Maple Leafs 6, Oilers 3
Coyotes 3, Red Wings 1
Ducks 3, Flames 2 (SO)
RLD 3 stars of the night:
1. Phil Kessel, TOR (2 goals, 1 assist)
2. Mike Smith, PHX (30 saves)
3. Jordan Eberle, EDM (2 goals)
Devils @ Rangers, 7:00 ET
Islanders @ Flyers, 7:00
Panthers @ Capitals, 7:00
Wild @ Blue Jackets, 7:00
Penguins @ Canadiens, 7:30
Blues @ Senators, 7:30
Kings @ Lightning, 7:30
Canucks @ Predators, 8:00
Maple Leafs @ Jets, 8:30
Coyotes @ Stars, 8:30
Blackhawks @ Avalanche, 9:00
Game of the night:
Vancouver Canucks @ Nashville Predators
8:00 ET… TV: Local Networks
Overall: Canucks (32-15-5) … Predators (32-17-4)
Away/Home: Canucks (17-9-1) … Predators (17-7-3)
Last 10: Canucks (6-2-2) … Predators (8-2-0)
Season Series: Tied 1-1
VAN- Roberto Luongo (2011-12 stats: 21-10-5, 2.39 GAA)
NSH- Pekka Rinne (2011-12 stats: 30-11-4, 2.37 GAA)
VAN- Chris Higgins (illness, questionable), Andrew Ebbett and Aaron Volpatti (shoulder, out)
NSH- Mike Fisher and Martin Erat (undisclosed, probable)
Three things to watch:
1. Nashville’s hot stretch on home-ice
Moments after the Preds’ 3-1 win over St. Louis on Saturday, Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock said, “This is like the Colosseum in Rome coming into this place on a Saturday night.” The Preds are 13-2-0 in their last 15 home games and have re-established ‘Smashville’ as a tough place for opponents to play. Expect it to be loud in Nashville tonight as their playoff nemesis from last spring makes their first visit of the season.
2. Ryan Kesler returns to Music City
Kesler comes into tonight’s game riding a five-game point streak, but that’s not the reason why he’s a player to watch. In last May’s second round, Kesler put the Canucks on his back with 11 points in six games. And it wasn’t just the production, as Kesler dominated all over the ice. He is not on any Christmas card list for Preds fans, who grew to dislike Kesler in that playoff series.
3. Back to low-scoring ways?
A combined 17 goals have been scored in the first two games of this season series. That’s going to change tonight. Last year, there was a combined 14 goals scored in four head-to-head meetings. With a pair of elite goalies and how well both teams play defensively, look for this to be a 2-1 type game.
Final thought: It will certainly be a fun atmosphere tonight in Nashville, as the Canucks make their return. These two usually play even against each other, which makes tonight’s tilt tough to predict. If Rinne plays the way he did on Saturday, take the Preds after the 60-minute mark. Prediction: Predators 2, Canucks 1 (SO)
The rest of today’s predictions:
Rangers over Devils
Flyers over Islanders
Capitals over Panthers
Blue Jackets over Wild
Canadiens over Penguins
Senators over Blues
Kings over Lightning
Jets over Maple Leafs
Stars over Coyotes
Blackhawks over Avalanche
Five must-read links:
- TSN: Hurricanes Expected to Get Trade Activity Going
- Nashville City Paper: Poile prepared, pessimistic about deadline deal possibilities
- Calgary Herald: Jarome Iginla: I Think We’re Going To Be A Playoff Team
- Globe and Mail: Which rebuild is better: Leafs or Oilers?
- Sportsnet: Written Off Every Year
Video of the day:
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