Today’s Starting Goalies – October 21

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

NY Rangers @ Toronto

Likely NY Rangers starter: Martin Biron – He’s not a game-breaker, but Biron played as a starter for a while and is possibly the best backup Henrik Lundqvist has had in New York … although I guess that’s not saying much. (Source for both: ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.)

Likely Toronto starter: Jonas Gustavsson – Looks like “The Monster” will get the nod in net. (Also from LeBrun.)

Anaheim @ Philadelphia

Likely Anaheim starter: Jonas Hiller – Just a guess, on this one. (No confirmation here, but look at all the great comics from Earl Sleek here.)

Likely Philadelphia starter: Sergei Bobrovsky – Still seems like a pretty steady rotation in Philadelphia. (Source: official Philadelphia Flyers Twitter Feed.)

Washington @ Boston

Likely Washington starter: Semyon Varlamov – After dealing with injury problems, Varlamov finally gets a start after Michal Neuvirth lost his second game of the season. (Source: Katie Carrera of the Washington Post.)

Likely Boston starter: Tim Thomas: Sounds like it might be Thomas after all. (Update via James Murphy) Tuukka Rask – Stanley Cup of Chowder says Tim Thomas; Mike Giardi thinks it will be Rask. I flipped a coin and will therefore guess Rask. (Source: coin flip/Giardi.)

7:30 PM ET games

Calgary @ Detroit

Likely Calgary starter: Miikka Kiprusoff – It’s another toss-up, so when in doubt, go with Kipper.

Likely Detroit starter: Jimmy Howard – Not a big surprise, but it looks like Howard will get the start for the Red Wings. (Source: Winging it in Motown.)

NY Islanders @ Tampa Bay

Likely Islanders starter: Rick DiPietro – Dwayne Roloson has been pretty good so far, but they’ll start the guy who’s getting big money for a long time instead. (Source: Islanders Twitter feed.)

Likely Tampa Bay starter: Dan Ellis – Ellis was really awful against the Florida Panthers, but Mike Smith isn’t setting the world on fire either, so for now the team will keep the rotation going. (Source: Lightning Twitter feed.)

New Jersey @ Montreal

Likely New Jersey starter: Martin Brodeur – Ho hum. (Source: Fire & Ice.)

Likely Montreal starter: Carey Price – He’s been really impressive so far and Alex Auld knows his place in the universe as a solid (but clear) backup, so why not let Price get comfy as the dominant No. 1? (Source: Habs Inside/Out.)

Dallas @ Florida

Likely Dallas starter: Kari Lehtonen – The Stars lost, but Lehtonen keeps them in games (and helped them win four out five) so far. As long as Dallas think he’s healthy enough to start a lot of games, he will. They should be careful, though. (Source: Defending Big D.)

Likely Florida starter: Tomas Vokoun – Chances are, if you put together two straight shutouts, you’ll get to start again.

8:00 PM ET game

Pittsburgh @ Nashville

Likely Pittsburgh starter: Marc-Andre Fleury – They’ve been on a hot streak with Brent Johnson, but I guess the team might want to give Fleury a chance to get his groove back, Stella-style. (Source: Inside Pittsburgh Sports.)

Likely Nashville starter: Pekka Rinne – He’ll get his second start back against the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight. (Source: Joshua Cooper.)

9:00 PM ET game

San Jose @ Colorado

Likely San Jose starter: Antero Niittymaki – The other free Finnish free agent signing gets the start today, as things haven’t gone too well so far for Antti Niemi so far. (Source: David Pollak from Working the Corners.)

Likely Colorado Avalanche: Craig Anderson – He certainly gave the Sharks fits in the playoffs. (Source: Mike Haynes.)

9:30 PM ET game

Minnesota @ Edmonton

Likely Minnesota starter: Niklas Backstrom – No big surprise here, the $6 million man gets the nod over Jose Theodore. (Source: Michael Russo.)

Likely Edmonton starter: Nikolai Khabibulin – Well, it looks like someone with a foreign derivation of “Nick” will win tonight … (Source: Also Michael Russo.)

10:00 PM ET game

Los Angeles @ Phoenix

Likely Los Angeles starter: Jonathan Quick – Considering the fact that they’re playing back-to-backs, I’m going out on a limb in saying that Quick will probably get the start.

Likely Phoenix starter: Ilya Bryzgalov – Chances are, “Breezy” will be in net again, but that’s another one I’ll go out on a limb for.

Andrei Vasilevskiy robs Evgeny Kuznetsov (Video)

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Surely, the Washington Capitals should be leading Game 6.

They came out on fire, led by Alex Ovechkin, and stayed that way throughout the first period.

Their only problem? Andrei Vasilevskiy and the wall he put up.

Vasilevskiy needed to be solid to stop on the Capitals’ onslaught and he was, write down to the final moments of the period and his best save, a sprawling glove-hand effort to stop Evgeny Kuznetsov in his tracks on the doorstep to keep the game tied 1-1.

Fatigued? Vasilevskiy wasn’t showing any of that in the first period.

After two sub .850 outings in Games 1 and 2, Vasilevskiy has stormed back to spark the Lightning to three straight wins behind his strong play.

• Stream here
Series preview
Capitals vs. Lightning: Three questions facing each team

Capitals have to conquer postseason demons one more time
Lightning ready for a ‘desperate’ Capitals team in Game 6
Vasilevskiy turns East final around for Lightning

MORE:
Conference Finals schedule, TV info
NBC’s Stanley Cup Playoff Hub


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

WATCH LIVE: Lightning seek Stanley Cup Final berth in Game 6

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Game 6: Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals, 8 p.m. ET (Lightning lead series 3-2)
NBCSN
Call: Mike Emrick, Mike Milbury, Pierre McGuire
• Stream here
Series preview
Capitals vs. Lightning: Three questions facing each team

Capitals have to conquer postseason demons one more time
Lightning ready for a ‘desperate’ Capitals team in Game 6
Vasilevskiy turns East final around for Lightning

MORE:
Conference Finals schedule, TV info
NBC’s Stanley Cup Playoff Hub

Paul Fenton hired as new Minnesota Wild GM

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Almost exactly one month after firing Chuck Fletcher, the Minnesota Wild have found his replacement as general manager. During a Tuesday press conference, the franchise will introduce Paul Fenton as the man who will take over the job.

Fenton, who was the first person owner Craig Leipold interviewed last month, will also oversee the team’s hockey operations department and act as alternate governor

“It is my distinct pleasure to welcome Paul Fenton as the General Manager of the Minnesota Wild,” said Leipold in a statement. “Paul is uniquely suited for this job having played 10 years of professional hockey and holding 25 years of management experience in the NHL. His gift of evaluating talent is obvious in Nashville’s roster and recent success. My relationship with Paul goes back to my early days in Nashville and I know that Wild hockey fans are going to love Paul’s infectious passion for the game and unsurpassed work ethic. He’s the right person to deliver a Stanley Cup to the State of Hockey.”

It took a while — 20 years to be exact — but Fenton finally decided to leave the Nashville Predators where he spent the last dozen years as the team’s assistant GM. He played a role in building that franchise into a Stanley Cup contender and turning around their minor league system. Now in Minnesota he’ll have his work cut out for him.

The Wild made the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of the past six seasons, but could not get past the second round. This spring they were knocked out in the first round for the third straight season, costing Fletcher his job after nine years.

Fenton will have to deal with restricted free agents Jason Zucker and Mathew Dumba with this summer, as well as face plenty of challenges in carving his roster into something that could look like a perennial contender. The long-term, cap space-eating contracts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter won’t help things. According to Cap Friendly, the Wild have about $7.5 million in cap space for next season, and that’s before new deals for Zucker and Dumba and potentially a $3 million increase in the ceiling.

“We want to win a Stanley Cup,” Leipold said last month via the Pioneer Press after the Wild’s first-round exit. “That doesn’t mean that that’s going to be next year. I want someone to help me with a plan for the next three or four years to win a Stanley Cup. That’s what I’m looking for.”

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Islanders to hire Lou Lamoriello to run hockey operations: report

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It’s expected this week that the New York Islanders will officially announce the hiring of Lou Lamoriello to run their hockey operation department, according to Arthur Staple of The Athletic.

It’s unclear at the moment what specific role the 75-year-old Lamoriello will have within the organization. It’s possible he takes over the role of president of hockey operations or general manager, or potentially both. His son, Chris, is the Islanders’ assistant GM.

Last month, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced that Lamoriello would not return as their GM after three seasons at the helm.

Staple also confirmed a Hockey30 report that Lamoriello met with Islanders captain John Tavares last week ahead of this move. Tavares is set to become an unrestricted free agent only July 1.

There are many questions to be answered as we wait for the Islanders to announce this move. First, what does this mean for the beards of Nick Leddy and Andrew Ladd, as well as the mustache of Cal Clutterbuck?

Next, where does current GM Garth Snow stand? He’s been running the show since 2006 and has a contract for at least four more seasons. The team has made the playoffs only four times during his tenure and advanced out of the first round once. The fan base demanded change once this season went off the rails, with billboards purchased in Brooklyn calling for Snow’s firing. During an end-of-season press conference in April, Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky said Snow and head coach Doug Weight would be staying for now, but that he would be “evaluating all aspects of our hockey operations.”

The next question is the biggest and that has to do with Tavares. He’s said time and time again that he wants to re-sign, but hasn’t inked an extension and hasn’t given any indication what factors would sway him one way or the other. A new arena on Long Island is coming. But is this change in management and whatever Lamoriello told him in their chat enough to convince him to not explore free agency and commit to staying with the franchise? Only time will tell. But this change could be a good first step forward for the franchise.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.