Here are previews for tonight’s six games. As always, the start times are according to Eastern Standard Time (ET).
Columbus @ Pittsburgh
The Penguins will be shorthanded in this one as they face the OK-as-of-late Blue Jackets at home. Last time these two teams played, Penguins fans flooded Columbus and almost gave their team a home game in Ohio. It’s one of the league’s stealth mini-rivalries.
San Jose @ Washington
This should be an interesting game, as both the Sharks and Capitals seem like they’re on an upward swing. Antti Niemi is giving San Jose increasingly solid work in net while the Caps beat the Penguins and Lightning in their last two games.
Carolina @ New Jersey
This is a great opportunity for the Hurricanes. The Thrashers lost again, Carolina holds three games in hand over Atlanta and Martin Brodeur is injured. The Canes will kick themselves if they don’t win this game.
Toronto @ NY Islanders
The Maple Leafs have won three of their last four games and have a good chance to make it four in five by beating the lowly Islanders. Of course, they are on a five game road losing streak, so they hope to buck that trend in Long Island.
Buffalo @ Tampa Bay
The Lightning will hit the midway point of their 12-game homestand tonight against the Sabres. Buffalo has been playing better lately, but they need every win they can get at this point. These two won’t be easy to come by.
St. Louis @ Florida
The Panthers are just behind the Sabres on a rung right below the Hurricanes and Thrashers for an Eastern Conference playoff spot, so seeing the road-rotten Blues (7-12-5) must be a breath of fresh air. Florida hopes to hand St. Louis their fifth road loss in a row in this game.