Goalie nods: Niemi opens for San Jose

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All the latest from the blue paint…

For now, it’s Niemi

For opening night, anyway, Antti Niemi is the starting goalie in San Jose.

Niemi was the first goalie off at today’s morning skate — the Sharks kick off their campaign in Los Angeles this evening — meaning he’ll be in net to start the year while Alex Stalock backs up.

The Sharks declared the No. 1 gig open prior to training camp, but didn’t — and still don’t — seem committed to either Stalock or Niemi as the clear-cut starter. It’s possible a platoon system is in the cards but, for a huge rivalry game against the Kings — prior to which the Stanley Cup banner will be raised — it’s the veteran Finn that gets the nod.

Elsewhere…

Canucks at Flames: Ryan Miller vs. Jonas Hiller in a battle of two goalies making their regular-season debuts for their new clubs.

Habs at Leafs: Carey Price vs. Jonathan Bernier.

Flyers at Bruins: Steve Mason vs. Tuukka Rask.