Goalie nods: Red-hot McElhinney faces desperate Kings

All the latest from the blue paint…

Jackets roll with McElhinney

Curtis McElhinney will start his third straight game when the Blue Jackets host the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings in Columbus tonight.

McElhinney, propelled into starting duties with Sergei Bobrovsky injured, has been excellent as of late; over the weekend, he earned back-to-back starts against St. Louis and Ottawa and played extremely well, stopping 66 of 68 shots for a .971 save percentage (and a pair of wins: 7-1 over the Blues and 4-1 over the Sens).

The 31-year-old, who’s a UFA at season’s end, has been pretty steady for Columbus this season and received plenty of playing time given Bobrovsky’s recurring health woes. McElhinney’s 7-8-1 on the year with a 2.77 GAA and .915 save percentage.

For the Kings, Jonathan Quick is expected to get the start in goal. L.A. heads into tonight’s action five points back of eighth-place Calgary in the Western Conference.


Oilers at Devils: Ben Scrivens vs. Cory Schneider

Canucks at Wild: Ryan Miller vs. Devan Dubnyk

Coyotes at ‘Hawks: Mike Smith vs. Antti Raanta

Flames at Sharks: Jonas Hiller for Calgary, Antti Niemi likely for San Jose.

Fleury sets franchise record as Pens blank the Flames


Sidney Crosby scored twice and Marc-Andre Fleury made 21 saves as the Pittsburgh Penguins shutout the Calgary Flames 4-0 Friday night.

The Penguins have now won three of four.

With the shutout, Fleury set a new franchise record.

Fleury made a highlight-reel save to rob Jiri Hudler of a sure goal early in the third period.

“It should mean a lot,” said Crosby of the record. “There’s some really good teams with some of the goalies that have played in Pittsburgh. How difficult it is; it’s not easy and he’s played for a long time. I’m definitely happy for him. He earned every bit of it tonight. He made some huge saves for us, like we’ve seen time and time again.

“The last 15 minutes there, you could tell that guys weren’t going to take any chances and when we did kind of give up something you could tell guys were extra desperate. For a 4-0 game you don’t see guys usually that desperate. That’s the reason why, and it’s good to see that. Guys really wanted to see him get that.”

Chris Kunitz had three assists in the win.

David Perron and Brandon Sutter had the other Penguins goals.

Jonas Hiller allowed four goals on 24 shots and was replaced Karri Ramo in the third. Ramo made six saves in relief.

With the loss, the Flames concluded their six-game home stand with a 4-2-0 record.

Video: Crosby scores one-handed


Sidney Crosby snapped a six-game goalless drought with a highlight-reel marker Friday night.

The Penguins captain re-directed a Chris Kunitz feed, one-handed, past Jonas Hiller for his 16th of the season.

Crosby added his second of the night in the third period forcing Bob Hartley to make a goaltending change.

After allowing four goals on 24 shots, Hiller was replaced by Karri Ramo

Goalie nods: Caps set to give Grubauer season debut


All the latest from the blue paint…

Interesting times in D.C.

Curious situation in Washington — after Braden Holtby stopped 25 of 26 shots in a 2-1 win over Ottawa last night, the Caps look like they’re turning to Philipp Grubauer, not Justin Peters, in the second of a back-to-back tonight against Anaheim.

Grubauer, who has spent all of this season in AHL Hershey, hasn’t played in the NHL since March of last season but has shown well in the past — posting a .925 save percentage and 2.38 GAA last year.

Peters, meanwhile, has struggled in his first year in Washington, going 2-5-1 with a 3.58 GAA and .870 save percentage. The 28-year-old has only played twice since the calendar turned to 2015, allowing five goals on 26 shots in a loss to Dallas and four goals on 40 shots in a loss to the Blues on Sunday.

As for Anaheim, no word yet on who gets the start tonight.


Leafs at Devils: James Reimer vs. Cory Schneider

Blues at Blue Jackets: Brian Elliott vs. Curtis McElhinney

‘Hawks at Jets: Corey Crawford vs. Michael Hutchinson

Pens at Flames: Jonas Hiller for Calgary, Marc-Andre Fleury likely for Pittsburgh.

Confidence continues to grow as Flames keep on winning


The Calgary Flames weren’t expected to be in this position.

The Flames, winners in eight of their last 10 games after defeating the visiting San Jose Sharks by a final score of 3-1 on Wednesday, are now second in the Pacific Division.

Yeah. They’re 11 points back of the Anaheim Ducks, so perhaps the division is out of reach.

With 30 games remaining in the Flames’ season, the adage would be there is plenty of hockey left, but could the playoffs be a legitimate possibility with this team?

“Every game we win the confidence rises,” said Flames goalie Jonas Hiller, as per NHL.com following Wednesday’s game.

“At the same time, I think everybody in here knows if we want to have success we have to work hard. We don’t just feel now it’s going to come for free. We know we have to work hard. We go out there, we don’t worry about who we’re playing. Sure, we respect them, but we’re not trying to play to their strengths.”

San Jose defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic missed the entire second half of the middle period, and a few minutes in the third period, too.

However, Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said his absence was because of an equipment issue, according to Curtis Pashelka of the Bay Area News Group.

The Sharks are in Vancouver on Thursday. They’re two points ahead of the Canucks.

Maybe the Sharks can take this as a positive? John Scott, known more for his enforcer capabilities, actually scored, pulling San Jose to within two goals in the third period.

For Scott, that’s his second goal of the season and the fourth of his career. For the first time in his NHL career, Scott has actually scored more than one goal in a single season.