The last two days of the NHL season felt like an appetizer for what’s to come today. The NHL is still in Europe with two more games getting the afternoon delight treatment. Meanwhile, the rest of the league comes to the table to check things out.
Oddly enough, a handful of teams are playing the second day of back-to-back games already. Slow down guys, the season goes until April. Anyhow, here’s today’s schedule with all times set to Eastern because we’re fancy that way.
Phoenix @ Boston (Prague, Czech Republic)
It’s the first game for both teams as the NHL takes over the Czech Republic. Boston might be the home team today, but expect the Coyotes to get a lot of love with Czechs Petr Prucha, Martin Hanzal, and Radim Vrbata. David Krejci of Boston is sure to have a lot of fans himself.
Columbus @ San Jose (Stockholm, Sweden)
Columbus will look to bounce back after dropping a tough one yesterday. They’ll also look to be a bit better on their special teams after giving up two power play goals.
NY Rangers @ Buffalo
The new look Rangers look to get off to a big start in Buffalo while the Sabres look to build off an oddly-inspiring victory over Ottawa last night. I say that because they just never beat Ottawa.
Ottawa @ Toronto
The Leafs already took care of one rival team on Thursday beating Montreal. Can they go two-for-two to start the year?
Dallas @ NY Islanders
No Streit, no Okposo, no Schremp, but Rick DiPietro will get the start in goal. Odd, isn’t it? Dallas looks to go 2-0 on their season-starting east coast swing.
Montreal @ Pittsburgh
Don’t suppose the Pens faithful will have anything left over to yell at the Habs do you? The Pens look to break in their new arena with a win while the Habs look to bounce back after a lack-luster effort on Thursday against Toronto.
New Jersey @ Washington
The Caps have their home opener and both teams come into this one off of tough losses last night. Alex Ovechkin was kept off the score sheet against Atlanta, meanwhile his Russian friend Ilya Kovalchuk debuted with two assists. Expect big games from both of them.
Atlanta @ Tampa Bay
Atlanta looks to get off to a hot start after beating Washington last night but will have to go through the rebuilt and well-hyped Lightning.
Philadelphia @ St. Louis
St. Louis will be showing off their statue of Brett Hull before the game. No word on whether or not Chris Pronger will try to deliver a body check to it in reverence for his past efforts in St. Louis.
Anaheim @ Nashville
No Sergei Kostitsyn for Nashville, meanwhile no Andy Sutton for Anaheim. If the Preds were hoping to impress the hometown fans with an offensive explosion, they’ve got the right team to open up against. Jonas Hiller could be a very busy guy all year for the Ducks.
Detroit @ Chicago
The Blackhawks’ home opener means lots of pomp and circumstance for the home team as well as the raising of the team’s Stanley Cup championship banner. Don’t think that it was a coincidence that their hated rivals from Detroit just happened to be scheduled for this game. Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson will likely miss the game with back spasms.
Los Angeles @ Vancouver
More pageantry in Vancouver, this time of a self-congratulatory kind with the Canucks celebrating their 40th anniversary this season. Both teams will be in throwback jerseys, with the Kings wearing these purple beauties from a bygone era.