Anton Volchenkov, Dylan Reese

Atlantic Division Watch (February 16)

Every week, we’ll provide updates for each division. The biggest contenders and/or closest races will receive the greatest amount of attention.

Bold = playoff contender; Italics = likely lottery fodder.

Atlantic Division outlook (February 16 -22)

1. Philadelphia Flyers (37-14-5 for 79 pts; 56 Games Played)

Current streak: One win.

Week ahead: Three road games: vs. Florida (Wednesday), vs. Carolina (Friday), Rangers (Sunday) and one home game:  vs. Phoenix (Tuesday).

Thoughts: Once again, the Flyers’ biggest opponent is in a different conference: the Vancouver Canucks. It’s between Philly and Vancouver to take the Presidents Trophy right now.

2. Pittsburgh Penguins (35-19-4 for 74 pts; 58 GP)

Current streak: Two losses.

Week ahead: @ Colorado (Wed), @ Chicago (Sun) and against Washington (Mon).

Thoughts: The Penguins are in survival mode, especially until/if they make a trade. It doesn’t seem like passing the Flyers is much of a goal at this point.

3. New York Rangers (30-24-4 for 64 pts; 58 GP)

Current streak: One win.

Week ahead: Home vs. Los Angeles (Thurs), @ New Jersey (Fri), home vs. Philadelphia (Sun), @ Carolina (Tues).

Thoughts: After losing six games in a row, the Rangers finally earned a win against the free-falling Penguins. They should be well-rested coming into a tough six-day stretch.

4. New York Islanders (21-29-7 for 49 pts; 57 GP)

Current streak: Four wins in a row.

Week ahead: Three home games:  vs. Boston (Thurs), vs. Los Angeles (Sat), vs. Florida (Mon) and @ Toronto (Tues).

Thoughts: The Islanders and Devils both seem to be on some odd winning streaks. Is it all to make the Ottawa Senators’ lives easier, or what?

5. New Jersey Devils (22-30-4 for 48 pts; 56 GP)

Current streak: Four wins.

Week ahead: Home vs. Carolina (Wed), home vs. Rangers (Fri), @ Carolina (Sat) and @ Dallas (Tues).

Thoughts: This turns out to be an interesting week for the Devils. Two wins (especially in regulation) could be a good gap-bridging for the Hurricanes, while they play two other games against playoff caliber teams who are struggling mightily. It’s an interesting chance for the Devils, although it could just as easily be a final shutting of the door.

Every week, we’ll provide updates for each division’s outlook. The biggest contenders and/or closest races will receive the greatest amount of attention. Today, we take a look at the Central Division.

WATCH LIVE: Blues at Blackhawks

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 12: Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks controls the puck against Jay Bouwmeester #19 and Jake Allen #34 of the St. Louis Blues during the season opening game at the United Center on October 12, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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The St. Louis Blues will look to improve their cushion in the Western Conference playoff race when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.

You can catch the game on NBCSN (7:30 p.m. ET) or online with the NBC Sports’ Live Extra.


Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:

NHL On NBCSN: Blues look to slow down Blackhawks

Blues extend Berglund — five years, $19.25 million

Blackhawks’ Hjalmarsson ‘day-to-day,’ will not play on Sunday

BREAKING: Ben Bishop reportedly traded to L.A. Kings

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: Ben Bishop #30 of the Tampa Bay Lightning tends net against the New York Islanders during the second period at the Barclays Center on November 1, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The L.A. Kings have reportedly acquired goalie Ben Bishop from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

That is according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie and TSN on Sunday.

The news comes one day after Jonathan Quick returned to the Kings crease after a 59-game absence due to a groin injury and was solid in a winning effort versus the Anaheim Ducks.

The Kings are three points out of the final wild card spot in the West.

More to come.

Video: More evidence Connor McDavid is really good at hockey

DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 13:  Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers celebrates his first career NHL goal against the Dallas Stars in the second period at American Airlines Center on October 13, 2015 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Connor McDavid once again had that blazing speed of his on display. The latest victims? The Nashville Predators on Sunday.

The sophomore star scored his 21st goal of the season and league-leading 70th point thanks to a beautiful individual effort, putting his Oilers back into a tie game at the time.

McDavid picked up the puck just outside his blue line, accelerated to beat Roman Josi in the neutral zone, beat Ryan Ellis with a move and immediately snapped his shot home for the goal.

Two more Canucks players showing symptoms of the mumps

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 11: Ben Hutton #27 of the Vancouver Canucks skates against the Boston Bruins during the third period at TD Garden on February 11, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Bruins defeat the Canucks 4-3. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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There was good news and bad news for the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday, as the club deals with an outbreak of the mumps.

First, the bad news: Head coach Willie Desjardins confirmed that forward Anton Rodin, defenseman Ben Hutton and trainer Brian Hamilton are now experiencing symptoms of the mumps.

Initially, five players — Troy Stecher, Chris Tanev, Nikita Tryamkin, Mike Chaput and Markus Granlund — had been affected.

The good news? Stecher, who had the first confirmed case of the mumps, was back on the ice Sunday for an optional practice, per the Canucks.

The Canucks, nine points out of a playoff spot in the West, host the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.

The following day is the trade deadline, and the Canucks could be busy, with at least three players — Alex Burrows, Jannik Hansen and Ryan Miller — all mentioned as possible targets for other teams.

Speaking to TSN 1040 radio on Friday, GM Jim Benning didn’t believe the mumps outbreak would impact his plans leading up to the deadline.