NHL Video: Hockey's Top 10 Goalie Saves of March
Stopping the puck is an NHL goaltender's primary responsibility. The men behind the masks do whatever it takes, twisting and stretching their bodies with lightning-fast quickness, to keep the puck out of the net.
March recently gave way to April, and with the Stanley Cup Playoffs quickly approaching, a netminder needs to be at the top of his game.
The league's best goalkeepers, like Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Miller and Pekka Rinne, produce highlight-reel saves night after night, but only the 10 best saves of the month of March have a place in this slideshow.
Varlamov Stymies Heatley with a Lightning-Quick Recovery (3/4/2012)
Semyon Varlamov has played pretty well in Colorado after arriving this offseason.
The 23-year-old tends goal for one of the NHL's youngest teams, looking to re-establish the successful dynasty in the Mile High City about a decade ago.
Lighting-fast reflexes allow Varlamov to recover after an initial save and steal a goal from high-scoring winger Dany Heatley.
The play-by-play and color commentators' reactions really sum up the awesomeness of this beautiful kick save.
This save helped preserve the shutout for Varlamov, and Colorado went on to win 2-0.
Henrik Lundqvist Stops David Clarkson (3/6/2012)
Few NHL goaltenders have been able to outplay the New York Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist this season.
The 30-year-old Swede is near the the top of the league leaders list in wins, goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts.
A combination of desperation saves and a little help from the post keep the puck out of the Rangers' net.
Lundqvist displays amazing athleticism with not one, not two, but three big saves on the Devils' David Clarkson, a 30-goal scorer this season.
Despite King Henrik's efforts, the Devils won the contest 4-1.
Ryan Miller Stones Kaspars Daugavins (3/10/2012)
Ryan Miller hasn't had his best season, but the 31-year-old showed he should still be considered one of the league's best goaltenders.
The Sabres keeper absolutely robs Ottawa's Kaspars Daugavins after the Senators forward stickhandled around the legs of Miller.
Seemingly down and out, Miller wins the one-on-one battle by stretching his arm out just enough to snag the puck before it crosses the goal line.
Buffalo won the game 4-3 in a shoot-out, and Miller was named the game's first star, stopping 33 of 36 shots.
Buffalo hopes for more saves from Miller as they fight for a playoff spot in the East.
Marty Turco Stands on His Head to Stop Staal (3/11/2012)
The Boston Bruins signed Marty Turco after regular backup goaltender Tuukka Rask went down with an injury.
In one of his first games with the team, he was called on to relieve Tim Thomas, who was lit up by the then-scorching Pittsburgh Penguins.
Pittsburgh's Jordan Staal looked to give the Penguins a comfortable five-goal lead but was turned away by this acrobatic save from Marty Turco.
Turco stood on his head the rest of the game and only surrendered one goal on 26 shots, but the Pens held on to win 5-2.
Marc-Andre Fleury Flurries to Keep Krejci off the Board (3/11/2012)
Fleury can't be beat after coughing up this rebound to David Krejci in a game against the Boston Bruins.
Krejci was looking for a hat trick and to make it a one-goal game, but Fleury pulled off a trick of his own, outlasting Krejci just long enough to position his glove to make the stop.
Pittsburgh won the game 5-2 and Fleury, currently in second place in the league with 41 wins, finished with 30 saves.
Viktor Stalberg Can't Beat Halak on the Rebound (3/13/2012)
The goaltending tandem in St. Louis of Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak has been formidable to say the least this season.
Halak kicked out a juicy rebound for an undefended Viktor Stalberg, but the Blackhawk winger's quick shot wasn't quick enough to beat Halak after he recovered to make the secondary stop.
Despite Halak's efforts, the Blues suffered a rare loss, 4-3, in a shootout.
Jonas Hiller Flashes the Glove on Jeff Carter (3/16/2012)
Holy moly, what a goalie!
Anaheim goaltender Jonas Hiller adds a little bit of flash to this beauty of a glove save on Los Angeles sniper Jeff Carter.
All Carter can do is look to the sky after watching Hiller's glove snare his well-placed wrister.
However, the damage was already done, as the Kings scored three goals in the first period. They went on to win 4-2.
Kari Lethonen Keeps Dallas in the Game by Stopping Ekman-Larsson (3/20/2012)
The old two-pad stack!
Kari Lethonen stones Phoenix youngster Oliver Ekman-Larsson in overtime to keep the game (and possibly Dallas' season) alive.
Lethonen's dazzling save was a perfect example of keeping the puck out of the net in any way possible.
He never gave up on the play, and the Stars rewarded their goalkeeper by winning the game in a shootout to keep their push for the playoffs alive.
Jonathan Quick Slides to Rob Jamie Langenbrunner (3/22/2012)
Quick has had a phenomenal season for the Kings.
Here, he manages to slide across the crease and nab a shot by Blues winger Jamie Langenbrunner.
He must have watched the Dallas/Phoenix game two nights earlier and stole the move from Stars goaltender Kari Lethonen.
Good to see old-school goaltending make an appearance in today's NHL. Dominik Hasek must be proud.
The Kings beat the red-hot Blues 1-0 in a shootout thanks to a heroic 35-save effort from Quick.
Carey Price Stuns Scottie Upshall (3/27/2012)
There hasn't been much to celebrate in Montréal this season, but Carey Price has still played relatively well for the Canadiens.
Displaying cat-like reflexes and incredible agility, Price is able to track the puck as it hits the boards behind his blocker side, bounce to a wide-open Scottie Upshall standing near the post on Price's glove side and kick out his leg to keep the puck out of the net.
Price's ability to track the puck and position himself to make the save is something special.
The lowly Canadiens lost the game 3-2.