Feb 22, 2011, 3:37 PM EDT
There are 10 games today, so let’s take a look at them. As always, start times are all according to Eastern Standard Time (ET).
NY Rangers @ Carolina
This is a big one for both teams, as the Rangers are in seventh place while the Hurricanes are right behind them in eighth. New York awaits word as Marian Gaborik visits a specialist regarding his concussion issues this evening, but they won’t play this contest against their star winger.
Nashville @ Columbus
The Predators are in fifth place (70 points) and the Blue Jackets are in 12th place (64), yet they’re only separated by six points. The two teams play twice this week, so Columbus could make up some serious ground.
NY Islanders @ Toronto
This a match between two teams doing better than they might initially seem, as the Isles are only a point behind the much-ballyhooed Devils while the Maple Leafs are only seven points behind the Hurricanes for the eighth playoff spot.
Phoenix @ Philadelphia
The Coyotes are on a seven-game winning streak but still need this game far more than the Flyers do, as their lead in the Pacific Division is paper thin.
San Jose @ Detroit
The Sharks and Red Wings are both playing some of their best hockey of the season, so this rematch of last year’s second round series should be fun to watch.
Colorado @ St. Louis
This is hockey’s equivalent of school kids making up a snow day, as this game was postponed because of bad weather. The game has the added intrigue of the players in the Erik Johnson-Chris Stewart trade facing their old teams less than a week after that swap.
Edmonton @ Minnesota
If the Wild want to make a legitimate playoff run – with or without injured center Mikko Koivu – they need to win games like these.
New Jersey @ Dallas
Jamie Langenbrunner was the Devils’ captain early this season, now he gets to face his old team in a contest that will be important for both sides. The sliding Stars need to get their act together while New Jersey hopes to keep their crazy playoff dreams alive.
Boston @ Calgary
The Bruins can thank the Flames for beating up on their Northeast Division rivals from Montreal, but they need to take care of business against red-hot Calgary after doing so. Boston still needs to integrate new players into their system, so this game will be a test for that process.
Montreal @ Vancouver
If any two teams can share sob stories about injured defensemen, it’s these two teams. The Habs certainly need this game more than the Canucks, but that won’t make it much easier to nab a win in Vancouver.
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