News and notes from around the crease on Saturday…
Rangers go with rookie Talbot
The New York Rangers will play in the first of back-to-back games on Saturday and they’ve decided to split the goaltending duties as a result. Rookie Cam Talbot, 26, will start in Montreal so that Henrik Lundqvist is fresh for Sunday’s home game against the Los Angeles Kings.
Talbot has a 1.97 GAA and .933 save percentage in four starts.
Montreal will counter with Carey Price.
Nabokov gets first start in a week
New York Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov has warmed the bench for three straight games after allowing at least four goals in each of his last three starts, but he’ll face Detroit tonight. Red Wings backup Jonas Gustavsson will be his opponent.
— Marc-Andre Fleury is the likely starter for the Penguins for tonight’s match against the New Jersey Devils. Martin Brodeur will fight for his fourth straight win and 675 career victory.
— James Reimer is expected to be in net for the Toronto Maple Leafs in their rematch against the Sabres. Buffalo earned a 3-1 win against Toronto on Friday thanks in part due to Ryan Miller’s 32-save performance. There’s no word on who will start for Buffalo tonight, but it wouldn’t be surprising if they go back to Miller.
— Nikolai Khabibulin will get just his fourth start of the season tonight. He’ll attempt to rebound after posting a 4.73 GAA and .818 save percentage in October. The Blackhawks opponent will be Nashville and the Predators will probably go with 27-year-old rookie Carter Hutton.
— The Tampa Bay Lightning and Phoenix Coyotes’ probable starters have both been identified ahead of tonight’s match. Ben Bishop should get the nod for the Lightning while Phoenix is expected to hand Mike Smith his seventh straight start.
— Justin Peters is penciled in to start on Saturday for Carolina, but nothing has been confirmed. What is known is that the Hurricanes will face St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott.
— The Colorado Avalanche will start Semyon Varlamov against Florida as they try to snap their first losing streak of the season. No word yet on who the Panthers will use, but Tim Thomas is the most likely bet.
— Despite being yanked on Thursday, the Reto Berra will play between the pipes for the Calgary Flames tonight. Berra has a 3.78 GAA and .884 save percentage in five starts this season. Speaking of struggling goaltenders, the Edmonton Oilers will counter with Devan Dubnyk.