Jan 12, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT
Here are previews for tonight’s light, yet quality-over-quantity foursome of games. As usual all start times are Eastern Standard Time (ET).
Pittsburgh @ Montreal
The Penguins are still in reasonable contention for the top spot in the Atlantic Division and the East, but they need to stop tumbling (even without captain Sidney Crosby). They’re currently on a three game losing streak while Montreal – the Northeast Division’s second place team – is on a three game winning streak. Just when it seemed like these two teams were following a pattern, it seems like they both reversed paths.
Washington @ Tampa Bay
As we discussed in an earlier post, this is more of a “measuring stick game” for the Lightning than the Capitals in the grand scheme of things. Yet in the context of right now, it’s a big game for both teams. Whoever wins this game will take the lead in the Southeast Division, as they’re currently only separated by tiebreakers.
The Lightning have a -9 goal differential while the Capitals are +13, so you’d think they wouldn’t be locked up right now, but we’ll see how it plays out on the ice.
Colorado @ Chicago
While these teams sport their fair share of warts, they both can bring a lot of offense to the table (Colorado scored 144 goals so far, Chicago scored 138) so this should be an entertaining match. The Blackhawks only have 16 games left at home this season, so they need to make it count if they want to cling to their playoff spot.
St. Louis @ Anaheim
One stunning (and strange) trend: every team outside of the top eight in the West is on a losing streak of some kind right now. The worst part of the Blues’ four game losing streak (0-3-1) is that three of those defeats came at home, where they’re usually stout. Their next three games are away from St. Louis, so they need to beat the also home-dependent Ducks.
Both teams are banged up, with the Blues lacking a few forwards because of injuries while the Ducks must live on without power forward Ryan Getzlaf.
- WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action 2
- Stamkos, power play comes alive as Lightning take 2-0 series lead vs. Habs 8
- Video: Stamkos ends goal drought in style 5
- Here’s your Stanley Cup playoff TV schedule for tonight 9
- Rangers hang on, even series with Caps 55
- Video: Ovechkin splits ‘D’, scores while falling 31
- Flames’ Gaudreau wasn’t happy with benching in Game 1 2
- Video: Blackhawks hold off Wild to take series lead 23
- Video: Therrien fuming after Bolts appear offside before OT winner 46
- Video: Lightning bolt to series lead on Kucherov’s double OT winner 14
- Niklas Kronwall suspended for Game 7 vs. Tampa Bay (116)
- Vigneault: ‘Standards have been set’ after Ovechkin, Backstrom hits (103)
- Friedman: Penguins need to ‘think about’ trading Malkin (89)
- Report: Developers file intent to build arena in Seattle suburb (81)
- Lightning’s Bishop silences Red Wings in hard fought Game 7 (81)