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
San Jose @ Philadelphia
Likely San Jose starter: Antero Niittymaki – It seems like the Sharks are going back to Antti Niemi, as this will be Niittymaki’s first start in December. Could be interesting since the Finnish goalie once played in net for the Flyers. (Source.)
Likely Philadelphia starter: Sergei Bobrovsky (Source.)
Toronto @ Pittsburgh
Likely Toronto starter: Jonas Gustavsson – Again, he should get most of the starts for a while, especially with J.S. Giguere on the shelf. (Source.)
Likely Pittsburgh starter: Marc-Andre Fleury – Click here for a few reasons why it’s a no-brainer to start Fleury. (Source.)
7:30 PM ET game
Nashville @ Detroit
Likely Nashville starter: Anders Lindback – He’s been doing well with Pekka Rinne injured. (Source.)
Likely Detroit starter: Jimmy Howard – Only Carey Price has more wins this season than Howard. (Source.)
8:30 PM ET game
Dallas @ Chicago
Likely Dallas starter: Andrew Raycroft – The Kari Lehtonen injury watch might pick up a bit, as he apparently is dealing with a slight lower body issue. Raycroft has been solid-to-great this season, though, so the Stars are in decent hands. (Source.)
Likely Chicago starter: Corey Crawford – Well, at least Marty Turco is sitting out the contest between these two teams in Chicago … (Source.)
10:00 PM ET game
Anaheim @ Vancouver
Likely Anaheim starter: Curtis McElhinney – I’m going out on a limb with this one, since Jonas Hiller worked late into the evening on Tuesday.
Likely Vancouver starter: Roberto Luongo – No bold predictions necessary when it comes to predicting that Luongo will play for Vancouver, though. (Source.)
This has been a tough postseason for Phil Kessel haters.
The supposed “choker” is on a team that’s in the Eastern Conference Final, but Kessel obviously isn’t just in for the ride with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He scored his 18th point in 17 postseason games by scoring the 1-0 goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6.
(Watch that goal in the video above.)
It was a dramatic first period, with a Jonathan Drouin goal getting disallowed and Andrei Vasilevskiy making some huge saves on tough chances.
Can Pittsburgh protect this slim lead with 1-0 down one period? We’ll see, but either way, what a great postseason for Kessel.
To start the seemingly pivotal stretch, Andrei Vasilevskiy made an outstanding save on Evgeni Malkin on what sure looked like a scary chance.
The play swiftly shifted from the Tampa Bay Lightning’s end to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ side of the ice, and it seemed like Jonathan Drouin scored a big 1-0 goal in Game 6.
As it turns out, the goal was disallowed thanks to an offside goal review.
Here are a few viewpoints on that moment in GIF form … you can get a fuller view via the video above.
The general feeling among those who don’t have a horse in the race is that it was the right call. (Lightning fans were, uh, not happy.)
At some point, it will probably be kind of boring to hear members of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization praise Jonathan Drouin.
At least if Drouin re-signs with the Bolts after quite the affirming postseason and his ascension amid injuries.
These days? It’s still sort of entertaining.
In the latest case, Jon Cooper was asked to compare the development paths for Nikita Kucherov vs. Drouin. After empathizing with the pressure Drouin carries as a high-end pick (vs. Kucherov’s ability to come in under the radar), Cooper had some very positive things to say about No. 27.
” … So many people think, well, you’re just going to step in the league at 18 and be dominant,” Cooper said. “I truly believe Jonathan is going to be dominant in this league, but it’s hard to do at 18. He had to work through it, and that’s it.”
Drouin, now at 21, has 12 points in 15 playoff games.
In other Lightning news, it sounds like the team will roll with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, an alignment that has been working well lately and also came through at times during the 2015 postseason.
The Penguins, meanwhile, replace Beau Bennett with Conor Sheary.
Tonight could be the final game of the Eastern Conference Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning. You can catch Game 6 via the NBC Sports Group’s television and digital platforms.
Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay (8:00 p.m. ET)
The television broadcast of Game 6 is on NBCSN. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here. The Bolts lead the series 3-2.
Here’s some relevant reading material to get you ready for tonight’s game:
—Malkin guaranteed a Penguins win in Game 6
—Lightning coach doesn’t seem flustered by Malkin’s guarantee
—Kucherov continues to be clutch for the Bolts this postseason
—Marc-Andre Fleury: ‘I should have been better’ in Game 5