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Ice Chips: Samsonov set to start, Giordano expecting to return vs. Blue Jackets

Ilya Samsonov Toronto Maple Leafs Ilya Samsonov - Getty Images

Keep updated on all the injury news and roster updates from around the NHL with daily Ice Chips.

Toronto Maple Leafs 

The Maple Leafs will turn the net over to Ilya Samsonov for the first time since being pulled against the Buffalo Sabes on Dec. 21, according to Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun.

“I need to figure out everything in my head,” said Samsonov postgame. “That’s the first [thing]. It’s not about technique. It’s not about, you know, it’s not about nothing. Just in the head.”

Martin Jones assumed the net in relief as the Maple Leafs lost 9-3 in a game forward Auston Matthews called, "probably one of the worst games since I've been here."

Samsonov's start Thursday was the second time in as many games the Russian-born goaltender had surrendered five or more goals. He allowed six on 35 shots in a 6-5 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Dec. 14.

A year removed from his best season as a pro, winning 27 games, earning four shutouts, and posting a career-best .919 save percentage, Samsonov has struggled. He owns a 5-2-5 record with a 3.79 GAA and a .871 save percentage.

Defenceman Mark Giordano is expecting to make his return to the lineup for the first since since suffering a finger injury against the Florida Panthers on Nov. 28.

Giordano has one goal and four assists over 20 games this season with the Maple Leafs. 

Calgary Flames

Forward Jonathan Huberdeau skated on the top line alongside Elias Lindholm and Yegor Sharangovich in practice on Thursday, with Andrew Mangiapane slotting down to the third line, TSN's Salim Valji reports. 

Huberdeau is in the second year of an eight-year deal, and was removed from the top line earlier this season after his decreased production in his first season carried into this one. In 114 games with the Flames, Huberdeau has 19 goals and 70 points.

In his final season with the Florida Panthers before signing in Calgary, Huberdeau tallied 30 goals and 115 points in 80 games. 

Montreal Canadiens 

The Habs activated defenceman Jordan Harris off the injured reserve and loaned forward Emil Heineman to the Laval Rocket of the AHL. 

The 23-year-old Harris has missed 15 straight games with a lower-body injury. 

Harris has three assists over 16 games with the Habs this season, his third in Montreal. 

New Jersey Devils

The Devils have assigned goaltender Akira Schmid to the AHL's Utica Comets, it was announced Thursday.

The 23-year-old has been unable to replicate his strong season and playoff run from a year ago, posting a 3.26 goals-against average and .893 save percentage in 15 games this season.

He had a 2.13 GAA and .922 save percentage in 18 regular season games last season and put up a 2.35 GAA and .921 save percentage in nine playoff games.

Columbus Blue Jackets 

Blue Jackets defenceman Zach Werenski did not practice Thursday after leaving their game against the New Jersey Devils early on Wednesday, 

The 26-year-old Michigander has one goal and 24 points in 34 games played for the Blue Jackets this season.