Jan 20, 2011, 4:35 PM EDT
There’s 12 games on the slate tonight, so let’s take a quick look at them. All start times are Eastern Standard Time (ET) as usual.
Tampa Bay @ Atlanta
Both teams are trying to hold off different Southeast Division rivals with a win tonight; the Lightning hope to maintain their lead over the Capitals for the division lead while the Thrashers are trying to stay ahead of the Hurricanes for a playoff spot.
Ottawa @ Philadelphia
The Senators have been floundering lately (1-6-3 in their last 10). Playing the best team in the East isn’t exactly the best way to fix that problem, either.
NY Rangers @ Carolina
The injury-depleted Rangers take on a Hurricanes club that was making a move up the standings into playoff contention, but is now on a two game losing streak.
Washington @ NY Islanders
This looks like a mismatch on paper, yet it’s closer when you consider the fact that the Caps are average on the road (9-9-3) while the Isles are moderately competitive at home (8-9-4).
Pittsburgh @ New Jersey
Buffalo @ Boston
While the Sabres hope to scrape their way to a playoff spot, the Bruins have a chance to solidify their Northeast Division lead over the wounded Canadiens.
Anaheim @ Toronto
Pick your goalie-based storyline: it’s either J.S. Giguere vs. his old team or Jonas (Hiller) vs. Jonas (Gustavsson). Unless the Ducks start Curtis McElhinney instead.
Detroit @ St. Louis
The fact that this game will take place in St. Louis should make this Central Division match more competitive. Both teams are battered and bruised, too, so at least that makes it reasonably fair.
Nashville @ Colorado
The Predators and Avs are both currently in the top eight in the West (Nashville at 56 points and Colorado at 54), but every game counts right now.
Dallas @ Edmonton
Remember when these two teams used to battle it out in the playoffs during the mid to late ’90s? If the Oilers trajectory continues upward and the Stars hold onto Brad Richards, they might be back there again soon.
San Jose @ Vancouver
It’s a game between arguably the best team in the NHL (the Canucks) versus one of its most disappointing teams (the Sharks). Chances are solid that it could still be a solid game considering all the talent that will be on the ice.
Phoenix @ Los Angeles
The Coyotes are slipping a bit, but the Kings are free-falling. Perhaps Los Angeles can get things back together by beating their division rivals at home?
- ‘We’re going into the cage,’ says Kings’ coach Sutter about Game 5 0
- Kings stave off elimination, force Game 5 against Sharks 21
- Wild hold off late Avalanche push to even series at 2-2 53
- Bruins scratch out OT win, push Red Wings to brink 42
- WATCH LIVE: San Jose Sharks at L.A. Kings 0
- WATCH LIVE: Colorado Avalanche at Minnesota Wild (Game 4) 5
- Monster of a surprise: Red Wings start Gustavsson over Howard 5
- WATCH LIVE: Boston Bruins at Detroit Red Wings (Game 4) 2
- Bylsma rips Penguins, calls effort level ‘troubling’ 64
- Cooke: I didn’t intend to collide knee-on-knee with Barrie 99
- Video: Seabrook ejected for charging Backes; will face hearing (update) (153)
- Bad luck strikes twice: Lightning goal waved off, Stamkos takes knee to head (137)
- Keith doesn’t remember if he taunted Backes after Seabrook hit (125)
- Video: Lucic spears DeKeyser from behind (118)
- Wild’s Cooke offered in-person hearing for knee-on-knee collision with Barrie (111)