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The Week Ahead

Kane keeping Blackhawks Alive

Updated On: February 16, 2019, 12:54 pm ET

It’s a pretty busy week in the NHL with only the Vancouver Canucks not playing at least three times. The races for the playoffs are getting tight especially in the West where even the last place Los Angeles Kings are only seven points out of the second wild card spot currently held by the Minnesota Wild.

 

It’s not as close in the East as the Penguins have a three-point edge on the Carolina Hurricanes who are 14-5-1 in their last 20 while the slumping Buffalo Sabres are four points in arrears of the Pens. The Flyers are next in line but are eight points back despite a 10-1-1 mark in their last 12.

 

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WEEK OF FEBRUARY 18-24

  

4 Games - Arizona, Calgary, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Minnesota, New York Rangers, Ottawa, St. Louis, San Jose, Washington

 

 3 Games – Anaheim, Boston, Buffalo, Carolina, Detroit, Edmonton, Florida, Los Angeles, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vegas, Winnipeg

 

2 Games – Vancouver

 

Anaheim, Arizona, Boston, Florida, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Vegas and Winnipeg play three games on the road.

 

Calgary, Chicago Dallas, Edmonton, Montreal, New Jersey, the New York Rangers, St. Louis, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington play three games at home this week.

 

INJURIES

 

Andreas Johnsson suffered a leg injury and is day-to-day. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

 

Note: A tired team is one that has played the day or night before and is going against a team that did not play the previous day or night. The reverse is true for a rested team.

 

ANAHEIM

 

Games this week

@ Minnesota, @ Calgary, @ Edmonton

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Edmonton (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Ducks finally fired coach Randy Carlyle after he was 2-15-4 in his last 21 games as Anaheim dropped to the bottom of the Western Conference standings. GM Bob Murray went behind the bench for the first time in his career, and led the Ducks to a 1-0 win over Vancouver Wednesday. Murray wanted to see some fire from his team and they responded with a troika of fights against the Canucks. Kevin Boyle made his first NHL start in the game and picked up a 35-save shutout. Adam Henrique was dealt to Anaheim from New Jersey last season and played in 57 games, scoring 20 times and adding 16 assists to go with a plus-17 rating. This season in 57 games, he has 10 goals and 28 points with a minus-six rating. Ryan Kesler has only four goals and six points in 49 games. He has no fantasy value.

 

ARIZONA

 

Games this week

@ Calgary, @ Edmonton, @ Vancouver, vs. Winnipeg

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Coyotes play three games in four nights as part of their four-game week. Darcy Kuemper should get three starts with Calvin Pickard getting the call once. Congratulations to Alex Galchenyuk who became the first Coyote to a dozen goals breaking a logjam with six others at six. Brad Richardson returned to action on February 14 after being out of action since January 10 with an upper body injury. Jason Demers is practicing with the Coyotes, albeit in a non-contact jersey, his first practice since suffering a knee injury in the middle of November. Antti Raanta is ahead of schedule as far as recovering from a lower-body injury but still may not return to action the rest of the season.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

@ San Jose, @ Vegas, @ St. Louis

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

David Pastrnak suffered a broken thumb (following a sponsorship dinner if you can believe that) that required surgery and that will keep him out of action for at least two weeks. That’s a big blow for the Bruins who are in a fight for second place in the Atlantic Division with Toronto and Montreal. They recalled Karson Kuhlman from the minors to take Pastrnak’s spot on the roster, but not on the line as that spot was taken by Danton Heinen. He makes a nice fantasy pickup at this time in the short-term. Heinen has three goals and six points in his last four games.  Patrice Bergeron was the second star of the week after a four goal, seven-point effort in three games.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

@ Florida, @ Tampa Bay, vs. Washington

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Casey Mittelstadt has had a tough rookie campaign with eight goals and 19 points in 55 games and with the first signs of some progress with a goal and five points in seven games, Mittelstadt suffered a lower-body injury in a morning skate. His spot on the second line was taken by Evan Rodrigues between Conor Sheary and Sam Reinhart. Mittelstadt has a bright future and don’t forget about him next season in fantasy. Rasmus Dahlin has six goals and 31 points in 56 games this season and is tied for third place all-time in points by a defenseman under the age of 19. He trails only the great Bobby Orr who had 37 before he turned 19, and his current head coach Phil Housley who had an amazing 57.                

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

vs. Arizona, vs. New York Islanders, vs. Anaheim, @ Ottawa

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Flames play four games this week and it is possible that David Rittich and Mike Smith split the net. James Neal suffered a lower-body injury Thursday and was unable to return. He has had a tough season this year with five goals and 15 points in 55 games. Neal has a streak of 10 seasons in a row with at least 20 goals and that includes a low of 21 set in the lockout shortened 2012-13 season when only 48 games were played. The Flames suffered their fourth straight loss Thursday although they at least grabbed a point in a 3-2 shootout loss to Florida. Elias Lindholm is tied with Sean Monahan for second play in Flames scoring as both have 65 points, 13 in arrears of the leader, Johnny Gaudreau.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

vs. New York Rangers, @ Florida, @ Dallas

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Hurricanes have been red-hot since December 30 as they are 14-5-1 and are back in the playoff picture. Carolina is only three points back of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final wild card spot. Curtis McElhinney has been a great pickup as they claimed him just before the start of the season from Toronto. He is 14-6-1 with a 2.43 GAA and a .917 save percentage. Scott Darling was expected to be the starting goalie this season but after a tough start to the season, he was sent to the minors on December 16.  He has been having problems in the minors and the Hurricanes granted him a leave of absence. Nino Niederreiter has six goals and 10 points in 11 games and has been a great addition to the Canes who only gave up Victor Rask in return.  

 

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, @ Detroit, vs. Colorado, vs. Dallas

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Dallas (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Blackhawks play four games this week so look for Collin Delia and Cam Ward to share the net unless Corey Crawford is ready to return from his concussion. Patrick Kane had a goal and two assists Thursday to give him a 16-game scoring streak in which he has 12 goals and 35 points. The Blackhawks top gun has 34 goals and 85 points as he is second in NHL scoring and is seven points behind leader Nikita Kucherov. Dylan Strome was the third star of the week with two goals and five helpers in three games. I think the Blackhawks stole him from Arizona. His Erie Otters linemate Alex DeBrincat has been having a strong season with 29 goals and 54 points. The Blackhawks saw their seven-game winning streak end on Tuesday but started a new streak Thursday with a win over New Jersey.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

vs. Vegas, vs. Winnipeg, @ Chicago, @ Nashville

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Nashville (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Avalanche play three games in four nights as part of their four-game week. Semyon Varlamov should get a trio of starts with Philipp Grubauer playing once. The best thing that has happened to the Avs in the last two-plus months is the Senators descent to the bottom of the standings as the Avalanche have their first pick. It was dealt to Colorado in the Matt Duchene deal and there is no protection on the pick which could be the first one in the Draft. Carl Soderberg has set a career-high in goals thus far with 18 and there are still 25 games left in the season. Tyson Barrie is already up to 40 points in 53 games but could be on the trade block.

 

COLUMBUS       

 

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, @ Montreal, @ Ottawa, vs. San Jose

 

Rested Team: @ Ottawa (Friday)

Tired Team: @ Montreal (Tuesday), vs. San Jose (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Blue Jackets play a pair of back-to-back games this week so it is probable that Sergei Bobrovksy and Joonas Korpisalo share the net. The Blue Jackets penalty kill has been sensational of late as they have given up only one goal in their last 42 opportunities and have given up a league-low 23 goals shorthanded last season. The Sergei Bobrovsky saga continues and if they do indeed trade him, Elvis Merzlikins could be in a Columbus uniform next season. He was drafted in the third round in 2014 and has been a stud this season with Lugano of the Swiss League. Brandon Dubinsky has missed the last five games with a lower-body injury.   

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

vs. Nashville, vs. St. Louis, vs. Carolina, @ Chicago

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Chicago (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Stars play four games this week including three games in four nights. Ben Bishop is out with an upper-body injury but the Stars hope he is back for this week. If so, he will play at least twice with Anton Khudobin playing the remainder of the time. If not, Khudobin will get three starts with Landon Bow getting one start.  Tyler Seguin leads the Stars in points with 54 in 57 games and while that is not star status in the higher scoring NHL this season, his plus-16 has been good. Jamie Benn has struggled this season with only 19 goals and 39 points in 56 games. He led the NHL in scoring just four seasons ago but is now tied for 93rd.

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

vs. Chicago, vs. Minnesota, vs. San Jose

 

Rested Team: vs. Minnesota (Friday), vs. San Jose (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Jimmy Howard played in his 500th NHL game on Thursday and made it a memorable one with a 40-save effort. Thomas Vanek has 11 points in his last 12 games. Martin Frk was put on waivers and he cleared on Thursday, allowing them to send him to the minors if they want. For now, Frk is still a healthy scratch. Nick Jensen is slated to become an unrestricted free agent and the Red Wings do want to re-sign him.  Dennis Cholowski has been a healthy scratch on occasion of late and the defenseman has only three goals and four points in his last 30 games. He likely needs some time in the minors but the Red Wings have chosen to keep him up at the NHL level. He will be a scoring defenseman in the NHL but it may take a few seasons.

 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

vs. Arizona, vs. New York Islanders, vs. Anaheim

 

Rested Team: vs. New York Islanders (Thursday), vs. Anaheim (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes   

Where should be begin with the Oilers? As usual, the big three of Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are carrying the team. The rumor mill has Cam Talbot on the move, possibly to Philadelphia as the Oilers have to do something salary cap wise with the return of defenseman Andrej Sekera due next week. Keith Gretzky is the interim General Manager and one rumor has Bill Guerin as a potential candidate to take over. Tobias Rieder still has yet to score this season. A big deal was made of Milan Lucic’s 41-game goalless drought but Rieder has gone 42 games this season. McDavid is now third in the NHL in scoring as Patrick Kane passed him on Thursday.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

vs. Buffalo, vs. Carolina, vs. Los Angeles  

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

James Reimer had a big game Thursday, turning aside 41 shots against the front-running Calgary Flames as the Panthers won in a shootout. Colton Sceviour is out for multiple weeks with a hand/wrist issue that occurred on Saturday. Evgenii Dadonov missed practice Wednesday with an illness but that did not prevent him from scoring his 20th of the season. Jamie McGinn is back on the Panthers after missing the whole season with his back. He underwent surgery in the off-season and returned to play on Tuesday although he was a healthy scratch Thursday. Aleksander Barkov leads the Panthers with 53 points, one better than Jonathan Huberdeau.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

vs. Washington, @ Nashville, @ Florida

 

Rested Team: vs. Washington (Monday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Kyle Clifford is not known as a point-getter but he has four assists in his last two games. It gives him seven goals and 13 points in 47 games this season. The Kings dealt Nate Thompson with a fifth-round pick to Montreal for a fourth rounder in 2019. Anze Kopitar has 42 points in 56 games after a 92-point season last year. Jonathan Quick is having a poor season as he is 11-14-5 with a 3.09 GAA and a .899 save percentage and his name is being bandied about in trade rumors. Quick could use a change of scenery and the Kings could see if Cal Petersen or Jack Campbell is ready to become the starter. The Kings have been over-hauling their team and it could be a while before they are a force again in the West.

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week                                             

vs. Anaheim, @ New York Rangers, @ Detroit, vs. St. Louis

 

Rested Team: vs. St. Louis (Sunday)

Tired Team:  @ Detroit (Friday)

 

Notes

The Wild play four times this week including three games in four nights. Devan Dubnyk should start three games with Alex Stalock playing once. Victor Rask is out with a lower-body injury and has only a goal and an assist since his trade from Carolina 10 games ago. Luke Kunin has three goals and seven points in his last five games with a plus-eight rating. The Wild’s first round pick in 2016 is trying to establish himself as an NHLer and this latest streak won’t hurt his chances. Marcus Foligno had the Gordie Howe hat trick Saturday. Mikael Granlund has been moved from center to left wing as he is now on a line with Zach Parise and Charlie Coyle. He has a goal and an assist in his last two games.               

 

MONTREAL

               

Games this week

vs. Columbus, vs. Philadelphia, @ Toronto

 

Rested Team: vs. Columbus (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Canadiens dealt a couple of times this week as they picked up Christian Folin and Dale Weise from the Flyers for David Schlemko and Bryon Froese. They also acquired Nate Thompson from Los Angeles this week and he started on the fourth line with Weise as well as Nicolas Deslauriers. Shea Weber played in his 900th NHL game on Thursday. The Habs sent Michael Chaput to Laval of the AHL after he cleared waivers on Wednesday. They needed the room after picking up Weise and Thompson. Andrew Shaw returned to action Saturday after missing the previous 15 games with a neck injury. Eight Montreal forwards and defenseman Jeff Petry have scored at least 10 goals for the Canadiens this season.  

 

 NASHVILLE

 

@ Dallas, vs. Los Angeles, vs. Colorado

 

Rested Team: vs. Colorado (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Pekka Rinne is still struggling despite a wonderful outing Thursday in which he made 34 saves in a 3-1 win over Montreal. He is 20-15-3 with a 2.47 GAA and a .915 save percentage. Roman Josi is second in points on the Predators with 46, seven behind Ryan Johansen. You don’t see this very often but Mattias Ekholm is third on the team with 40 points. Defensemen are usually not two-three in team scoring, especially on a good team. They dealt Emil Pettersson to Arizona for Adam Helewka and Laurent Dauphin. Kyle Turris is seeing time on the second line with Calle Jarnkrok and Colton Sissons. Johansen is on a six-game points streak.  

  

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

vs. Pittsburgh, vs. Ottawa, @ New York Rangers

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Cory Schneider still has yet to win a regular season game since December 27, 2017 and after giving up five goals on 30 shots to the Blackhawks, he is 0-7-2 this season with a 4.23 GAA. The Devils are still hopeful that Schneider can return to form but the last 14 months are showing that his NHL career could be coming to an end. Nico Hischier is having a nice sophomore season as he has 16 goals and 40 points in 53 games. The 20-year-old has 92 career points in 135 games. Blake Coleman has missed the last two games with an upper-body injury. The Devils claimed Kenny Agostino off waivers from Montreal on Monday and he debuted on the third line with Joey Anderson and Pavel Zacha.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

@ Calgary, @ Edmonton, @ Vancouver

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Edmonton (Thursday)

 

Notes

The Islanders are in Western Canada all week. In turnaround is fair play, the Islanders are the tired team when in Edmonton after the Oilers were the tired team against the Islanders last week. The Islanders moved Tom Kuhnhackl to a line with Mathew Barzal and Josh Bailey as he replaced Michael Dal Colle in the lineup. The Islanders have allowed an NHL-low 136 goals this season, after giving up a league-worst 296 last season. Can you say Barry Trotz for the Jack Adams Trophy loud enough. That total includes eight empty net goals and five in shootout losses. The problem the Islanders face is a lack of scoring as only the Rangers and Detroit have less goals in the East. There are six teams in the West who have less including Dallas, Minnesota. Arizona, Edmonton, Anaheim and Los Angeles.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

@ Carolina, vs. Minnesota, vs. New Jersey, @ Washington

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

 Notes

New York plays three games in four nights as part of their four-game week. Look for Henrik Lundqvist and Alexandar Georgiev to split the netminding activities. Georgiev was absolutely outstanding on Sunday as he stopped 55 shots in a 4-1 win over Toronto. He is getting more and more action. The Rangers sent Vinni Lettieri back to the minors and recalled Connor Brickley. New York hopes to go with 12 forwards and six defensemen with Brickley in the lineup as they have been playing 11 forwards and seven blueliners of late. Mika Zibanejad has 13 goals and 21 points in his last 13 games. Mats Zuccarello has been hot as well with five goals and 19 points in his last 12 games. Both he and Jimmy Hayes are on the trade block and if no long-term deal is reached with either or both, look for some trades.

OTTAWA            

 

Games this week

@ Chicago, @ New Jersey, vs. Columbus, vs. Calgary

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Columbus (Friday)

 

Notes

The Senators play three games in four nights in a four-game week so expect to see Craig Anderson play three games with Anders Nilsson playing once. Anderson has struggled for the second season in a row as he has a 3.55 GAA after a 3.32 GAA last season. Nilsson has been better as a member of the Senators as his GAA in 12 games is 2.44. Mark Stone and Matt Duchene have been the Senators top two scorers this season as Stone has 57 points in 57 games while Duchene has 54 points in 48 contests. Unfortunately, both are on the trade block as both have not signed new deals and both can become UFA’s at the end of the season. They better get a good haul if the duo are dealt as the Senators do not have their first round pick this season.

 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, @ Montreal, vs. Pittsburgh

 

Rested Team: vs. Tampa Bay (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Flyers have come back to earth after their lengthy winning streak as they lost to Pittsburgh Monday to snap a ten-game unbeaten streak (9-0-1). They fired 51 shots on Matt Murray but were only able to beat him once. Carter Hart had his eight-game winning streak halted in the loss. Brian Elliott was sent to the Flyers farm team in Lehigh Valley on a conditioning stint but don’t be surprised if he never wears a Flyers uniform again as the rumor mill has Philadelphia interested in Cam Talbot as a mentor to Hart. Claude Giroux has 17 goals and 61 points in 57 games to lead the team.  Travis Sanheim has a goal and six points in his last seven games after a two-assist night Tuesday. Samuel Morin has been sent to the minors on a conditioning stint. He has been out all season with a torn ACL.

 

 

PITTSBURGH

 

 Games this week

@ New Jersey, vs. San Jose, @ Philadelphia

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Penguins still do not have Justin Schultz in their lineup and he said the decision to return to the lineup will be up to him. He has been out with a broken leg since the fourth game of the season. Evgeni Malkin’s upper-body injury was to his neck and that was the reason he got so riled when Michael Raffl hit him from behind. Malkin received a one-game suspension as he swung his stick at Raffl after the incident. Zach Aston-Reese returned to action Wednesday after missing over a month of action with a broken hand. Olli Maatta suffered an upper-body injury Monday and was placed on the injured reserve list. Nick Bjugstad scored his first goal as a Penguin Monday and has two points in seven games since the trade with the Panthers.

               

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

vs. Toronto, @ Dallas, vs. Boston, @ Minnesota

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Minnesota (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Blues play four games this week including three games in four nights. Expect to see Jordan Binnington play three times and Jake Allen once this week as Binnington has taken over as the Blues number one goaltender.  Binnington has won his last seven games in a row and has tied a St. Louis rookie record set originally by Brent Johnson with the seven straight wins. He is 11-1-1 with a 1.69 GAA and a .931 save percentage. Vladimir Tarasenko has been red-hot of late with a ten-game points streak in which he has 17 points including nine goals. Robbi Fabbri has been a healthy scratch the last 10 games. David Perron is still out of action with an upper-body injury.

 

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

vs. Boston, @ Pittsburgh, @ Columbus, @ Detroit

 

Rested Team: @ Columbus (Saturday)

Tired Team: @ Detroit (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Sharks play three games in four nights as part of a four-game week. Martin Jones should play three games with the struggling Aaron Dell playing once. Joe Thornton picked up an assist Thursday in a 5-1 loss to Washington and with the helper, moved into 15th place all-time in points with 1,458 one ahead of Teemu Selanne. Erik Karlsson has missed the last nine games with a lower-body injury but is getting closer to returning and it could happen as early as the February 16th weekend. He was well enough to play in the All-Star game however. I’m sure his fantasy owners are thrilled about that one. Pierre LeBrun does not expect the Sharks to make a major trade before the deadline.      

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

@ Columbus, @ Philadelphia, vs. Buffalo

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Philadelphia (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Lightning play three games in four nights so look for Andrei Vasilevskiy play twice with Louis Domingue seeing the crease once. Vasilevskiy had a 32-save shutout on Thursday, his fifth of the season and pushed his record to 24-7-4 with a 2.39 GAA and a .927 save percentage. Too bad he missed a month with an injury. Nikita Kucherov is on a tear of late and is leading the NHL in scoring with 92 points, seven better than Patrick Kane and 10 on top of Connor McDavid. He has four goals and 11 points in his last three games after a pair of four-point efforts as well as a three-point game. Yanni Gourde had a goal and an assist Tuesday but has struggled after a strong start to the season as he has 15 goals and 34 points after a 64-point season last year when he was also a plus-34.

 

TORONTO

 

Games this week

@ St. Louis, vs. Washington, vs. Montreal

 

Rested team:  None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Maple Leafs look back on track as they are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. Even in their last loss, a 4-1 decision to the Rangers on Sunday, the Leafs pummeled New York with 56 shots on goal. Auston Matthews has had a pair of three-point games on the road and is looking forward to returning home on February 16 when he is in Arizona. Andreas Johnsson is out with a leg injury suffered on Thursday. Toronto switched up their defense partners once again as Morgan Rielly was moved back to the left side along with Ron Hainsey while Jake Muzzin moved to the second unit with Nikita Zaitsev. Frederik Andersen has won five straight games and is 27-11-2 with a 2.57 GAA and a .923 save percentage.

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

vs. Arizona, vs. New York Islanders

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes                   

The Canucks are getting killed by the injury bug as Alexander Edler and Chris Tanev are missing from the blueline, Brandon Sutter, Jake Virtanen and Sven Baertschi are absent from up front and Thatcher Demko is missing in his backup role in net. Michael DiPietro made his NHL debut in net and ran into plenty of trouble as he gave up seven goals on only 24 shots. He was sent back to the OHL after the game. Jacob Markstrom returned to the net after he missed Monday’s game (the one DiPietro started) with back spasms. The Canucks recalled Adam Gaudette from the minors and he sparkled on both Wednesday and Thursday as the Canucks split the two games. Hopefully, he is in the NHL to stay.

 

VEGAS

 

Games this week

@ Colorado, vs. Boston, vs. Winnipeg

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Golden Knights have lost five straight at home and have lost touch with the top two teams in the Pacific division as the Sharks and Flames are nine points ahead. They need a backup goalie (perhaps Brian Elliott from Philadelphia) as Marc-Andre Fleury has been overworked this season. Fleury has played in 51 of the Golden Knights 59 games this season and looks to be worn down. He is 29-18-4 with a 2.61 GAA and a .908 save percentage and has given up 14 goals in his last three games. Brandon Pirri was a scoring machine when he began playing for Vegas on December 20. He has nine goals and 14 points in 19 games but only one goal in his last eight contests. Alex Tuch and Jonathan Marchessault lead the Golden Knights with 40 points.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

@ Los Angeles, @ Toronto, @ Buffalo, vs. New York Rangers

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Los Angeles (Monday)

 

Notes

The Capitals play four games this week including three games in four nights so look for Braden Holtby to play three games with Pheonix Copley playing once. Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 39th goal on Thursday. T.J. Oshie had two goals and an assist Thursday and hit the 500-point mark in his career. Oshie and Jakub Vrana are second on the Capitals in goals with 18, trailing only Alexander the Great. The Capitals received plenty of production from their third line Saturday as Brett Connolly scored twice and added an assist while Lars Eller had a goal and a helper and Andre Burakovsky had two assists. Burakovsky still seems to be the Capitals trade bait as the NHL trade deadline draws ever closer.

 

WINNIPEG

 

Games this week

@ Colorado, @ Vegas, @ Arizona

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler each have 68 points to lead the Jets in scoring. Nikolaj Ehlers is still not ready to return to the lineup as he has been out of action with an upper-body injury since January 4. He was supposed to be back by now but is still out another week-to-three weeks as the doctors put a halt to his return. Connor Hellebuyck still is struggling this season as he is 4-2-1 over his last seven games but has given up 22 goals while facing 259 shots. That is too many shots to face, especially for a team as good as the Jets. Patrik Laine had 21 goals in his first 24 games but has only four markers in his last 34 contests. He could have difficulty in getting a contract that he anticipated he would have received just two-and-a-half months ago. He could be the next long holdout RFA.


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