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NHL • Saturday Service Plays • 1/23/16

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    Preview: Vancouver at Pittsburgh

    When: 12:30 PM ET, Saturday, January 23, 2016
    Where: Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Captain Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins look to continue their respective torrid stretches when they host the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday afternoon. Crosby pushed his point streak to five games (three goals, five assists) by scoring and setting up a goal in Pittsburgh’s 4-3 triumph over Keystone State-rival Philadelphia on Thursday.

    Crosby, who also tallied in the Penguins’ 3-2 victory over Vancouver on Nov. 4, has 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) in his last 15 contests to surpass his total (19 – six goals, 13 assists) from his previous 30. The Penguins are 4-0-2 in their last six home games, with offseason acquisition Phil Kessel recording five goals – including two versus the Flyers – and two assists during that stretch. Vancouver is on quite a nice run itself as it improved to 5-1-2 in its last eight with a 4-2 win over Boston on Thursday. Daniel Sedin tallied twice to surpass Markus Naslund for the franchise lead in goals and also tallied in the first meeting with Pittsburgh.

    TV: 12:30 p.m. ET, RSN (Vancouver), ROOT (Pittsburgh)

    ABOUT THE CANUCKS (20-17-11): Brandon Sutter (sports hernia) was an active participant in practice on Friday, but coach Willie Desjardins told the team’s website that the former Penguin is not expected to be in the lineup on Saturday. “He’s been real close the last two games,” Desjardins said of Sutter, who has been sidelined since Nov. 10. “He won’t go the next one but we may get him against Nashville (on Tuesday).” Veteran Ryan Miller has struggled versus Pittsburgh, posting an 8-14-3 mark with a 3.15 goals-against average.

    ABOUT THE PENGUINS (22-17-7): Oft-injured Beau Bennett was a full participant on Friday as he attempts to work his way back from a shoulder injury. “He’s had some pretty solid practices with the team,” coach Mike Sullivan told the team’s website. “Now it’s a matter of him and I having a discussion on when he’s comfortable enough to play.” While Bennett practiced on Friday, Chris Kunitz (lower body) did not and will be a game-time decision.


    1. Pittsburgh is averaging 3.83 goals during its six-game home unbeaten streak, as opposed to 2.29 during its first 17 contests at Consol Energy Center.

    2. Vancouver has killed off 15-of-16 power plays in the last eight contests.

    3. The Penguins have scored with the man advantage in 11 of their last 15 games.

    PREDICTION: Penguins 4, Canucks 2


    Preview: Minnesota at San Jose

    When: 4:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 23, 2016
    Where: SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, California

    The San Jose Sharks have skyrocketed up the ranks in the Pacific Division on the strength of their longest point streak in nearly two years. Riding high on a 6-0-1 stretch, the Sharks look to continue that momentum on Saturday when they host the Minnesota Wild.

    Chris Tierney has contributed offensively during that run, collecting three goals and four assists to nearly double his total point output for the season. The 21-year-old Tierney matched his rookie season goal total with his sixth on Thursday as San Jose moved into a tie for second place in the Pacific Division with Vancouver following a 3-1 victory over Arizona. Minnesota snapped a five-game skid by blanking Pacific-leading Los Angeles 3-0 on Thursday. Darcy Kuemper made 32 saves against the Kings and also turned aside all 25 shots he faced in the Wild’s 2-0 victory over the Sharks on Dec. 12.

    TV: 4 p.m. ET, FSN North (Minnesota), CSN California (San Jose)

    ABOUT THE WILD (23-16-8): Zach Parise ended his team’s 0-for-25 power-play drought by scoring with the man advantage on Thursday. “I think we really needed (the win) for our own psyche,” said the 31-year-old Parise, whose team-leading 17th tally was his fifth game-winner of the season. Parise scored and set up a goal in the initial meeting with San Jose and captain Mikko Koivu sealed the win with an empty-net tally.

    ABOUT THE SHARKS (24-18-3): Brent Burns looks to regain his scoring touch as he has mustered just one point in his last four games after recording 17 (eight goals, nine assists) in his previous 11. The former Wild star has posted 10 points in 14 career encounters against the team that selected him with the 20th overall pick of the 2003 draft. Martin Jones, who made 28 saves in the last meeting with Minnesota, turned aside 23 shots versus the Coyotes to improve to 5-0-0 with a 1.76 goals-against average in his last five starts.


    1. Minnesota has killed off 19-of-21 power plays in January.

    2. San Jose has dropped seven of 10 meetings (3-6-1) versus Central Division foes.

    3. The Wild have posted a 6-3-2 record against Pacific Division representatives this season.

    PREDICTION: Sharks 3, Wild 1


    Preview: Columbus at Boston

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 23, 2016
    Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

    It’s been an ugly season on the ice and no better behind the bench for the league-worst Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus coach John Tortorella, who replaced Todd Richards seven games into the season, suffered a pair of fractured ribs in a collision with one of his players at Friday’s practice and will be unavailable for Saturday’s road contest against the Boston Bruins.

    Blue Jackets forward Rene Bourque told the Columbus Dispatch that he hit a rut in the ice before crashing into Tortorella. “I felt so bad for John and for Borkie,” Columbus captain Nick Foligno said. “Nobody wants to see anybody get hurt. But the funny thing about Torts is that he’s pretty tough. I think he’s a lot tougher than all of us. So when you see him down like that, you know he’s pretty hurt.” The Bruins had their three-game winning streak halted with a 4-2 home loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday, continuing their struggles at TD Garden. Boston is 10-12-2 at home, including losses in five of its last seven games.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Ohio (Columbus), NESN (Boston)

    ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (17-27-4): Tortorella was one of two major setbacks for Columbus on Friday, following the news that starting netminder Sergei Bobrovsky was placed on injured reserve after aggravating a groin injury that already has sidelined him twice this season. The former Vezina Trophy winner was hurt in Thursday’s loss to Calgary in just his second start since missing 17 games. The Blue Jackets summoned Anton Forsberg from Lake Erie of the American Hockey League, but it’s unclear if he or rookie Joonas Korpisalo will get the call against Boston.

    ABOUT THE BRUINS (24-17-5): Center David Krejci returned from a 10-game absence against Vancouver, but one of his linemates was missing from practice as Matt Beleskey was sent home after feeling ill. David Pastrnak has recorded three points in back-to-back contests since returning from a three-game absence, but coach Claude Julien was unhappy after the 19-year-old committed seven giveaways versus the Canucks. “He’s going to be a great player,” Julien said. “Right now, there are times where he struggles, and you have to remember that he’s coming off two major injuries.”


    1. Bruins LW Brad Marchand has scored in three straight games to run his point streak to four contests.

    2. The Blue Jackets are 3-for-23 with the man advantage over their last eight games.

    3. Boston has killed off 21 straight short-handed situations in the last eight contests.

    PREDICTION: Bruins 4, Blue Jackets 2


    Preview: Montreal at Toronto

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 23, 2016
    Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario

    The Montreal Canadiens beat the Toronto Maple Leafs twice during their franchise-record, season-opening nine-game winning streak and sat 19 points ahead of their Original Six rival exactly one month into the season. A stunning spiral by the Canadiens has cut their cushion over the Maple Leafs to only eight points entering Saturday’s matchup between the teams in Toronto.

    Montreal’s swoon continued with a 4-1 home loss to Boston on Tuesday, stretching its losing streak to five games (0-4-1) with its 17th defeat in 21 contests (4-16-1). “These guys are giving everything they have,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. “Is the execution there? No, but that will come.” While Montreal has scored only eight goals during its five-game skid, the Maple Leafs are in a deeper offensive rut. Toronto dropped to 1-5-1 in its last seven games following a 1-0 overtime loss to Carolina on Thursday and has tallied eight times during the stretch.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, NHL Network, CBC, TVA

    ABOUT THE CANADIENS (23-20-4): Montreal’s offensive funk is not due to lack of opportunities – the team has registered a total of 191 shots during the five-game slide. “We do create a lot of scoring chances,” forward Lars Eller told the Montreal Gazette. “We create enough scoring chances every game to score three, sometimes four goals. If we score three or four, we’re going to come out on the winning side most of the time. But the puck hasn’t gone in the net lately for us.” Defenseman Tom Gilbert practiced Friday for the first time since he was hurt on Dec. 22.

    ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS (17-20-8): Jonathan Bernier was in net for the two early-season losses to Montreal, but James Reimer is expected to get the nod Saturday after turning in a dazzling 40-save performance in Thursday’s defeat. “He’s battling through screens. Everything seems to be hitting him. Rebounds aren’t coming off of him,” forward Nazem Kadri told the Toronto Sun. “He’s playing great and we feel confident in front of him.” Leo Komarov leads the Maple Leafs in goals (16) and points (30) but has tallied only once in his last 13 games.


    1. Montreal looks to avoid matching its season-high six-game skid from Dec. 15-26.

    2. Toronto has failed on all 19 power-play chances over its last six contests.

    3. Canadiens G Mike Condon hopes to end a four-start winless drought (0-3-1) on Saturday.

    PREDICTION: Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 2


    Preview: Anaheim at Detroit

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 23, 2016
    Where: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan

    The resurgent Anaheim Ducks were supposed to begin a three-game road trip in Washington on Friday, but Mother Nature said otherwise as a major snowstorm struck the nation’s capital. Friday’s contest – originally moved up to a 5 p.m. ET start in an effort to beat the storm – was postponed just in time for Anaheim to fly out of Dulles International Airport despite a few inches of snow already on the runway so the lucky Ducks could meet the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.

    Anaheim is 8-3-2 in its last 13 games after Wednesday’s 3-1 victory over Minnesota but still finds itself four points behind Vancouver for third place in the Pacific Division, although the Ducks have three games in hand on the Canucks. Anaheim remains the only NHL team that doesn’t average at least two goals (1.98), but it is staying afloat with one of the stingiest defenses in the league, and the NHL’s top penalty-killing unit (89.1 percent) has permitted only two power-play goals in 37 chances over the last 11 contests. Detroit snapped a two-game losing streak with a 3-0 victory in Buffalo on Friday and is tied with Tampa Bay for second in the Atlantic Division – three points clear of fourth-place Boston. The Red Wings also are struggling offensively as Friday’s output was only the third time in the last 12 contests they’ve scored three or more goals, and their 2.43 per game would be their lowest since they averaged 2.29 in 1976-77.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, CITY, Prime Ticket, FSN San Diego (Anaheim); FSN Detroit

    ABOUT THE DUCKS (20-18-7): Rookie defenseman Shea Theodore has recorded four points in his last four games after going scoreless in his first seven NHL contests, and the 20-year-old already has earned the trust of coach Bruce Boudreau. “They’re giving me more minutes, and that makes me more comfortable out there,” the 26th overall pick in the 2013 draft told reporters. “I feel comfortable and I’m making good decisions. I feel like I’m playing some of the best hockey that I’ve played. I’m just going to try to keep it up.” Boudreau on Wednesday took the unusual step of breaking up Corey Perry (team bests of 17 goals and 29 points) and captain Ryan Getzlaf (club-high 25 assists), who have played on the same line for virtually their entire 11-year careers.

    ABOUT THE RED WINGS (24-15-8): All-Star center Dylan Larkin leads NHL rookies with 15 goals after tallying Friday to break a scoreless tie at 12:01 of the third period despite a bloody nose, fat lip and without part of a tooth after he was high-sticked in the face earlier in the session. “It ticked me off a little bit, so I was playing with some edge,” Larkin told reporters. Brad Richards is expected to return to the lineup after missing Friday’s game because of the death of his grandfather.


    1. Anaheim added agitation to its lineup Thursday, when it acquired LW Ryan Garbutt (two goals, four assists in 43 games) from Chicago for LW Jiri Sekac (one goal, two assists in 22 contests).

    2. Detroit is 1-for-11 with the man advantage over its last three games while not allowing a power-play goal in nine opportunities during that span.

    3. The Red Wings defeated the Ducks 2-1 on Jan. 10 in Anaheim on Riley Sheahan’s goal with 3:44 left in the third period after the Ducks won the previous four meetings.

    PREDICTION: Ducks 2, Red Wings 1


    Preview: Tampa Bay at Florida

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 23, 2016
    Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida

    The surging Tampa Bay Lightning attempt to make history and climb closer to the top of the Atlantic Division when they visit the first-place Florida Panthers on Saturday. Tampa Bay, coming off a 2-1 victory over Chicago on Thursday, can match the franchise-record win streak of eight that was set by the Stanley Cup champion 2003-04 team.

    “That’s probably one of our best games of the year,” Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman told reporters of Thursday’s win. “I thought for 60 minutes, we played a hell of a hockey game. This is the standard we want to set going forward.” Right wing Nikita Kucherov continues to produce for Tampa Bay with eight goals in his last 11 games, tying captain Steven Stamkos for the team lead with 20. The Panthers regained some confidence Friday with a 4-0 victory over Chicago after going winless in their previous four contests (0-3-1), pushing their lead to three points in the division over the Lightning and Detroit. Defenseman Aaron Ekblad returned Friday from a four-game absence because of a concussion and scored the final goal for Florida.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Sun (Tampa Bay), FSN Florida

    ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (26-17-4): The Lightning’s top checking unit of J.T. Brown, Valtteri Filppula and Ryan Callahan has been doing the job shutting down opposing team’s most dangerous lines of late. “It’s something we have to respond to,” Callahan told the Tampa Bay Times. “We know if we do our job, we have a great chance at winning that hockey game.” Hedman has led the way for a more productive defense of late with nine points in his last seven games while fellow blueliner Anton Stralman boasts two goals in four contests.

    ABOUT THE PANTHERS (27-15-5): Jonathan Huberdeau recorded an assist Friday to tie for the team lead in points (32) with veteran Jaromir Jagr, who has been blanked in four consecutive contests. Defenseman Willie Mitchell was placed on injured reserve Friday to give him time to recover from various nagging injuries and fellow blue liner Dylan Olsen was recalled for depth. Roberto Luongo (20-13-4, .929 save percentage) notched his 72nd career shutout against Chicago and that might give Al Montoya (7-2-1, .929) the start Saturday in the second of a back-to-back.


    1. The Panthers are 0-of-25 on the power play over the last nine games after coming up empty on three Friday.

    2. Tampa Bay G Ben Bishop is 7-1-1 with a 2.04 goals-against average in nine career games against the Panthers.

    3. Florida won the last meeting against the Lightning at home 1-0 on Nov. 16, but was outshot 39-20.

    PREDICTION: Lightning 5, Panthers 3


    Preview: New Jersey at Winnipeg

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 23, 2016
    Where: MTS Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba

    There is not another line in the NHL more anxious to get back on the ice than the New Jersey Devils’ trio of Travis Zajac, Joseph Blandisi and Kyle Palmieri, who combined for four goals and 10 points in the first period Thursday. Their efforts sparked the Devils to their third consecutive victory and gave them plenty of momentum heading into Saturday’s road game against the struggling Winnipeg Jets.

    “Coming out of the last road trip, where we gutted out two wins, I think that helped us coming into this week,” Zajac told reporters after New Jersey moved into the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot by hammering Ottawa 6-3, scoring five goals in the first period. Winnipeg fell six points out of the final Western Conference postseason spot entering Friday after Thursday’s 4-1 defeat to Nashville, the Jets’ fifth loss in their past seven contests. “Clearly we’re in a tough spot here now with the losses that are mounting at home,” Jets coach Paul Maurice told reporters. Maurice has been forced to juggle his lines with four forwards missing Thursday’s game due to injuries.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, MSG Plus 2 (New Jersey), Sportsnet (Winnipeg)

    ABOUT THE DEVILS (24-19-5): Palmieri recorded an assist and scored twice against the Senators and leads New Jersey with 20 goals on the season, while Zajac finished with a goal and three assists and Blandisi scored his first NHL goal while recording two helpers. Goaltender Cory Schneider won for the fourth time in his past five starts Thursday, making a handful of key saves in the final two periods en route to stopping 29 shots. The Devils are making the most of their offensive chances, considering they rank last in the league in shots per game (24.3).

    ABOUT THE JETS (21-23-3): Winnipeg played without Drew Stafford, Mark Scheifele, Adam Lowry and Alexander Burmistrov on Thursday — that quartet combining for 33 goals and 34 assists this season. But the Jets have been awful on special teams, ranking next-to-last entering Friday on the power play (15.1 percent) and fourth from the bottom on the penalty kill (76.9 percent). Rookie goaltender Connor Hellebuyck is among the league leaders in save percentage (.930) and goals against average (2.05), but Winnipeg has allowed 2.83 goals per game (25th in the league).


    1. Winnipeg has lost four of its past five at home after winning 11 of its first 17.

    2. New Jersey F Bobby Farnham is eligible to play Saturday after completing his four-game suspension for a late hit on St. Louis F Dmitrij Jaskin.

    3. The Jets posted a 3-1 victory at New Jersey on Oct. 9, getting a goal and an assist each from captain LW Andrew Ladd and RW Blake Wheeler.

    PREDICTION: Devils 3, Jets 1


    Preview: Philadelphia at NY Islanders

    When: 7:30 PM ET, Saturday, January 23, 2016
    Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York

    The New York Islanders attempt to extend their point streak to five games when they host the Metropolitan Division-rival Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. New York is coming off a 5-2 triumph at Ottawa on Friday in which it erased a 2-1 deficit with four unanswered goals, including three in the third period.

    The Islanders hope John Tavares is beginning to heat up as the captain ended his six-game goal-scoring drought and added an assist against the Senators for his eighth multi-point performance of the season and first since Dec. 29 at Toronto. New York has not gone without a point since Jan. 9, when it dropped a 4-0 decision at Philadelphia. The Flyers, who have lost two straight contests following a six-game point streak (5-0-1), look for Claude Giroux to continue his strong play as the captain has collected two goals and five assists over his last five games. Philadelphia’s triumph earlier this month was its first of the season over New York, which posted two victories over the Flyers in a span of two weeks bridging November and December.

    TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, TCN (Philadelphia), MSG Plus (New York)

    ABOUT THE FLYERS (20-17-8): Philadelphia could have Sean Couturier back in the lineup after the center sat out Thursday’s loss at Pittsburgh with a lower-body injury. The 23-year-old needs one goal to reach double digits and six to match his career high set last season. Jakub Voracek has scored two of his six goals on the season over his last five games, adding five assists during that stretch.

    ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (25-15-6): Tavares isn’t the only Islander showing signs of breaking out of a scoring slump as Kyle Okposo notched a goal and an assist Friday after tallying in only three of his previous 18 games. The former first-round draft pick has been a thorn in Philadelphia’s side this season, scoring the winning goal on Nov. 25 and the decisive shootout tally on Dec. 8. Mikhail Grabovski, a three-time 20-goal scorer has recorded six in 46 games this season and one over his last 19 contests.


    1. Islanders C Frans Nielsen needs one power-play goal to match his career high of five, which he set in 2011-12 and equaled two seasons later.

    2. Philadelphia has outscored its opponents 8-2 in the third period over its last six games.

    3. Thomas Greiss is likely to start in net for New York after Jaroslav Halak posted the victory Friday.

    PREDICTION: Islanders 4, Flyers 2


    Preview: Colorado at Dallas

    When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 23, 2016
    Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

    Less than 24 hours after pulling out a victory with some late heroics, the Colorado Avalanche attempt to extend their winning streak to four games when they visit the Central Division-rival Dallas Stars on Saturday. Colorado was less than a minute away from defeat Friday against St. Louis, but Nathan MacKinnon forged a 1-1 tie with 54 seconds remaining and captain Gabriel Landeskog netted the lone tally in the shootout.

    MacKinnon ranks second on the team with 16 goals and is tied with Matt Duchene for the club’s overall scoring lead at 39 points. Dallas has had a rough month as it has lost seven of its nine contests (2-5-2) to fall from first place in the Central. Captain Jamie Benn has rebounded from his four-game point drought, collecting three goals and two assists in the past five games. Landeskog was the star in Colorado’s home triumph over Dallas on Oct. 10, scoring two goals and setting up two others.

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, Altitude (Colorado), FSN Southwest (Dallas)

    ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (25-21-3): The team’s defense corps should receive a boost Saturday as Erik Johnson will return to action. The 27-year-old blue-liner has not played since Jan. 4, missing nine games with a lower-body injury. Duchene assisted on MacKinnon’s goal Friday to maintain the tie for the team points lead but saw his goal-scoring drought reach four games.

    ABOUT THE STARS (30-13-5): Dallas figures to get stronger on the blue line soon, as both Jordie Benn and Jamie Oleksiak — who is on a conditioning assignment with Texas of the American Hockey League — are expected to return from lower-body injuries. “Jordie is progressing,” coach Lindy Ruff told the team’s website. “(Oleksiak) will go the full two weeks and keep playing, which I think is really good for him.” The Stars’ special teams have struggled of late, going 3-for-28 on the power play during the last 11 games and 5-for-10 on the penalty kill in the last four contests.


    1. Colorado is 11-3-1 against division rivals.

    2. Dallas has been outscored 43-27 while going 1-7-3 against Colorado since 2013-14.

    3. The Avalanche assigned D Nikita Zadorov to San Antonio of the AHL.

    PREDICTION: Stars 5, Avalanche 2


    Preview: Los Angeles at Arizona

    When: 9:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 23, 2016
    Where: Gila River Arena, Glendale, Arizona

    The Arizona Coyotes began their seven-game homestand with such promise before a sputtering offense has sent the team spiraling into a four-game skid. The Coyotes look to salvage the finale of their pronounced stretch at Gila River Arena on Saturday when they host the Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles Kings.

    After recording eight goals in the first two contests, Arizona has totaled half that amount during an 0-3-1 stretch – with former King Brad Richardson’s third-period tally being the only offense in a 3-1 setback to San Jose on Thursday. “(It) was a measuring-stick game,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. “And we didn’t have enough players measure up.” Los Angeles also came up short on Thursday as its offense went limp in a 3-0 loss to Minnesota. “That was just a very poor effort,” said Tyler Toffoli, who has recorded three points in three games of the series with Arizona – including an assist on Anze Kopitar’s overtime goal in the Kings’ 4-3 win on Dec. 26.

    TV: 9 p.m. ET, FSN West (Los Angeles), FSN Arizona-Plus

    ABOUT THE KINGS (29-14-3): Drew Doughty scored two goals and set up another in the series versus Coyotes, including one of each in the last meeting. Fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin saw his eight-game point streak come to an end against the Wild, the longest such run by a Los Angeles blue-liner since Lubomir Visnovsky in December 2005. Jonathan Quick’s 30th birthday was spoiled with a loss versus Minnesota, but the veteran looks to rebound on the road where he owns a 12-3-1 mark with two shutouts and a 2.01 goals-against average.

    ABOUT THE COYOTES (22-19-5): Captain Shane Doan notched an assist for the second straight game and resides seven points shy of breaking Dale Hawerchuk’s career mark. Oliver Ekman-Larsson has been held off the scoresheet in each of the last three contests after erupting for three goals and four assists in his previous four games. The defenseman has scored three times and set up another versus Los Angeles this season while Martin Hanzal had two of each.


    1. Arizona owns a 10-2-2 record against Pacific Division foes.

    2. Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown has been held off the scoresheet in each of his last nine games.

    3. Coyotes G Louis Domingue turned aside 20 shots to suffer his second straight loss after going without a regulation setback in 10 starts.

    PREDICTION: Kings 2, Coyotes 1


    Preview: Nashville at Edmonton

    When: 10:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 23, 2016
    Where: Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta

    The Nashville Predators look to build off their second strong performance in three games when they visit the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. The Predators have fallen out of playoff position in the Western Conference after a rough stretch but knocked off Winnipeg 4-1 on Thursday to start a four-game road trip through Western Canada.

    Nashville also blanked Minnesota 3-0 on Jan. 16 and is 2-1-1 in its past four contests as the Predators are getting a boost from center Ryan Johansen, who has nine points (three goals) in seven games since being acquired from Columbus. Pekka Rinne is expected back in net after snapping a five-game winless streak (0-4-1) for Nashville, which will play an Edmonton team that can empty the tank. The Oilers don’t play again until Feb. 2 with the All-Star break on the horizon. Taylor Hall, who will be Edmonton’s representative in the All-Star Game in Nashville on Jan. 31, has posted two goals and four assists during a four-game point streak.

    TV: 10 p.m. ET, CBC; Sportsnet (Edmonton); FSN Tennessee (Nashville)

    ABOUT THE PREDATORS (21-18-8): James Neal has also lifted his game for Nashville, recording two goals and three assists along with a plus-3 rating in the past four games. Rinne’s numbers have dipped far below his career mark with a .903 save percentage and 2.54 goals-against average, but made 27 saves Thursday. “It feels funny how long things have gone kind of south,” Rinne told the Tennessean. “It’s not normal. A game like this, it feels good, and I try to take all the confidence I can get from this game to the next one.”

    ABOUT THE OILERS (19-25-5): Goalie Cam Talbot has turned around his season this month with four wins and a .938 save percentage, allowing 12 goals over his last seven contests with one shutout to earn a contract extension. The Oilers expect to get rookie phenom Connor McDavid (broken clavicle) back after the break, but third-leading scorer Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hand) is out 6-to-8 weeks. Center Leon Draisaitl (36 points) is second behind Hall (47) for the team lead in scoring, but is a minus-4 over the last two games – both losses.


    1. Nashville D Roman Josi, who played his 300th NHL game Thursday, leads the team with 33 points.

    2. Edmonton D Brandon Davidson (lower body) is questionable after getting injured in the 3-2 loss at Dallas on Thursday.

    3. The Predators have won the last four meetings, including a 31-save shutout from Rinne in a 2-0 triumph on Oct. 10.

    PREDICTION: Predators 4, Oilers 2



    Hot teams
    — Canucks won three of their last four games.
    — Sharks won six of their last seven games.
    — Anaheim won three of its last four games.
    — Bruins won three of their last four games.
    — Tampa Bay won its last seven games.
    — New Jersey won its last three games.
    — Islanders won three of their last four games.
    — Avalanche won four of their last five games.
    — Kings won six of their last ten games.

    Cold teams
    — Penguins lost five of their last eight games.
    — Minnesota lost five of its last six games.
    — Red Wings lost three of last five games.
    — Blue Jackets lost six of their last eight games.
    — Panthers lost four of their last five games.
    — Winnipeg lost five of its last seven games.
    — Canadiens lost last five games, scoring eight goals. Toronto lost six of its last seven.
    — Flyers lost three of their last four games.
    — Dallas stars lost seven of their last nine games.
    — Arizona lost its last four games, outscored 10-4.
    — Nashville/Edmonton both losr six of their last eight games.

    Series records
    — Penguins won five of last seven games with Vancouver.
    — Sharks won six of last nine games with Minnesota.
    — Ducks won four of last five games with Detroit.
    — Bruins won seven of last nine games with Columbus, but lost last two.
    — Lightning won seven of last ten games with Florida.
    — Jets won six of last eight games with New Jersey.
    — Montreal won its last eight games with Toronto.
    — Islanders won six of last eight games with Philly.
    — Dallas Stars lost their last seven games with Colorado.
    — Kings won four of their last six games with Arizona.
    — Oilers lost their last four games with Nashville.

    — Over is 3-0-1 in last four Pittsburgh games.
    — Under is 6-0-1 in last seven Minnesota games.
    — Under is 6-1-1 in last eight Detroit games.
    — Under is 4-1-2 in last seven Boston games.
    — Under is 5-2-1 in last eight Tampa Bay games.
    — Last seven New Jersey-Winnipeg games stayed under.
    — Seven of last ten Montreal-Toronto games went over.
    — Under is 3-1-2 in last six Philly games.
    — Five of last seven Colorado-Dallas games went over.
    — Under is 3-0-1 in last four Nashville-Edmonton games.

    — Detroit is 4-5 if it played night before; teams are 4-3 night after playing Buffalo.
    — Florida is 4-4 if it played night before; teams are 2-6 night after playing Chicago.
    — Islanders are 5-3 if they played night before; teams are 4-0 night after playing Ottawa.
    — Colorado is 3-2 if it played night before; teams are 2-4 night after playing St Louis.


    Grand Salami – January
    By VI News

    The Grand Salami in pro hockey is decided by adding up all the goals scored in every game scheduled for that particular day. You can wager on ‘over’ or ‘under’ the Grand Salami total. The total is set by adding up all listed ‘over/under’ odds for each game on that particular day.

    Note: The Grand Salami will have no action if any game is suspended or cancelled before the regulation time of three twenty minute periods. Also, regardless of the number of goals scored during the shoot out portion of the overtime, the final scored recorded for the game will give the winning team on more goal than its opponent based on the score at the end of regulation time.

    *The majority of sportsbooks do not put out a total on the Grand Salami when there is only one game on the card. For tracking purposes, we will continue to show the ‘over/under’ for goals and combined goals scored on days with just one game.


    Date No. of Games Total Goals Combined Goals Scored Result

    1/1 2 10.5 9 UNDER
    1/2 12 61.5 63 OVER
    1/3 4 21 22 OVER
    1/4 5 27 17 UNDER
    1/5 8 43.5 46 OVER
    1/6 5 26.5 23 UNDER
    1/7 7 38.5 29 UNDER
    1/8 6 31.5 34 OVER
    1/9 10 53 47 UNDER
    1/10 6 30 32 OVER
    1/11 4 20.5 22 OVER
    1/12 8 42.5 45 OVER
    1/13 4 21.5 20 UNDER
    1/14 8 42.5 37 UNDER
    1/15 6 31 31 PUSH
    1/16 10 52 48 UNDER
    1/17 7 35 34 UNDER
    1/18 5 26.5 26 UNDER
    1/19 8 42.5 50 OVER
    1/20 3 15.5 10 UNDER
    1/21 10 53.5 49 UNDER
    1/22 6 *PPD *PPD *PPD
    1/23 11 –



    Hockey Crusher
    New York Islanders -145
    over Philadelphia Flyers
    (System Record: 36-4, lost last 2 games and a push)
    Overall Record: 36-50-16

    Edmonton Oilers + Nashville Predators – OVER 5

    Columbus Blue Jackets + Boston Bruins – UNDER 5.5

    Vancouver Canucks + Pittsburgh Penguins – OVER 5


    Sports Locksmith

    San Jose -135 3* 4:00 Eastern

    Boston -205 3* 7:00 Eastern

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