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.
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
Canadiens legend Elmer Lach, who was the center between Maurice Richard and Toe Blake on the famous Punch Line, has died at the age of 97.
He was the oldest living member of the Canadiens.
According to Dave Stubbs of The Montreal Gazette, Lach passed away due to complications from a stroke suffered last weekend.
“Every member of the Canadiens organization is profoundly saddened and touched by the death of Mr. Lach. Elmer Lach was a determined player who enjoyed a great career with the Canadiens and who became an important part of the community in Montreal. On behalf of the Molson family and all members of the organization, I offer my sincere condolences to the members of his family,” said Canadiens president, Geoff Molson in a statement.
Lach won Stanley Cups with the Canadiens in 1944, 1946 and 1953. He won the Hart Trophy following the 1944-45 season, which saw him register 26 goals and 80 points in 50 games.
Lach retired following the 1953-54 season as the league’s all-time leader in points with 623 – a record currently held by Wayne Gretzky (2,857).
Commissioner Gary Bettman released the following statement:
The National Hockey League deeply mourns the passing of Elmer Lach — center on Montreal’s legendary ‘Punch Line’ with Toe Blake and Maurice Richard, owner of the sole assist on Richard’s 50th goal in 50 games in 1944-45 and someone who, at 97 years of age, was just a few months younger than the League itself. The League sends heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of this three-time Stanley Cup champion, two-time scoring champion and 1945 Hart Trophy winner.
The Nokomis, Saskatchewan native was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966.
The Devils do not expect Scott Gomez to receive any further punishment for his elbow to Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin’s mouth and subsequent game misconduct penalty Friday night at Prudential Center.
In fact, they were surprised Gomez got the major penalty in response to a shove from Emelin that sent the Devils’ center tumbling into the end boards a few moments earlier in the second period.
“I didn’t think it was bad when I saw it. I thought it was really exaggerated once I looked at it over,” Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said. “But that’s a call in the official’s hands. Nothing we can do about it.”