All the latest from the blue paint…
Schneider looks to stymie L.A.
The Los Angeles Kings are desperate for points in the Western Conference playoff chase, and will look to get two against one of the NHL’s most in-form goalies tonight at Prudential.
Cory Schneider gets the start for New Jersey, looking to continue what’s been an outstanding month of March; he’s gone 3-3-1 with a 1.94 GAA and .939 save percentage in seven starts, bumping his overall numbers on the season to .929 (second-best save percentage in the NHL) and 2.16 (fifth-best GAA).
The Kings have lost three of four and their offense has sputtered over that stretch, scoring just five times. That doesn’t bode well for a matchup against Schneider, who has held opponents to two goals or fewer in 25 of his last 31 appearances.
For L.A., no word yet on who’ll start but Jonathan Quick appears likely.
‘Hawks at ‘Canes: Corey Crawford vs. Anton Khudobin
Wild at Leafs: Devan Dubnyk vs. Jonathan Bernier
Sharks at Sens: Antti Niemi vs. Andrew Hammond
Sabres at Stars: Anders Lindback vs. Kari Lehtonen
Avs at Flames: Semyon Varlamov vs. Karri Ramo
Jets at Oilers: Ondrej Pavelec (probable) vs. Ben Scrivens
Hammond looks to remain unbeaten in regulation
Andrew Hammond and the Ottawa Senators will look for a sixth straight win tonight when they play host to the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs. Hammond enters the game with a 12-0-1 record to go along with a 1.55 goals-against average since getting called up from Binghamton.
The Sens enter tonight’s action two points back of the Boston Bruins for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Since the last meeting between the Leafs and Senators (Jan. 21), Ottawa is 17-6-2 while Toronto has gone 5-17-3.
James Reimer gets the nod for the Leafs.
Blue Jackets at Flames: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Karri Ramo
Canucks at Kings: Eddie Lack vs. Jonathan Quick
Capitals at Jets: Braden Holtby vs. Ondrej Pavelec
Rangers at Hurricanes: Cam Talbot vs. Anton Khudobin
Islanders at Devils: Jaroslav Halak vs. Cory Schneider
Bruins at Panthers: Tuukka Rask vs. Roberto Luongo
Sharks at Canadiens: Antti Niemi vs. Carey Price
Sabres at Predators: Matt Hackett vs. Pekka Rinne
Blackhawks at Stars: Corey Crawford vs. Kari Lehtonen
Penguins at Coyotes: Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Mike Smith
Flyers at Oilers: Steve Mason vs. Ben Scrivens
The Montreal Canadiens will have Jeff Petry back in the lineup tonight as they try to create some breathing room between themselves and the Tampa Bay Lightning atop the Atlantic Division.
Petry, who missed Thursday’s 4-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes due to the flu, will replace Nathan Beaulieu when Montreal plays host to the San Jose Sharks.
Petry is averaging 22:24 in ice time in nine games since being acquired from the Edmonton Oilers.
The Habs have a two point lead on the Bolts atop the Atlantic and have a one-point lead on the St. Louis Blues for top spot overall.
San Jose enters Saturday’s action six points back of the Winnipeg Jets for the second wild card seed and five points back of Calgary for the third spot in the Pacific Division.
The Sharks won the only other meeting between the two clubs this season 4-0 on March 2.