Four games on the NHL schedule today with one matinée matchup in New York City. Here are some news and notes for today’s games.
Henrik Lundqvist is out for the Rangers, as he is still recovering from the flu. Martin Biron will make his fifth start of the year and is 2-2-0 this season with a 2.26 GAA and a .912 SV%. In case you missed it, Marian Gaborik is back for the Blueshirts and logged over 18 minutes of ice time during his return against Buffalo.
Shawn Horcoff returns to the Oilers lineup after missing three games while Nikolai Khabibulin is expected to oppose Biron and the Rangers.
At the Verizon Center, the Washington Capitals hope to get back on the winning track when they host the Atlanta Thrashers. Both teams are coming off losses last night and this will mark the third meeting this season between these teams. Thrashers winger Evander Kane has dominated the Caps up this season, collecting four goals over their previous two games this year. Alex Ovechkin was missing-in-action last night against the Sabres, as he recorded just one shot and had a plus-minus of minus-1. Expect him to bounce back in a big way.
Chris Mason gets the nod for Atlanta tonight with Michal Neuvirth expected to get the start for Washington after having the night off in Buffalo yesterday.
Steven Stamkos and the Lightning have lost five of their last six games, but they’ll look to bounce back against the Minnesota Wild. Contributing to the scoring woes for Tampa may have something to do with the injuries to Steve Downie, Simon Gagne, and Vinny Lecavalier. Downie could return to the team tonight, according to Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune, via Twitter.
While the Wild have had trouble scoring, their goaltender has played excellent. Niklas Backstrom has posted a 2.07 GAA and a .933 SV% this season. Both numbers are good for a top ten spot among goalies in the NHL. Against the Bolts during his career, Backstrom is 3-0-1 with a 1.68 GAA and a .944 SV%. With Brent Burns serving a suspension, Marek Zidlickey, who’s been battling a leg injury, will dress for the Wild tonight.
Anaheim enters Chicago searching for their seventh straight win while the Blackhawks has lost their last three games. For the Ducks, the big story is the injury to netminder Jonas Hiller that happen during practice last night. Hiller had to exit practice after taking a puck off the mask and was taken to the hospital for stitches. His status is yet to be determined for tonight, but be sure to check back on the site for updates. If Hiller is unable to go, Curtis McElhinney will get the nod between the pipes. Both of these netminders have played well and our solid options for tonight’s game.
Patrick Sharp has one point in his last three games – Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane haven’t notched a point during their previous three games. See where I’am going with this? The Hawks have been without their star-power the past few games, which is a reason they’ve only won one game during the month of November. Center Dave Bolland is officially back for Chicago and logged over 17 minutes of ice time last night against the Nashville Predators. With Marty Turco starting last night, it is expected that Corey Crawford will start tonight. After winning his first start of the season, Crawford has lost his last four games.
You can follow @dailyfaceoff on Twitter for hockey news and notes. You can also follow Reggie on Twitter at @fakehockey. Be sure to check out the Starting Goalies section for your fantasy starters tonight and the Team Lineups page.