Today’s Starting Goalies – November 3

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

Boston @ Buffalo

Likely Boston starter: Tim Thomas – With an absurd .50 GAA and six wins in his first six starts, you better believe that he’ll get the start in just about any situation. (Source: Boston Bruins Twitter page.)

Likely Buffalo starter: Jhonas Enroth – It’s really weird not typing “Ryan Miller” here. (Read about Miller’s injury here.)

Toronto @ Washington

Likely Toronto starter: Jonas Gustavsson – I’m going to go ahead and guess it will be “The Monster” tonight since it’s a back-to-back and J.S. Giguere lost last night too.

Likely Washington starter: Michal Neuvirth – The reigning Save of the Week winner gets the start against the Maple Leafs. (Source: Katie Carrera.)

NY Islanders @ Carolina

Likely NY Islanders starter: Rick DiPietro – I think Dwayne Roloson has been better so far this season, but the Isles are looking at a back-to-back so it makes sense that they’ll likely give each goalie a start. (Source: Katie Strang.)

Likely Carolina starter: Cam Ward – No surprise here, especially since Justin Peters played on Monday. (Source: Canes Country.)

7:30 PM ET game

Atlanta @ Florida

Likely Atlanta starter: Chris Mason – Don’t be shocked if this turns into a 1a/1b situation, especially since Mason acquitted himself pretty nicely in Ondrej Pavelec’s absence. (Source: Chris Vivlamore.)

Likely Florida starter: Tomas Vokoun – Meanwhile, in Florida, the only times Vokoun won’t be in net will be for rest or injury. He’ll be the workhorse until he leaves the team in free agency or via a trade deadline deal. (Source: Harvey Fialkov.)

8:30 PM ET games

New Jersey @ Chicago

Likely New Jersey starter: Martin Brodeur – The Devils need Marty to find his game … fast. (Source: In Lou We Trust.)

Likely Chicago starter: Marty Turco – So it shall be a Clash of the Marties. (Source: Jesse Rogers.)

Pittsburgh @ Dallas

Likely Pittsburgh starter: Brent Johnson – This one’s a bit of a coin flip. Sounds like they’ll rotate the next two starts … so pencil the Penguins in for a 1-1 record in those games. (Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)

Likely Dallas starter: Kari Lehtonen – Andrew Raycroft got a shutout in his first start of the season, but it sounds like Lehtonen will play against a fairly banged up Penguins group. (Source: Defending Big D.)

9:30 PM ET game

Detroit @ Calgary

Likely Detroit starter: Jimmy Howard – Just as Howard returns from back problems, Chris Osgood gets injured. (Source: Ansar Khan.)

Likely Calgary starter: Miikka Kiprusoff – My best guess is that Kipper gets the start.

10:00 PM ET games

Nashville @ Phoenix

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

Likely Phoenix starter: Ilya Bryzgalov – Workhorse vs. workhorse, solid defense vs. solid defense. This one should be fun for fans of sound defense (but probably not for fans of wide-open hockey). (Source for both: On the Forecheck.)

Tampa Bay @ Anaheim

Likely Tampa Bay starter: Dan Ellis – It seems like Ellis has the leg up on the top job in Tampa Bay at this moment. (Source: Raw Charge.)

Likely Anaheim starter: Jonas Hiller – My best guess is the Swiss goalie gets the start.

Sheary’s in for Penguins in Game 2; Kunitz is a game-time decision

Pittsburgh Penguins' Conor Sheary (43) is greeted by teammates Brian Dumoulin (8) and Chris Kunitz (14) after scoring his first NHL goal, in the first period of the Penguins' hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, in Pittsburgh. Bruins' Brad Marchand is at lower right. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
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Both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals might look a little different in Game 2 on Saturday after that blistering Game 1.

As the team down 1-0, it’s not too surprising that the Penguins boast the more significant lineup questions, although they lean toward health concerns rather than performance tweaks.

Conor Sheary was able to return during Game 1 after Tom Wilson‘s controversial knee-to-knee hit, and he appears to be in for tonight’s contest as well. Chris Kunitz isn’t quite a guarantee, as he’s currently labeled a game-time decision.

For what it’s worth, Kunitz himself believes he’ll be in. Whether he plays on Saturday or not, it sounds like Kunitz is taking extra safety measures going forward.

The Penguins stayed vague with Marc-Andre Fleury, merely claiming that he’s making “progress.”

Generally speaking, Matt Murray has been playing well for the Penguins. Of course, the scrutiny will rise if Pittsburgh loses Game 2 on Saturday.

The Capitals are also considering a tweak. CSN Mid-Atlantic reports that Barry Trotz is pondering replacing Dmitry Orlov with Taylor Chorney.

“They told me to be prepared as if I’m going to be playing,” Chorney said. “We’ll just see how it goes.”

As you may notice, Chorney isn’t the only one in wait-and-see mode heading into Game 2, which you can watch on NBC.

Hitchcock, Blues know they need to slow down the Stars … but can they?

The puck shot by Dallas Stars left wing Antoine Roussel crosses the goal line as St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott (1) and defenseman Jay Bouwmeester (19) attempt the stop during the second period of Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference semifinals, Friday, April 29, 2016, in Dallas. The Stars won 2-1. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
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The Dallas Stars only beat the St. Louis Blues by one goal (2-1) in Game 1, but the feeling is that the score was deceptively close.

Blame it on fatigue from that epic series against the Chicago Blackhawks or not; the Blues looked out of rhythm and out of breath against the hard-charging Stars.

At least they’re not in denial about that, though.

“We’re not going to beat anybody giving up 40 shots on goal,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after their Game 1 loss on Friday. “We’re not going to beat anybody giving up the scoring chances we did today.”

Hitchcock added “we’ve got to find the energy to play our game, and we’ve got to find it quickly in the next 48 hours.”

Allowing 40 shots on goal might not be that common for the Blues, yet they leaned heavily on Brian Elliott against the Blackhawks in that series.

Just look at the SOG comparison in that series and in Game 1 vs. Dallas:

Game 1: Blues – 18 SOG, Blackhawks – 35
Game 2: Blues – 31, Blackhawks – 29
Game 3: Blues – 36, Blackhawks – 46
Game 4: Blues – 20, Blackhawks – 42
Game 5: Blues – 46, Blackhawks – 35
Game 6: Blues – 28, Blachawks – 36
Game 7: Blues – 26, Blackhawks – 33

Game 1: Blues – 32, Stars – 42

Such shot comparisons make you wonder if Game 1 provided evidence of a rest advantage or if this might just be the state of affairs for the Blues (at least against two electric offenses).

One area to watch is the transition game. The Stars seemed to tear through the neutral zone while the Blues sometimes struggled to get things going.

“They’re a team that wants to play real fast up the ice and through the neutral zone,” Jay Bouwmeester said, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Yeah, we didn’t do a very good job of slowing them down. A lot of their chances were off the rush. That’s what you want to take away from them.”

File that under “easier said than done.”

Gather your lucky charms, 2016 NHL Draft Lottery is tonight

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Honestly, it’s tough to blame people for making Edmonton Oilers jokes in regards to the 2016 NHL Draft Lottery.

Really it’s only human nature to drop one-liners about the perennial cellar-dweller that (seemingly) always lands the No. 1 pick.

Will it happen again this time around? We’ll find out soon enough, more precisely sometime around 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

As you can see, the Oilers do not have the best odds to land the top pick … but they’re close:

A reminder: this time around the lottery will determine the top three picks. The NHL discusses that tweak and other changes here:

For the first time, the 2016 NHL Draft Lottery will assign the top three slots in the first round of the NHL Draft – a change from prior years, when the Draft Lottery was used to determine the winner of the first overall selection exclusively.

Want the full lowdown on the 2016 NHL Draft Lottery? PHT has you covered here.

Here’s your Stanley Cup playoffs schedule for tonight

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The Stanley Cup playoffs continue with two games on Saturday. You can catch tonight’s games via the NBC Sports Group’s television and digital platforms.

NY Islanders at Tampa Bay (3:00 p.m. ET)

The TV broadcast of Game 2 will be on NBC. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.

Pittsburgh at Washington (8:00 p.m. ET)

The TV broadcast of Game 2 will also be on NBC. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.

Some reading to get you pumped up:

– The Penguins are keeping chatty Marc-Andre Fleury from speaking to the media (reportedly).

Tom Wilson received a fine, not a suspension, for that knee-to-knee hit.

T.J. Oshie was the difference-maker for Washington in Game 1.

– Don’t expect Steven Stamkos to face red-hot John Tavares anytime soon (or at all, maybe).

Read about the Isles’ Game 1 win.