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Arizona Coyotes claim goalie Calvin Pickard off waivers

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Calvin Pickard makes a save against the Ottawa Senators during the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, in Ottawa, Ontario. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)

Two days after Antti Raanta was forced out of a game with a bone bruise, the Arizona Coyotes grabbed a goalie off waivers.

The team claimed Calvin Pickard, the Coyotes announced Wednesday.

Pickard played in 11 games this season with the Philadelphia Flyers, starting eight of them.

He was wildly inconsistent over those games, allowing two or fewer goals five times but allowing four or six goals the other six games.

“He’s just another experienced goalie that has had success in the league,” general manager John Chayka said. “Right now, he’s struggled to find his game on a consistent level but he’s shown the ability to play well. And we have a short-term need here and he’ll get some opportunity, then we’ll just take it day-by-day from there.

“We need a goalie, he’s a good goalie, we’ve watched him for a couple years. We think there’s something there, something more there. Hopefully he can come to Arizona and find his game, and it’s never a bad thing to have too many goalies.”

Raanta and backup Darcy Kuemper are both considered day-to-day. In the meantime, the Coyotes have both Hunter Miska and Adin Hill up from AHL Tucson. Hill was expected to start on Thursday night at Nashville, according to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro.

Arizona got a first-hand look at Pickard in early November when the team played the Flyers. On Nov. 5, he had 34 saves and allowed two goals, spotting a strong first impression.

However, three nights later, he allowed four goals and saved just 14 shots in 26:38 time on the ice. Nevertheless, he got the win in both games against the Coyotes.

Should Raanta face another extended period away from the ice, Pickard gives the Coyotes a more experienced netminder than Miska and Hill, who have combined to play seven games in their NHL careers entering Thursday.

Pickard spent the first three years of his five-year NHL career thus far with the Colorado Avalanche. He started 48 games in 2016-17, saving 1,321 shots while allowing 140 goals.

He played just one game with the Toronto Maple Leafs last season, allowing four goals and saving 24 shots.

Pickard has a career .909 save percentage and allows an average of 2.89 goals per game.

He has a cap hit of $800,000 and cannot be loaned to Tucson, according to Cap Friendly.

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