Goalie nods: After eight-game absence, Miller back for Canucks

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After starting Jacob Markstrom for three weeks straight, the Canucks will return a familiar face tonight when starting netminder Ryan Miller gets back into goal against the Caps.

Miller, who hasn’t played since suffering an undisclosed injury on Dec. 20, returns to a club that fared reasonably well in his absence. The Canucks went 5-2-1 with Markstrom in goal, and remained right in the thick of the Pacific Division playoff chase.

Miller faces a tall order in his first game back in action. The 35-year-old gets the Caps at Verizon, and their 2nd-ranked offense (3.3 goals per game).

For Washington, Braden Holtby will get the start. As per usual.

Elsewhere…

— Marquee matchup in the battle of New York, as Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers go to Brooklyn to take on Jaroslav Halak and the Isles.

Corey Crawford gets the start for Chicago in his hometown of Montreal. He’ll be up against Mike Condon, who’s played well for the Habs of late.

Eddie Lack, Miller’s former running mate in Vancouver, gets the nod for Carolina in St. Louis. The Blues will start Brian Elliott.

— Looks like Pekka Rinne versus Connor Hellebuyck in Winnipeg tonight. Both the Preds and Jets could really use a win.

Calvin Pickard will give Semyon Varlamov the night off as the Avs host the Devils. He’ll be up against All-Star Cory Schneider.

— The Coyotes will look for their fifth straight win with Louis Domingue in goal. Detroit is going with Petr Mrazek.

— In Todd McLellan’s first game back in San Jose, Cam Talbot gets the nod for the Oilers. McLellan’s replacement, Peter DeBoer, is going back to Martin Jones after Alex Stalock got the win last time out.

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