Today’s Starting Goalies – October 23

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.

7:00pm ET games

Buffalo @ New Jersey

Likely Buffalo starter: Patrick Lalime – It sounds like tonight’s game is a backup battle, although it seems like Johan Hedberg’s starting status is in less doubt than Lalime’s. (Source for both: Sabres Web site.)

Likely New Jersey starter: Johan Hedberg – Hedberg should finally get his first start of the season tonight. Will it be the Devils first home win in 2010-11 too? (Source for both: Sabres Web site.)

NY Rangers @ Boston

Likely NY Rangers starter: Henrik Lundqvist (Source: Andrew Gross.)

Likely Boston starter: Tuukka Rask – He was the first goalie off, which usually indicates the starter, although the Boston Globe notes that this did not happen on Thursday. (Source: Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe.)

Montreal @ Ottawa

Likely Montreal starter: Carey Price (Source: RDS.)

Likely Ottawa starter: Brian Elliott – With Pascal Leclaire injured and the Senators occasionally beginning to win again, expect Elliott for quite some time. (Source: Silver Seven Sens.)

Anaheim @ Detroit

Likely Anaheim starter: Curtis McElhinney – He won in his first start despite facing 40 shots, so why not give him the Brent Johnson treatment in this one? (Source: OC Register.)

Likely Detroit starter: Jimmy Howard – “He is not human, he is like a doughy piece of iron” according to J.J. from Kansas of Winging it in Motown, the source for this starter info.

Toronto @ Philadelphia

Likely Toronto starter: J.S. Giguere (Source: Pension Plan Puppets.)

Likely Philadelphia starter: Brian Boucher (Source: Broad Street Hockey.)

NY Islanders @ Florida

Likely NY Islanders starter: Dwayne Roloson – This one is a toss-up, so you might want to just start someone else (if you have at least three goalies to choose from, which you should on an evening when 26 of 30 NHL teams are playing). (Source: Lighthouse Hockey.)

Likely Florida starter: Tomas Vokoun (Source: George Richards of On Frozen Pond.)

Atlanta @ Washington

Likely Atlanta starter: Chris Mason – Expect him to start until Ondrej Pavelec is ready to go.

Likely Washington starter: Michal Neuvirth – There’s a chance it might be Semyon Varlamov, though. (Source: Mike Vogel.)

8:00 pm ET games

Pittsburgh @ St. Louis

Likely Pittsburgh starter: Brent Johnson (Source: Inside Pittsburgh Sports.)

Likely St. Louis starter: Jaroslav Halak – This will be a back-to-back for the goalie who thwarted the Penguins in the second round of the playoffs. (Source: Lou Korac.)

Nashville @ Dallas

Likely Nashville starter: Pekka Rinne (Source: On the Forecheck.)

Likely Dallas starter: Kari Lehtonen (Source: ESPN Dallas.)

8:30 pm ET game

Columbus @ Chicago

Likely Columbus starter: Steve Mason – They really are married to his play, it seems. (Source: Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch.)

Likely Chicago starter: Marty Turco – Not a sure thing, but seems to be the consensus.

9:00 pm ET games

Los Angeles @ Colorado

Likely Los Angeles starter: Jonathan Quick – He’s been fantastic so far, so you’d have to think he’ll get the majority of the starts for the time being. (Source: Rich Hammond.)

Likely Colorado starter: Craig Anderson (Source: Adrian Dater.)

Carolina @ Phoenix

Likely Carolina starter: Cam Ward (Source: News & Observer.)

Likely Phoenix starter: Ilya Bryzgalov (Source: Coyotes Web site.)

10 pm ET game

San Jose @ Edmonton

Likely San Jose starter: Antero Niittymaki – He earned a win, so it’s reasonable for San Jose to give him a chance to string to in a row together. (Source: Working the Corners.)

Likely Edmonton starter: Nikolai Khabibulin (Source: Edmonton Journal.)

Ducks cement Pacific lead as Getzlaf continues his mammoth March

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By the end of Sunday night, the Anaheim Ducks removed all doubt: they’re on top of the Pacific Division.

Now, it’s not the sort of substantial lead that the sliding San Jose Sharks squandered; Anaheim merely leads the Sharks and Edmonton Oilers by two standings points after beating the New York Rangers 6-3.

With everyone at 75 games played, it’s kind of nice to enjoy the clarity that comes with a clear lead (though the Sharks and Oilers will disagree):

Pacific top four (all teams with 75 games played)

1. Ducks – 93 points (38 ROW, 41 W)
2. Sharks – 91 poitns (40 ROW, 42 W)
3. Oilers – 91 points (37 ROW, 41 W)

Flames – 88 points (38 ROW, 42 W)

The Ducks are now on a four-game winning streak and managed an 8-1-1 mark in their last 10 contests.

With all due respect to Patrick Eaves‘ two goals, it’s Ryan Getzlaf who’s really playing outstanding hockey. He generated four assists in this one, giving him eight helpers in his past four games. He now has a whopping 20 points in March.

A lot going on – fight included – between Corey Perry, Brendan Smith (Video)

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If there’s one thing that’s undeniable from the clip going on, it’s that Corey Perry and Brendan Smith squeezed a lot of activity (carnage?) into a single shift.

Early on in Sunday’s New York Rangers – Anaheim Ducks game, both player delivered hits that were at least borderline dangerous. After that, they traded punches in a pretty solid fight (especially since they seemed a little tired because, again, this was a fairly elaborate sequence).

It’s way too messy a sequence to call neat, but there is something efficient about trading hits and then getting into a fight. That’s a mini-hockey feud in short order.

If you want a pretty moment to counteract all that, check out the great puck movement on this 3-on-1 goal for the Rangers:

Penguins lose to Flyers and lose another key player to injury

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PITTSBURGH — Even with a ridiculously long injured list that would be the foundation of a pretty good hockey team, the Pittsburgh Penguins still found a way to go 8-1-3 in their previous 12 games entering Sunday’s contest against the Philadelphia Flyers.

The injuries finally seemed to start catching up to them on Sunday in a 6-2 loss, extending their current losing streak to three games, matching their season long.

While the loss certainly impacts their pursuit of the top spot in the Metropolitan Division (they remain three points back of the Washington Capitals), and even their quest for home ice advantage in the first round, it is still not the worst thing to come out of Sunday’s game.

The worst thing for them would be the fact the Penguins lost yet another key player to an injury when forward Conor Sheary had to leave the game mid-way through the first period.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said after the game that Sheary is dealing with a lower body injury and that right now he is considered to be day-to-day. It was initially believed that Sheary was injured blocking a shot, but Sullivan insisted that was not the case and that it happened in the offensive zone at some point in the first period.

With Jake Guentzel still sidelined due a concussion he suffered in a recent game against the Buffalo Sabres, that means two-thirds of the team’s recently assembled top line (Sidney Crosby-Sheary-Guentzel) is now sidelined due to injury. Sheary’s injury is especially concerning given how good he has been on Crosby’s wing dating back to the 2016 playoffs. Entering play on Sunday Sheary was averaging nearly a point per game (50 points in 54 games) with almost all of that production coming at even-strength.

They had yet another scare in the third period on Sunday when defenseman Brian Dumoulin had to briefly leave the game and head to the locker room after he was elbowed in the side of the head by Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds.

On Sunday, all of the injuries finally seemed to be too much with the Flyers pretty much dominating the game over the final two periods.

The Flyers received goals from six different players (Jordan Weal, Valtteri Filppula, Dale Weise, Jakob Voracek, Radko Gudas and Shayne Gostisbehere) in the win and outshot the Penguins by a 24-15 margin over the final 40 minutes.

“That wasn’t a good effort and at this point of the season we can’t afford to have those,” said Penguins forward Matt Cullen after the game. “I don’t think that was a typical effort for us. I don’t think we had a lot of life, to be honest.”

Even more than winning games the rest of the way the biggest concern for the Penguins has to be getting their list of injured players healthy and finding a way to avoid adding to it, something that has proven to be difficult in recent weeks.

At this point, whether they win the Metropolitan Division or not, they know their path through the Eastern Conference playoffs is very likely going to have to go through both Washington and Columbus, and they are going to need their full complement of players to do it.

One of the biggest factors in winning a Stanley Cup is having all of your key players in the lineup come playoff time.

A year ago the Penguins did.

Right now they are not even close to having that.

Video: Dumoulin shakes off elbow, Sheary out day-to-day for Penguins

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Barring a major comeback, the Pittsburgh Penguins look like they’re going to lose to the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday. Their injury losses might be just as big.

On the bright side, it seems like Brian Dumoulin was able to shake off an elbow from Wayne Simmonds. You can watch the hit, which didn’t draw a penalty, in the video above.

Meanwhile, Conor Sheary has been missing since the first period with what might be a lower-body injury.

The Penguins’ list of injuries is already pretty ridiculous, so if one or both of these players miss significant time, tonight will sting deeper than a setback on the scoreboard.

Update after the Penguins’ loss: Seemingly good news, if very early and vague: