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TGIF: Five NHL games to watch this weekend

Oct 18, 2013, 3:14 PM EDT

Sidney Crosby Alex Edler Roberto Luongo Getty Images

Saturday: Vancouver at Pittsburgh (1 p.m. ET)

A solid afternoon affair to get you warmed up for the evening’s action. Sidney Crosby and the Penguins have only lost once in seven tries this season; Thursday night, they beat their biggest rivals, the Flyers, by a score of 4-1, thanks in part to another solid performance from goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (6-0-0, .932 SV%). Against Vancouver, Fleury could be staring down a top line of Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler as new head coach John Tortorella continues to experiment with his forward combinations.

Saturday: NY Rangers at New Jersey (7 p.m. ET)

If only to see if the Devils can win a game. So far, all they’ve managed is three shootout/OT losses. Expect Cory Schneider to get the start for the only winless team in the NHL after Martin Brodeur surrendered four goals on 22 shots Thursday in a 5-2 loss in Ottawa. As for the Rangers (who will take on their cross-river rivals minus injured forwards Ryan Callahan, Rick Nash and Carl Hagelin), they’ve still got three road games left before making their season debut at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 28. But hey, at least they got/will get to sleep in their own beds for a few nights following Wednesday’s 2-0 win in Washington that capped a tough, painful-in-many-ways six-game trip.

Saturday: Boston at Tampa Bay (7 p.m. ET)

Atlantic Division foes clash for the second time in 2013-14. The B’s won the first meeting, 3-1, in Boston on Oct. 3. Tampa Bay will no doubt want revenge for that, and the Lightning — with five wins in their last six — have been playing well enough to take it. Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis have been providing plenty of offense per usual, with 10 points each in seven games. But just as important to T-Bay’s success has been goalie Ben Bishop, he of the 5-0-0 record and .943 save percentage.

Saturday: Toronto at Chicago (7 p.m. ET)

The toughest test of the season for the 6-2-0 Maple Leafs. We’ve written plenty on Toronto’s struggles to gain consistent puck possession; in the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks, the Leafs will face a team that loves a good game of keep-away. They may also face an angry team, given the ‘Hawks failed to take revenge on rival St. Louis Thursday night, falling 3-2 in a shootout at the United Center.

Sunday: Dallas at Anaheim (8 p.m. ET)

We already wrote about the red-hot Ducks here, so let’s talk a bit about their opponents. The Stars have had an inconsistent start to the season, but they got a huge 4-3 shootout win Thursday versus previously unbeaten San Jose. Bruins fans may be interested to know that Tyler Seguin leads all Dallas scorers with eight points in six games. The Stars also play Saturday in Los Angeles, so the Ducks (who get Saturday off after hosting the Coyotes Friday) should have the energy advantage in this one.

  1. devilsarethebest - Oct 18, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    Cuz you know, here on PHT any Pens game is a top game to watch.

    • aso513 - Oct 18, 2013 at 3:28 PM

      Devils will get that first win soon enough buddy, hang in there.

    • joey4id - Oct 18, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      Are you seriously going to watch the NJ vs NYR game? :-( Pen & Canucks in an afternoon sounds much better than the Devils/Rangers evening dance.

      • devilsarethebest - Oct 18, 2013 at 3:58 PM

        Not sure if sarcastic or just stupid.

    • imleftcoast - Oct 18, 2013 at 5:02 PM

      I know NBC doesn’t show Canuck games. Is NBC televising any of the other 4 games?

  2. thailer35 - Oct 18, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Holy Eastern Conference bias, Batman!

    • Jason Brough - Oct 18, 2013 at 3:40 PM

      Yeah, six out of 10 teams. A real landslide of bias.

  3. joey4id - Oct 18, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    Looking ahead to next Monday we can see a couple of very interesting games. SJS at DET and COL at PIT. DVR time followed by a rough Tuesday morning.

  4. millertime1101 - Oct 18, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    Devils look a bit better then rangers maybe there best chance at a win

  5. millertime1101 - Oct 18, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    Devils look a bit better then rangers maybe there best
    chance at a win

  6. jimw81 - Oct 18, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    i personally want to thank the nhl for putting the flyers on a 6 day hiatus.

  7. pjdigler - Oct 18, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    Amen brother!! #1975

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