Video: Habs’ Pacioretty leaves following hit from Kulikov (Updated)

11 Comments

Montreal Canadiens’ leading scorer Max Pacioretty has left the game in Florida following a collision with Panthers’ defenseman Dmitry Kulikov.

Following the hit, Pacioretty lost his balance and hit his head on the boards.

Update:

The 26-year-old, who leads the Habs with 37 goals and 67 points, appeared dazed as he was helped to the Canadiens bench.

Kulikov received a minor penalty for interference on the play.

Lars Eller has moved into Pacioretty’s spot on a line with David Desharnais and Devante Smith-Pelly.

Goalie Nods: Detroit continues rotation as playoffs near

4 Comments

All the latest from the blue paint…

Petr Mrazek starts for Detroit as rotation continues

Jimmy Howard turned aside 22 of 24 shots in regulation en route to a 3-2 shootout win over Minnesota on Saturday, but Red Wings coach Mike Babcock announced well in advance that Howard and Mrazek would split Detroit’s goaltending duties this weekend. That’s nothing new for the Wings as Howard’s recent struggles have thrown his status as the team’s number one netminder in question.

The debate was also fueled by Mrazek’s strong play in March (2.18 GAA and .932 save percentage in six games), but he allowed three goals on 25 shots against Boston on April 2.

It remains to be seen if Detroit will enter the playoffs with a clear starting goaltender. Then again, it remains to be seen if Detroit will enter the playoffs at all. A loss against Washington tonight could certainly complicate matters for the Red Wings.

It’s not clear who will play between the pipes for Washington, although it wouldn’t be shocking to see Braden Holtby start on no rest.

Elsewhere…

Habs at Panthers: No confirmed goaltenders yet for this one, but Carey Price is rested so odds are Montreal will start him. Dan Ellis might get the nod for Florida after Roberto Luongo surrendered four goals on 22 shots on Saturday.

Sens at Leafs: Andrew Hammond vs. Jonathan Bernier

Blues at Hawks: Jake Allen vs. Corey Crawford

Goalie Nods: Halak looks to bump slump vs. Sabres

2 Comments

Halak gets the nod for the Isles

Jaroslav Halak will look to get back on track against the lowly Buffalo Sabres Saturday night. Halak has lost two of three starts while allowing 10 goals on 101 shots. He gave up three goals on 39 shots in the Islanders 4-3 shootout loss to Columbus on Thursday. New York has lost four of five, but can clinch a playoff berth with a regulation win tonight.

Andrey Makarov gets the start for Buffalo.

Elsewhere…

Penguins at Blue Jackets: Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Sergei Bobrovsky

Canucks at Jets: Eddie Lack vs. Ondrej Pavelec

Red Wings at Wild: Jimmy Howard vs. Devan Dubnyk

Devils at Rangers: Cory Schneider vs. Henrik Lundqvist

Lightning at Panthers: Ben Bishop vs. Roberto Luongo

Capitals at Senators: Braden Holtby vs. Andrew Hammond

Leafs at Bruins: James Reimer vs. Tuukka Rask

Stars at Predators: Jhonas Enroth vs. Pekka Rinne

Sharks at Coyotes: Antti Niemi (unconfirmed) vs. Mike Smith

Flames at Oilers: Karri Ramo vs. Ben Scrivens

Avalanche at Kings: Semyon Varlamov vs. Jonathan Quick

Luongo collects 400th win, but major milestone’s bittersweet

2 Comments

Roberto Luongo is only the 11th goaltender in the league’s history to reach the 400-win mark and he earned that milestone in style tonight by turning aside 31 of 32 shots in a 6-1 win over Carolina.

Nevertheless, the timing of this event could have been better.

“I don’t take it for granted. I’m blessed to play this long in the NHL and something that I love, but at the same time I would’ve liked to have got it a few games earlier and maybe get a few more points in the standings,” Luongo told the Sun Sentinel.

Luongo’s point is that despite tonight’s win the Panthers are still likely to miss the playoffs. Had he earned his 400th victory on Tuesday against Boston, the Panthers would be in a better spot.

Nevertheless, this is a remarkable accomplishment for Luongo. He earned 252 of his victories with Vancouver and 141 with Florida. That split has provided him with the rare distinction of being the all-time leader for both franchises. His other seven victories came with the New York Islanders, which drafted him back in 1997, but traded him along with Olli Jokinen to Florida in 2000 in exchange for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha.

Luongo is also just one win shy of Chris Osgood and 10th place on the all-time list.

Jagr now shares fourth on all-time points list with Ron Francis

3 Comments

The Florida Panthers kept their faint playoff hopes alive on Thursday with a crushing 6-1 victory over Carolina. Along the way, Jaromir Jagr collected his 721st career goal and 1,077th career assist.

Those 1,798 points put him in a tie with Ron Francis for fourth place on the NHL’s all-time scoring leaderboard. Francis joined the Pittsburgh Penguins during Jagr’s rookie campaign with the franchise and the two played together until the 1998-99 campaign.

Jagr turned 43 on Feb. 15, but he has still managed to score 16 goals and 43 points in 73 contests in 2014-15. To put that in perspective, of players who were 42 or older by Feb. 1 of the applicable campaign, Gordie Howe is the all-time single season leader with 52 points. Jagr is just the fifth player to get at least 43 points in a season at 42 (again, by Feb. 1) or older along with Mark Recchi, Igor Larionov, and Mark Messier, per Hockey Reference.

It’s likely that his longevity will continue to be put to the test as Florida is interested in re-signing him for the 2015-16 campaign. The Panthers’ interest isn’t surprising given that he has 14 points in 16 games since joining the team from New Jersey.

His success with Florida also means this tie might not last long.