Goalie nods: Allen and Elliott look to clinch playoff berths

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Last year, Jake Allen and Brian Elliott worked in tandem to help St. Louis make the playoffs, and advance all the way to the Western Conference Final.

This year, things are a little different.

Both will have a shot at clinching a playoff berth tonight, but for different teams. Allen will get the call as the Blues take on the Avs, and Elliott starts when the Flames face the Sharks.

Allen, who has been terrific in March, doesn’t actually need to win tonight to clinch a postseason spot. St. Louis is in if it gets a single point, or if the Kings lose to the Canucks in any fashion.

For Elliott and the Flames, there’s a multitude of ways in.

They clinch if they defeat the Sharks in any fashion, or if they get a single point and the Kings lose to the Canucks in any fashion.

If L.A. loses to Vancouver in regulation, Calgary’s in as well.

Elsewhere…

Matt Murray gets the call when the Pens take on the Rangers at MSG. Henrik Lundqvist, who has given up 10 goals over his last two outings, will try and tighten things up for New York.

Keith Kinkaid will go ahead of Cory Schneider for the Devils, who are in Brooklyn tonight. No word on an Isles starter, as both Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss played in Thursday’s ugly loss to the Flyers.

Corey Crawford, fresh off a 31-save win against Pittsburgh on Wednesday, goes again for the ‘Hawks. No word yet on a Columbus starter, but Joonas Koprisalo did play last night.

— The Coyotes will give Louis Domingue another start, as Mike Smith is still battling illness. Washington has yet to announce a starter, but Philipp Grubauer played in Wednesday’s win over the Avs.

— With Jacob Markstrom done for the year, Ryan Miller starts yet again for the Canucks, who host the Kings tonight. No word yet on a L.A. starter, but Ben Bishop got the win in Calgary on Wednesday.

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    Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

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    CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

    The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

    The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

    The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

    Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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    ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

    The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

    The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

    Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

    The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.

    Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

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    TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

    The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

    “This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

    Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.

    Maple Leafs sign defenseman Rasmus Sandin to 2-year deal

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    TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.

    The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.

    “Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”

    The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.

    Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.