Around the Rink – Wednesday, October 27

Let’s take a look at today’s six games. All times are Eastern (ET).

7:00 pm

Washington @ Carolina

The Hurricanes finally host a team in Carolina after bouncing around Europe and the Pacific Division (among other areas) to start off the season. We’ll have more on the Hurricanes playing their first home game 20 days after the season started a little later today.

Meanwhile, the Capitals hope to regain their scoring touch, as they’re averaging 2.9 goals per game after averaging 3.8 last season.

Atlanta @ NY Rangers

The Rangers go for their fourth consecutive win tonight, which would be their first four game winning streak since December 2009. They’ve been able to do that without Marian Gaborik and Chris Drury, who are on the shelf with injuries. The Thrashers hope to end a losing streak (0-2-1) as Evander Kane establishes himself as legit offensive threat.

7:30 pm

NY Islanders @ Montreal

This begins a home-and-home between the Isles and the Habs. The Islanders are unexpectedly hot so far, winning three of their last four as they sit among the best teams in the East. John Tavares is a big reason why, scoring seven points in the last four games. Montreal’s been even better, though, with a 5-2-1 record. Few would have expected this to be a big game, but so far, it is.

Pittsburgh @ Tampa Bay

There’s just no way to sell this one, right? I mean, gosh, when you have nobodies like Sidney Crosby, Steve Stamkos, Evgeni Malkin and so on, you just hope fans show up for the hot dogs. Crosby and Stamkos once again seem like they’ll go toe-to-toe for the Maurice Trophy after sharing it last season, so this could be an entertaining contest.

8:30 pm

Los Angeles @ Chicago

The Kings (6-2) have been stronger than the defending champion Blackhawks (5-4-1) so far, but it will be a real test for Los Angeles tonight. If they can beat them without stud defenseman Drew Doughty, that would be a real confidence booster for an up-and-coming club.

10:30 pm

New Jersey @ San Jose

This is a contest between two perennial contenders who are struggling mightily so far this season. The Sharks (3-3-1) are looking quite a bit better than the Devils (2-6-1), but both teams could really use this one if they want to make good on their considerable talent.

Already without Eberle, the Oilers could also be missing Hall tonight

Taylor Hall
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Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.

Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.

The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.

Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.

Sabres waive d-man Donovan

HKN Sabres Senators
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Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.

Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.

The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.

The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.