While there may just be four games today on the NHL schedule, these games are sure to be exciting. As always, be sure to check on the Starting Goalies section which is updated throughout the day, and check on the Team Lineups page for all your up-to-date lines.
Our first matchup of the day has the Philadelphia Flyers traveling to the Verizon Center to take on the Washington Capitals. The Flyers and Caps games are always filled with excitement, so don’t expect anything less during this one. The Flyers have won six straight games entering today, but will face a Capitals team that has started to score in the bunches, and they themselves have won three in a row.
The Flyers and Caps will send two rookie netminders out tonight, and both have been very good over the first month of the season. Sergei Bobrovsky has won his last six starts and is 8-2-0 on the season with a 2.11 GAA and a .927 SV%. If Bob can notch a win tonight, he will tie the Flyers ‘ team record for most consecutive wins by a rookie, which is currently held by Pelle Lindbergh.
On the flip side, the Caps have a rookie netminder who’s been just as impressive this season, despite his recent struggles. Michal Neuvirth has won his last few decisions, but has looked tired in the process. Neuvy played stretches like this in the AHL, but he’s started pretty much every game for the Caps this season. Regardless, Neuvirth is 8-3-0 with a 2.41 GAA and a .914 SV%. One has to wonder when Braden Holtby will make his first actual start.
Some good news for the Flyers, as they’ll be getting Danny Briere back from a three-game suspension this evening. Briere has eight points this season, including three power play goals.
The Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin line continues to produce on command over the past week. Ovechkin and Semin have eight goals apiece this season, with Ovechkin leading the team in points with 17. After not recording a point for a six-game stretch this season, rookie defenseman John Carlson has recorded two points in his last two games.
Next up, the red-hot St. Louis Blues crash the MSG ice to take on the New York Rangers. The Blues are fresh off a big win against the Boston Bruins last night are are looking to finish up this last leg of the road trip on a high note. The Rangers will look to disturb the Blues’ plans this evening, coming off a terrific outing from Henrik Ludqvist, who captured his second shutout of the season against the Devils two nights ago.
The Rangers will give Hank a night off, sticking to start Martin Biron in net tonight. He’s 1-1-0 this season with a 3.03 GAA and a .880 SV%.
For the Blues, they have one of the best goaltenders in the game with Jaroslav Halak, but Halak could get a night off, as Ty Conklin is the probable to start. Conk is 0-0-1 this season with a 1.85 GAA. Keep in mind we believe Conklin will start because of an earlier announcement he would get a game in this weekend. The Blues still might opt to keep playing the hot Halak.
Both teams are dealing with injuries right now, as the Blues will be without winger David Perron and defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo, both out with concussion0-like symptoms. For the Rangers, they’re still without the services of Marian Gaborik and Chris Drury, but will have Ryan Callahan back. Callahan missed one-game due to an undisclosed injury.
Brandon Dubinsky has picked-up the slack so far for the Rangers offense thus far, collecting a total of 14 points this season, including five goals over his last three games. Blues’ winger T.J. Oshie is playing to the ability we know he can, producing three points over his last five games and currently leads the team in points with 10.
The Chicago Blackhawks return home and fans and fantasy owners woke-up to great some news this morning, as the team announced that Marian Hossa would return to the lineup against the Edmonton Oilers tonight.
The Blackhawks are coming off a terrific offensive outburst thanks to captain Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. Toews collected four points against the Thrashers last night, including two goals and two assists, and now has seven points over his last five games. Kane has nine points over his last seven games, including four goals, but currently sits at a plus-minus of minus-5 on the season.
The Oilers hit the road for a five-game road trip tonight after losing four of their last five games. For the Oilers, bright spots include prospect winger Taylor Hall, who has scored in three of his last five games and has five points over his last five games as well.
The Nashville Predators are hoping to find a win on their road trip, but so far, they’ve lost the first three of a five game road trip. After being blown out against the Los Angeles Kings last night, the Preds travel to the Honda Center to take on the Anaheim Ducks. For the Ducks, they’re coming off back-to-back wins against the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins, and are hoping to the ride that momentum as they close out their homestand.
Ducks’ center Ryan Getzlaf has 17 points this season and has scored in his last three games. Bobby Ryan has also played well on this line, collecting three goals and five points over his last five games. Regardless of his age, winger Teemu Selanne has been flying around the ice this season and has collected seven points over his last five games and continues to look good on the power play for the Ducks.