With seven games slated on today’s schedule, let’s take a look at the matchups and notes for tonight’s games.
The Avs continue their five game road trip with a stop off in New Jersey which is the only scheduled game against the Devils this season. Colorado is coming off a terrific shootout victory against the Detroit Red Wings.
Goalie Craig Anderson is the starting netminder for the Avs tonight. In over four career games against the Devils, Anderson is 2-1-1 with a .929 SV% and a 2.69 GAA. After not scoring a point in his first two games of the season, right winger David Jones walked away with two goals and an assist against the Red Wings on Tuesday night.
The Devils are finally in the win column this season, as Martin Brodeur carried the struggling team on his back. Brodeur posted not only his first win of the season, but it was also his first shutout of the season– something he’s done 111 times over his career.
The biggest win for the Devils tonight will be the fact that they dress an entire team. After having just 15 skaters on Monday and 16 on Wednesday, New Jersey hopes to find some consistency going forward. As far as scoring goes, Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise look to lead the offensive charge.
The red hot Toronto Maple Leafs look to prove critics wrong as Dion Phaneuf and company lead the charge against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Winger Clarke MacArthur, who signed as a free agent over the offseason, already has four goals – he has a career high of 17 goals (’08-’09 season). Along with the buckets of points the Leafs have scored this season, Jean-Sebastien Giguere continues to play with a chip on his shoulder as he’s out to prove he still has what it takes.
The New York Rangers are hoping to put their last game behind them after their loss to the New York Islanders in which they held a lead late in the game. The biggest news of the night for the Rangers is the return of their captain, Chris Drury, who has missed time due to a broken finger he suffered during training camp. Netminder Henrik Lundqvist looks to impress the MSG crowd tonight, and is 7-4-3 with a .899 SV% and a 2.81 GAA against the Leafs over his career.
The Isles have been hit hard by the injury bug this season, but they are still giving teams all they can handle. The Islanders hung tight with the Capitals on Wednesday night, but were still handed a loss via the hands of Alex Ovechkin. Defenseman James Wisniewski is still serving his suspension, so look for a group of youngsters to fill in against the talented Pens.
Consol Energy Center is still looking for a win… a win from the Pittsburgh Penguins that is. Brent Jonhnson recieves another nod in net, as Marc-Andre Fleury is off to one of the worst starts of his career. I’ve got a feeling we’ll see plenty of scoring from Sidney Crosby and company.
The Patrick Kane-less Blackhawks pay a visit to Columbus during this evenings tilt, hoping to forget about their home opening loss to the Nashville Predators. The ‘Hawks are hoping to find an answer to their goalkeeping situation and fast. Marty Turco is in net tonight and is still searching for his first win of the season. On the positive side, Marian Hossa has been solid through his first four games, tallying three goals, three assists, and a plus-5 rating.
Fresh off a 1-1 Sweden road trip against the San Jose Sharks, the Columbus Blue Jackets return home for their “true” home opener. CBJ has been led in the offensive department by Kristian Huselius and Rick Nash. It’s safe to say that all fantasy owners and Blue Jackets’ fans hope Steve Mason returns to his form from his rookie season during the 2008-2009 season. After a miserable season last year, Mason looked sharp against the Sharks during his two starts.
Montreal is coming off an overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, searching for some offensive support and a bit of “good luck”. Michael Cammalleri continues his offensive onslaught, posting three points in his last two games. Carey Price will be searching for his second win of the season tonight and is 1-1-1 on the season with a .918 SV%. Against the Sabres over his career, Price has a .930 SV% and a 2.20 GAA.
The Buffalo Sabres hope to pick up tonight where they left off last season against the Montreal Canadians. Buffalo was 4-1-1 against Montreal last season, including a game in which they scored six goals against the Canadians. Buffalo has a very good team on paper that is expected to do well this season, but hasn’t come out on fire like they are capable of. That isn’t to say they won’t do well at the end of the season, but things don’t seem right. Regardless, the Sabres have a ton of talent and know how to bury the biscuit at any point and time.
Atlanta continues it’s West Coast swing tonight, as they pay a visit to Anaheim Ducks. As posted earlier right here on DF, Zach Bogosian is out for tonight’s game, and is still day-to-day with an injury. The Thrashers are a much improved team this season and look to build their core offensive skills behind the likes of Evander Kane and Andrew Ladd. Chris Mason receives his fourth straight start of the season, as he’s filling in for Ondrej Pavelec, who is currently on the injured reserve list after a scary fainting spell. Mason is 1-2 this season with a .911 SV%.
Ducks’ center Ryan Getzlaf single handedly took matters into his own hands during the Ducks 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks earlier this week, as he notched four points after being held pointless in his first three games of the season. Jonas Hiller is back in net for the Ducks tonight and currently leads the NHL in saves with 150. The Ducks are hoping that Getzlaf’s outburst of points will carry over to the rest of the top line, which consists of Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan.
Vancouver returns to the Staples Center tonight, where the last time they were on this ice they beat the Kings in Game 5 of the first round of the playoffs. During their first meeting this season in Vancouver, the Canucks fell to the Kings 2-1 via shootout. While Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin have been stellar to start the season, the rest of the team is looking for an offensive spark. Netminder Roberto Luongo is looking like his normal self, as he has a 1.96 GAA over his first three starts.
Jonathan Quick remains without a loss this season, boasting a 2-0 record with a 0.96 GAA and a .964 SV% during his first two starts. Much like the Canucks this season, the Kings have struggled to find goals during the early part of the season.
Dustin Brown continues to look impressive this season. Although the captain has just one goal to start the season, he’s tied for the league lead in hits (19) and is making things happen on both sides of the puck. It’s just a matter of time before this team breaks out, so be patient if you are a fantasy owner.