Today’s Starting Goalies – December 16th

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

Phoenix @ NY Rangers

Likely Phoenix starter: Jason LaBarbera (Source.)

Likely NY Rangers starter: Martin Biron (Source.)

Anaheim @ NY Islanders

Likely Anaheim starter: Jonas Hiller – As usual, this is just my best guess. (Update: Curtis McElhinney gets the start.)

Likely NY Islanders starter: Rick DiPietro (Source.)

Boston @ Montreal

Likely Boston starter: Tim Thomas (Source.)

Likely Montreal starter: Carey Price (Source.)

Carolina @ Atlanta

Likely Carolina starter: Cam Ward (Source.)

Likely Atlanta starter: Ondrej Pavelec – Another educated guess.

8:00 pm ET games

Los Angeles @ St. Louis

Likely Los Angeles starter: Jonathan Quick (Source.)

Likely St. Louis starter: Ty Conklin (Source.)

Ottawa @ Minnesota

Likely Ottawa starter: Pascal Leclaire (Source.)

Likely Minnesota starter: Jose Theodore (Source.)

8:30 pm ET game

San Jose @ Dallas

Likely San Jose starter: Antero Niittymaki – No sure thing there, but Antti Niemi played last night (and lost) so Niitty’s chances are pretty good.

Likely Dallas starter: Kari Lehtonen (Source.)

9:30 pm ET games

Columbus @ Edmonton

Likely Columbus starter: Steve Mason (Source.)

Likely Edmonton starter: Nikolai Khabibulin (Source.)

Toronto @ Calgary

Likely Toronto starter: Jean-Sebastien Giguere (Source.)

Likely Calgary starter: Miikka Kiprusoff (Source.)

Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.

Kings grab goalie insurance by signing Budaj

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Jhonas Enroth #1 and Peter Budaj #31 of the Los Angeles Kings stretch before a game against the Arizona Coyotes at STAPLES Center on September 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)
via Los Angeles Kings
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In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.

The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.

At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.

As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.

The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.

All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.