Around the rink – Sunday, December 19th

Questions lie ahead today in the NHL and, as always, the answers should be fascinating. Can the Capitals snap their eight game losing streak? Can Chris Osgood win his 400th game? Can the Avalanche score on Carey Price? Can the Kings pick up wins on back-to-back nights? All will be revealed. All times are Eastern.

5:00 pm

Dallas @ Detroit

Chris Osgood will get the start for Detroit in goal and get his shot at winning his 400th game. Getting to do it at home and out of earshot of taunts of opposing fans should help him out a little bit. The Stars roll into town on the back of a 2-1 win over Columbus last night that turned out to be a little controversial. Detroit’s looking to avoid losing two straight after being beaten soundly by Chicago on Friday.

7:00 pm

Los Angeles @ Chicago

The Kings head into Chicago coming off a blowout win over a tough Nashville team. Lately for L.A., they’ve either gotten stellar goaltending or they haven’t. They’ll be hoping the injury-riddled Blackhawks aren’t able to put it together to score goals today. With Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, and Viktor Stalberg still out the pressure is on Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp to carry the load offensively. Doing that against a tough Kings team may be asking a lot out of them.

7:30 pm

Washington @ Ottawa

Well, you can’t say the Caps aren’t trying to snap their eight game losing streak. In last night’s third period against Boston, the Capitals outshot the Bruins in the third period by a 26-2 margin. The Caps lost the game 3-2, much in part thanks to Tim Thomas just doing his normal thing in goal. Today, they’ll go against a Senators team without Pascal Leclaire in goal so Brian Elliott gets the call. The Sens are coming off their barn burner 6-5 overtime loss to Colorado the other night. If they can’t tighten things up defensively, the slumping Caps offense might get breakout game they’ve been dying for.

8:00 pm

Montreal @ Colorado

The high-flying Avalanche offense lead by Matt Duchene taking on the stiff defense of the Canadiens lead by Carey Price. It’s the perfect duel of styles, but don’t mistake this Habs team for one that can’t score. Most interesting to note here is how Colorado’s Ryan O’Byrne gets to square off against his former team. With the Avalanche, O’Byrne’s been a solid starter for them after not being able to crack the lineup in Montreal. The physical defenseman is likely to make sure he lets his former teammates know he’s out there. Colorado has won five in a row heading into tonight’s game.

As for the Habs, getting Carey Price back into that steady run of solid play would be a good thing. Over their last four games, the Habs have allowed 15 goals, with 12 of those being hung on Price. Montreal has won only one out of those last four. This is the first game of a seven game road trip for Montreal.

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