Ryan Miller

Canucks goalie Ryan Miller pulled against red-hot Wild

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Vancouver Canucks goalie Ryan Miller was pulled before the midway point of the second period, after allowing five goals on 18 shots against the Minnesota Wild on Monday.

Eddie Lack came into the game for Vancouver.

The Canucks managed to get within a goal early in the second period, but Minnesota countered right back with two goals in 54 seconds, upping their lead to three.

Minnesota entered the game on a five-game winning streak, which included back-to-back shutouts in their last two games. Meanwhile, Miller was coming off a tidy 31-save shutout over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

Goalie nods: Red-hot McElhinney faces desperate Kings

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Jackets roll with McElhinney

Curtis McElhinney will start his third straight game when the Blue Jackets host the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings in Columbus tonight.

McElhinney, propelled into starting duties with Sergei Bobrovsky injured, has been excellent as of late; over the weekend, he earned back-to-back starts against St. Louis and Ottawa and played extremely well, stopping 66 of 68 shots for a .971 save percentage (and a pair of wins: 7-1 over the Blues and 4-1 over the Sens).

The 31-year-old, who’s a UFA at season’s end, has been pretty steady for Columbus this season and received plenty of playing time given Bobrovsky’s recurring health woes. McElhinney’s 7-8-1 on the year with a 2.77 GAA and .915 save percentage.

For the Kings, Jonathan Quick is expected to get the start in goal. L.A. heads into tonight’s action five points back of eighth-place Calgary in the Western Conference.

Elsewhere…

Oilers at Devils: Ben Scrivens vs. Cory Schneider

Canucks at Wild: Ryan Miller vs. Devan Dubnyk

Coyotes at ‘Hawks: Mike Smith vs. Antti Raanta

Flames at Sharks: Jonas Hiller for Calgary, Antti Niemi likely for San Jose.

Goalie Nods: Dubnyk gets ninth straight start

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Dubnyk looks for a fifth straight win

Devan Dubnyk will make his ninth consecutive start Saturday night when the Colorado Avalanche visit Minnesota. Dubnyk posted a 24 save shutout of the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. The 28-year-old has won four straight while posting a 0.75 G.A.A. and a .974 save percentage.

Semyon Varlamov gets the start for the Colorado Avalanche.

Elsewhere…

Kings at Lightning: Jonathan Quick vs. Ben Bishop

Blue Jackets at Senators: Curtis McElhinney vs. Robin Lehner

Devils at Canadiens: Keith Kinkaid vs. Carey Price

Oilers at Leafs: Viktor Fasth vs. James Reimer

Stars at Sabres: Anders Lindback vs. Jhonas Enroth

Islanders at Bruins: Chad Johnson vs. Tuukka Rask

Red Wings at Coyotes: Petr Mrazek vs. Mike Smith

Penguins at Canucks: Thomas Greiss, vs. Ryan Miller

Hurricanes at Sharks: Cam Ward  vs. Antti Niemi

Goalie nods: Pekka back for Preds

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Rinne Returns

Pekka Rinne will start in goal for Nashville — for the first time since Jan. 19 — when the Preds host the Ducks tonight at Bridgestone.

Rinne, the NHL’s wins leader (29), had been playing at a Vezina- and Hart-worthy level prior to suffering a sprained knee three weeks ago, posting a .931 save percentage and 1.96 GAA. While Nashville did well in his absence (Carter Hutton and Marek Mazanec combined to go 4-2-2), Rinne’s return will be a massive boost, especially against a Ducks team that’s tied on 72 points with the Preds, but trails in the standings because of the regulation wins tiebreaker.

For Anaheim, Frederik Andersen will get the start in goal.

Elsewhere…

Blues at Sabres: Jake Allen vs. Jhonas Enroth

Isles at Flyers: Jaroslav Halak vs. Steve Mason

Caps at Sens: Braden Holtby vs. Robin Lehner

Kings at Panthers: Roberto Luongo for Florida, Jonathan Quick likely for L.A.

Bolts at Stars: Andrei Vasilevskiy for Tampa Bay, Kari Lehtonen likely for Dallas.

Wings at Avs: Petr Mrazek for Detroit, no word on a Colorado starter.

‘Canes at Coyotes: Cam Ward vs. Mike Smith

Sharks at Canucks: Ryan Miller for Vancouver, Antti Niemi likely for San Jose.

From waiver wire to All-Star, Canucks’ Markstrom reviving career in AHL

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It has been an interesting seven months for goaltender Jacob Markstrom.

In July he reportedly asked for a trade out of Vancouver following the signing of Ryan Miller. The Canucks agreed they would explore that option.

Markstrom was placed on waivers and cleared in September eventually joining the American Hockey League’s Utica Comets in October. Canucks’ goaltending consultant Dan Cloutier admitted on Saturday that he wasn’t sure what state of mind the goaltender would be in joining the AHL club.

“I didn’t know what to expect when he first came down. It’s always hard for a guy to come down. A guy that got traded (to Vancouver) last year and it was kind of in the plans, but that’s the game of hockey,” Cloutier told PHT. “New management came in and all of a sudden he’s waking up in Utica. I have to give him a lot of credit. He’s been working extremely hard, he’s been a good teammate and he’s done everything I could’ve asked.

“I’ve been there before so I know what he’s going through. It’s not easy, but he’s definitely been a very positive influence on the guys.

Markstrom registered career numbers through the first half of the AHL season, was named the AHL All-Star Game’s co-MVP and according to reports last week is no longer a piece Canucks’ general manager Jim Benning is looking to deal.

Markstrom is 12-5-2 with a 1.98 G.A.A. and a .930 save percentage in 19 games this season.

“It started good and then it’s like the whole team for a goalie. If the team is doing good, the goalie is doing good too,” Markstrom said of his season. “These guys have been making life easy for me. The All-Star Game was an unreal experience especially being in Utica too the fans were great. It was fun.”

A lot of his success this season has to do with the help he received from Canucks’ goaltending coach, Roland Melanson.

“He was a guy that was a little bit out of control,” said Cloutier. “(Working with Melanson) settled him down and now that I get a chance to work with him, now that he’s got that technical base, I just want to make sure he doesn’t lose his athleticism.

“He was playing, sometimes, a little bit out of the blue. I think for a big guy like him, we wanted him to utilize his size more because he does have athleticism and he does have power.”

Markstrom admitted the adjustment took some getting used to.

“It was weird in the beginning, but right now I don’t even think about it. If you do enough reps in practice, it’s going to feel comfortable,” he said. “Different angles, everything is going to be at a different angle. Obviously you give yourself a chance on every rebound if you’re a little deeper in the net.

“My game right now, I like it and I feel comfortable with it.”

The 25-year-old is scheduled to become a restricted free agent following this season. As of right now, it appears Markstrom’s play has kept him in the Canucks’ future plans.