St. Louis Blues

Goalie nods: Price versus Rinne in potential Vezina showdown

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Elite battle at Bridgestone

Two goalies most have penciled in as Vezina candidates will square off tonight in Nashville when Carey Price and the Habs take on Pekka Rinne and the Preds.

Price, widely considered to be the Vezina favorite, has been nothing short of brilliant all season long and heads into tonight’s action leading the NHL in wins (40), save percentage (.938), GAA (1.86) and shutouts (nine). The 27-year-old’s dominance has led to serious discussion about Hart Trophy consideration as league MVP.

Rinne, meanwhile, has been solid as well. He’s second to Price in both GAA (2.09) and wins (38), sitting fifth overall in save percentage (.927). What’s interesting about the two, however, is that Price has never been named a Vezina finalist over the course of his seven-year career; Rinne, who’s in his ninth NHL campaign, has been a finalist twice and fell just short of capturing the Vezina in 2011, when he finished a few votes shy of eventual winner Tim Thomas.

So with Price and Rinne likely to both be finalists this year, the conversation turns to who’ll be the third nominee. Right now, it seems like a three-horse race between New Jersey’s Cory Schneider, Washington’s Braden Holtby and Minnesota’s Devan Dubnyk.

Elsewhere…

Wild at Isles: Devan Dubnyk vs. Jaroslav Halak

Kings at Rangers: Jonathan Quick (probable) vs. Cam Talbot

Blues at Pens: Jake Allen vs. Marc-Andre Fleury

Ducks at Jackets: John Gibson vs. Sergei Bobrovsky

Coyotes at Wings: Mike Smith vs. Jimmy Howard

Panthers at Bolts: Roberto Luongo vs. Andrei Vasilevskiy

Jets at Canucks: Michael Hutchinson vs. Eddie Lack

PHT Morning Skate: Ducks’ Patrick Maroon the latest guest on ‘Between Two Zambonis’

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Anaheim Ducks forward Patrick Maroon recently joined teammate Ryan Kesler on the latest installment of ‘Between Two Zambonis’. The pair discussed Maroon’s celebrity look a likes and even took shots at captain Ryan Getzlaf’s hairline.

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“I wake up in the morning and wonder what I’m going to do besides work out” – Tom Sestito discusses the diminishing enforcer role in hockey. (The Globe and Mail)

Top prospect Dylan Strome had a six-point game Sunday to win the Ontario Hockey League’s scoring title. (Yahoo)

The Western Hockey League’s Kelowna Rockets develop D-Men down to a science. (NHL.com)

Bridgeport Sound Tigers forward Kael Mouillierat used a lacrosse-style move to open the scoring against the Binghamton Senators on Sunday:

Sixteen seasons. 22 teams. Zero NHL games. But the passion never left Frank Littlejohn. (The Hockey News)

St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo discusses the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon:

Red Wings beat Blues in OT, but should winning goal count?

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The officiating in the Detroit Red Wings’ 2-1 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues had some onlookers complaining, so it makes a weird kind of sense that Justin Abdelkader’s overtime game-winning goal drew some controversy.

More than a few people believe that the deciding goal should not have counted. It’s believed that the tally was scored with a broken stick. See for yourself first:

Here are a couple reactions:

Even retired official Kerry Fraser believes it shouldn’t have counted, but also notes that it didn’t fall under the parameters of a review:

Jake Allen provided this take on the moment:

At this point, that’s just fodder for griping, as the goal – valid or not – counts for the Red Wings. Detroit breaks a two-game losing streak with this win while the Blues fall to 2-1-2 on a six-game road trip that ends on Tuesday. Detroit won both game against St. Louis in overtime this season, so put that note in the back of your mind if the Blues fall two points short of a relevant seeding race.

It was a tight game in a variety of ways, as Detroit tied it thanks to a bounce that was very unfortunate for Blues defenseman Chris Butler.

Ultimately, this game provides benefits for both teams. The Red Wings put considerable distance between themselves and the Boston Bruins for the Atlantic Division’s third spot while the Blues now have a full-point edge on the Nashville Predators for the Central Division lead. It’s a bitter pill to swallow for St. Louis, but some may try to find a bright side in the defeat at least coming after they secured a standings point.

Video: Chris Butler’s misfortune leads to Red Wings goal

Goals have been tough to come by so for in NBC’s game between the St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings, so Erik Cole’s 1-1 goal has to burn Chris Butler that much more.

The contest is currently tied thanks to a bad bounce for St. Louis and a gift for Detroit:

Cole scored his 21st goal of the season and third as a member of the Red Wings right there.

NHL on NBC: Familiar foes face off as Red Wings host Blues

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NBC will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the Detroit Red Wings host the St. Louis Blues at Joe Louis Arena at noon p.m. ET today. In addition to NBC, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.

The St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings don’t clash anywhere near as often with Detroit now in the Eastern Conference, yet it’s probably safe to say that the teams – and especially the fans – still can’t stand each other.

Both squads should have added motivation this afternoon because they both need to steady themselves. Each team has lost two in a row, with the Blues needing to shrug off a lopsided loss to Minnesota and the Red Wings also dropping six of their last eight.

St. Louis is currently 2-1-1 on a six-game road swing that concludes in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. The Red Wings begin a four-game homestand in Detroit today.

The Red Wings beat the Blues 3-2 in OT the last time these two teams met (on Jan. 15). Pavel Datsyuk was the player who scored the game-winner, and he won’t play today, according to MLive.com’s Ansar Khan.

Jake Allen saw some action after Brian Elliott was unceremoniously pulled from yesterday’s Blues loss, so one would think that Allen will start. Jimmy Howard seems likely to play in Detroit’s net.

While the Red Wings aim to stay sharp with their position as the third-ranked team in the Atlantic Division fairly well set, the Blues hope to earn a little breathing room in their race to take the Central Division crown from the Nashville Predators.

The two former division foes will meet for the second and last time today, so expect quality over quantity on NBC.