Goalie nods: Leafs will let Sparks fly for third time

The Toronto Maple Leafs will turn to Garret Sparks in Saturday’s game against the St. Louis Blues.

The 22-year-old became the first goaltender in Leafs history to record a shutout in his NHL debut, but he came crashing right back down to earth in Wednesday’s 6-1 loss to the Jets.

James Reimer was in goal for Thursday’s 1-0 loss to Minnesota, but according to coach Mike Babcock, the Leafs’ starter re-aggravated his injury and will miss the next two games.

The Leafs only play two games over the next 10 days, so there’s no point in rushing Reimer back this time.

Jonathan Bernier, who pitched a shutout in the first game of his AHL conditioning stint, will stay with the Marlies for the full 10 days.

The Blues will counter with Jake Allen.

Elsewhere…

-One of the NHL’s best, Braden Holtby, will get the start in Winnipeg. The Jets have yet to name their starter just yet, but they could turn to rookie Connor Hellebuyck in this one. He has a 2-0-0 record with a 1.00 goals-against-average and a .958 save percentage this season.

-The Penguins and Kings have yet to confirm their starters, but don’t be surprised if it’s Marc-Andre Fleury for Pittsburgh and Jonathan Quick for the Kings.

Mike Condon, who is coming off a 3-2 loss to the Capitals, will likely get the start for Montreal, while Carolina have already announced that Cam Ward will be between the pipes.

-A slumping Pekka Rinne, who has just one win in his last five decisions, will get the nod for Nashville. The Red Wings will turn to Petr Mrazek in this one.

-With Thomas Greiss getting the start on Friday, the Islanders could turn to Jaroslav Halak on Saturday, but that’s yet to be confirmed. The Senators will turn to Craig Anderson in this one.

Sergei Bobrovsky could make his second start in two nights for Columbus, while the Flyers turn to Steve Mason.

Semyon Varlamov will get the call for the Avalanche. He’s coming off a 24-save performance in a win over the New York Rangers earlier this week. The Wild are planning on going with starter Devan Dubnyk, but that could change if his wife gives birth at some point today.

-Expect Tuukka Rask to get the start in Saturday’s game against the Canucks. Vancouver will likely go with Ryan Miller.

Ben Bishop will look to continue his dominance on the Lightning’s west coast road trip. The Sharks have yet to name a starter.

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