NHL Weekender: The Golden Knights just keep on winning


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At the end of every workweek, Yardbarker takes a look at what the NHL has in store for the weekend. We'll see whose stock is soaring, who needs to get their acts together and what tilts promise to keep you on the edge of your seat. In this week's edition, trade talk and the new expansion team continue to dominate the overall narrative for the season.

Who's on fire


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The Boston Bruins continue their midseason success, going 9-1-0 in their last 10, and they just extending their winning streak to four with a 6-1 route of the New York Rangers Wednesday. Where has this long streak of brilliance come from? The Boston Herald aptly pointed out earlier in the week that the B's are getting contributions up and down their lineup — a winning recipe if they want to make a run at the Stanley Cup.

Out in the Western Conference, the Dallas Stars are getting the job done, notching four straight victories. In their most recent win in Chicago — where they completed the season series sweep against the Blackhawks — the Stars improved to 10-2-2 on the road. This is also a team that is getting production from several parts of the lineup. Although, to be honest, the improved goaltending tandem of Ben Bishop and Kari Lehtonen is what's pushing this team to stay competitive.

Who's on a skid


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The Columbus Blue Jackets have been solid for most of the season, but their recent skid knocked them off their high perch in the standings. Struggles with both scoring and special teams have put Columbus in a the thick of the playoff hunt instead of ahead of the pack. Bench boss John Tortorella is reportedly using these struggles as a way to motivate his team, and he'll really need it this weekend with tilts against Washington and New Jersey on the docket.

In the Western, the Sharks have run into a road bump themselves. After solid victories over the Blue Jackets and Carolina last weekend, San Jose dropped two rough tilts — one Colorado and then to Las Vegas. The game against the Golden Knights proved to be extra frustrating when Team Teal blew a third-period lead and lost 5-3. The Sharks' best course is to capitalize against the bumbling Edmonton Oilers, who visit San Jose Saturday.

Viva Las Vegas

Of course, the big story all season has been the new Las Vegas expansion team and what the Golden Knights are doing in their inaugural season. Their storied success continued this past week when they capped off a six-game road trip with a victory in San Jose, giving them their fourth win in that span. As NHL Network's Jamie Hersch tweeted Thursday evening, Vegas is now 13-1-1 against division foe, and has four different players with 20-plus goals on the season so far. What's more is that the Knights are still looking to get better with rumors swirling of potential moves at the trade deadline. Speaking of which...

Trade talk


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Earlier this week, Yardbarker took a look at teams expected to be big sellers at the Feb. 26 deadline. Much of the attention is focused on the big-name players who could be headed to new teams, but it's important to keep an eye on the potential sleeper trades that could end up paying big dividends when it comes to making a deep playoff push. Don't be surprised if the most impactful move is absence of some of the biggest names on the market.

What to watch this weekend


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Friday, Blues at Jets, 8 p.m. EST, FSMW 

The Central Division race is as close as they come. Winnipeg is tied with the division-leading Predators with 73 points, although the Preds a game in hand. St. Louis is right on Winnipeg's tail, just a few points behind. Both teams are coming off victories, but the visiting Blues will really have to dig deep to get the best of the Jets, who currently have the best home record in the league.

Saturday, Predators at Canadiens, 7 p.m. EST, FSTN

As Adam Vingan of the Tennessean pointed out the last time these two teams met, analyzing the Shea Weber for P.K. Subban trade from a couple offseasons ago has yet to cease, and it comes to the forefront whenever these two clubs meet up. Nashville took the first game of the series back in November and is easily the favorite Saturday over the downtrodden Habs. However, the Preds are also looking to rebound after registering back-to-back overtime losses this past week, making this tilt a little more interesting.

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Chelena Goldman grew up on a street where the boys played street hockey and yelling at baseball and football over the radio was a standard -- making life as a sports geek the perfect fit. She believes in dominance on the blue line, good red wine, and the theory that you can never be too overdressed for any occasion. You can find her gabbing away on Twitter at @ChelenaGoldman.

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