COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Some quick news out of the Blue Jackets' morning skate: They will be starting No. 3 goalie Anton Forsberg tonight against the Sabres and he will be seeking his first NHL win.
Forsberg, 22, is 0-3 in four games -- with a sickly 4.85 goals-against average and even more sickly .864 save percentage. The 6-foot-2, 176-pound Swede was Columbus' seventh-round pick in 2011 and his career stats are here.
The Sabres, of course, remain the NHL's lowest-scoring team of the last 80 years at 1.69 goals per game, so any team might give an overworked guy a day off. And this could be the second time in five days they give a kid his first NHL win as New York Rangers No. 3 man MacKenzie Skapski beat Buffalo Friday night in First Niagara Center.
Forsberg played two games in November, losing at New Jersey and allowing four goals in 20 minutes of relief in a 7-4 loss at Tampa. He then suffered a 4-1 loss Feb. 3 at Arizona and was beaten, 7-4, by the New York Islanders on Feb. 14 (one goal was an emtpy netter).
With Sergei Bobrovsky out with a groin injury for the last 14 games, Curtis McElhinny has played well in his absence (10-10-2, 2.69, .918). He went 2-1-1 on the team's road trip, winning in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, losing in regulation in Montreal and losing in a shootout to the New York Rangers. He didn't even come to the rink today and will be the backup tonight.
By my quick count, this is the 29th time in 61 games the Sabres will have faced a backup -- or, in the case, of Skapski and Forsberg -- a No. 3 goaltender this year.
3:15 p.m. update: It's the 26th time the Sabres are facing a true backup. You could say it's 29 but the two recent games against Philadelphia's Ray Emery were played with starter Steve Mason out due to injury and the Jan. 15 loss to Minnesota came in the Wild debut of Devin Dubynk, who would have been considered a fill-in at the time but has since become Minnesota's clear starter.