Today’s Starting Goalies – November 6

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

Chicago @ Atlanta

Likely Chicago starter: Marty Turco (Source: Second City Hockey.)

Likely Atlanta starter: Ondrej Pavelec – It’s great to see him back from that scary collapse incident, now can he regain the starting role from Chris Mason? (Source: Chris Vivlamore.)

St. Louis @ Boston

Likely St. Louis starter: Jaroslav Halak – Halak will need to be sharp in this one, because neither team scores many goals. My guess is he’ll start since he earned a shutout in his last appearance on Thursday.

Likely Boston starter: Tuukka Rask – Tim Thomas was pulled from the Bruins’ last game against the Washington Capitals, so it sounds like Rask will start. (Source: Joe Haggerty.)

Philadelphia @ NY Islanders

Likely Philadelphia starter: Sergei Bobrovsky – He’s been on a nice enough streak that the Flyers broke the Bobrovsky-Brian Boucher rotation. We’ll see if he can keep it up. (Source: Frank Seravalli.)

Likely NY Islanders starter: Dwayne Roloson – After how poorly Rick DiPietro has been playing, Roloson might get a big chunk of the starts. (Source: Islanders Twitter page.)

Ottawa @ Montreal

Likely Ottawa starter: Brian Elliott – The Senators have been on a roll lately, so Elliott should be rewarded for earning them some wins. (Source: Silver Seven Sens.)

Likely Montreal starter: Carey Price – Yet another start for Price tonight, which will be his 13th of the season. (Source: Habs Inside Out.)

Florida @ Carolina

Likely Florida starter: Tomas Vokoun – This one could go either way, since Vokoun was pulled from the first period of last night’s game. Start him with caution, as it’s just as likely Scott Clemmensen will play.

Likely Carolina starter: Cam Ward – It sounds like Ward will start back-to-back games for the Canes. (Source: Chip Alexander.)

Buffalo @ Toronto

Likely Buffalo starter: Patrick Lalime – With Ryan Miller on the mend, Lalime will probably play fairly often. (Source: Die by the Blade.)

Likely Toronto starter: J.S. Giguere – Something tells me both of these goalies wishes they had a time machine. (Source: Pension Plan Puppets.)

Minnesota @ Columbus

Likely Minnesota starter: Jose Theodore – Good to see the Minnesota Wild will give their expensive No. 1 a rest so their pricey backup can get some reps. (Source: Michael Russo.)

Likely Columbus starter: Mathieu Garon – He earned his second straight shutout in his last start, so he deserves this one. (Source: The Cannon.)

9:00 PM ET games

Pittsburgh @ Phoenix

Likely Pittsburgh starter: Brent Johnson – No guarantees here, but Marc-Andre Fleury played (and lost) last night, so he’ll probably get the nod since it’s a back-to-back.

Likely Phoenix starter: Ilya Bryzgalov – He was pulled early from last night’s game against the Dallas Stars, so he should be relatively well rested. (Source: Coyotes Web site.)

Dallas @ Colorado

Likely Dallas starter: Andrew Raycroft – Kari Lehtonen played last night – for the full game – so it seems wise to start Raycroft instead. (Source: ESPN Dallas.)

Likely Colorado starter: Peter Budaj – He’s been doing pretty well in Craig Anderson’s absence. (Source: Avalanche Web site.)

Expect an update about the final three late games later on today.

Sharks flip the script, tie Penguins heading into third period

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 30:  Tomas Hertl #48 of the San Jose Sharks celebrates with teammates after scoring a second period goal against Matt Murray #30 of the Pittsburgh Penguins (not pictured) in Game One of the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Consol Energy Center on May 30, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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The Pittsburgh Penguins dominated the San Jose Sharks in the first period of Game 1, no doubt about it.

Even so, the Sharks entered the middle frame down 2-0, and responded rather than shriveling up. They basically switched roles with the Penguins in the second period, ultimately tying things up 2-2.

The first goal was one Matt Murray would probably like back (even more than a goalie would want any goal back, mind you), as Tomas Hertl beat him five-hole for a power-play goal.

Witness the Sharks’ first-ever goal in a Stanley Cup Final:

Fittingly, a grizzled veteran and longtime face of the Sharks’ franchise tied it up, as Patrick Marleau made it 2-2 with a clever wraparound:

Which team will win the third period? Could we see overtime? Find out on NBC.

Report: Blues will bring back Hitchcock with one-year deal

SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 21:  Ken Hitchcock of the St. Louis Blues walks on the ice in game four of the Western Conference Finals against the San Jose Sharks during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center on May 21, 2016 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Yes, the St. Louis Blues fell short of the Stanley Cup Final, but they still broke some playoff hexes in 2015-16. Apparently Blues management saw enough to bring back Ken Hitchcock.

That’s the word from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Nick Kypreos, who report that the Blues are expected to announce a one-year deal with the veteran head coach on Tuesday.

Friedman wonders if these one-year pacts (Hitchcock was on one for 2015-16 as well) may chase away other staffers:

When asked about these scenarios, Hitchcock seemed like he was in favor of experiencing a perpetual “contract year.”

“I scare myself because I think if I take long-term deal, I’m gonna get sloppy,” Hitchcock told Hockey Central at Noon and Sportsnet back in mid-May. “I want to stay on one-year deals.

For plenty of fans, it makes perfect sense to bring Hitchcock back after the Blues took steps forward.

Others wonder if Hitchcock’s style (which leans toward dump-and-chase and “gritty” hockey more than some other teams) may leave the Blues in the dust, however.

That’s a debate for a bar or a message board, yet one can see deeper logic in giving Hitchcock one more shot.

While the Blues have decisions to make – including what to do with free agent captain David Backes – the team is also structured to make another run. Brian Elliott, Jake Allen, Kevin Shattenkirk and Colton Parayko all have deals that will expire after 2016-17, and each contract is a bargain.

If St. Louis believes that Hitchcock is the right fit for that personnel group, then it makes sense to give him another go.

Crosby, Rust and Sheary lead Penguins’ early charge

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 30:  Bryan Rust #17 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates with Evgeni Malkin #71 after scoring a first period goal against the San Jose Sharks in Game One of the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Consol Energy Center on May 30, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
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Generally speaking, the strategic talk heading into Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final focused on the San Jose Sharks’ deeper defense vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins’ blinding speed.

It’s very early, but so far: advantage Penguins.

Pittsburgh came roaring out of the gate in front of a boisterous Consol Energy Center crowd, but it took them a while to break through.

Once the Penguins did, they raced ahead to a 2-0 lead thanks to goals just 1:02 apart.

First, Bryan Rust kept his red-hot streak going with the 1-0 tally.

Moments later, Sidney Crosby made a beautiful pass to Conor Sheary to put the Penguins up two.

There were a few other moments in which the Sharks looked like they were really struggling with the Penguins’ speed, but Martin Jones made some saves that could be big if San Jose can gather its wits.

Beard breakdown: Burns vs. Thornton (Video)

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Sometimes you need to ask important questions, breaking down positional battles and strategies.

Other times you can’t help but ask “Which guy has the better beard?”

In the case of Joe Thornton and Brent Burns, the San Jose Sharks boast two players with elite beards to match their elite skills. “Jumbo Joe” drew a lot of attention for his wild facial hair, yet Burns may very well have inspired Thornton to go heavy-whisker in the first place.

The video above breaks down those two beards, in case you’re itching for a comparison.

One thing that sparks little debate? Both players’ wives are real troopers.