The Boston Bruins with Tim Thomas more than likely between the pipes will host Phil Kessel and the Toronto Maple Leafs. With all eyes on Kessel, the young forward will try to prove to his former team that moving him was a big mistake. His former linemate, Kris Versteeg, will be a game-time decision and possibly allow John Mitchell to get back into the lineup.
Toronto will put Jonas Gustavsson out on the ice as he goes for his second win of the year. Last season he went undefeated against a much weaker Bruins team, earning his only career shutout against them.
In a rematch of last season’s playoffs, the Detroit Red Wings will face the Phoenix Coyotes. Both teams will run out their big guns with Chris Osgood facing Ilya Bryzgalov.
So far the Coyotes have failed to maintain the same smart level of hockey as they have lost three straight games. By contrast, the Red Wings have won their last three with Howard at the helm of all three. The lines for both teams have been updated so make sure your rosters are set correctly.
Even though the Sens are playing without Jason Spezza, they will at least have Milan Michalek in the lineup. The left wing did not practice with the team yesterday but is slated to play tonight. On the other hand, Michael Frolik will be a healthy scratch for the opposing Florida Panthers, while center Shawn Matthias returns to the lineup. Tomas Vokoun will face Brian Elliott; rumors has it Elliott won the starting job by giving Robin Lehner the flu. Again, lines have been set.
For the fourth time this season the Columbus Blue Jackets will take on a backup goalie. Tonight, Devin Dubnyk will return to an NHL net as the Oilers will try to get back to their winning ways. They will have to also do that without the services of pleasant surprise Kurtis Foster. The Blue Jackets will also be without the services of Kristian Huselius and Kris Russell, but you already knew that.
In what can be called a match-up between two aces, the Pekka Rinne will take on Jaroslav Halak tonight. Amidst rumors of a David Backes trade, his team will look for their third win in a row and their first road win. It should be a genuinely tough task against the League leading Preds. Too early to put them in President’s Trophy consideration? Kind of, but you have to admire their hard work year after year.
After answering questions all day about disgruntled forward Martin Havlat, the Minnesota Wild will take on the Washington Capitals. Plenty of different storylines here: Backstrom vs. Backstrom, Theodore vs. the Caps, etc. The most fantasy relevant is the game-time decision of hot scoring Antti Miettinen and the absence of Guillaume Latendresse.
Michal Neuvirth will also be playing his first back-to-back games at the NHL level after shutting out the Carolina Hurricanes last night. Jose Theodore will not play tonight against his former mates, most likely a good thing. Starting goalie Niklas Backstrom gets the nod between the pipes.
Speaking of back-to-back nights, the Los Angeles Kings prepare to play their second game in as many nights. This time they will shift around their fourth line, putting the recently recalled Jake Muzzin back on the blue line and of course actually start Jonathan Quick. For the Dallas Stars, Kari Lehtonen will be back in nets for his ninth straight game while the team prepares to play without Stephane Robidas.
In Calgary we will see the battle of the backups with Henrik “The Calgary Tower” Karlsson taking on Peter Budaj. Both teams will try to battle through injuries as the Avs will be without starting goalie Craig Anderson and captain Adam Foote while the Flames listed Niclas Hagman as another game-time decision. Should be an interesting contest as there certainly is no love lost between these two teams.
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