The two teams with survival games on Thursday night, each came away with wins, as John and Dale C. will continue on to Week Six in the survival pool.
Friday night will be a good night for the survival pool, it appears, as four out of six games are expected to have meaning, including one head-to-head game as well. None of them will be easy match-ups, but it should provide for some good hockey watching tonight, if you so choose.
We'll start with Wilton's first shot at survival tonight, with the Ottawa Senators going with Craig Anderson tonight at home against the visiting Los Angeles Kings. The Kings dropped their game last night to Montreal and they should be going with the recently declared healthy Jeff Zatkoff in net tonight, giving Peter Budaj the night off. The Senators will still have a tough test against a strong Kings team, so Anderson will have to be at his best.
We're expecting to see Jeremy's 1st round pick to get the nod for the Capitals tonight, as they invade Chicago. Braden Holtby is the assumed starter for Washington and he'll get to take on Corey Crawford for the Blackhawks, making a very good match-up on Friday night. Marcin gets the start on the other side and while Jeremy is still in the survivor pool, Marcin can look down on his team up in 3rd place in the standings, starting tonight.
The Winnipeg Jets are on the road and they are playing back-to-back nights, so it seems more than reasonable that they will go with the goalie that didn't play the night before and that will give Grant a survivor start tonight from Michael Hutchinson. Playing spoiler tonight will be Kristy & Don's healthy keeper, Semyon Varlamov. The pool's first duo could really use a spark from their Avalanche keeper, as their week has not gotten off to a good start and they have dropped four spots to 21st.
For the most part, it has been win and stay in for the Dallas Stars, but back-to-back nights through Alberta might change things, as they are in desperate need to string some wins together and playing goalies on no rest is questionable. Yet, they're still going to do it, going with Dale C.'s Kari Lehtonen, instead of giving Wilton his second survival start. For the Oilers, this is a survival game from their side, since Marcie needs Cam Talbot to post a win tonight too. Talbot now ranks 2nd in pool scoring this season, which should be a solid test for the Stars tonight and it will provide good odds for Marcie to move on.
It's the battle of the backups in Buffalo tonight, with Keith Kinkaid taking on Anders Nilsson in the Devils/Sabres game. Ryan gets a rare start from Nilsson and a much-needed one too, as his team has yet to hit the 100-point mark in the standings. He opens the night still 8 points short.
In Toronto tonight, it's number one goalies going here. Steve Mason will get the call for Brenda & Seward's team, while Frederik Andersen gets the call for Brian's team. The duo can't seem to climb out of 20th place, while Brian has climbed up to 4th this week, one team needs the win more than the other, it would seem.