The new week kicks off in style with six games in the NHL tonight. Here are comments and notes from our exciting matchups tonight.
In Boston, we should (hopefully) see a solid goaltending matchup from Martin Brodeur and Tim Thomas. These two have met once already this season, with Thomas taking the win after allowing one goal on 32 shots.
For the Devils, they will be without forward Jamie Langenbrunner and defenseman Matt Taormina due to injuries. the Bruins are still without David Krejci due to concussion symptoms.
The red-hot Vancouver Canucks have won eight of their last ten games, including a big win in Toronto over the weekend. They’ll visit the Sabres, who are coming off a nice overtime win against the Capitals at home. Sabres’ netminder Ryan Miller returned from an injury and looked like his old self, holding the Caps to just two goals on 25 shots.
Roberto Luongo will receive a night off in Buffalo this evening, giving way to his very good backup, Cory Schneider. In four games this season (three starts, one relief appearnace) – Schneider is 3-0-0 with a 0.90 GAA and a .969 SV%. Watch out for Ryan Kesler, he’s got back-to-back multiple goal games and has recorded seven points over his last five games.
In the game between the Ottawa Sentators and Philadelphia Flyers, fans will have a chance to see two very good goaltenders that have gone under the radar this season. Brian Elliott has won five a row and has clearly taken over the number one spot from Pascal Leclaire. For the Flyers, they’ll send rookie sensation Sergei Bobrovsky to the net against the Sens. “Bob” is 8-1-1 over his last ten games and seems to have finally solved a huge puzzle for the Flyers at the goalie position.
The offense for the Flyers is already red-hot with Claude Giroux, Jeff Carter, and Ville Leino, but it’s Mike Richards has come on strong as well over the past week. Richards, who has 16 pts this season, has scored five goals over his last five games.
Marc-Andre Fleury is headed down the right path for to redemption for his play earlier this season and will get the nod again tonight against a Rangers team that scored eight goals yesterday afternoon. Fleury has won his last two starts and allowed just three goals during that span. Tyler Kennedy will miss tonight’s game with flu symptoms and will be replaced by Mike Comrie. Centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin combined for seven points during the Pens rout of Atlanta last time out.
Since returning from a shoulder injury, Rangers’ forward Marian Gaborik is up to his old tricks. After missing almost a month due to his injury, Gaborik collected four points in his second game back for the Blueshirts, which included a hat trick. Netminder Henrik Lundqvist has missed the past two games due an illness, but is expected to start tonight for the Rangers. If Henrik can’t go, Martin Biron, who has won his last two starts, will fill in for the King. Coming out of nowhere this season in the scoring department has been center Brian Boyle. Boyle, who has never scored more than four goals in any NHL season, already has eight this season and is currently on pace for 38 goals this year (Yes, that last part is sarcasm – but he really is!).
Jaroslav Halak looks to end the losing streak for the Blues tonight, as they visit Denver to take on the Colorado Avalanche. Both teams have been hit hard by the injury buy early in the season, especially to their defenseman depth. Along with injuries, the Blues are just 1 for 27 on the power play over their last seven games. St. Louis has tried some different looking lines with T.J. Oshie out, so hopefully another forward can pick up the scoring for their team.
With Craig Anderson still out, Peter Budaj will receive another start. Budaj is 2-3-0 over his last five with a 2.00 GAA during that span. Defenseman John-Michael Liles has been busing helping assist goals (12 assists thus far) but was able to find his first goal of the season against the Red Wings last time out.
Dustin Brown and the streaking Los Angeles Kings take their six-game winning streak on the road after winning their last five at the Staples Center, a place where they’ve failed to lose this season. Jon Quick takes the night off (10-1-0 with a 1.52 GAA) and will give backup Jonathan Bernier his fifth start of the season (2-2-0 with a 2.26 GAA).
This should be an interesting matchup as the Kings are first in the NHL on the penalty kill at 92.2 percent, while their oppopnent, the San Jose Sharks have power play percentage of 23.3 percent.
The Sharks not only have a great top line of Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley, and Patrick Marleau, but their second line of Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski, and Ryan Clowe is starting to click these past few games. Couture has collected five points over his past three games, while Joe Pavelski got scoring again, collecting four points over his last two.
You can follow @dailyfaceoff on Twitter for hockey news and notes. You can also follow Reggie on Twitter at @fakehockey. Be sure to check out the Starting Goalies section for your fantasy starters tonight and the Team Lineups page.