Goaltending has been a huge problem for the Philadelphia Flyers this season with Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth combining for a league-worst .879 save percentage through the first quarter of the season. Neither one has a save percentage north of .900. This regression comes just one year after they were one of the most cost efficient duos in the league, giving the Flyers better than average goaltending for a dirt cheap price against the cap, and it has played a big role in the team’s slow start to the season.
On Sunday evening, they are hoping a fresh face can give the position a little bit of a boost.
That is when 2012 second-round draft pick Anthony Stolarz will finally get his chance to play and make his NHL debut when the teams on the Calgary Flames.
Stolarz has spent the past two full seasons (and the first few weeks of this season) playing for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the AHL where he has shown steady improvement every year. In eight games this season he had a .927 save percentage before his call-up to the NHL.
At the other end of the rink it will be Chad Johnson making yet another start for the Flames as he looks to continue his strong play and perhaps take even more playing time away form Brian Elliott. Johnson has a .927 save percentage in 11 starts for the Flames this season and has been on a roll over the past month, taking a 6-2-0 record and a .939 save percentage in the month of November into Sunday’s game.
— In the two 1 p.m. ET afternoon games it was Ben Bishop (Tampa Bay) going against Tuukka Rask (Boston), while Nashville went with Juuse Saros in its game against Connor Hellebuyck and the Winnipeg Jets.
— Cam Talbot will make his league-leading 21st appearance for the first place Edmonton Oilers on Sunday afternoon when he gets yet another start against Arizona. The Coyotes will counter with Mike Smith who has played pretty well (.918 save percentage, and two games with more at least 32 saves) since returning to the lineup from injury.
— Look for James Reimer to get the start for the Florida Panthers as they play the second half of a back-to-back by visiting the Carolina Hurricanes. Carolina played last night and Cam Ward has played 10 games in a row, but regular backup Eddie Lack remains on injured reserve. If it’s not Ward, Michael Leighton would make his season debut.