After a sluggish start during the month of October, the Columbus Blue Jackets have rebounded nicely with solid goaltending from Steve Mason and Matheiu Garon. Along with their goalies, the Blue Jackets have captain Rick Nash playing extremely well, as he’s recorded a goal in five straight games while also collecting nine points during that same time frame.
Tonight, the Blue Jackets will send Mason back out to the net after stopping 47 shots during his last start against the Anaheim Ducks. Mason will be facing a Nashville Predators team that he’s 3-2-3 against with a 2.55 GAA and a .915 SV%.
Despite a shootout loss to the Los Angeles Kings over the weekend, the Boston Bruins have won three of their last four games. Tim Thomas continues to play on a different level, posting a 1.49 GAA and a .954 SV% this season and both of those numbers are good enough for second in the NHL. Along with Thomas playing well, Tuukka Rask found his first win of the season in a big way, posting a 41 save shutout against the Panthers. Rask will get the call again tonight against the Bolts.
Although Boston continues to deal with numerous injuries to their forwards, David Krejci returned this weekend from a concussion and posted over 20 minutes of ice time. You can see the updated lines with Krejci here. The Bruins will pay a visit to St. Pete Times Forum tonight to take on the Tampa Bay Lightining, a team that has also played well as of late, winning their last three games.
Marc-Andre Fleury has seemingly returned to his old self after his roughest career start and has gone 4-0-1 in his past five starts. Fleury will get the nod again against Florida. He’s 4-6-0 with a 3.51 GAA against the Panthers during his career. Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby are up to their usual tricks, as both forwards collected at least three points during their last game against the Hurricanes. The team in general is playing very good hockey from every aspect and has gone 5-1-1 over their past seven games.
Along with the Bruins, Blue Jackets, and Penguins, there are six other games tonight and are all early games. Here are the rest of your notes and comments:
With Jean-Sebastien Giguere dealing with a groin injury, Jonas Gustavsson gets the nod tonight for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Giguere is expected back sometime this weekend.
Winger James Neal of the Dallas Stars has scored three goals in his last two games while recording seven points over his last four games. Kari Lehtonen is probable for the Stars tonight and is 2-5-0 over seven career games against the Leafs, which includes a 2.99 GAA and a .896 SV%.
After allowing nine goals over their past two losses, the Washington Capitals look to rebound against a New Jersey Devils team whom they defeated 7-2 last time out. Rookie center Marcus Johansson scored his second goal of the season against the Flyers last time out and has skated well while splitting time on the first and third lines.
Devils’ netminder Martin Brodeur has an injured right elbow and will miss at least 10 days, so look for Johan Hedberg to see a bulk of the action.
Flames’ captain Jarome Iginla had a fire lit under his bum and has responded nicely for fantasy owners his past five games. Iggy has collected six goals and eight total points over his past five games. Regardless of how Iginla plays, Calgary has still struggled to find wins this season. Olli Jokinen will serve the final game of his three-game suspension tonight.
Don’t worry Henrik Lundqvist fans, the Rangers netminder is still the number one guy, but he’s working on his technique and will start on Wednesday against the Bolts. Martin Biron gets the nod and has won his last three starts while posting a 2.00 GAA.
During the the Philadelphia Flyers – Montreal Canadiens game, be sure to keep an eye on Mike Richards and P.K. Subban. During their last outing, Richards had some advice for the young defenseman, which will surely carry into tonight’s action. Sergei Bobrovsky has established himself as the number one netminder for the Flyers, but will be sitting his second straight game, as Brian Boucher receives the nod for tonight’s game.
The Los Angeles Kings are hoping to close out the final stretch of their road trip on a high note in Ottawa tonight. LA is coming off a big win against Boston and will look to beat up on a slumping Senators team that has lost three straight and four of their last five games.
Sens netminder Brian Elliott has been bombed over his last three outings allowing a total of 14 goals, so the team will turn to Pascal Leclaire. On the injury front for Ottawa, the team will be without defenseman Erik Karlsson due to an illness.
Good news and bad news for the Florida Panthers tonight. Rostislav Olesz and Steven Reinprecht are out tonight against Pittsburgh, but Stephen Weiss is good to go after tweaking his ankle. Major reason for the Panthers success? Tomas Vokoun. He’s won four of his past five starts, allowing just one goal in each of those last four victories.
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 starting goalies tonight and the Team Lineups page.