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.
7:00 PM ET games
Montreal @ Columbus
Likely Montreal starter: Carey Price – The Habs keep plugging away, putting up one of the best records in the Eastern Conference. (Source: Habs Eyes on the Prize.)
Likely Columbus starter: Mathieu Garon – The Blue Jackets’ backup has played competent hockey so far, but there would have to be a pretty glaring disparity for him to steal many starts from Steve Mason. (Source: Habs Inside Out.)
Ottawa @ Toronto
Likely Ottawa starter: Brian Elliott – As I’ve said a few times, Pascal Leclaire isn’t likely to start until he’s healthy. Elliott is as average as they come, which to be fair, was good enough for the team to make the playoffs last season. (Source for both: Silver Seven Sens.)
Likely Toronto starter: J.S. Giguere – Giguere is in a goalie duel with Jonas Gustavsson. (Source for both: Silver Seven Sens.)
8:00 PM ET game
San Jose @ Minnesota
Likely San Jose starter: Antero Niittymaki – He might not be the No. 1 in San Jose for the whole season, but he clearly has the upper hand now. If he somehow isn’t claimed in your league, add him now (especially if you have Antti Niemi). (Source: Dave Pollak.)
Likely Minnesota starter: Niklas Backstrom – No shocker here, but this will be a real challenge for the Wild’s workhorse. (Source: Minnesota Wild Web site.)
9:00 PM ET game
Vancouver @ Edmonton
Likely Vancouver starter: Roberto Luongo – He earned a shutout last night, but Luongo is one of those guys who frequently receives back-to-back starts. It’s probably safe to start him tonight. (Source: The Vancouver Province.)
Likely Edmonton starter: Nikolai Khabibulin – The Canucks haven’t won on the road and are coming off back-to-back games, so this is a great opportunity for the Oilers to earn a win. (Source: Ian Walker of the Vancouver Sun.)
Ducks take control of second in Pacific after edging Oilers
McDavid scored a goal and two assists, yet Ryan Getzlaf was right there with him with three assists, helping the Ducks win 4-3.
With that, Anaheim is clearly ahead of Edmonton for second in the Pacific. The Ducks would hold home-ice over the Oilers if the playoffs began today, and better yet for them, a division title isn’t out of the question:
1. Sharks – 91 points in 73 games played
2. Ducks – 89 points in 73 GP
3. Oilers – 87 points in 73 GP
4. Flames – 86 points in 73 GP
As you can see, the Oilers aren’t exactly far ahead of the Flames for third, either.
Going forward, the Oilers have an interesting schedule: a mix of games against cellar dwellers (two apiece against the Canucks and Avalanche) plus two games apiece versus the Kings and Sharks.
The Ducks’ schedule includes two matches against the Flames, one against the Kings and one more match at Edmonton on April 1.
Long story short, the jockeying for position is far from over, but this was a pretty significant win for the Ducks.
Video: Connor McDavid shows off speed and skill (again)
Connor McDavid‘s 26th goal of 2016-17 was a lot like many others: an impressive display of skill and speed. He didn’t blaze past the Anaheim Ducks like has against opponents on other occasions, but his rare wheels still came in handy.
Maybe more than sheer speed, this tally is a reminder that McDavid could do impressive things while losing little or no momentum. It’s one thing to have straight-line speed, but he has the hands and hockey IQ to take advantage of his swift skating.
McDavid already has two points in this one, pushing him to 84 points. He also extended his point streak to five games (three goals, six assists if he stays at one of each on Wednesday).
The goal posts might move from time to time – now they’re chasing the Boston Bruins more than the Toronto Maple Leafs – but the bottom line is that the New York Islanders need to get it done to make the playoffs.
They still have some climbing to do, but Wednesday represented a step in the right direction with a tough 3-2 win against the New York Rangers.
The Rangers built 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the second period as John Tavares struggled with a “hat trick” of penalties, but Tavares & Co. wouldn’t give up. They managed two power-play goals in the third (one by Nikolay Kulemin, the winner by Andrew Ladd) to turn things around for a significant win.
Anders Lee was also a big part of the win, grabbing a goal and an assist. The biggest difference-maker may very well have been Thomas Greiss, who stopped 34 of 36 shots (including all 11 in the third) as the Rangers created a lot of offense.
The Islanders now have 80 standings points, placing them two behind the Bruins for the East’s final wild card spot.
The Rangers’ hold over the first wild card seems quite secure, but they do have to worry ever so slightly about their play at home. With this defeat, they’ve now lost seven straight (0-5-2) at Madison Square Garden.
Video: Rick Nash scores 20th goal in sprawling style