Just one game on the ledger tonight, but there’s still a goalie storyline to follow — in Brooklyn, the Isles will continue to ride Jaroslav Halak when they host the Bolts at Barclays.
Halak has received almost all the minutes since Thomas Greiss was on the hook for a 6-1 loss to Tampa Bay back on Nov. 1.
Since then, Greiss has only made one appearance — in relief of Halak in a 4-1 loss to the Lightning on Nov. 10 — in what’s become another twist in New York’s ongoing goalie saga.
Halak’s most recent outing came on Saturday, in which he made 40 saves in a 3-2 OT loss in Florida. On paper, it looked like a strong effort — especially since the Isles were out-shot 43-21 — but, afterward, the veteran ‘tender stepped up and took blame for Jonathan Marchessault‘s game-tying goal with 13.6 seconds left.
“It shouldn’t go in. That’s on me,” Halak said, per Newsday. “Obviously it was a better game, but the second goal really bugs me. I can’t let it happen.”
These are certainly tough times for the Isles. The club has been thinned out on defense, with Ryan Pulock and Dennis Seidenberg on IR, and Travis Hamonic making an early return from a suspected broken thumb.
They’ve also been collectively outscored 10-2 by Tampa Bay this season, and the head-to-head series is only two games deep. Tonight’s game will be the third and final meeting of the year.
For the Bolts, Andrei Vaslievskiy gets the start. His last outing came in the aforementioned Nov. 10 win over the Isles, in which he made 31 saves on 32 shots.