Let’s preview tonight’s 11 games. All times are Eastern (ET).
Los Angeles @ Boston
These two teams do not play against each other very often, but they can act as a good barometer for each other. After all, their records are nearly identical (the Kings are 12-6-0; the Bruins are 11-5-1.) and they both play smart, defense-first hockey.
Florida @ NY Islanders
The “Will the Islanders break the 17 consecutive loss record?” countdown continues. The Isles are mired in an 11-game losing streak while the Panthers are in their typical middle-of-the-pack spot.
Tampa Bay @ Buffalo
The Sabres are beginning to get things together while the Lightning are coming off that ridiculous 8-7 win over the Flyers. If Ryan Miller plays again, it will be Steve Stamkos vs. Miller. That should be solid fun … probably not 8-7 fun, but solid fun.
Nashville @ Carolina
In this game, we have a matchup involving a team that experiences dynamic highs and lows (the Hurricanes) against a squad that tries to keep things moderate and normal.
Toronto @ Montreal
The Canadiens are at the top and the Maple Leafs are on the bottom … seems fitting on the night of the 50,000th game, right?
Philadelphia @ Washington
While you can make a case for the Canadiens, many would agree that this is a confrontation between the two best teams in the East. Last time around, the Caps won in overtime. This might be the best of the night.
NY Rangers @ Minnesota
The Rangers are slipping ever so slightly (two game losing streak) while the Wild are getting hotter (three game winning streak), but both teams are at their best in this situation. New York is strong on the road (6-3-0) while Minnesota is tough at home (6-3-1).
New Jersey @ St. Louis
St. Louis beat up on Ottawa last night and now they get an even colder team in New Jersey. Can the Blues stay unbeaten in regulation at home (7-0-1) tonight?
Colorado @ Dallas
The Avalanche are pushing the Canucks for the Northwest Division lead while the Stars are doing their best to keep pace with the ultra-competitive Pacific Division. Last time around, Colorado won convincingly, so we’ll see if Dallas can get revenge.
Chicago @ Vancouver
These two teams hate each other, even if Dustin Byfuglien won’t be around to torment Roberto Luongo. The Blackhawks are only one point behind the Canucks overall, but Vancouver played four fewer games so far this season.
Columbus @ San Jose
The Blue Jackets are off to the best start in their franchise history while the Sharks cannot seem to finish, giving up leads in their last two games to lose in overtime. This should be a real test for Columbus, though.