All the news and notes from around the crease…
Sabres go to Neuvirth
Michal Neuvirth will get his first start of the season tonight when Buffalo hosts Anaheim at First Niagara. The Sabres went with Jhonas Enroth in consecutive games to begin the year — losses to Columbus and Chicago — and, in the wake of those defeats, head coach Ted Nolan indicated he’d shake up the lineup for game No. 3.
So, enter Neuvirth.
The Czech ‘tender came to Buffalo last year as part of the Jaroslav Halak trade, and while his record (4-8-2) and GAA (2.79) weren’t stellar, he did post an impressive .921 save percentage.
For the Ducks, no official starter yet but the O.C. Register suggests Bruce Boudreau is leaning towards giving Frederik Andersen his second straight nod.
Great matchup in T-Bay
At Amalie Arena tonight, Ben Bishop and Carey Price — the third- and fourth-place finishers in Vezina voting last year — will go head-to-head, giving fans the goaltending matchup that failed to materialize in last year’s opening round.
Bishop missed last year’s playoffs to an elbow injury, meaning Price went up against the overmatched tandem of Anders Lindback and Kristers Gudlevskis. The result? Montreal dispatched of Tampa Bay in four straight games, with the Lindback-Gudlevskis duo finishing with an ugly .884 save percentage.
Sens at Panthers: Craig Anderson for Ottawa, Roberto Luongo likely for Florida.