Today’s Starting Goalies – October 23

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.

7:00pm ET games

Buffalo @ New Jersey

Likely Buffalo starter: Patrick Lalime – It sounds like tonight’s game is a backup battle, although it seems like Johan Hedberg’s starting status is in less doubt than Lalime’s. (Source for both: Sabres Web site.)

Likely New Jersey starter: Johan Hedberg – Hedberg should finally get his first start of the season tonight. Will it be the Devils first home win in 2010-11 too? (Source for both: Sabres Web site.)

NY Rangers @ Boston

Likely NY Rangers starter: Henrik Lundqvist (Source: Andrew Gross.)

Likely Boston starter: Tuukka Rask – He was the first goalie off, which usually indicates the starter, although the Boston Globe notes that this did not happen on Thursday. (Source: Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe.)

Montreal @ Ottawa

Likely Montreal starter: Carey Price (Source: RDS.)

Likely Ottawa starter: Brian Elliott – With Pascal Leclaire injured and the Senators occasionally beginning to win again, expect Elliott for quite some time. (Source: Silver Seven Sens.)

Anaheim @ Detroit

Likely Anaheim starter: Curtis McElhinney – He won in his first start despite facing 40 shots, so why not give him the Brent Johnson treatment in this one? (Source: OC Register.)

Likely Detroit starter: Jimmy Howard – “He is not human, he is like a doughy piece of iron” according to J.J. from Kansas of Winging it in Motown, the source for this starter info.

Toronto @ Philadelphia

Likely Toronto starter: J.S. Giguere (Source: Pension Plan Puppets.)

Likely Philadelphia starter: Brian Boucher (Source: Broad Street Hockey.)

NY Islanders @ Florida

Likely NY Islanders starter: Dwayne Roloson – This one is a toss-up, so you might want to just start someone else (if you have at least three goalies to choose from, which you should on an evening when 26 of 30 NHL teams are playing). (Source: Lighthouse Hockey.)

Likely Florida starter: Tomas Vokoun (Source: George Richards of On Frozen Pond.)

Atlanta @ Washington

Likely Atlanta starter: Chris Mason – Expect him to start until Ondrej Pavelec is ready to go.

Likely Washington starter: Michal Neuvirth – There’s a chance it might be Semyon Varlamov, though. (Source: Mike Vogel.)

8:00 pm ET games

Pittsburgh @ St. Louis

Likely Pittsburgh starter: Brent Johnson (Source: Inside Pittsburgh Sports.)

Likely St. Louis starter: Jaroslav Halak – This will be a back-to-back for the goalie who thwarted the Penguins in the second round of the playoffs. (Source: Lou Korac.)

Nashville @ Dallas

Likely Nashville starter: Pekka Rinne (Source: On the Forecheck.)

Likely Dallas starter: Kari Lehtonen (Source: ESPN Dallas.)

8:30 pm ET game

Columbus @ Chicago

Likely Columbus starter: Steve Mason – They really are married to his play, it seems. (Source: Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch.)

Likely Chicago starter: Marty Turco – Not a sure thing, but seems to be the consensus.

9:00 pm ET games

Los Angeles @ Colorado

Likely Los Angeles starter: Jonathan Quick – He’s been fantastic so far, so you’d have to think he’ll get the majority of the starts for the time being. (Source: Rich Hammond.)

Likely Colorado starter: Craig Anderson (Source: Adrian Dater.)

Carolina @ Phoenix

Likely Carolina starter: Cam Ward (Source: News & Observer.)

Likely Phoenix starter: Ilya Bryzgalov (Source: Coyotes Web site.)

10 pm ET game

San Jose @ Edmonton

Likely San Jose starter: Antero Niittymaki – He earned a win, so it’s reasonable for San Jose to give him a chance to string to in a row together. (Source: Working the Corners.)

Likely Edmonton starter: Nikolai Khabibulin (Source: Edmonton Journal.)

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    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

    caufield surgery
    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.

    Kuzmenko signs 2-year extension with Canucks

    Andrei Kuzmenko
    Bob Frid/USA TODAY Sports
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    VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Forward Andrei Kuzmenko signed a two-year contract extension with the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.

    The deal has an average annual value of $5.5 million.

    The 26-year-old Kuzmenko has played in 47 games for the Canucks this season with 21 goals and 22 assists, four penalty minutes and a plus-4 defensive ranking.

    Kuzmenko ranks second on the team in goals and power-play goals (nine) this season.

    His 43 points are also tied for third on the team in overall scoring, while his 32 even-strength points (12 goals, 20 assists) are second on the Canucks.

    Kuzmenko leads all Vancouver skaters in shooting rate (24.7%) and ranks third in the NHL in that category (minimum of 20 games).

    He leads all first-year NHLers in almost every offensive category, including goals, assists, points, points per game (0.91), power-play goals, and power-play points.

    He has also had 14 multi-point games so far this season (second most on the Canucks), highlighted by his first-career NHL hat trick and season-high four-point game against Anaheim on Nov. 3.

    A native of Yakutsk, Russia, Kuzmenko spent his first eight professional seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) with CSKA Moscow and SKA St. Petersburg, getting 200 points (85-115-200) in 315 regular-season games. He set career highs in goals (20), assists (33), and points (53) last season, ranking second in the league in scoring.

    Kuzmenko has also represented his country on the international stage on multiple occasions, totaling 16 points (10-6-16) and six penalty minutes in 37 games played. He was originally signed by Vancouver to a one-year, entry-level contract on July 13, 2022.