After a busy schedule around the NHL last night, most of the league takes a day off with the exception of just four teams. Like we usually do, be sure to check out the Starting Goalies section here on Daily Faceoff. It’s updated real-time as we receive confirmation of tonight’s starting goalies.
Our first stop brings us to a matchup between Pacific Division rivals, as the Phoenix Coyotes pay a visit to the Anaheim Ducks. For the Coyotes, this will be their second game in less than 24 hours. The Yotes are coming off an overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings via a power play goal from Niklas Kronwall.
Ilya Bryzgalov has played stellar in net thus far for the Yotes this season. He’s faced 37.3 shots per game over his first three contests, yielding a 2.28 GAA and a .938 SV%.
Phoenix’s goaltending has been adequate, but the offense has been absent over the last two games. Captain Shane Doan has yet to record a point over three games and has taken just four total shots. Recently acquired winger Ray Whitney didn’t practice at all until Friday last week and was scratched last night against the Wings with an upper-body injury. He is unlikely to play tonight as well as the team hopes to get “The Wizard” back into the lineup.
Jonas Hiller has been a busy man to start the season. Over the first five games, he’s faced a league leading 198 shots, made a league leading 179 saves, and has also allowed a league leading 19 goals.
Even though the Ducks have started out poorly this season, their offense is starting to heat up behind center Ryan Getzlaf and winger Corey Perry. With both Getzlaf and Perry not recording a point during the first three games to start the season, Getzlaf has recorded six over his last two games (2 goals and 4 assists) and Perry has four (2 goals and 2 assists).
In our last matchup of the night, the Carolina Hurricanes pay a visit to the Vancouver Canucks. The Canes have yet to play a home game in the RBC Center due to their overseas trip, but have held their own thanks to some timely goals and great in-net play from Cam Ward.
Ward has faced over 34 shots during his first three games, posting a .936 SV% and a 2.28 GAA. He’s allowed just seven goals this season with four coming via the power play. Against the Canucks over his career, he’s posted a .880 SV% and a 2.97 GAA. He will have his hands full with the Sedin Twins tonight.
Speaking of the Sedins, if you haven’t noticed, they’ve been an unstoppable force to start the season. Both Daniel and Henrik Sedin are on a current four-game points streak with Daniel scoring a goal in his last three games. Over eight career games against the Canes, the twins have scored a total of twelve points, including three goals from Daniel.
Robert Luongo will not be making his fifth straight start in net tonight as the Nucks will throw Cory Schneider between the pipers. Luongo allowed just two goals over his first two start but he’s allowed four goals in each of his last two starts. Hopefully a rest can spark Roberto even though he’s allowed just two goals at home and eight goals on the road. The biggest factor for Roberto has been the scoring by period. He’s allowed just five total goals over the first two periods combined, but has allowed five third period goals.
Defenseman Keith Ballard will miss tonight’s matchup due to a concussion he suffered during Friday night’s loss to the Los Angeles Kings. The Canucks are also without wingers Alex Burrows and Alex Bolduc.