Around the Rink – October 23

With a stunning 13 games tonight, we’ll keep this previews short and sweet. Keep in mind all times are Eastern (ET).

7:00pm

Buffalo @ New Jersey

It’s the battle of the all-world goalies on teams who have been awful at home. Buffalo is 0-4-1 while New Jersey is 0-3-1 so far at their own arenas. This one’s in Newark, NJ so the Devils might have gotten the short straw in this one.

NY Rangers @ Boston

The Bruins are currently on a five game winning streak and the Rangers haven’t been playing too well lately, although they did earn a 2-1 win against Toronto recently.

Montreal @ Ottawa

This is a back-to-back game, but the Senators have given the Canadiens fits lately.

The Senators have won seven of their last nine games against the Canadiens, with four of the last five victories coming by multiple goals.

Anaheim @ Detroit

I think of the Ducks as a thorn in the Red Wings’ sides, but it hasn’t been that way in a while. They’ve beaten Anaheim six out of the last eight times, with the Red Wings going 5-0 at home against the Ducks.

Toronto @ Philadelphia

It’s really important to store points early and make good on a lengthy homestand, but the Flyers haven’t done either of these things. They haven’t earned a win in the first three games of a season-high five game run of contests at the Wells Fargo Center, so Philly could really use this one.

NY Islanders @ Florida

The Islanders are one of the NHL’s surprising teams so far, as they’re keeping pace with the Pittsburgh Penguins atop the Atlantic Division. We’ll see if they can keep it up against Florida.

Atlanta @ Washington

Some people are panicking a bit about the Capitals’ recent offensive struggles, but maybe it was because they played the Bruins. Atlanta should be the tonic for their problems, I would say.

8:00pm

Pittsburgh @ St. Louis

The schedule makers weren’t too friendly with the Blues this week, with back-to-back games against the Blackhawks and today against the Penguins. Don’t blame them if they pat themselves on the back a bit if they win this one.

Nashville @ Dallas

The Stars and Predators are on to a great start, with Dallas 5-1 and Nashville remaining as the only NHL team without a regulation loss at 3-0-3. Both teams do it differently – the Stars are offensively potent with the Predators are very stingy – so this should be an interesting match.

8:30pm

Columbus @ Chicago

Things haven’t been going well for the Blue Jackets, but if they have one thing on their side tonight, it’s anger. Chicago pummeled Columbus to ruin their home opener and the Flames embarrassed the Blue Jackets last night, so either Rick Nash & Co. are in for a long season or they’ll have plenty of motivation tonight. (Or both.)

9:00pm

Los Angeles @ Colorado

This is a matchup of two teams powered by young, talented players although the most talented youngster of them all (Drew Doughty) might not suit up for this one.

Carolina @ Phoenix

The Hurricanes are in the meat of their tough Pacific Division road trip. They beat the Sharks while giving the Kings a serious run for their money. If they defeat the Coyotes, this might be something they look back on after a successful season.

10:00pm

San Jose @ Edmonton

The Sharks have struggled a bit to begin this season, but one thing is going well is their play on the road. They’re going for their third straight road win tonight.

 

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    Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

    Ilya Mikheyev
    Bob Frid/USA TODAY Sports
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    VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

    Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

    Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

    Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

    Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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    Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports
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    Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

    The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

    Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

    After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

    Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

    Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

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    David Kirouac/USA TODAY Sports
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    MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

    But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

    “I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

    Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

    “I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

    Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

    Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

    Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

    All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

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    Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports
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    SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

    Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

    The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

    Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

    Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.