Heading into the 2013-14 NHL season, goaltending was figuring to be a strength of the 2014 U.S. Men's Olympic squad. While the three named to the team have had their ups and downs this season, each appears to be rounding into form with the Olympics just over a month away, with all three delivering dominant performances in their first start since being named to the team. The following, from the NHL:
* Jimmy Howard stopped 44 of 45 shots as the Detroit Red Wings rebounded from their shootout loss in the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic with a 5-1 win in Dallas. "We’ve been waiting for Jimmy to be Jimmy for us all year long and tonight he was back to being what we expect," said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock. "I thought he had a real bounce-back game after the (Dec. 30) Nashville game ... and here tonight he was big and square and soft and the things he has always been."
* Ryan Miller improved to 5-1-1 in his last seven starts as the Buffalo Sabres posted a 2-1 win over New Jersey. In 11 appearances since U.S. Thanksgiving, Miller is 7-3-1 with a .943 save percentage and a 1.87 goals against average. "Ryan, quietly, I thought he was sensational again," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. "A couple of those saves, I think (Adam) Henrique tipped the puck on top of the circle, not too many goaltenders would be able to read that and see that. He made a great save that kept us in the game."
* Jonathan Quick made 27 saves in his first game since Nov. 12 and the Los Angeles Kings rallied with three third-period goals in a 3-1 win against Vancouver. "When I said I was ready, that meant I was ready to do it," said Quick, who missed 24 games with a lower body injury. "You don't come in feeling 80 percent. If that was the case, I wouldn't have sat out the first two months. I felt 100 percent. If it looked like I was struggling out there, I made a wrong decision."