News and notes from around the crease…
Tuesday Tire Pump
Tim Thomas and Roberto Luongo will face each other for the first time since Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final tonight when the Panthers take on the Canucks in Vancouver.
Thomas played extremely well in his last start, stopping 32 of 33 shots in a win over Colorado. Luongo, meanwhile, hasn’t been as good — he’s lost three straight and four of his last five, though could hardly be faulted for either of the two goals that beat him in a 2-1 loss to Dallas on Sunday night.
In case you’re wondering about Thomas’ mindset heading into tonight…
Lehner goes for Sens
Ottawa will turn to its young Swedish netminder on Tuesday, giving Robin Lehner the start against Philly over Craig Anderson.
Lehner has won three straight starts by boasting a 1.33 GAA and .958 save percentage, including a 26-save effort over the Panthers on Nov. 9. He’ll look to exact revenge for an Ottawa team that lost 5-0 last time out to Philly — in that game, Anderson was torched for five goals on 31 shots in one of his roughest outings of the season.
Lehner will square off with Steve Mason tonight. Mason stopped 36 of 38 shots in his last outing, a shootout loss to Winnipeg.
— Big goaltending matchup in Buffalo tonight as Ryan Miller will get the nod for the Sabres, putting him up against St. Louis No. 1 Jaroslav Halak. Halak will be looking for redemption after getting yanked (three goals on six shots) in a 4-1 loss to Washington on Sunday, while Miller will look to build on his 32-save effort in a win over Toronto on Friday.
— Kevin Poulin, the Islanders’ new No. 1, will go against the Maple Leafs tonight in Toronto. The Buds will counter with Jonathan Bernier, who hasn’t played since Friday’s loss to Buffalo.
— It’s Marek Mazanec vs. Jimmy Howard in the Nashville-Detroit game, and Corey Crawford vs. Semyon Varlamov in the Chicago-Colorado affair on NBCSN.
— Sergei Bobrovsky will face Devan Dubnyk in Columbus-Edmonton, and Ben Bishop will take on the white-hot Ben Scrivens in the Tampa Bay-L.A. game.
— Josh Harding starts for the Wild tonight in Montreal, but there’s been no confirmation as to who’ll go for the Habs.
— Henrik Lundqvist is the man for the Rangers tonight at MSG, though it’s uncertain who’ll start for Boston. Chad Johnson seems probable, but it’s yet to be locked in.