It's a quiet night in the schedule tonight and the early afternoon forecast is for a few key games in the money race, as 1st, 4th and 5th will each play big roles tonight. Frankly, the weekend can't come soon enough, those outdoor games are looming and it's getting exciting again.
Looks like it's 4th versus 1st in Carolina tonight! Scott Darling should get the nod for the Blackhawks, taking on Cam Ward for the Hurricanes, which makes for a Scott versus Brian match-up in the standings. Scott has fallen to 19 points behind Brian in the standings this week, but it is more about baby steps right now, with Scott's team only 4 points out of the money spots.
Mike's team of super-goalies has kept his team afloat and they might catch a break tonight, as Jake Allen and the Blues might get Juuse Saros, as the Predators are playing on back-to-back nights. Nashville may still run Pekka Rinne a bit ragged, giving him both games, which I'm sure Stacey M. would be okay with, but it does seem rather likely that the back-up would get a start tonight. Mike and Stacey's team are only separated by 10 points, but it could be more without her goalie playing.
The San Jose Sharks are playing the first half of back-to-back nights tonight with the Philadelphia Flyers in town and they will give Martin Jones the night off and turn to Aaron Dell for a start instead, taking the minutes out of the pool altogether. The Flyers, on the other hand, have dropped their last two games, but they are going to stay the course, giving Steve Mason the net and Brenda & Seward the first of two starts tonight, both coming in the late games.
The Vancouver Canucks will get the traveling Anaheim Ducks on their second half of back-to-back nights, which likely means the Ducks will go with Jonathan Bernier tonight and since the Canucks didn't play last night, it will be Ryan Miller, looking to build on a win already this week. The pool match-up here is Eric versus Brenda & Seward, an 18-point difference in teams.