Today’s Starting Goalies – November 3

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

Boston @ Buffalo

Likely Boston starter: Tim Thomas – With an absurd .50 GAA and six wins in his first six starts, you better believe that he’ll get the start in just about any situation. (Source: Boston Bruins Twitter page.)

Likely Buffalo starter: Jhonas Enroth – It’s really weird not typing “Ryan Miller” here. (Read about Miller’s injury here.)

Toronto @ Washington

Likely Toronto starter: Jonas Gustavsson – I’m going to go ahead and guess it will be “The Monster” tonight since it’s a back-to-back and J.S. Giguere lost last night too.

Likely Washington starter: Michal Neuvirth – The reigning Save of the Week winner gets the start against the Maple Leafs. (Source: Katie Carrera.)

NY Islanders @ Carolina

Likely NY Islanders starter: Rick DiPietro – I think Dwayne Roloson has been better so far this season, but the Isles are looking at a back-to-back so it makes sense that they’ll likely give each goalie a start. (Source: Katie Strang.)

Likely Carolina starter: Cam Ward – No surprise here, especially since Justin Peters played on Monday. (Source: Canes Country.)

7:30 PM ET game

Atlanta @ Florida

Likely Atlanta starter: Chris Mason – Don’t be shocked if this turns into a 1a/1b situation, especially since Mason acquitted himself pretty nicely in Ondrej Pavelec’s absence. (Source: Chris Vivlamore.)

Likely Florida starter: Tomas Vokoun – Meanwhile, in Florida, the only times Vokoun won’t be in net will be for rest or injury. He’ll be the workhorse until he leaves the team in free agency or via a trade deadline deal. (Source: Harvey Fialkov.)

8:30 PM ET games

New Jersey @ Chicago

Likely New Jersey starter: Martin Brodeur – The Devils need Marty to find his game … fast. (Source: In Lou We Trust.)

Likely Chicago starter: Marty Turco – So it shall be a Clash of the Marties. (Source: Jesse Rogers.)

Pittsburgh @ Dallas

Likely Pittsburgh starter: Brent Johnson – This one’s a bit of a coin flip. Sounds like they’ll rotate the next two starts … so pencil the Penguins in for a 1-1 record in those games. (Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)

Likely Dallas starter: Kari Lehtonen – Andrew Raycroft got a shutout in his first start of the season, but it sounds like Lehtonen will play against a fairly banged up Penguins group. (Source: Defending Big D.)

9:30 PM ET game

Detroit @ Calgary

Likely Detroit starter: Jimmy Howard – Just as Howard returns from back problems, Chris Osgood gets injured. (Source: Ansar Khan.)

Likely Calgary starter: Miikka Kiprusoff – My best guess is that Kipper gets the start.

10:00 PM ET games

Nashville @ Phoenix

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

Likely Phoenix starter: Ilya Bryzgalov – Workhorse vs. workhorse, solid defense vs. solid defense. This one should be fun for fans of sound defense (but probably not for fans of wide-open hockey). (Source for both: On the Forecheck.)

Tampa Bay @ Anaheim

Likely Tampa Bay starter: Dan Ellis – It seems like Ellis has the leg up on the top job in Tampa Bay at this moment. (Source: Raw Charge.)

Likely Anaheim starter: Jonas Hiller – My best guess is the Swiss goalie gets the start.

Full Schedule: 2018 Stanley Cup Final

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The 2018 Stanley Cup Final matchup is set and it will be the Washington Capitals against the Vegas Golden Knights.

So many different storylines to consider. George McPhee vs. his old team. Alex Ovechkin going for his first ever Cup ring. Former Penguin Marc-Andre Fleury against the Capitals. And the obvious one with the Golden Knights and their inaugural season success. It should be a fun one.

Here’s the full schedule:

Game 1 Monday, May 28 – Capitals at Golden Knights, 8 p.m. ET (NBC)
Game 2 Wednesday, May 30 – Capitals at Golden Knights, 8 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Game 3 Saturday, June 2 – Golden Knights at Capitals, 8 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Game 4 Monday, June 4 – Golden Knights at Capitals, 8 p.m. ET (NBC)
Game 5* Thursday, June 7 – Capitals at Golden Knights, 8 p.m. ET (NBC)
Game 6* Sunday, June 10 – Golden Knights at Capitals, 8 p.m. ET (NBC)
Game 7* Wednesday, June 13 – Capitals at Golden Knights, 8 p.m. ET (NBC)
* = If necessary

MORE:
NBC’s Stanley Cup Playoff Hub

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

Ovechkin, Capitals headed to Stanley Cup Final after Game 7 triumph

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Alex Ovechkin will get his chance.

The Great 8 will contest for the Stanley Cup after his Washington Capitals defeated their past demons and the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final on Wednesday.

Yes, the Capitals — a team that had to overcome a horrific playoff record against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round and then had to deal the disappointment of beginning the Conference Final with wins in Games 1 and 2 only to drop three straight to trail 3-2.

They took care of business in Game 6, and that train kept chugging along into Game 7.

Ovi put his stamp on Game 7 just 62 seconds in as he wired a one-timer past Andrei Vasilevskiy.

The first period was a wild affair, filled with scuffles, a fight and stolen jersey.

And then Andre Burakovsky arrived.

Burakovsky missed the first 12 games of the plays because of injury and then followed that up with seven games without a point.

He revealed earlier in the series that he lays a mental beating on himself too often. So Game 7 must have felt pretty good.

Burakovsky scored on two separate breakaways in the second period.

The first came off a brutal giveaway from Dan Girardi in his own zone. His second came after the Lightning got caught on a bad change.

Tampa looked like a shell of their former selves. They dusted themselves off after dropping the first two at home, but simply stopped scoring after the 33-second mark in the second period of Game 5.

[PHT’s Three Stars]

Braden Holtby showed up at precisely the right moment in the series, posting consecutive shutouts to close out the series.

Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov, meanwhile, were far from brilliant. No one over the last seven periods and change was on the Lightning.

The Lightning went 159:33 without scoring. Ouch.

You can’t win games when you don’t score, something the Lightning will have all summer to ponder. They led the NHL with 296 goals this season, all of which means sweet nothing now.

And now the attention turns to one of the more intriguing Cup Finals in a long time.

One of the greatest players of all-time with a chance to win his first Cup silence his critics after years of disappointment against the best story in sports, period.

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final begins Monday, May 28 at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

In the words of Bart Scott, “Can’t wait.”

MORE:
NHL Playoffs 2018: Stanley Cup Final TV Schedule

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

PHT’s Three Stars: Burakovsky’s goals push Capitals into Stanley Cup Final

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1st Star: Andre Burakovsky, Washington Capitals

After being benched earlier in the series, Burakovsky responded in a big way in Game 7 scoring twice as the Capitals moved on to the Stanley Cup Final with a 4-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

2nd Star: Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals

Holtby finished the Eastern Conference Final in a strong way, posting a second straight shutout while making 29 saves. The Capitals netminder has not allowed a goal since 33 seconds into the second period of Game 5.

3rd Star: Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

The captain only needed 62 seconds to open the scoring and quiet the AMALIE Arena crowd.

[Ovechkin, Capitals headed to Stanley Cup Final after Game 7 triumph]

Highlight of the Night:

A wild first period included a tilt between Tom Wilson and Braydon Coburn:

Factoid of the Night:

Stanley Cup Final schedule
Game 1 Monday, May 28 – Capitals at Golden Knights, 8 p.m. ET (NBC)
Game 2 Wednesday, May 30 – Capitals at Golden Knights, 8 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Game 3 Saturday, June 2 – Golden Knights at Capitals, 8 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Game 4 Monday, June 4 – Golden Knights at Capitals, 8 p.m. ET (NBC)
Game 5* Thursday, June 7 – Capitals at Golden Knights, 8 p.m. ET (NBC)
Game 6* Sunday, June 10 – Golden Knights at Capitals, 8 p.m. ET (NBC)
Game 7* Wednesday, June 13 – Capitals at Golden Knights, 8 p.m. ET (NBC)
* = If necessary

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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.

Brooks Orpik leaves Game 7 after Paquette’s hit from behind

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While the Washington Capitals built up a lead in Game 7 against the Tampa Bay Lightning Wednesday, they lost two players before the end of the second period.

First, Devante Smith-Pelly blocked a Ryan McDonagh shot with the back of his neck in the first period. After returning to the game, he would leave the Capitals’ bench late in the second period.

Joining him would be Orpik, who took a big hit from behind along the boards from Lightning forward Cedric Paquette. As Orpik was being tended to, the officials got together and determined that there would no penalty on the play, which is an odd decision.

As Orpik goes to get the puck in the corner, he does peek over his shoulder and sees Paquette a ways away, but he doesn’t change his body position as Paquette drills him. He’s probably not expecting to get hit even with the Lightning forward in the area. That would have easily been at least a major, maybe even a game misconduct (Remember Steve Bernier?).

The Capitals would respond to the hit two minutes later. On the scoreboard. Andre Burakovsky potted his second goal of the night to give Washington a commanding 3-0 lead heading into the third period.

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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.