Tuesday night in the NHL and all is well. Sure, the NBA is starting tonight but we don’t care about that, do we? All times are Eastern because we’re biased that way.
Florida @ Toronto
The Leafs are looking to right the ship after three losses in a row. Another loss and things might start getting nervous in Toronto, especially against the Panthers. That’s not to say the Panthers are bad, they’re perfectly average at 3-3-0, when in reality they’re a major pain in the butt to play against. If Toronto can’t get their offensive woes turned around, the panic button won’t be far behind.
Buffalo @ Philadelphia
The Flyers come into the game after a stinker against Columbus last night that saw them lose 2-1. Sergei Bobrovsky will get the nod in goal against Buffalo who is riding high off their 6-1 demoralizing beatdown of the Devils. The Sabres are still trying to get their act together and perhaps that offensive breakout against New Jersey is the spark they needed. We’ll see if that’s the case tonight.
Phoenix @ Ottawa
The Coyotes come rolling into Canada’s capital city after a tough overtime loss in Montreal. Playing against the Senators might be the sort of thing that helps them shake that off. The Sens will be going without Jason Spezza yet again while Brian Elliott gets the start in goal. The Sens have just two wins so far this year and if Phoenix comes into town feeling down, they could turn the tables on them. Helping the Coyotes out will be the return of captain Shane Doan after his three-game suspension.
Edmonton @ Calgary
It’s only been a few days since these two played each other, so it only makes sense that they get together yet again. Sneakily so, the Flames find themselves on top of the Northwest Division and they’re coming into this Battle of Alberta matchup high off a 4-0 shutout of San Jose. Meanwhile, the Oilers are struggling and scoring is their bugaboo as they’re currently 29th in the NHL in scoring, having just 15 goals in six games.
Anaheim @ Dallas
So the Stars aren’t undefeated anymore and they’re coming off a 1-0 loss to Nashville. They’re still playing pretty good hockey. The Ducks, on the other hand, are continuing to be inconsistent and are last in the league in goals against. The Ducks might be coming into this game with a chip on their shoulder, however. Their last game against Detroit ended with a late goal against and the Ducks snarling about Niklas Kronwall. Things might get feisty in Dallas.
Colorado @ Vancouver
The Canucks were figuring on coming out and running rampant on the NHL this year. Things have started off a bit slowly and dealing with the frenetic Avalanche won’t make it easier to try and get consistent. To help things out for Vancouver, Peter Budaj gets the start in goal for Colorado. Some Canucks fans are hoping to see more of Cory Schneider in goal since he’s got two of Vancouver’s wins. Don’t expect there to be a goalie controversy there though, Roberto Luongo is kind of a big deal.
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.
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.
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.
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.