Image (2) nikolaikhabibulin4-thumb-250x170-21504.jpg for post 15548

Starting Goalies – December 2nd

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. Here’s what’s on tap for this afternoon’s starts. We’ll get you tonight’s starting goalies later today. We’ll also update this post when starters are confirmed.

7:00 pm ET games

Tampa Bay @ Boston

Likely Tampa Bay starter: Mike Smith (Source.)

Likely Boston starter: Tim Thomas – He just shut out the Philadelphia Flyers, so chances are pretty high that they’ll want to keep his hot streak going. (Source.)

Edmonton @ Toronto

Likely Edmonton starter: Nikolai Khabibulin – It’s been quite a while (November 17th to be exact) since we saw The Bulin Wall in net for Edmonton, but it sounds like he’ll come back tonight. (Source.)

Likely Toronto starter: Jonas Gustavsson – This will be his seventh consecutive start. Wow. (Source.)

Montreal @ New Jersey

Likely Montreal starter: Carey Price (Source.)

Likely New Jersey starter: Johan Hedberg – Not sure when Martin Brodeur will be back, but Hedberg’s been pretty decent in his absence. (Source.)

NY Rangers @ NY Islanders

Likely NY Rangers starter: Martin Biron – The two teams are playing back-to-back games, so my guess is that Biron gets the first start and then Henrik Lundqvist will play on Friday … unless that order is switched up. (Source.)

Likely NY Islanders starter: Rick DiPietro – It’s unclear if the Islanders will follow the Rangers’ lead or if they’ll start Ricky D in both games, though. He should at least play tonight, though. (Source.)

Atlanta @ Pittsburgh

Likely Atlanta starter: Ondrej Pavelec – It looks like a bout between two of the NHL’s hottest goalies tonight. (Source.)

Likely Pittsburgh starter: Marc-Andre Fleury – No surprise with either starters. (Source.)

7:30 PM ET game

San Jose @ Ottawa

Likely San Jose starter: Antero Niittymaki – He hasn’t been playing that well lately, but Antti Niemi has been even worse. (Source.)

Likely Ottawa starter: Pascal Leclaire – My best guess (haven’t been able to find confirmation) based on how well he’s playing so far.

8:30 PM ET game

Washington @ Dallas

Likely Washington starter: Michal Neuvirth – Few teams can sport the kind of goaltending depth that the Caps enjoy right now. (Source.)

Likely Dallas starter: Andrew Raycroft – Kind of surprising he got the nod instead of Kari Lehtonen. Perhaps Lehtonen will be glad to be on the bench considering the offensive talent on the other side of the ice. (Source.)

10:30 PM ET game

Florida @ Los Angeles

Likely Florida starter: Tomas Vokoun – Allowing two George Parros goals isn’t good for any goalie’s psyche. We’ll see if he can recover tonight. (Source.)

Likely Los Angeles starter: Jonathan Quick – This is a great opportunity for the Kings to work out of their funk: playing against a so-so Panthers team coming off a humbling loss to the Ducks last night.

Oshie’s hat trick lets Caps just barely squeak by Penguins in OT

16 Comments

What a start.

This series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals might be headlined by Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, but as many have said in the lead-up to tonight’s opener, there is so much more to this second round matchup than that. Washington’s 4-3 overtime victory in Game 1 tonight could be offered up as Exhibit A.

This game had everything except big offensive showings from Crosby and Ovechkin. They had their moments, but in the end combined for just one assist.

What we got instead was a hat trick by T.J. Oshie that was completed with a game-winning goal that made it past the line by such a narrow margin that it warranted a video review:

This game also featured a sequence of three goals in 90 seconds and yet also some great saves by goaltenders Braden Holtby and Matt Murray. At the other end of the spectrum, there was a controversial hit by Tom Wilson that might lead to a suspension.

There was even some odd stuff. Like how Jay Beagle got a stick stuck in his equipment.

Twice:

If this game sets the tone for the rest of the series, then we should be in for a closely contested, highlight filled affair.

NOTES:

Nick Bonino had a goal and an assist for the Penguins. Evgeni Malkin and Ben Lovejoy accounted for the Penguins’ other markers.

— Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky scored the game’s opening goal. It was his first marker of the 2016 playoffs.

— Washington outshot Pittsburgh 15-9 in the first period, but Pittsburgh ended up with a 45-35 edge.

— This is the first time in the 2016 playoffs that Braden Holtby has allowed more than two goals. He surrendered just five goals in six games to Philadelphia.

— Matt Murray suffered his first career postseason loss after winning three straight contests against the New York Rangers.

Video: Wilson delivers late, knee-on-knee hit to Sheary

Wilson hit
25 Comments

Tom Wilson has already found himself in a controversy for delivering a late, knee-on-knee hit to Penguins forward Conor Sheary in the third period of Game 1 Thursday night.

You can see that incident below:

Wilson spent two minutes in the sin bin earlier in the contest for crosschecking Evgeni Malkin, but there was no penalty on this play.

Fortunately Conor Sheary was able to stay in the game. The question now is if Wilson’s actions will lead to him being suspended prior to Game 2.

This isn’t Wilson’s first brush with controversy. He delivered a big hit to Brayden Schenn in 2013, but Wilson wasn’t suspended for that incident. Lubomir Visnovsky’s final campaign was cut short due to a check by Wilson that angered the New York Islanders. More recently, Nikita Zadorov was concussed by a crushing blow from the Capitals forward.

In 231 career regular season games, Wilson has 50 points and 486 penalty minutes.

Related: Wilson says ‘I’ve never been a dirty hitter’ after teams voice complaints

Video: Penguins, Caps combine for three goals in 90 seconds

Oshie goal
4 Comments

For the first 30 minutes of Game 1 between Pittsburgh and Washington it looked like goaltenders Matt Murray and Braden Holtby might outshine these star-studded offenses. Then the floodgates opened up, if only for a moment.

Washington already had a 1-0 lead going into the second frame courtesy of Andre Burakovsky‘s first marker of the 2016 playoffs, but Ben Lovejoy and Evgeni Malkin scored back-to-back goals within the span of 57 seconds midway through the second period to tilt the scale in Pittsburgh’s favor. That lead didn’t last for long though as Capitals forward T.J. Oshie got a breakaway opportunity and took full advantage of it.

In total, there were three goals scored in the span of just 90 seconds and you can see all of them below:

After that sequence, the 2-2 tie held for the remainder of the frame. However, Oshie was able to reassert Washington’s edge just 3:23 minutes into the third period.

Video: Beagle gets stick stuck in visor

Beagle
5 Comments

Through 40 minutes of action in Game 1 of the second round series between Pittsburgh and Washington and we’ve already seen some big moments, along with a pretty unusual one.

Beagle ended up with a stick lodged into his visor towards the end of the second frame. He tried to get it out himself, but ended up having to go to the bench for assistance. You can see that below: