Goalie nods: Bernier back in, Niemi gets 12th start of season

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Some news and notes from the blue paint…

Leafs go back to Bernier

How things can change in a week.

Jonathan Bernier, who looked to have a stranglehold on Toronto’s No. 1 gig, must now re-establish himself in the pecking order with a start against the Flames in Calgary.

Bernier needs a strong effort to match James Reimer, who has been outstanding of late. Reimer stopped 37 of 38 shots in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Pittsburgh, then followed that up with a 43-save shutout against Edmonton on Tuesday.

Bernier’s last game was a 5-2 loss to Columbus on Oct. 25, in which he allowed four goals on 35 shots.

Niemi keeps on rolling

Antti Niemi will get the call — again — for San Jose tonight for its big inter-state rivalry game against Los Angeles.

Niemi has been a workhorse since signing with the Sharks three years ago, and that doesn’t seem to be changing. He’ll move into a share of the league lead with his 12th start tonight (Phoenix’s Mike Smith and Winnipeg’s Ondrej Pavelec also have 12), and look to improve on his pretty stellar numbers: 9-1-1. 1.53 GAA, .933 save percentage.

Elsewhere…

— It’ll be Jimmy Howard vs. Roberto Luongo in tonight’s tasty Detroit-Vancouver matchup, as expected.

— After beating the Capitals on Saturday, Karri Ramo will get the nod for Calgary tonight against Toronto.

— Tuukka Rask will be in goal for Boston against Pittsburgh tonight after allowing four goals for the first time all season in Saturday’s 4-3 loss to New Jersey.