Goalie nods: Allen gets first start since early January

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One goalie down, another goalie up.

That’s sort of been the story in St. Louis this season, and it’ll continue tonight as Jake Allen — activated off IR earlier in the week — will make his first start since Jan. 8 when the Blues take on the Rangers.

Allen will inherit the starting gig from Brian Elliott, who started 18 consecutive games while Allen was out injured. Elliott, of course, will be out for the next month after suffering a lower-body ailment against the Sharks on Monday.

There promises to be more than Ken Hitchcock’s watchful eye on Allen moving forward, as Blues fans and observers will be curious to see how the goaltending pans out. Elliott was nothing short of brilliant during his run as the No. 1 netminder, but Allen — 18-11-3 on the year, with a .923 save percentage and 2.18 GAA — is penciled in as St. Louis’ long-term starter, and likely to be in goal by the time the playoffs begin.

For New York, Henrik Lundqvist is in goal.

Elsewhere…

— Michael Neuvirth will start for the fourth time in five games as the Flyers host the Wild. Devan Dubnyk goes for Minnesota.

— After Curtis McElhinney snapped his run of 12 straight starts on Tuesday, Joonas Korpisalo is back in goal for Columbus. He’ll face Cory Schneider and the visiting Devils.

— It’s Cam Ward versus Jonathan Bernier as the ‘Canes take on the Leafs in Toronto.

Louis Domingue will look to give Arizona its first win of a five-game road swing when the Coyotes play in Florida. The Panthers will start Roberto Luongo.

— Big Central Division clash in Chicago between the Preds and ‘Hawks, with Pekka Rinne and Corey Crawford in goal.

Michael Hutchinson will give Ondrej Pavelec the night off in Dallas. The Stars are going with Antti Niemi.

Jaroslav Halak will go for a third straight win when the Isles take on the Flames in Calgary. He’ll be up against Joni Ortio, who makes his second straight start over Jonas Hiller.

— The red-hot Craig Anderson continues to hold down the net for Ottawa. He’ll be in tonight, when the Sens take on Ryan Miller and the Canucks.

Cam Talbot versus Jonathan Quick as Edmonton plays in L.A.

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