buffalo Sabres team coming off of a back-to-back is a golden opportunity for Boston Bruins backup Niklas Svedberg. If Friday’s game and the Toronto Maple Leafs’ struggles are any indication, Jonas Gustavsson gets a nice opportunity tonight, too. That said, Jonathan Bernier should be plenty motivated if he starts for Toronto, as expected.
To round out the No. 2 talk, Vancouver Canucks backup Eddie Lack faces a tough challenge in Ben Bishop and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
- The San Jose Sharks are starting Antti Niemi in an interesting test against Cory Schneider and the New Jersey Devils.
- Speaking of interesting tests, Jaroslav Halak gets another nod from the New York Islanders as they face the Pittsburgh Penguins, who are expected to continue starting Marc-Andre Fleury.
- The Dallas Stars opt for Kari Lehtonen, most likely against the Philadelphia Flyers’ Steve Mason.
- The Nashville Predators seem likely to go back to Pekka Rinne after last night’s shutout. He’ll face a big challenge in the Chicago Blackhawks, who are rolling with Corey Crawford.
It wasn’t necessarily a busy night at times for Roberto Luongo. However, it probably didn’t feel that way in the third period, as he and the Florida Panthers managed to hang on against the Buffalo Sabres.
Luongo turned aside all 26 shots he faced, although he was tested only 12 times through the first two periods. The Panthers earned a 1-0 win. With the shutout, Luongo now has 67 in his career, which means he surpasses Patrick Roy – he was a pretty good goalie – and into a tie for 13th all-time among NHL goalies, according to the Panthers’ public relations department.
Head coach Gerard Gallant records his first win with the Panthers, according to NHL.com.
While the win came with some personal milestones, there was a sour note for the Panthers.
Dave Bolland left the game with a lower-body injury, according to George Richards of the Miami Herald, which means Brandon Pirri could get into the Florida lineup against the Washington Capitals tomorrow.
All the latest from the blue paint…
Leafs stick with Reimer
James Reimer said he re-upped in Toronto this summer because he would be given a shot at the No. 1 gig.
Well, he’s certainly getting that chance.
Reimer will make his third straight start tonight when the Leafs host Detroit at the ACC. The 26-year-old ‘tender has won two straight while posting a 2.24 GAA and .920 save percentage, which is why he’ll get the nod over Jonathan Bernier, who hasn’t suited up since replacing the injured Reimer against the Rangers on Sunday.
For Detroit, Jimmy Howard will get the nod in goal.
All Kuemper, all the time
Minnesota is playing just its third game of the season tonight — thank the schedule-makers for that one — and it’ll be Darcy Kuemper in goal once again, looking to extend his shutout streak beyond its current 120 minutes.
Kuemper has stopped all 46 shots faced this season (granted, all were against Colorado) and will look to do more of the same this evening against the Ducks in Anaheim.
Speaking of the Ducks, Frederik Andersen will get the call in net.
Panthers at Sabres: Roberto Luongo vs. Jhonas Enroth
Flames at Jackets: Karri Ramo vs. Sergei Bobrovsky
Preds at Jets: Pekka Rinne vs. Ondrej Pavelec
Canucks at Oilers: Ryan Miller vs. Ben Scrivens
Related: Scrivens isn’t ‘cowering,’ tells coach he’s going to win tonight