Goalie nods: Markstrom makes season debut for Canucks

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The NHL’s busiest netminder will get a rest tonight.

The Vancouver Canucks — who have played Ryan Miller an NHL-high 851:38 this season — will give their No. 1 a break in Columbus, opting to give backup Jacob Markstrom his first start of the season.

Markstrom has been sidelined for most of the year with a hamstring injury, forcing journeyman Richard Bachman, No. 3 on the organizational depth chart, into backup duty. The Canucks only used Bachman once over the first 15 games of the year, though — a 4-3 win over the Coyotes two weeks ago — opting instead to give the 35-year-old Miller all he could handle.

While he’s yet to play an NHL game this season, Markstrom did get a conditioning stint with the Canucks’ affiliate in Utica, going 1-0-1 with a 2.40 GAA and .909 save percentage.

For the Blue Jackets, Sergei Bobrovsky is in goal.


— St. Louis will continue to ride Jake Allen‘s hot hand in New Jersey. The Devils will counter with Cory Schneider, who returns to the net after Keith Kinkaid beat the Canucks on Sunday.

Henrik Lundqvist is back in goal for the Rangers after Antti Raanta beat the Coyotes on Saturday in Arizona. No confirmed Carolina starter yet, but Cam Ward is likely to go.

— Battle of the backups in Philadelphia tonight, as the Avs will go with Reto Berra while the Flyers counter with the red-hot Michal Neuvirth.

— Calgary will give Karri Ramo his fifth straight start after being recalled from AHL Stockton. The Panthers will go with Roberto Luongo.

Chad Johnson for Buffalo in Tampa Bay. The Bolts will give an unlucky Ben Bishop the night off, and start Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Braden Holtby, who’s won three of his last four, starts for Washington. Detroit counters with Petr Mrazek, who stopped 32 of 33 shots in a win over Toronto on Friday.

Craig Anderson returns to the Sens’ net after Andrew Hammond started over the weekend. The Preds are going with Pekka Rinne, who’ll have a new backup in Marek Mazanec. Carter Hutton was put on IR today.

Ondrej Pavelec, with a 1.97 GAA and .922 save percentage in his last five starts, goes for Winnipeg. Minnesota will start Devan Dubnyk, as per usual.

James Reimer will look to replicate his success against Dallas, after stopping 43 of 44 shots in a win over the Stars last week. Lindy Ruff will give Antti Niemi another crack at the Leafs.

Mike Smith‘s in for Arizona, one night after Anders Lindback played very well in an OT win over the Ducks. No confirmed Kings starter yet, but Jonathan Quick is expected to play.

Martin Jones goes for San Jose, while Thomas Greiss starts in goal for the Islanders.