Goalie nods: Varlamov re-injures groin, Pickard coming back up


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Varly injured

Not a nod for tonight, but some pressing goalie news — Colorado No. 1 Semyon Varlamov, dogged all year with groin problems, aggravated the injury during Monday’s practice and will miss Tuesday’s game against Nashville as a result.

With Varlamov hurt, the Avs will recall Calvin Pickard from AHL Lake Erie — and what’s more, head coach Patrick Roy said that it’ll be Pickard, not backup Reto Berra, who’ll start against the Preds.

Colorado’s goaltending hasn’t been good this season. The team’s save percentage is bottom 10 in the league, and the rotating crease conundrum hasn’t helped matters; Varlamov’s groin has kept him from getting in a rhythm and Berra has been a nightmare when called upon in relief situations, which has forced Colorado to rush the 22-year-old Pickard into action.


Devils at ‘Canes: Cory Schneider vs. Cam Ward

Pens at Rangers: Henrik Lundqvist for New York, Marc-Andre Fleury likely for Pittsburgh.

Panthers at Blues: Roberto Luongo vs. Martin Brodeur

Luongo passed Belfour for fourth all-time in saves this weekend


Roberto Luongo achieved a milestone this weekend, and it wasn’t about foiling the Buffalo Sabres once again. He now ranks fourth all-time in saves with 22,438, passing Hall-of-Famer Ed Belfour in the process.

One can fathom that Luongo’s seasons with the Florida Panthers play the biggest role, as Luongo remarkably reached this many saves in far fewer games played (823) than Belfour (963).

As you can see from the three guys ahead of him, it won’t be easy to advance higher up this list:

1. Martin Brodeur: 28,810
2. Patrick Roy: 25,807
3. Curtis Joseph: 24,279
4. Luongo: 22,438

If you take a straight average of his 22,438 saves in 823 games, he makes about 27 stops per night, so it would take quite a while to get by Cujo and Roy (as usual with Brodeur, it’s tough to imagine people breaking his records).

Evgeni Nabokov is the second-highest ranked active player on the all-time list, coming in at No. 18 with 16,680 saves.

Hall of Fame voters probably don’t look at a goalie’s volume of saves when considering his merits, yet this is another bullet point on Luongo’s resume.

Goalie nods: Luongo hopes to blank Buffalo once again

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Bobby Lou loves facing Buffalo

As many point out, Roberto Luongo has really pumped up his numbers against the Buffalo Sabres lately, as he carries a three-game shutout streak into Saturday’s game. That streak includes his past two starts versus Buffalo as a member of the Florida Panthers, so it’s not merely a matter of his days with the Vancouver Canucks.

Luongo’s been quite effective for Florida, in general, even if he hasn’t always received the best bounces (judging by the six in his 8-5-6 record). His .924 save percentage is a strong argument that he can make things work under most circumstances, even as people focus on a contract even he grew to hate.

The Sabres rode a hot streak with Jhonas Enroth pretty recently, yet it sounds like Michal Neuvirth will get the nod today.

Elsewhere …

Flyers at Kings: Steve Mason for sure on Philly’s end, probably Jonathan Quick for Los Angeles.

Capitals at Devils: Braden Holtby seems most likely, Cory Scheider for sure.

Canucks at Maple Leafs: Ryan Miller’s expected, Jonathan Bernier’s confirmed.

Rangers at Red Wings: Cam Talbot vs. Jimmy Howard.

Canadiens at Stars: Likely Carey Price vs. Kari Lehtonen.

Blue Jackets at Lightning: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Ben Bishop.

Blackhawks at Pekka Rinne: Best guess right now is Scott Darling vs. Pekka Rinne.

Bruins at Coyotes: Possibly Tuukka Rask, definitely Devan Dubnyk.

Sharks at Flames: Expected Antti Niemi vs. Karri Ramo.

Bobrovsky sets club record as Jackets edge Panthers


Ryan Johansen had the shootout winner and Sergei Bobrovsky made 52 saves as the Columbus Blue Jackets edged the Florida Panthers 4-3 Thursday night.

Nick Foligno, Cam Atkinson and Boone Jenner gave Columbus a 3-0 lead early in the second period; however, Nick Bjugstad scored twice and Tomas Fleischmann scored the other as Florida forced overtime salvaging a single point.

With his 52-save performance Bobrovsky set a new franchise record.

He wasn’t really interested in discussing it post-game.

Roberto Luongo made 17 saves in the loss.

With the win, the Blue Jackets have won two in a row for the first time since mid-November.

The Panthers dropped both games in the home-and-home with Jackets this week.

Goalie nods: Rynnas starts for Stars, who are looking for answers in net


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Stars turn to Rynnas

Jussi Rynnas will make his Dallas debut tonight — and play in the NHL for the first time since Feb. 2013 — when the Stars take on the Wings in Detroit.

The Finnish netminder, who first broke in with Toronto but came back to North America this year after a stint in the SM-liiga, had previously spent all of this season with Dallas’ AHL affiliate in Texas. But with Anders Lindback (who cleared waivers today, and is headed to the minors) and Kari Lehtonen struggling, Stars brass opted to give Rynnas a shot.

Rynnas has fared reasonably well at the AHL level this season, going 5-1-4 with a .913 save percentage and 2.58 GAA.

For Detroit, Jimmy Howard gets the call in goal.


Canucks at Pens: Eddie Lack vs. Thomas Greiss

Caps at ‘Canes: Braden Holtby vs. Anton Khudobin

Jackets at Panthers: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Roberto Luongo

Isles at Sens: Jaroslav Halak vs. Craig Anderson

Devils at Leafs: Cory Schneider vs. Jonathan Bernier

Blues at Preds: Martin Brodeur vs. Pekka Rinne

Avs at Flames: Semyon Varlamov vs. Karri Ramo

Kings at Coyotes: Mike Smith for Arizona, Martin Jones likely for L.A.

Bruins at Sharks: Antti Niemi for San Jose, no word yet on a Boston starter.