Goalie nods: It’s Reim-time in Toronto again


The last time the Florida Panthers were at the ACC, James Reimer played the role of spectator while Roberto Luongo tended goal in a 3-2 loss.

Tonight, those roles will be reversed.

Reimer, who spent the first six years of his career with the Leafs, will get the nod tonight when the Panthers invade Toronto. It promises to be an emotional night for the 28-year-old, who made over 200 appearances for the blue-and-white and backstopped them to their lone playoff appearance since 2004.

After getting traded to San Jose last season, Reimer signed with the Panthers this summer. He’s made six appearances thus far — though one was a 20-second cameo against the Isles — and has posted a .905 save percentage and 2.73 GAA.

For the Leafs, Frederik Andersen will be in goal.


Ben Bishop makes his second straight start as the Lightning take on the Sabres in Buffalo. He’ll be up against Robin Lehner, who has lost four straight games while posting a .906 save percentage.

— The red-hot Connor Hellebuyck will go again for the Jets, who are in Philly. Hellebuyck is riding a four-game winning streak, having posted a .946 save percentage and 1.47 GAA over that span. For the Flyers, Steve Mason is in net.

— After sitting out a 6-2 loss to Toronto due to a lower-body injury, Pekka Rinne is back in goal for Nashville. He’ll take on Mike Condon, who gives Craig Anderson the night off in Ottawa.

— Marquee matchup in Minnesota as Tuukka Rask and the Bruins face Devan Dubnyk and the Wild.

— The Sharks will go with Martin Jones (last three starts: 3-0-0, .959 save percentage) as they take on the Blues. St. Louis will counter with Jake Allen.

— The in-form Semyon Varlamov looks to continue his stretch of fine play in Dallas. Kari Lehtonen appears likely for the Stars.

Ryan Miller has fallen ill, so Jacob Markstrom starts again for the Canucks. No word on a Coyotes starter yet, but Mike Smith did return from a lengthy injury to play in last night’s loss to Calgary.

— No starting announcements from Anaheim, where the Devils will take on the Ducks.

Peter Budaj will start again for the Kings, who host Edmonton. The Oilers haven’t revealed their starter.

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    Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

    Ilya Mikheyev
    Bob Frid/USA TODAY Sports

    VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

    Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

    Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

    Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

    Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

    Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports

    Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

    The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

    Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

    After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

    Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

    Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

    caufield surgery
    David Kirouac/USA TODAY Sports

    MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

    But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

    “I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

    Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

    “I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

    Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

    Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

    Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

    All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

    matty beniers
    Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports

    SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

    Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

    The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

    Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

    Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.