Brian Elliott will look to repeat his past success against the Buffalo Sabres tonight as the Sens play in Buffalo. In his career he has an unbelievable 8-0 record with a 1.89 GAA, .937 save percentage and one shutout. Sometimes a goaltender just knows how to stop an opponent and this situations seems like just that.
The Sens come off two losses and hope to end their skid while the Sabres recently snapped a losing streak of their own, defeating the Atlanta Thrashers on Wednesday. Both teams have gotten off to slow starts after essentially leading the Northeast Division last season. They will look to turn it around tonight.
Buffalo hopes to get their ironman Jason Pominville back in the lineup by last week. The play of Ryan Miller has improved as he gets into the groove and they get back to their winning ways. Paul Hamilton of WGR 550 takes the optimistic approach as the Sabres look for their first winning streak and points out that “[Miller is] 10-14-2 with a 2.85 and .911 goals against vs Ottawa.”
Southeast division rivals Tampa Bay Lightning and Atlanta Thrashers will faceoff at Phillips Arena at 7:30 PM EST. Chris Mason will continue to start in goal while Ondrej Pavelec recovers from a concussion sustained from his fainting spell. The club simply has no intention of using backup Peter Mannino in an actual game scenario.
Tampa is coming off another loss last night, which seems to be the case when they start Dan Ellis; expect him to ride the pine tonight. Simon Gagne will also miss tonight’s game with a stiff neck. Through his first eight games he has registered zero points and holds a gaudy -8 rating. After just getting Vincent Lecavalier back from injury, they probably want to take every precaution they can with Gagne and will hold him out for the time being. Perhaps this injury explains his awful production thus far.
The Calgary Flames will throw their 6’5″ rookie Henrik Karlsson between the pipes as the team faces the Columbus Blue Jackets. His opponent will be Steve Mason, who could win his third game in his last four appearances.
Columbus will play without grinding forward Ethan Moreau, who will miss 4-6 weeks with a broken bone in his right hand. Rookie Kyle Wilson will take his place and play on the fourth line, shifting Derek Dorsett to the third. Their powerplay, however, should get a big boost with the return of defenseman Anton Stralman.
New defenseman Brendan Mikkelson could make his Flames debut, but that is neither confirmed nor fantasy relevant.
The St. Louis Blues will host the rival Chicago Blackhawks tonight. The Blackhawks seem fine sticking with the plan and have not tinkered with their rosters. The Blues will roll out their best lineup with starting goalie Jaroslav Halak getting the call. All lines have been updated and set, click here for the Blues and here for the Blackhawks.
For the final game of the evening both the Vancouver Canucks and Minnesota Wild will ice their backups in Cory Schneider and Jose Theodore. Schneider has actually played well in his limited playing time with a .75 GAA and .974 SV% over his two appearances while Theodore still needs to make his season debut.
Minnesota played last night against the Edmonton Oilers, defeating them 4-2. The Canucks played two nights ago against the Chicago Blackhawks, losing in a skills competition. They will look to avoid a three-game losing streak but will have to do so without both of their “iron man” defensemen, Dan Hamhuis and Keith Ballard.