The Net Effect

12/09/2010 3:05 AM -  David Satriano

Chicago Blackhawks
Corey Crawford has started six of the Blackhawks’ past eight games, including Wednesday night against Dallas. That was definitely a blow to Marty Turco, who played the first nine seasons of his NHL career in Dallas. Crawford stopped 28 of 31 shots in the 5-3 win. Turco’s numbers aren’t terrible (8-8-2, 2.91 GAA, .901 SV%), although he is just 2-6 in his past eight starts, and the 2.91 goals-against average is higher than any previous season. Crawford has won seven games in a row allowing 15 goals, so for now, he’ll get the majority of the starts.

Dallas Stars
Kari Lehtonen was scratched from Wednesday night’s start due to lower body tightness. Andrew Raycroft received the start, only his fifth of the season.  He stopped 20 of 24 shots in a 5-3 loss to Chicago. It’s not certain how long Lehtonen will be out for, but Raycroft has proven his worth this season, going 3-1with a 1.65 goals-against average and a .951 save percentage.

New Jersey Devils
Martin Brodeur has missed eight games in a row with his right elbow injury, but should be back in goal on Friday night against Ottawa, the Devils’ next game.  New Jersey has gone 3-5 in his absence, but has lost three in a row. Johan Hedberg, who’s started the past seven, has arguably been the team’s best player although the numbers don’t show it. He’s 4-6-1 with a 2.94 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage. He’s only allowed twelve goals in his past seven starts- and that included allowing two goals in under two minutes before being yanked last week in a 5-1 loss to Montreal.

Nashville Predators
Anders Lindback played brilliantly making 35 saves in a 3-2 win at Detroit on Wednesday. He started his third straight game, and will see the majority of the action for the next month, as Pekka Rinne was placed on IR following knee surgery. Lindback has performed brilliantly this season and should be one of the better goalie pickups if you’re in need of a netminder.

San Jose Sharks
Antero Niittymaki
got the win Wednesday night, 5-4 in a shootout over the Flyers, but Antti Niemi has been the better goalie lately. Niemi had started three in a row before Wednesday, allowing just five goals in those three games. He started out the season 1-4 and has been playing much better since then. Niittymaki has allowed three goals or more in six of his past eight starts, and could see the bench more often in the near future.

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