Calvin Pickard

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Talbot to help Flyers make NHL history as eighth goalie used this season

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Exactly two weeks after the Philadelphia Flyers acquired Cam Talbot from the Edmonton Oilers, the 31-year-old netminder will finally debut for his new team.

Talbot was the odd-man out after the deal, sitting in the pressbox for his first three games as a Flyer. Since Carter Hart’s injury, he’s been backing up Brian Elliott. Friday night he’ll finally get a start and help make NHL history in the process.

When the puck drops against the New Jersey Devils with Talbot in net, the Flyers will become the first NHL team to use eight  goalies in one season. They had been stuck on seven since Mike McKenna‘s start in early January and tied with the 1989-90 Quebec Nordiques, 2002-03 St. Louis Blues and the 2007-08 Los Angeles Kings.

Flyers interim head coach Scott Gordon was one the seven who got a turn in goal for that Nordiques team.

Here’s a look at the games played for each of the eight goalies the Flyers have used this season:

Carter Hart – 22
Brian Elliott – 19
Anthony Stolarz – 12
Calvin Pickard – 11
Michal Neuvirth – 7
Alex Lyon – 2
Mike McKenna – 1
Cam Talbot – 0

The opportunity for Talbot arose because Friday’s game is the second game of a back-to-back following Thursday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Philadelphia is still clinging to slim playoff hopes with a six-point gap between them and the Carolina Hurricanes, who hold the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Talbot hasn’t played since Feb. 9, but is certainly eager to get back between the pipes again. Hart is expected to return soon, so who knows when Talbot will get another look after Friday. In the meantime, enjoying making history!

“I don’t know if it’s something you really want to be a part of as a goalie or not,” Talbot said on Thursday via the Inquirer. “But here we are.”

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Video: Avalanche prospect goalie Pickard makes unbelievable diving glove save

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Colorado Avalanche prospect goalie Calvin Pickard, currently with the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League, made a spectacular diving glove save during Wednesday’s game against the Milwaukee Admirals.

Admirals winger Kevin Fiala appeared to have a wide open net on a one-time shot from the slot, but Pickard reached out with the glove as he fell to his left to make the save.

Avs ‘absolutely not’ shutting down Varlamov (groin), says Roy

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The Colorado Avalanche are seven points out of a playoff spot with 15 games to go, but they’re not letting that alter their course of action with No. 1 netminder Semyon Varlamov.

Varlamov, who’s struggled with groin injuries all year long, missed Tuesday’s 5-2 loss to Los Angeles while dealing with, you guessed it, a groin injury.

Despite that, Avs head coach Patrick Roy said there’s no chance he shuts down Varlamov for the rest of the year.

From the Denver Post:

Roy said Varlamov’s injury is not as serious as it was earlier in the season and that the team is “absolutely not” thinking about shutting him down for the season and watching Berra and Pickard audition for next season’s backup job.

“I just don’t want to go into detail — and it’s not like I want to keep it for us — but I’m not a doctor,” Roy said of Varlamov’s injury. “I can’t give you the exact term and exactly how it is, but, no, it’s not as severe as the first times.”

While Varlamov hasn’t been as good as he was during last year’s Vezina finalist campaign, he’s still posted pretty solid numbers in 2014-15: 22-17-7 record, .921 save percentage, 2.56 GAA and five shutouts.

News that Varlamov will continue to play this season — he’s expected to start Thursday against New Jersey — puts a pinch on Calvin Pickard and Reto Berra, who are essentially battling for the backup gig in Colorado, but now won’t have as many opportunities to win it.

Pickard is a RFA at season’s end and looks to have the upper hand given his body of work this season (6-7-3, .932 save percentage, 2.35 GAA), but Berra will be in the mix as well mostly because of his contract, which is of the one-way variety and pays $1.4 million.

 

Video: Avs’ playoff hopes fade as Kings inch closer to wild card

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Brayden McNabb had a career-high three-point night chasing Calvin Pickard in the L.A. Kings’ 5-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche Tuesday night.

McNabb’s second of the season at 14:15 of the first period stood to be the winner. The goal, which gave the Kings a 3-1 lead, ended Pickard’s night early.

The Avs’ rookie goaltender allowed three goals on the game’s first eight shots and was replaced by Reto Berra. Berra made 20 saves in relief.

With the win, the Kings (32-21-13) move to within one point of the second wild card spot in the Western Conference. L.A. also has a game in hand on Winnipeg. The Kings are now 3-0-1 in their last four.

L.A. is tied with Calgary (77 points) in the Pacific Division, but the Flames hold the tie break.

The loss drops the Avs (30-26-11) seven points back of a wild card spot.

Marian Gaborik and Jeff Carter had first period goals for the Kings. Kyle Clifford, who had a goal and an assist in the win, scored in the second. Jake Muzzin added his seventh of the season in the third.

Justin Williams had a pair of assists.

Tyson Barrie and Alex Tanguay had the Avs’ goals.

Jonathan Quick improved to 28-17-11 on the season with a 21 save performance.

WATCH LIVE: Kings at Avalanche

The L.A. Kings and Colorado Avalanche meet in the second of three meetings this season between the two clubs tonight at the Pepsi Center.

L.A. won the first meeting 4-1 on Feb .18.

With Semyon Varlamov listed as day-to-day with a groin injury, rookie Calvin Pickard will get the start for the Avs.

Colorado is looking to match a season-high with its fourth straight win while L.A. enters tonight’s action two points back of the Calgary Flames for the third seed in the Pacific Division and three points shy of the Winnipeg Jets for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.

Puck drop is at 9 p.m. ET. You can catch the game on NBCSN or live online via NBCSports.com’s Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Some relevant linkage for tonight’s affair:

Get your game notes: Kings at Avalanche

NHL on NBCSN: Hot Avs challenge Kings in battle between desperate squads

Avs recall Pickard in case Varlamov can’t play Tuesday