Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday's games

By the time you read this, I'll be gone. I had to go cover a football game so I scheduled this to post when it did. Heavy slate of games + tight schedule = short previews.

Washington (4-2-0) at Boston (3-1-0), 7 p.m. EDT, NHL Network

The Bruins open their home schedule having won three of their first four games, including a 3-1 win over the Capitals two nights ago. Tuukka Rask, on the verge of losing his No. 1 job thanks to Tim Thomas' stellar play, appears to be getting the nod tonight against a Capitals team whose offense is going to break out eventually. Washington 4, Boston 1

Anaheim (2-4-1) at Philadelphia (2-2-1), 7 p.m.

The Flyers have been off since a 5-1 loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday and are looking for answers about their offense, with 11 goals in five games. The Ducks have all kinds of questions about their game. Philadelphia 4, Anaheim 1

Rangers (1-2-1) at Toronto (4-0-1), 7 p.m., TSN

The Maple Leafs finally lost a game, in overtime, and now face a New York team without two of its biggest names (though only one of its biggest stars) and is just flat out bad. The Rangers' power play is 2-for-17 and they're allowing on average four goals per game. Toronto 5, New York 2

Calgary (3-2-0) at Detroit (3-1-1), 7:30 p.m.

The Flames are on a modest two-game winning streak while Detroit snapped a two-game losing streak with a win over Phoenix. Johan Franzen could return to bolster the Red Wings. Calgary has been involved in three shutouts this season, winning one and losing two. Detroit 4, Calgary 0

New Jersey (1-4-1) at Montreal (3-1-1), 7:30 p.m., RDS

It's hard to believe the Devils have only one win so far, but their defense and goaltending have been subpar, the offense atrocious (10 goals in six games), and the power play is a nightmare (2-for-17.) Ilya Kovalchuk is starting to show signs of life with a team-high five points. Carey Price is starting to prove his doubters wrong for the Canadiens, who have won two straight. Montreal 2, New Jersey 1

Islanders (3-1-2) at Tampa Bay (4-1-0), 7:30 p.m.

One early surprise team is New York, with eight points through its first six games. The rebuild effort is starting to show some dividends, and the Rick DiPietro-Dwayne Roloson combo in goal has been effective. The Islanders are fifth in the league in goals per game. Steven Stamkos is carrying the Lightning, with nine points, and the team scores even more than the Islanders. Dominic Moore, who knew? Tampa Bay's goaltending has not been good. Islanders 5, Tampa Bay 4

Dallas (4-1-0) at Florida (2-2-0), 7:30 p.m.

Brad Richards is lighting things up for the Stars, with 10 points, though Dallas had its four-game winning streak snapped last time out. Like Price, Kari Lehtonen is showing he can stay healthy and carry a team in net. On the other side, no goalie is hotter right now than Florida's Tomas Vokoun, who has two straight shutouts. David Booth has begun to pick up the Panthers' offense though they're still waiting on Stephen Weiss. Florida 3, Dallas 2

Pittsburgh (4-3-0) at Nashville (3-0-2), 8 p.m.

The Penguins are on a three-game winning streak, thanks in part to backup goalie Brent Johnson, but it appears Marc-Andre Fleury will get a chance to turn around his season. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are playing much better and Pittsburgh is getting great contributions from Mark Letestu. The Predators are one of only two teams without a regulation loss and are doing it with goaltending. Pekka Rinne and Anders Lindback have been excellent and Steve Sullivan has carried the offense with four goals. Pittsburgh 4, Nashville 2

San Jose (1-2-1) at Colorado (4-2-0), 9 p.m.

I'd expect Antero Niittymaki to start for the Sharks, as Antti Niemi has gotten lit up in his last two games. San Jose is struggling in every facet except the power play, which is third in the league, but that means the Sharks have only three 5-on-5 goals. Chris Stewart (five goals) and John-Michael Liles (eight assists) have led the Avalanche, who are getting another great year from Craig Anderson. Colorado 3, San Jose 2

Minnesota (2-2-1) at Edmonton (2-2-0), 9:30 p.m.

The Wild are one of the better statistical teams out there (seventh in goals per game, 11th in goals against, first in power play with a whopping 45.8%, and 14th in penalty killing) yet have just a .500 record. Until Tuesday's 6-2 win over Vancouver, each of Minnesota's game was decided by one or two goals. Matt Cullen is on fire and a lot of players are putting the puck in the net. Edmonton's nice start is fading as the Oilers have lost two straight games, and youngsters Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi are going through some growing pains. Minnesota 4, Edmonton 1

Los Angeles (4-1-0) at Phoenix (1-2-1), 10 p.m.

The Kings are on a three-game winning streak and the Coyotes have dropped three straight. Something's gotta give. Oh wait, actually it doesn't. The key for Phoenix to win is play the entire game shorthanded. Los Angeles has the league's worst power play, with only one goal in 20 chances. That one goal came in the opener. Phoenix also has just one power play goal but have had only nine chances in four games. In any case, the Coyotes still struggle to score. Los Angeles 2, Phoenix 1

No comments: