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Goalie Nods: Craig Anderson returns to Senators lineup

Craig Anderson will be back in the Ottawa Senators lineup on Saturday night when the team visits the Buffalo Sabres. It has been an extremely tough couple of weeks for Anderson as he has had to leave the team on two different occasions to be with his wife, Nicholle, after she was recently diagnosed with cancer.

In his two starts since then Anderson has allowed only one goal on 70 shots, including a 37-save shutout against the Edmonton Oilers.

His return to the Senators lineup on Saturday happens to come on the NHL’s hockey fights cancer night.

The Senators will be wearing these stickers on their helmets for the game.

Anderson and the Senators will be opposed by former Ottawa goalie Robin Lehner.

Elsewhere…

— The New York Islanders have some interesting line combinations for their game against Edmonton on Saturday night. They will go with Jaroslav Halak in net. Expect Edmonton to go with Cam Talbot, as they have done in every game this season.

— The Boston Bruins will look to remain perfect with Tuukka Rask in the lineup (6-0-0 entering the day) when they face the New York Rangers. The Rangers, playing the first end of a back-to-back, will go with Antti Raanta.

— After Al Montoya had to take one for the team on Saturday and allowed 10 goals in a blowout loss to Columbus, Carey Price will be back in the Montreal net on Saturday against Philadelphia. The Flyers, who are getting one of their top defenseman back, will give Michal Neuvirth his fourth consecutive start.

— No official word yet from Columbus, but after Sergei Bobrovsky started on Friday and made 30 saves against Montreal it seems possible, if not likely, the Blue Jackets could come back with backup Curtis McElhinney for his first start of the season against the Blues. St. Louis is starting Carter Hutton.

— It will be Braden Holtby vs. Roberto Luongo when the Panthers and Capitals play in Washington.

— Two of the best goalies in the NHL will face off in Tampa Bay with Cory Schneider (Devils) and Ben Bishop (Lightning) expected to get the starts.

— The Canucks, trying to snap a seven-game losing streak, will go with Ryan Miller against Toronto. No official word from the Maple Leafs.

— Expect a Pekka Rinne vs. Cam Ward matchup when the Predators and Hurricanes meet.

Antti Niemi will go for Dallas against Chicago’s Corey Crawford in a Central Division matchup. It is the first of two games between the two teams this weekend.

Matt Murray will make his second start of the season for the Pittsburgh Penguins when they play San Jose. The Sharks will go with Martin Jones in a rematch of the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.

— The Kings are expected to once again go with Peter Budaj because of the injuries to Jonathan Quick and Jeff Zatkoff, while the Calgary Flames will go with Brian Elliott.

 

Rangers’ Kreider fractures foot vs. Flyers

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New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider suffered a fractured foot against the Philadelphia Flyers Friday.

The alternate captain blocked a shot from Philippe Myers with 7:40 remaining in the opening period. He played one more shift for 10 seconds before heading to the locker room. The Rangers have not provided a timeline for the injury.

New York signed Chris Kreider to a $45.5 million, seven-year extension prior to the trade deadline. The 28-year-old power forward has 24 goals and 21 assists in 63 games this season.


Scott Charles is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottMCharles.

Robin Lehner to make Golden Knights debut; Mark Stone injured

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The Vegas Golden Knights have been one of the league’s hottest teams over the past month and will be looking to extend their current winning streak to eight games on Friday night when they host the Buffalo Sabres.

Coach Pete DeBoer had some significant lineup news ahead of the game on Friday afternoon, including a potentially significant injury.

First, is the news that big trade deadline acquisition Robin Lehner will be making his first start in goal for the team. The Golden Knights acquired Lehner from the Chicago Blackhawks just ahead of the NHL trade deadline on Monday for a draft pick and a prospect. Lehner has been one of the league’s best goalies for the past two years and alongside Marc-Andre Fleury should give them one of the league’s best goaltending duos.

The far more serious news, though, was the announcement that forward Mark Stone will not play on Friday due to a lower-body injury.

DeBoer had no immediate information on how long Stone could be out, only to say that he is still being evaluated.

When asked if it could potentially be a long-term injury DeBoer said “There’s always fear. We don’t know, but we’ll see,” via NHL.com.

Stone is one of the league’s best all-around forwards and has not only been a point-per-game player for the past three seasons, he is also one of the best defensive forwards in the league. He finished the 2018-19 season as the top runner-up for the Selke Trophy, something that has become almost unheard of for a winger.

The Golden Knights enter Friday’s game in first place in the Pacific Division, four points ahead of the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks.

Related: Blackhawks trade Robin Lehner to Golden Knights

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

 

Oilers’ Mike Green to miss 3-4 weeks with sprained MCL

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Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland was busy at the NHL trade deadline adding Mike Green, Andreas Athanasiou, and Tyler Ennis to his roster in an effort to improve its depth. But just two games later his team has already lost one of those new players to injury.

The Oilers announced on Friday that Green, acquired from the Detroit Red Wings for Kyle Brodziak and a draft pick, will be sidelined for the next 3-4 weeks due to an MCL sprain.

That is the way things seem to be going for the Oilers right now as injuries keep adding up throughout their roster.

Green joins an injury list that already includes the team’s top defenseman (Oscar Klefbom), as well as James Neal, Kailer Yamamoto, and Kris Russell.

Green played 19 minutes in the Oilers’ 3-0 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday.

Athanasiou was also injured in that game, but is expected to play on Saturday when the Oilers host the Winnipeg Jets.

The Oilers enter the weekend in third place in the Pacific Division with 74 points, four points back of Vegas and only two points ahead of the non-playoff teams in the Western Conference.

Related: Red Wings send Mike Green to Oilers

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Report: Islanders will play all home games at Nassau Coliseum in 2020-21

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March 22 will be the final Islanders’ game at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, according to Newsday.

Randi Marshall reports that New York governor Andrew Cuomo will announce on Saturday that the Islanders will play any home playoff games this season and all of their 2020-21 home schedule at Nassau Coliseum.

The Islanders are currently building a new arena by Belmont Park race track which is expected to be ready in time for the 2021-22 NHL season. The franchise played all of its home games at the Coliseum from 1972-2015 before moving to Brooklyn full-time in 2015. That lasted until 2018 when they split home games at both arenas, with Nassau Coliseum playing host to their Round 1 matchup against the Penguins and Barclays for their second round series against the Hurricanes.

While Barclays Center helped keep the Islanders in New York, it has not been the easiest arena to travel to for fans. The ability to get there via mass transit was a positive that the Coliseum doesn’t have. Yet when the Islanders returned back to Long Island last season, there was plenty nostalgia over the building that was home for the franchise’s glory days.

In September the Islanders broke ground on the new 19,000-seat arena by Belmont Park which is less than 10 miles from Nassau Coliseum.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.