The San Jose Sharks may finally get a closer look at their backup goaltender Sunday.
Antti Niemi is the only goaltender in the League who has played every minute of every game this season, but that may change when the Sharks visit the Ottawa Senators. Niemi, who has played 668:20 and has a 9-1-1 record with a 1.53 goals-against average and .933 save percentage, stopped all 22 shots he faced in San Jose’s 2-0 victory against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Saturday night.
But the Sharks play back-to-back games this weekend and now travel to Canada’s capital city to take on the Ottawa Senators, it’s expected Sharks coach Todd McLellan will opt to finally rest Niemi and play backup goalie Alex Stalock.
Stalock, 26, was San Jose’s fourth-round selection (No. 112) at the 2005 NHL Draft. He has three games of NHL experience on his resume.
Here's a look at all of the action Sunday night:
San Jose Sharks at Ottawa Senators – San Jose improved to 9-1-1 by blanking the Canadiens on Saturday, led by Niemi and Logan Couture, who scored both goals for the Sharks. Their road trip continues Sunday against the Senators, who dropped a 2-1 decision to the Anaheim Ducks on home ice Friday night. Mika Zibanejad had the only goal against Anaheim and has points in both games he's played since being recalled from the minors this week.
Tampa Bay Lightning at Florida Panthers – The Lightning are on a high after rallying with two goals late in the third period to earn a 3-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The Lightning have won seven of their first 10 games and they now hit the road after going 5-2-0 on a seven-game homestand. Florida will aim to bounce back from a 3-1 loss to the Sabres at BB&T Center on Friday. The Panthers peppered Jhonas Enroth with 45 shots on goal in the loss. Jesse Winchester scored the lone goal.
Anaheim Ducks at Columbus Blue Jackets – The Ducks’ eight-game road trip continues in Columbus, where they’ll look to build off a 2-1 win at Ottawa on Friday. Frederik Andersen made 26 saves for his second NHL victory and helped Anaheim improve to 8-3-0 on the season. Columbus enters with a three-game winning streak, with all the wins taking place at Nationwide Arena. Sunday concludes the Blue Jackets’ four-game homestand. They’ve beaten the Vancouver Canucks, New Jersey Devils and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Winnipeg Jets at Colorado Avalanche – Winnipeg is playing the third game on its four-game road trip. After dropping a 3-2 overtime decision on the road against the Nashville Predators on Thursday, the Jets responded with a 2-1 shootout win against the Dallas Stars on Saturday night. Ondrej Pavelec stopped 15 of 16 shots in the third period to help send the game past regulation. Colorado has opened the season by winning nine of its first 10 games under new coach Patrick Roy. Matt Duchene leads the Avalanche with 12 points (eight goals, four assists).
Edmonton Oilers at Los Angeles Kings – Edmonton’s two-game weekend road trip continues in Los Angeles on Sunday after it lost 5-4 at Phoenix on Saturday afternoon. The Oilers seemed primed to get at least a point until Oliver Ekman-Larsson broke a 4-4 tie with 7:37 left in regulation. Los Angeles is concluding its four-game homestand; the Kings earned a 7-4 win against the Coyotes on Thursday night. Dwight King had a hat trick in the victory.
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