Washington Capitals

Goalie nods: Flyers lean on Emery, Neuvirth gets a shot

News and notes from around the crease …

No shame about Ray

The Philadelphia Flyers couldn’t have felt great about their slim playoff hopes when Steve Mason went down with his knee injury. For better or worse, it’s on Ray Emery, and Sunday is the kind of game he has to win.

Since taking over for Mason in February, Emery’s gone 1-0-2. The 30-year-old’s overall numbers aren’t much to brag about (9-9-3 with a .890 save percentage), but this stretch will probably make a big impact on how the league views the pugnacious puck-stopper going forward.

On the Buffalo side, Michal Neuvirth gets a chance to stretch his legs in the Sabres’ net with Jhonas Enroth shipped off to Dallas.

The situations are quite different, yet both netminders have plenty to prove today.

Elsewhere …

Blues at Panthers: Brian Elliott vs. Roberto Luongo

Lightning at Sharks: Expected starters are Ben Bishop against Antti Niemi

Capitals at Ducks: Expected starters are Justin Peters vs. John Gibson

Report: Flyers’ Mason had repairs done to his knee

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Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Steve Mason underwent a procedure on his right knee according to CSNPhilly.com.

GM Ron Hextall updated the media on Friday saying Mason had a fragment removed from the knee and a small tear in the meniscus repaired.

Three MRIs did not show the tear in the meniscus, which is why the Flyers elected to have Mason’s knee scoped.

On Tuesday it was announced he is expected to miss 2-3 weeks with the injury.

Mason left the Flyers’ 3-1 win over the Washington Capitals on Feb. 8 after his knee buckled.

The 26-year-old left the Flyers’ Jan. 10 game against the Boston Bruins with a similar injury.

Mason also left a Jan. 7 practice and underwent an MRI for the injury.

His knee hasn’t been the only issue this season. Mason missed time after tweaking his back his back during a practice on Dec. 19.

The injuries have limited Mason to 34 games this season where he has an 11-12-7 record to go along with a 2.27 G.A.A. and a .925 save percentage.

Goalie Nods: Howard returns for Detroit


Howard returns from groin injury

Jimmy Howard will make his first start since Jan. 10 tonight when the Detroit Red Wings play host to the Winnipeg Jets. Howard missed 10 games with a groin injury. He made four saves in relief of Petr Mrazec on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. Howard is 16-7-7 with a 2.09 G.A.A. and a .920 save percentage this season.

Michael Hutchinson is expected to start for the Jets.


Maple Leafs at Canadiens: Jonathan Bernier vs. Carey Price

Blue Jackets at Islanders: Anton Forsberg vs. Jaroslav Halak

Rangers at Coyotes: Cam Talbot vs. Mike Smith

Hurricanes at Wild: Anton Khudobin vs. Devan Dubnyk

Devils at Predators: Cory Schneider vs. Pekka Rinne

Stars at Avalanche: Jhonas Enroth vs. Semyon Varlamov

Canucks at Flames: Ryan Miller vs. Karri Ramo

Capitals at Kings: Braden Holtby vs. Jonathan Quick

Ducks ‘pretty adamant about trying to add another d-man,’ says Ducks d-man


We’ve talked plenty about Anaheim’s desire to add a defenseman — see here and here and here — and now, following a stretch in which the Ducks have surrendered 30 goals in seven games, it seems those talks have trickled down to the players.

Like defenseman Cam Fowler, for example.

“[GM Bob Murray] has been pretty adamant about trying to add another d-man,” Fowler told the L.A. (which stands for Los Angeles) Times this week. “We feel comfortable with the group we have, but if there’s somebody who can be brought in to help us, that’s always good too.”

Murray’s been in search of defensive fixes for a while now, and has done some previous patchwork: Eric Brewer was acquired from Tampa Bay in November, and Stephane Robidas was acquired at last year’s deadline.

That said, both of those deals were of the low-risk, low-cost variety. Robidas, 37, came on board for the price of a fourth-round pick and played just 17 games (14 regular season, three playoff) before leaving in free agency. Brewer, 35, could end up much the same; he’s a UFA at season’s end and has only appeared in six games after breaking his foot shortly after being acquired.

But neither Robidas nor Brewer moved the needle much. One would think Murray wants to make a bigger splash this time around.

Whether or not he can make one, though, remains to be seen. Tyler Myers is off the board following Wednesday’s blockbuster move to Winnipeg and, as we’ve often seen come deadline day, there are more teams interested in capable defensemen than there are capable defensemen.

The Ducks could be in on Marc Methot. They could be in on Cody Franson. They could be in on Mike Green — assuming the playoff-bound Caps decide to move him — but Anaheim won’t be alone in any of these pursuits. Which begs two questions: 1) How much does Murray believe in a blueline featuring a top-four of Fowler, Francois Beauchemin, Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen? And 2) If he doesn’t believe in it enough, how much is he willing to spend on a legitimate upgrade?

Video: Beagle’s three-point night lifts the Caps over the Sharks


Jay Beagle scored twice and set up Joel Ward’s overtime-winner as the Washington Capitals edged the San Jose Sharks 5-4 Wednesday night.

Beagle now has as many points this season (17) as he did in the past two seasons combined.

With the loss the Sharks picked up just one of a possible six points on their three-game home stand. Washington has now won four of five.

Troy Brouwer and John Carlson had the other Caps goals.

Nicklas Backstrom and Brooks Orpik each had two assists and Braden Holtby made 26 saves in the win.

Brent Burns scored twice in a 22-second span of the second period while Logan Couture and Joe Thornton had the other Sharks goals. Couture also had an assist in the loss passing Dan Boyle for 10th spot on the Sharks’ all-time points list (270).

Patrick Marleu and Matt Nieto each had two assists for the Sharks.

Antti Niemi made 28 saves in the loss.

San Jose won the only other meeting between the two clubs 6-5 in a shootout on Oct. 14.