Ryan Miller will take on Buffalo for the first time since last season’s trade to St. Louis when his new team, the Vancouver Canucks, host the Sabres tonight at Rogers Arena.
Miller spent the first 11 seasons of his NHL career with Buffalo, going 284-186-57 with a 2.60 goals-against average and 28 shutouts. He also captured the Vezina award in ’10, becoming the first Sabres netminder to do it since Dominik Hasek.
Now a Canuck, Miller has done well throughout the first half of the year. He’s gone 23-11-1 with a 2.33 GAA and .917 save percentage, and sits second in the league with five shutouts.
No word yet on who’ll start for Buffalo this evening.
Pens at Devils: Cory Schneider for New Jersey, Marc-Andre Fleury likely for Pittsburgh.
Blues at ‘Canes: Jake Allen vs. Anton Khudobin
Preds at Avs: Semyon Varlamov for Colorado, no word yet on a Nashville starter.
‘Hawks at Ducks: Corey Crawford for Chicago, Frederik Andersen likely for Anaheim.
With Berglund and Lehtera out, Blues recall AHL sniper Rattie
Ty Rattie is in line for one of the biggest opportunities of his young career.
The St. Louis prospect, who finished fourth in the AHL last year with 31 goals, has been called up to the bigs in advance of tonight’s game against Carolina.
St. Louis lost a pair of forwards to injury in last night’s win over Nashville — Jori Lehtera and Patrick Berglund — neither of whom will be available tonight. That’ll open the door for Rattie to play in just his third career NHL contest, and first this season.
The Blues’ second-round pick (32nd overall) at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Rattie has 17 goals for AHL Chicago this season and was recently named to his first AHL All-Star Classic. With Lehtera and Berglund out (and Chris Porter on IR), St. Louis only had 11 healthy forwards on the active roster, so this marks a really good chance for the 21-year-old Rattie to get some minutes, and see if his minor-league scoring prowess can translate to the NHL.
Blues stay hot, but lose Lehtera, Berglund vs. Preds
The Blues battled hard in a back-and-forth game against the Central Division-leading Nashville Predators Thursday night and in the end, St. Louis managed to come away with a 5-4 shootout victory. Improving to 8-0-1 in its last nine games, it seems the All-Star break hasn’t disrupted St. Louis’ forward momentum.
Unfortunately the Blues are facing a new challenge now. Patrik Berglund sustained an upper-body injury during the second period and the Blues then lost Jori Lehtera (upper body) in the third. The severity of their injuries wasn’t immediately clear, but Blues coach Ken Hitchcock has already ruled them out for Friday’s contest against Carolina, per the team’s Twitter feed.
Lehtera, 27, has spent much of the season playing on an effective line with Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz. That’s helped Lehtera score nine goals and 30 points in 46 contests in his first NHL season.
The 26-year-old Berglund hasn’t been as productive offensively with six goals and 16 points in 46 games, but he’s looked very good from an analytics perspective. Using Corsi, the Blues take 55.5% of all 5-on-5 shots when Berglund is on the ice and just 49.5% when he’s not, per the War on Ice.
With last night’s win, the Blues trial Nashville by just four points, but on the other hand their hold on second place in the Central Division is far from secure. Chicago is only two points behind St. Louis and Winnipeg is four points shy.