Today's starting goalies – October 9 [updated]

Whether you’re interested for fantasy hockey reasons or just want to know which goalie your team is playing in a given day, we thought it might be helpful to share our best guesses (based on various previews from newspapers and Web sites plus our own instincts) on who might start each day.

Note: I’ll update this periodically tonight so you can have time to set your rosters. 8:00 PM ET will be updated shortly.

7:00 PM ET games

Rangers at Sabres

Likely Rangers starter: Henrik Lundqvist – King Henrik should still get most of the starts in the Big Apple, but Martin Biron could be useful when it comes to giving the talented Swede the occasional breather. That might bring down the quantity stats just a touch, but could improve the quality of each start. (Source: Rangers Rants.)

Likely Sabres starter: Ryan Miller – Chances are, with a home opener, you start your Olympic Hero in net. I’d be very surprised if Ryan Miller didn’t play against Lundqvist tonight.

Stars at Islanders

Likely Stars starter: Kari Lehtonen – He should be the workhorse unless he gets hurt.

Likely Islanders starter: Rick Dipietro – So he’s really alive? I might need to see it to believe it. (Source: Katie Strang of New York Newsday.)

Canadiens at Penguins

Likely Penguins starter: Marc-Andre Fleury – Haven’t been able to track down confirmation on this game, but both goalies should get most of their starts and each one had the night off so there’s no worries of a back-to-back.

Likely Canadiens starter: Carey Price – see Fleury’s explanation.

Senators at Maple Leafs

Likely Senators starter: Pascal Leclaire – Maybe the funny looking goalie will find his long-lost groove after a rough couple seasons? He’s certainly getting paid to play the part of a No. 1 goalie, that’s for sure. (Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman.)

Likely Maple Leafs starter: J.S. Giguere – I guess Ron Wilson is rewarding Giguere for a strong first game? A slight surprise but perhaps he’ll start the season on a hot streak. It’s certainly another winnable game for both teams. (Source: The Toronto Star.)

Devils at Capitals

Likely Devils starter: Martin Brodeur – Again, Brodeur is going to get something like 95 percent of New Jersey’s starts.

Likely Capitals starter: Michal Neuvirth – With Varlamov on the mend, expect Neuvirth to get most (if not all) of the nods in D.C. (Source: Washington Post.)

7:30 PM ET game

Thrashers at Lightning

Likely Thrashers starter: Chris Mason – Considering Ondrej Pavelec’s scary fall, it’s not surprising that Mason will be the starter tonight. He’s a perfectly suitable backup/1b anyway.

Likely Lightning starter: Mike Smith Perhaps Dan Ellis is serving a one-game suspension for using Twitter too much? This could be an interesting goalie duel in Tampa Bay. (Source: Tampa Bay Lightning’s Twitter page.)

8:00 PM ET games

Flyers at Blues

Likely Flyers starter: Brian Boucher – Some might be surprised that Sergei Bobrovsky won’t get the start, but with Michael Leighton out 6-8 weeks it’s wise to give both goalies a fair shake at the top job. (Source: Philadelphia Flyers Twitter Feed.)

Likely Blues starter: Jaroslav Halak – I really like the Blues goalie rotation, but they have very clear roles: Halak is the starter and Ty Conklin is the backup. Halak should be pretty familiar with the Flyers as they were the team that splashed a bucket full of reality on the Montreal Canadiens’ hot streak during the playoffs.

Ducks at Predators

Likely Ducks starter: Jonas Hiller – Last night was a rough one for the Swiss goalie, but the team doesn’t have many goalie options outside of him. Expect him to take the majority of the starts, even on back-to-back days. (Source: OC Register.)

Likely Predators starter: Pekka Rinne –  With Dan Ellis in Tampa Bay, most of the day-to-day intrigue about who might start for Nashville is gone. Expect Rinne most nights.

8:30 PM ET game

Red Wings at Blackhawks

Likely Red Wings starter: Chris Osgood – Much like the Flyers with Sergei Bobrovsky, the Red Wings are allowing their 1b a start even though Jimmy Howard earned a goose egg against the Ducks last night. I think it’s a good move, even though Osgood tends to need smelling salts before the playoffs begin. (Source: Ansar Khan.)

Likely Blackhawks starter: Marty Turco – There will be some pressure on Turco to succeed as Chicago raises its Stanley Cup banner tonight. Luckily, this game isn’t in Detroit, so Turco at least has a chance to succeed. (Source: Chris Kuc.)

10:00 PM ET game

Kings at Canucks

Likely Kings starter: Jonathan Quick – I’m on record of saying that the other Jonathan (Bernier) could be a genuine threat to steal the top job (or at least promote himself from “1b” to “1a”), but so far the Kings are resolute in saying that Quick is their man. (Source: Los Angeles Times.)

Likely Canucks starter: Roberto Luongo – Vancouver is more or less married to Luongo for … oh, the next decade or so. Unless Corey Schneider pulls a Tuukka Rask and steals the starting job during the season, of course.

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    Chris Kunitz found the fountain of youth in Game 7

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    PITTSBURGH — Chris Kunitz has put together an impressive and often times overlooked resume during his 13 years in the NHL. He has been a top-line player on three Stanley Cup winning teams, he has an Olympic Gold Medal, and before Thursday’s Game 7 against the Ottawa Senators had scored 275 goals (regular season and playoffs) in the NHL.

    By any objective measure that is a fantastic career.

    During the Penguins’ 3-2 overtime win on Thursday to send them back to the Stanley Cup Final for the second year in a row, he played what was perhaps the biggest — and best — game of his career.

    It could not have come at a better time for the Penguins.

    Or at a more unexpected one.

    Kunitz played a role in all three Penguins’ goals, scoring two of them, including the overtime winner, and providing the key screen on Justin Schultz‘s third period power play goal. As if that was not enough, he also recorded an assist on that Schultz goal.

    He was, to say the least, a force and the single biggest contributor in the Penguins’ win. Even if he downplayed his overtime winner as simply being the result of a little bit of luck.

    “I was just trying to get into a soft spot,” said Kunitz. “The puck fluttered off my stick a little, I don’t know if it touched [Jean-Gabriel Pageau] or kept going right in, but it looked like there was a good screen on the goalie, it looked like he maybe fell down, it just found its way into the net. Sometimes you just get lucky when you put one on net.”

    Lucky or not, Kunitz was the unexpected hero in Game 7 and it came on a night where he seemed to rediscover his game.

    Kunitz playing such an essential role in a big playoff win wouldn’t have been that big of a shock four or five years ago.

    He has been a core player since arriving in Pittsburgh during the 2008-09 season and spent years skating on the top line alongside Sidney Crosby.  That presence on Crosby’s wing almost did more to hurt his reputation because there was always that belief he was simply a product of skating alongside the best player in the world. But he has always been more than that. He has been a legitimately good top-six winger that had also found success even when away from Crosby.

    But on Thursday it was a taste of the old days with Crosby setting up the overtime winner.

    “[Sheary] did a really good job bringing it up the wall and walking the blue like, and I think Sid was coming right off the bench,” said Kunitz. “When he drives it deep everyone gets scared and you can find that soft area because obviously Sid has great vision, and he put it right there. I just found a way to put it on net and got lucky.”

    What makes his performance such a stunner this season, and in this game, is that it came at a time when his best days were clearly in the past and he had gone from being a top-line, core player, to being more of a bottom-six role player.

    At the age of 37 that had to be expected. He was still able to do enough to be a useful contributor, but the consistent impact on the scoresheet wasn’t always there. Entering Game 7 on Thursday night he had yet to score a goal and had recorded just a pair of assists in his first 13 playoff games. Along with that postseason scoring drought he only scored nine goals during the regular season and had not found the back of the net since Feb. 16, a stretch of 78 days.

    Then there he is playing the role of hero in what was, to this point, the Penguins’ biggest game of the season.

    “He played his best game of the playoffs when it matters the most,” said Penguins forward Carl Hagelin. “That’s the type of guy he is and that’s the reason he has three Stanley Cup rings already. He’s just one of those guys you love having on your team.”

    This is pretty much what Game 7’s in the Stanley Cup playoffs are all about. Anything can happen when a series and a season all comes down to one game.

    It only takes one shot, one bounce, one play, one call or one huge performance from an unexpected player to totally re-write history.

    In Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals a year ago it was Bryan Rust, representing the next wave and younger generation of the Penguins, playing the role of hero with his two goal-game.

    This year, it was one of their long-time core players rediscovering his past glory for one night.

    2017 Stanley Cup Final schedule: Nashville Predators vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

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    The Pittsburgh Penguins might celebrate their hard-fought tonight, but they’d probably be wise to rest up. It won’t be long before they’ll face the well-rested Nashville Predators in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

    That first contest will take place on Monday, May 29. The Penguins ended their series on Thursday (or, maybe Friday if you’re being a stickler) while the Predators get a week of rest after dispatching the Ducks this past Monday (May 22).

    NBC and NBCSN will have you covered for what should be a fast and fascinating series with a whole lot of gold/yellow going around. Game 1 will be on NBC, Games 2 and 3 will air on NBCSN and then the remaining contests will take place on NBC.

    Here’s the schedule in list form, as that may be easier to follow:

    2017 STANLEY CUP FINAL SCHEDULE
    Subject to Change/All Times ET

    Game Date Time (ET) Pittsburgh vs. Nashville Networks
    Game 1 Monday, May 29 8 p.m. Nashville at Pittsburgh NBC, CBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports
    Game 2 Wednesday, May 31 8 p.m. Nashville at Pittsburgh NBCSN, CBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports
    Game 3 Saturday, June 3 8 p.m. Pittsburgh at Nashville NBCSN, CBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports
    Game 4 Monday, June 5 8 p.m. Pittsburgh at Nashville NBC, CBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports
    Game 5* Thursday, June 8 8 p.m. Nashville at Pittsburgh NBC, CBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports
    Game 6* Sunday, June 11 8 p.m. Pittsburgh at Nashville NBC, CBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports
    Game 7* Wednesday, June 14 8 p.m. Nashville at Pittsburgh NBC, CBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports
    * If necessary

    Penguins end Senators’ magical run, reach second Stanley Cup Final in a row

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    The Ottawa Senators put up a resounding fight, but the Sens’ “Cinderella” story came to an end tonight.

    The Pittsburgh Penguins needed a double-overtime in Game 7 to write the final chapter, yet that’s what happened; now the defending champions prepare to face a well-rested Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup Final.

    An unforgettable night for Kunitz

    Hot take: Mike Sullivan made the right move in placing Chris Kunitz on Sidney Crosby‘s line.

    Crosby created some chances early on in Game 7, but things just weren’t clicking for the Pittsburgh Penguins. That swap opened up some opportunities for Kunitz – once a constant linemate of Crosby – and the veteran winger provided perhaps the best performance of his impressive career.

    As surprising as this turn was, maybe it should have been expected; Kunitz is one of the greatest success stories of any undrafted players, after all.

    Plenty of twists and turns

    After a scoreless second period, the two teams traded goals within just 20 seconds; Chris Kunitz cashed in on a nice rush while Mark Stone finished a great Erik Karlsson setup to make it 1-1.

    More: Video and other details regarding those opening tallies.

    The third period featured plenty of drama, even if some of the larger points echoed earlier narratives. To be more precise, the Penguins leveraged their power-play opportunity to a 2-1 lead (via Justin Schultz), but Ryan Dzingel‘s rebound 2-2 goal ensured that the lead wouldn’t last.

    Read more about the 2-2 goals and some controversial moments from the third period here. You may also enjoy this Marc Methot hip check on Evgeni Malkin.

    The overtime period began with a frantic pace; even fans probably needed the breather. Some great Phil Kessel chances didn’t end the opening overtime period, so things went to double-OT.

    Ponder Kessel’s tumultuous times in the first overtime here.

    It wasn’t beautiful, but Chris Kunitz’s knucklepuck beat a keyed-in Craig Anderson to end the contest and the series. He came into Thursday with zero goals and two assists in 13 playoff games; he generated the game-winner, the game-opener and an assist, factoring into all three Penguins goals.

    Deep playoff runs come down to some combination of stars being stars and unexpected heroes shining in huge moments. The Penguins keep finding ways to get that equation just right.

    Penguins – Senators Game 7 goes to double overtime, try to breathe

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    Try to breathe. Maybe meditate during this overtime intermission, if you need it.

    The Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators didn’t just need overtime to decide who would win Game 7 and advance to the Stanley Cup Final. It turns out that, despite an angry Penguins crowd, that they’ll need double OT.

    There were plenty of big chances during that span of “free hockey.” You could probably argue that Phil Kessel was the most frustrated player during that frame; he was unable to score but generated some golden opportunities.

    One really looked like it might have beaten Craig Anderson:

    Wow. This one likely stings more for Kessel, as he had a ton of time and space but missed the net.

    Kessel wasn’t the only player to get chances. There were a ton in this first overtime as both teams took thrilling swipes at victory. Still, number 81 provided some of the most memorable moments.

    You can watch Game 7 live on NBCSN. The game can also be viewed online and via the NBC Sports App. Here is the livestream link.