SUN Hockey Pool

Changing Lines with ... D Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:32 PM ET

You're one of the NHLers who has embraced the Movember cause by growing a moustache to support the fight against prostate cancer. How's that working out for you? Not so good by the looks of it.

"It doesn't look very good. I'm getting comments from my teammates, but I don't really care that much."

You're having a competition with teammate Matt Carkner, who has a pretty impressive Fu Manchu going there.

"He cheated a bit. He started growing it before November 1. We had a bit of a game going. There's no way I'm going to beat it, but it's a good thing to do and it's fun off the ice."

Have you tried growing a beard before?

"The moustache is the only thing I have. I've been in three or four playoffs, so that's usually when it comes out. It gets to this point pretty fast and then just stays like this, unfortunately."

How much do you think you'll raise?

"We'll see by the end of the month. Even if it's only a couple of bucks, it's for a good cause and it's a fun thing to do."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

CLAUDE GIROUX

The Philadelphia Flyers forward came on strong during the playoffs last spring and has picked up where he left off. He had 21 points (10 goals) in 23 playoff games and has seven goals and seven assists in 13 games this season. That's 35 points in his past 36 games.

TYLER MYERS

The Buffalo Sabres rookie defenceman, last season's rookie of the year, is off to a horrible start (not that he's alone in that regard with the Sabres). He was a league-worst minus-12 going into Friday's games, including minus-10 in six home games.

RYAN SMYTH

The Los Angeles Kings forward on Saturday will play his 1,000th NHL game. His first game was in January 1995 with the Edmonton Oilers. His best goal-scoring season was his second one, when he had 39 for the Oilers. He has topped 20 goals 10 times.

GO FIGURE

1,000

The number of games behind the bench for Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, who will achieve the mark Wednesday night against the New Jersey Devils (I know, if he makes it that far, some of you are thinking). He will become the first coach to reach 1,000 games with the team that gave him his first head coaching job. Only Al Arbour (New York Islanders) and Billy Reay (Chicago Black Hawks) have coached more games with the same team.

53

The number of games between goals for Ottawa Senators defenceman David Hale, who scored against the New York Islanders Thursday night. For a guy who took a record 231 games to score his first goal in the NHL, that means he's pretty much on fire. He now has four goals in his past 79 NHL games. It pretty much just gets easier once you get the hang of it, eh?

5

Number of career fights for Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby who squared off with the Dallas Stars' Matt Niskanen Wednesday night. Crosby was the winner, say the voters on the excellent website hockeyfights.com. According to the site, Crosby has wins over Niskanen, Marek Zidlicky, Brett McLean and, in his first career fight, Andrew Ference. He has a loss against Keith Ballard.

13

The number of goals the Washington Capitals had given up in the first period this season against just five goals scored going into Friday night's game against the Boston Bruins. Getting outscored early doesn't seem to bother the Caps, however. For the second year in a row, they lead the league in winning percentage when falling behind 1-0. Last year they were 16-8-6 in that situation.

BIG GAMES

CHICAGO @ ATLANTA

Saturday

The first meeting since the 'Hawks sent what seemed like half their team to the Thrashers (actually five guys) during the summer.

OTTAWA @ MONTREAL

Saturday

Third meeting already between the Hwy. 417 rivals with the Habs having won both meetings by a combined 7-3 score.

TORONTO @ TAMPA BAY

Tuesday

The Leafs like Tampa and it's not just because they can wear shorts. They're 20-6-1-3 against the Bolts in Tampa over the years.

TAMPA BAY @ WASHINGTON

Thursday

Always fun when the game's two most gifted scorers play on the same ice. Stamkos versus Ovechkin. Who you got?

twitter.com/CJ_Stevenson


Videos

Photos