Flip a coin
For a change Calgary Flames doesn’t have to be concerned with his goaltending. The only question is how long does he keep with his rotation of second-year man Karri Ramo and newcomer Jonas Hiller? Ramo, who has won his two starts and boasts a 1.92 goals-against average and .934 save percentage, would be in line to start at Columbus (7 p.m. ET). But he might be tempted to give Hiller the nod after his 49-save performance in Wednesday’s 2-1 overtime win at Chicago.
Blue Jackets’ top centre Ryan Johansen has two goals and five points in three games after missing most of training while negotiating a new contract.
Original Six battle
The visiting Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs meet in an Original Six matchup (7:30 p.m. ET), the first leg of a home-and-home set this weekend. Will James Reimer, who has won each of his past two starts, make a third straight start in goal? Joffrey Lupul will play after missing Thursday’s practice with a lower-body injury? And young defenceman Jake Gardiner, a healthy scratch the past two games, will return to the lineup while veteran Stephane Robidas takes a seat.
Home sweet home?
The Winnipeg Jets, fresh off a 1-2-0 road trip to start the season, will play five straight at home, starting Friday at 8 p.m. ET versus Central Division-leading Nashville (2-0-1). The Jets were 18-17-6 last season at MTS Centre and 13-10-1 in the lockout-shortened campaign, so an improved home record is definitely a goal for 2014-15.
Former Jets centre Olli Jokinen faces his old team. The 35-year-old has no points in his first three games with the Predators.
Goaltending is a hot topic in Vancouver and Edmonton but for different reasons. Starter Ryan Miller has won the Canucks’ first two games but Eddie Lack might get the nod against the 0-3-1 Oilers (9:30 p.m. ET), one of only four NHL teams without a win, since he hasn’t seen game action since Oct. 2. That way, Miller is rested to face Steven Stamkos and the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.
Edmonton’s goaltending is a mess, given the team has allowed an NHL-high 26 goals in four games. Ben Scrivens has a 5.22 goals-against average and .800 save percentage, while injured backup Viktor Fasth has 5.19, .870 totals. Also, the Oilers’ 26th-ranked penalty-kill will face a Vancouver team with three power-play goals in two games after scoring only two in its first nine contests last season.
The 0-2-1 Panthers will try to escape the Atlantic Division basement when they visit Buffalo (7 p.m. ET). The 1-3-0 Sabres are one point ahead of Florida. At 10 p.m. ET, Minnesota goalie Darcy Kuemper of Saskatoon will attempt a third consecutive shutout to open the season when the 2-0-0 Wild visit Anaheim (3-1-0).