Goalie nods: Flames sticking with Chad Johnson


Improving their goaltending situation was the No. 1 priority for the Calgary Flames this offseason. They tried to address it in a meaningful way by completely overhauling the position.

Along with acquiring veteran goalie Brian Elliott from the St. Louis Blues, they also went out and signed Chad Johnson to serve as his backup.

Elliott was the one that was expected to really solidify the position and take over the starting spot, but he has struggled mightily through the first quarter of the season and carries an .882 save percentage into the weekend. Because of those struggles Johnson has had an opportunity to get some additional playing time and lately he has been taking advantage of it.

Johnson gets the start again on Sunday evening when the Flames host Jimmy Howard and the Detroit Red Wings.

For Johnson, this will now be four starts in the past six days. He has allowed only four goals in those starts, including a 27-save shutout against the Minnesota Wild.

Long-term if the Flames are going to have any chance of turning this thing around and getting back into playoff contention you have to think it is going to be with Elliott in net. He has been the superior goalie throughout his career, and at times has been a really good one. But for the short-term Johnson has been the hot hand and the Flames are going to ride that as long as they can.


Cam Ward has looked great for the Carolina Hurricanes over his past three starts, allowing just three goals. He gets a chance to continue that stretch against the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday. Connor Hellebuyck is expected to go for the Jets.

— The Rangers are going with Henrik Lundqvist against the Florida Panthers in what will be the first of two games in as many days. Lundqvist gave up three goals in his most recent start and has a .916 save percentage on the year. James Reimer goes for the Panthers.

— The Ducks and Kings get together on Sunday night for what is sure to be another intense matchup. Peter Budaj and John Gibson are the expected goalies.