There are nine games on the NHL schedule tonight. We’ll review some of the matchups for tonight’s action, but as always, be sure to check out the Starting Goalies section and the Team Lineups page for all of your hockey news.
In our first matchup, the Buffalo Sabres pay visit to the Boston Bruins for an exciting matchup. The biggest news for the Sabres for their game against Boston is that they will be without netminder Ryan Miller, who is dealing with a lower-body injury. Jhonas Enroth get the start tonight with Miller out. Enroth will be making his second NHL start tonight. The Swed was 0-1 last season, making his only start against the Bruins. On a good note, the Sabres have cleared Jason Pominville to play, so he’ll be out there after missing nine games.
The Bruins not only have their offense clicking, but goalie Tim Thomas is playing on another planet this season. Thomas has started the season 6-0-0 with a 0.50 GAA and a .984 SV%. Not only has he won his last six games, he’s posted shutouts in last two outing against the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators. Second overall pick Tyler Seguin looks right at home this season, collecting five points over his first eight games this season, including scoring in his last two games.
Not only have the Toronto Maple Leafs lost their last three games, they also lost captain Dion Phaneuf to a knee injury last night against the Ottawa Senators.
The Washington Capitals are returning home to host the Leafs after a scoring frenzy in Calgary over the weekend. Alex Ovechkin scored twice in twelve seconds during the second period and would finish the night with three points. Mike Green also got things going, as he scored his first goal of the season. The Caps have established a scoring line that could be considered one of the best in the NHL, consisting of Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Alexander Semin, who each have at least ten points over their first eleven games.
Michal Neuvirth was named NHL Rookie of the Month after starting the season 7-3-0 with a 2.15 GAA and a .926 SV%. Over his past three starts, Neuvy hasn’t allowed more than two goals during any game.
The Carolina Hurricanes will host the offensive-less Islanders tonight at the RBC Center. The Canes will have Cam Ward back in net, as he looks to rebound after a tough loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins over the weekend. The Canes have made some line moves for tonight’s game, as rookie winger Jeff Skinner will be playing alongside of captain Eric Staal. Skinner has recorded four points over his last three games, and leads the Canes in scoring.
The Pittsburgh Penguins invade Dallas tonight, but will be without Jordan Staal for another six weeks. The center was supposed to return this week, but was injured in practice. After missing the last game with a knee injury, Evgeni Malkin is optimistic that he will play in tonight’s game against the Dallas Stars.
Pavel Datsyuk and the Red Wings travel to the Saddledome to take on the Calgary Flames. Datsyuk, who has eleven points this season, has collected four goals and four assists over his five games. Along with Datsyuk, Henrik Zettterberg has been a busy points machine, collecting ten points over his last five games.
After missing two games with a back injury, netminder Jimmy Howard will play tonight. Before Howard’s injury, he was 4-01-1 this season with a 2.14 GAA and a .925 SV%. Against Calgary this season, Howard is 1-0 with a 2.00 GAA and a .944 SV%. He’s posted a 2.27 GAA and a .929 SV% against the Flames over his career.
After an ugly loss to the Capitals on Saturday night, the Flames must reestablish themselves. Their defenseman looked sluggish and team in general just needs to find some consistency. Defenseman Jay Bouwmeester has points in his last three contests and has four points total over his last five games.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are hoping to continue their winning ways on on the Road against the Anaheim Ducks. Steven Stamkos continues to play out of his mind, and is currently on pace to score 73 goals this season while tallying 155 points. Regardless, Stammer has four goals and ten total points over his past five games.
Dan Ellis is probable to start in net tonight, given his recent success and the fact that he’s coming off a shutout against the Coyotes. Mike Smith’s peripherals have been horrible this season despite his 4-0 record, but has had success against the Ducks in the past, posting a 3-0-1 record over four career starts with a 1.38 GAA and a .944 SV%.
Ducks’ center Ryan Getzlaf continues to be a dish-master, handing out eleven assists this season through his first twelve games. Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky hasn’t recorded a point in his last two games after recording six points in the last four prior to that. Rookie defenseman Cam Fowler is expected to hit the ice tonight after missing his last seven games with a broken nose.