John Gibson will get another chance to show he should be the Anaheim Ducks’ playoff starter when he goes up against Colorado tonight at Honda Center.
Gibson’s last start was a good one; the 21-year-old stopped all but one of the Devils’ 27 shots last Sunday in a 2-1 victory, after which he was named the game’s first star.
Still, neither Gibson nor Andersen has made it an easy decision for coach Bruce Boudreau. Both young goalies have had excellent performances, and both have had their hiccups.
“I think they both want the starting role,” Boudreau said recently, per NHL.com “We had a tough game in New York and Columbus [last month] and when [Andersen] played two really good games, it was like [Gibson] said, ‘Oh, yeah? OK,’ and he came in and played great. I think they both would like to have it.
“If we go far they’re both going to play, and if we don’t go far, they’re both going to play, because if we’re losing, we’re going to make switches. That’s the way I think of it right now. We’re not married to thinking one is better than the other. When they’re on top of their game, they’re as good as there is.”
Reto Berra will start for Colorado.
Scott Darling likely for Chicago versus Anders Lindback for Buffalo.
Dustin Tokarski for Montreal versus Keith Kinkaid for New Jersey.
Brian Elliott for St. Louis versus Kari Lehtonen (likely) for Dallas.
Louis Domingue for Arizona versus Antti Niemi for San Jose.
No supplemental discipline for Bollig after boarding Jackman
Calgary’s Brandon Bollig won’t face any disciplinary hearing for his hit on St. Louis defenseman Barret Jackman Thursday night, an NHL spokesman has confirmed.
Here’s the incident in question. Bollig was given a five-minute boarding major and game misconduct:
Jackman left the game momentarily but did return, and finished with over 17 minutes of ice time.
The Department of Player Safety opted not to further punish Bollig despite his history as a repeat offender; during last year’s playoffs, he was suspended two games for boarding Minnesota Wild defenseman Keith Ballard.
Sean Monahan became the youngest player in Calgary Flames history to register 30 goals in a season when he reached the mark Thursday night.
Monahan had the lone goal in the Flames’ 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues.
According to TSN, Monahan passed Dan Quinn as the youngest member of the Flames to reach the 30-goal plateau.
“I guess putting the puck in the net in this league is tough so its pretty cool to get 30, but it doesn’t mean much after a game like that,” said Monahan postgame. “It’s goals and it’s linemates putting the puck on my stick so its something I’ll think about I guess later on in the season – how lucky and fortunate I was to play with guys like that.
“That’s the thing that will probably stick out most.”
As for his secret to finding the net, Monahan said its about being in the right areas on the ice.
“I just try to find the quiet areas and go to the right spot and lucky enough I play with the right players,” he said. “It makes it easy for me to get those chances and put the puck in the net.”
Flames’ coach Bob Hartley believes its a sign of things to come for the forward.
“[Monahan] has been probably our most consistent player all year,” said Hartley. “He’s only 20-years-old. I think there’s lots of bright spots.”
Monahan reached the milestone faster than a few notable Flames including Theoren Fleury and Joe Nieuwendyk.
Stars coach Lindy Ruff would not confirm Nichushkin’s return to the lineup, but Mike Heika of The Dallas Morning News reports that it’s a safe bet the 20-year-old will appear in his first game since Nov. 6.
“He’s real excited to be back playing, to be back here and have the opportunity to play,” Ruff said.
Nichushkin had 14 goals and 34 points in 79 games during his rookie campaign last season while playing alongside Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.
He played in just four games registering a minus-3 rating this season prior to the surgery.
Ruff admits the club has missed the presence of the 6-foot-4, 205-pound forward.
“We’ve missed his size,” Ruff said. “For the most part, Seguin, Benn and Val were a good line. He was a guy who could hang onto the puck down low, physically dominate some teams, and even come off the wall in the offensive zone and make plays. And I really felt by the end of [last] year he was one of our best defenders coming back defending.”
Tonight concludes the five-game season series between the two clubs. Each team has won twice.
Roberto Luongo is only the 11th goaltender in the league’s history to reach the 400-win mark and he earned that milestone in style tonight by turning aside 31 of 32 shots in a 6-1 win over Carolina.
Nevertheless, the timing of this event could have been better.
“I don’t take it for granted. I’m blessed to play this long in the NHL and something that I love, but at the same time I would’ve liked to have got it a few games earlier and maybe get a few more points in the standings,” Luongo told the Sun Sentinel.
Nevertheless, this is a remarkable accomplishment for Luongo. He earned 252 of his victories with Vancouver and 141 with Florida. That split has provided him with the rare distinction of being the all-time leader for both franchises. His other seven victories came with the New York Islanders, which drafted him back in 1997, but traded him along with Olli Jokinen to Florida in 2000 in exchange for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha.
Luongo is also just one win shy of Chris Osgood and 10th place on the all-time list.