Goalie nods: Another start for Reimer, who’s turned his season around
James Reimer will start for the fourth time in seven games tonight, as the Panthers return to action with a home date against the Kings.
Reimer also started Florida’s last game -- a 2-1 win over Anaheim last Friday -- and played very well, making 22 saves. All told he’s now stopped 53 of his last 55 shots faced, good for a .964 save percentage, and in doing so has written a tale of two campaigns.
After signing a fairly lucrative five-year, $17 million deal with the Panthers last summer, Reimer had a tough start. He posted a .907 save percentage in October and a .890 in November, and had just one regulation win in his first nine appearances.
Since then, though, he’s been solid.
He posted a .941 in December and a .920 in January, playing a key role in keeping Florida’s playoff chances afloat. He’s also played quite a bit -- tonight will be his 20th start of the year -- which should help veteran starter Roberto Luongo, who showed signs of fatigue near the end of last season.
For the Kings, Peter Budaj starts in goal.
-- Martin Jones, fresh off an ugly outing in Buffalo (five goals on 36 shots), gets right back in to face the Bruins. No word yet on a Boston starter, as it had no morning skate.
-- Jacob Markstrom started Tuesday in Nashville, so Ryan Miller returns to start for the Canucks, who are in Columbus. The Blue Jackets are going with Sergei Bobrovsky.
-- The Caps will go back to Braden Holtby, after he shut out Carolina on Tuesday. The visiting Red Wings will stick with Petr Mrazek, who has stopped 98 of his last 105 shots faced (.933 save percentage).
-- The streaking Thomas Greiss, who’s won four of his last five, goes once again for the Isles. The host Flyers will go with Steve Mason, who hasn’t started since Jan. 31.
-- Pekka Rinne gets the night off, as Juuse Saros will start for Nashville in New York. Henrik Lundqvist, fresh off a 43-save win over Anaheim on Tuesday, goes for the Blueshirts.
-- It’s John Gibson versus Robin Lehner as the Ducks take on the Sabres in Buffalo.
-- Frederik Andersen’s play has come under scrutiny lately (more on that here), but he’ll go tonight when the Blues visit Toronto. Jake Allen, who’s on a roll and shut out Ottawa on Tuesday, goes for St. Louis.
-- After Andrew Hammond got spanked by the Blues the other night, Ottawa goes back to Mike Condon. He’ll be up against Kari Lehtonen, who draws back in after Antti Niemi played last game.
-- Two of the NHL’s youngest netminders do battle in Colorado, as Matt Murray and the Penguins take on Calvin Pickard and the Avs.
-- Carey Price will look to rebound from an ugly January when he and the Habs take on the Coyotes. Arizona will go with Mike Smith, who posted 38 saves in a win over San Jose his last time out.