Goalie nods: Reimer looks to re-establish form after three-game absence

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After Garret Sparks’ second career start went much, much worse than his first, the Maple Leafs will give James Reimer the start this evening when they take on the Wild in Minnesota.

Reimer, who’s missed the last three games with a lower-body injury, had been playing great prior to getting hurt — in November, he went 6-2-3 with a 1.68 GAA and .949 save percentage. He wrestled the No. 1 job away from Jonathan Bernier (who’s now in the midst of a stint with the AHL Marlies) and was a big reason why the Leafs won five of six from Nov. 10-20.

As for Sparks, his feel-good story hit a rough patch last night in a blowout 6-1 loss to the Jets. The rookie was on the hook for all six goals, a far cry from the shutout he posted against Edmonton earlier in the week in his NHL debut.

For the Wild, Devan Dubnyk will get the start in goal.

Elsewhere…

— The Avs are going back to Semyon Varlamov as they take on the Rangers at MSG. Varlamov hasn’t played since allowing four goals in a loss to the Islanders on Monday; Reto Berra played in Tuesday’s 2-1 win in New Jersey. No word yet on who starts for the Rangers.

— Battle of the backups in Carolina as Keith Kinkaid starts for the Devils, while Eddie Lack goes for the ‘Canes.

— It’s Braden Holtby (as per usual) for the Caps in Montreal, while the Habs counter with Mike Condon.

— No surprises in Ottawa, as the Sens continue to roll with Craig Anderson while the ‘Hawks start Corey Crawford.

Mike Smith will look to rebound after allowing four goals (granted, on 40 shots) in his last outing, a loss to Nashville. The Wings are going with Jimmy Howard after Petr Mrazek started the last two games.

— The red-hot Roberto Luongo (1.29 GAA, .952 save percentage over his current three-game winning streak) will go for Florida in Nashville. Pekka Rinne is likely for the Preds.

Ryan Miller will get the nod for Vancouver tonight when the Canucks host the Stars. No word yet on a Dallas starter.