Now, we move onto the nitty-gritty of the week. Day one of three huge game days in the league. Thirteen games are on the slate for Tuesday night, just enough to get a great portion of players in the top five teams out on the ice to shake out some more points.
|TOR/NJD||Zach Parise, F||None||Alex Ponikarovsky, F||None||Jamie Langenbrunner, F|
|Brian Gionta, F|
|Patrik Elias, F|
|MTL/NYR||Alex Kovalev, F||None||None||Nik Antropov, F||None|
|Dan Girardi, D||Roman Hamrlik, D|
|FLA/PHI||Mike Richards, F||None||Nathan Horton, F||None||Martin Biron, G|
|Matt Carle, D|
|NYI/CAR||Eric Staal, F||Ray Whitney, F||None||None||None|
|WAS/ATL||None||None||None||None||Alex Ovechkin, F|
|Todd White, F|
|BOS/OTT||Blake Wheeler, F||Dennis Wideman, D||Patrice Bergeron, F||Tim Thomas, G||Phil Kessel, F|
|Brian Elliot, G||Marc Savard, F||Zdeno Chara, D|
|PIT/TAM||None||Vaclav Prospal, F||None||None||None|
|CHI/NAS||None||Duncan Keith, D||Pekka Rinne, G||Martin Havlat, F||Dan Hamhuis, D|
|Jason Arnott, F||Martin Erat, F||Cristobel Huet, G|
|DAL/MIN||None||None||Marty Turco, G||None||Mike Ribeiro, F|
|Marek Zidlicky, D|
|LOS/EDM||Dustin Brown, F||Anze Kopitar, F||Ales Hemsky, F||Kyle Quincey, D||None|
|Drew Doughty, D|
|CAL/VAN||Kevin Bieksa, D||Daymond Langkow, F||None||Mike Cammalleri, F||Todd Bertuzzi, F|
|Mattias Ohlund, D||Curtis Glencross, F|
|Sami Salo, D|
|STL/PHO||None||Keith Tkachuk, F||None||Ed Jovanovski, D||None|
|Manny Legace, G|
|COL/SAN||Joe Thornton, F||Evgeni Nabokov, G||None||None||Marek Svatos, F|
Among the top five teams left on the preview, the game of the night that has a player on each team is the Boston/Ottawa match-up, which is nice and early. We were looking to have a goaltending match-up in this game between Tim Thomas and Brian Elliot, but it looks like Thomas will get some rest tonight and Manny Fernandez will take the job of beating the Senators. Elliot should still get the start, as Alex Auld started for Ottawa last night.
It's unlikely that Cristobel Huet will be getting the start for Chicago tonight, as Nikolai Khabibulin will likely get the bulk of the starts before the playoffs. He looks to be the actual number one there, so we miss out on another goaltending match-up.
The top game of the night will be the Boston/Ottawa game, as the Bruins are expecting Phil Kessel to re-join their line-up tonight, which is huge news for Benson, and brings up the game total to seven active players going. Calgary/Vancouver will also have seven players going tonight, more if John P. was still hanging around the preview. Chicago/Nashville will have six going, for sure, seven if Chicago decides to start Huet.
The cut-off for fourth and fifth will be again 15 points tomorrow morning, so that's what you should be able to expect if John and Peter both have big nights.