Ryan Miller has been out since Friday, October 29, with a lower body injury. In his place, Patrick Lalime and Jhonas Enroth have split the Sabres’ four games. Enroth, a rookie, earned his first NHL win in a 3-2 shootout win over the Maple Leafs. In stopping 23 of 25 shots, he looked more impressive than he did in his first start in which he got pulled after allowing three goals in the first period of a 5-2 loss against the Bruins. Lalime, who was Miller’s backup last year, has not played well at all this season (0-3, 3.31 GAA, .888 SV%), allowing three-plus goals in all three of his starts this season. Miller could be back as early as Thursday when Buffalo plays the Rangers, but that means one of these guys, probably Enroth, will get the start Wednesday against the Devils.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Mathieu Garon is no doubt outplaying Steve Mason right now. Garon has started the past three games for Columbus, winning two via the shutout and allowing three goals on 24 shots in the other (his lone loss this season). He has allowed only seven goals all season, and has a 1.28 GAA and a .951 SV%. In eight starts, Mason has allowed three or more goals four times and four or more goals three times. Expect Garon to start over Mason as long as he stays hot.
New Jersey Devils
As many fantasy owners are aware, Martin Brodeur injured his right elbow on Wednesday against the Blackhawks. He did not play in the Devils’ next game against the Rangers on Saturday. Anytime he misses a game against them, you know it’s a serious injury. Brodeur did not practice on Monday and probably won’t start Wednesday against the Sabres. Johan Hedberg allowed three goals on 20 shots as the Devils were on the wrong end of a 3-0 game against the Rangers. Hedberg was signed by the Devils in the offseason to lessen the workload of Brodeur, but he has not looked that great so far, which is not good news for the Devils who are already off to a horrible start. Those who were anticipating another great goaltending duel between Miller and Brodeur this Wednesday- the Devils beat Buffalo 1-0 in overtime in October with both goalies showing why they are Vezina winners-will probably be stuck with Enroth and Hedberg instead. Yeesh.
Semyon Varlamov could be the new Pascal Leclaire. He hasn’t played since October 21 and has been bothered by a groin injury. While he is getting healthier, he is still unable to go just yet. Michal Neuvirth has been the starter in his absence, and has played well with the exception of his last start. He allowed three goals in seven-minute span in the third period in an eventual 5-3 win over the Bruins. But Neuvirth was replaced by Braden Holtby, who stopped all four shots he faced and earned his first NHL win. Holtby then started the Caps’ next game and beat the Flyers 3-2 in overtime. Neuvirth will probably start Tuesday against the Rangers, although we all know that coach Boudreau keeps his goalies on short leashes and tends to go with the hot hand more often than not.
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