Goalie nods: Al Montoya has been excellent for Panthers

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Earlier in the week, we identified five backup goalies that weren’t getting it done for their teams.

Al Montoya was definitely not a candidate for that list. The 30-year-old has been excellent when called upon to give Roberto Luongo a night off.

Montoya will get his eighth start of the season tonight in New Jersey. He’s 4-1-1 with a .929 save percentage. In his last outing, a week ago against Washington, he nearly shut out the Capitals in a 4-1 victory.

The Panthers enter tonight’s game two points back of the last wild-card spot in the East — a spot that’s held by none other than the Devils.

Cory Schneider will be in goal for New Jersey. (He’s been pretty good, too.)

Elsewhere…

John Gibson for the desperate Ducks in Buffalo. Chad Johnson for the Sabres.

Jacob Markstrom made the aforementioned list. He’ll start tonight for the reeling Canucks in Philadelphia. Steve Mason for the Flyers.

Martin Jones for the Sharks in Toronto. Garret Sparks for the Leafs, after Jonathan Bernier remained winless Tuesday.

Jonathan Quick expected for the Kings in Montreal. Mike Condon for the Habs.

Antti Raanta has been a good backup again this season. He’ll start for the Rangers tonight in Minnesota. Devan Dubnyk returns from injury for the Wild. He hasn’t played since getting hurt Dec. 5.

Pekka Rinne expected for the Predators in St. Louis. Jake Allen for the Blues.

Cam Talbot for the Oilers in Chicago. Corey Crawford for the Blackhawks.

Karri Ramo for the Flames in Dallas. Kari Lehtonen for the Stars.

Thomas Greiss, another backup enjoying a fine season, for the Islanders in Colorado. Red-hot Semyon Varlamov for the Avs.

— Curtis McElhinney (he made the list) for the Blue Jackets in Arizona. Anders Lindback (he made it, too) for the Coyotes.