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NHL • Saturday Service Plays • 4/2/16

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    Preview: Pittsburgh at NY Islanders

    When: 1:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 2, 2016
    Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York

    The Pittsburgh Penguins have rocketed up the standings at the expense of their fellow Metropolitan Division representatives. The Penguins will vie for their 10th win in 13 outings versus a division foe on Saturday afternoon when they visit the Barclays Center to face the New York Islanders.

    Defenseman Kris Letang scored and set up a goal in Thursday’s 5-2 win over Nashville as Pittsburgh posted its fourth straight victory and 10th in 11 outings to leapfrog the New York Rangers into second place . Letang, who netted the decisive tally in the shootout of Tuesday’s 5-4 win over Buffalo, also scored in the bonus format as the Penguins skated to a 2-1 victory over the Islanders on March 15. Coach Jack Capuano’s club has also enjoyed a surge of its own, notching its third straight win and fourth in five outings with a 4-3 victory over Columbus on Thursday. Anders Lee snapped a 10-game goalless drought by scoring on the power play in back-to-back contests for the Islanders, who reside two points behind the Rangers while sitting in the top wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

    TV: 1 p.m. ET, ROOT (Pittsburgh), MSG-Plus (New York), SN, NHL.TV

    ABOUT THE PENGUINS (44-25-8): Captain Sidney Crosby was named the NHL’s First Star of the Month for March – and for good reason with seven goals and a league-best 14 assists while notching at least one point in 15 of 16 contests. The two-time Hart Trophy recipient scored twice in Pittsburgh’s 5-2 win over New York on Jan. 2 and set up a tally in the team’s 2-1 loss to the Islanders on March 8 and again the following week. Phil Kessel and Nick Bonino are also riding hot streaks over their last four games, as the former tallied twice versus the Predators for his ninth point (four goals, five assists) while the latter scored and set up a goal on Thursday for his eighth point (three goals, five assists) in that same stretch.

    ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (42-25-9): Defenseman Travis Hamonic will miss the rest of the regular season due to a lower-body injury, coach Jack Capuano told reporters on Friday. “Guys are going to get more minutes and put into situations they’re not used to,” Capuano told the team’s website. “(Fellow blue-liners Marek) Zidlicky and (Ryan) Pulock are there for us now that we can use it. But losing (Hamonic) is a big loss for our hockey team, no doubt about it.” Hamonic collected five goals and 16 assists this season while averaging a team-high 23 minutes, 49 seconds of ice time.


    1. New York, which is 9-1-1 in its last 11 home games, plays four of its final six contests at the Barclays Center.

    2. Pittsburgh D Brian Dumoulin returned to practice on Friday after missing three games with an upper-body injury.

    3. The Islanders have scored a power-play goal in back-to-back contests after going 0-for-12 in their previous six.

    PREDICTION: Penguins 4, Islanders 3


    Preview: Ottawa at Philadelphia

    When: 1:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 2, 2016
    Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    The Philadelphia Flyers have won two in a row and enjoyed a spirited 12-3-2 run to improve their postseason standing. After knocking out some league heavyweights, the Flyers look to lower the boom on a team already eliminated from playoff contention when they host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday afternoon.

    Steve Mason will make his eight straight start and 13th in 14 outings on the heels of turning aside 29 shots in a 2-1 shootout victory over NHL-best Washington on Wednesday. “Our backbone, our anchor right now is Mase,” rookie defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere told of Mason, who posted an 8-2-2 mark with a 1.88 goals-against average and .933 save percentage in March. “I mean, he’s our team MVP. … He’s been spectacular. He’s stolen us a lot of games.” Philadelphia is even in points with Detroit for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, although the Flyers have two games in hand. Ottawa had been eliminated from that discussion earlier in the week, but has enjoyed the role of a spoiler by winning each of its last two contests.

    TV: 1 p.m. ET, RDS, TSN5, WPCW (Ottawa), CSN Philadelphia

    ABOUT THE SENATORS (36-33-9): Captain Erik Karlsson scored and set up a goal in Ottawa’s 3-2 win over Minnesota on Thursday to extend his point total to a career high-tying 78 (15 goals, 63 assists). The two-time Norris Trophy recipient has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in his last 10 outings and set up a tally in the Senators’ 4-0 win over Philadelphia on Nov. 21. Craig Anderson turned aside all 36 shots he faced in that contest and reached the 30-win plateau for the third time in his career by making 23 saves versus the Wild.

    ABOUT THE FLYERS (38-25-13): Coach Dave Hakstol has liked the progress he’s seen from Jakub Voracek, who has recorded two assists in seven contests since missing the previous nine with a foot injury. “He’s not all the way there, but he’s taken a big step back to where he wants to be,” Hakstol told Captain Claude Giroux has taken an even larger step forward to continue his strong season, scoring four goals and setting up two others in his last six games.


    1. Philadelphia C Sean Couturier has recorded at least one point in 10 of his last 13 games and had a goal and two assists in a 4-2 win over Ottawa on Dec. 1.

    2. Senators RW Mark Stone is expected to miss the contest as he deals with the effects of an upper-body injury suffered following a hit from Winnipeg D Dustin Byfuglien on Wednesday.

    3. Veteran G Ray Emery signed a contract on Friday for the rest of the regular season with the Flyers.

    PREDICTION: Senators 3, Flyers 2


    Preview: Dallas at Los Angeles

    When: 4:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 2, 2016
    Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

    The Dallas Stars have won three in row and six of seven to ascend to the top of the Central Division. The Stars look to continue their winning ways and avert a three-game season sweep at the hands of another Western Conference heavyweight on Saturday when they visit the Los Angeles Kings.

    Captain Jamie Benn scored for the fourth time in three games in Thursday’s 4-1 victory over Arizona to reach the 40-goal plateau for the first time in his career. Last season’s Art Ross Trophy recipient, Benn has matched his 2014-15 total with 87 points but was held off the scoresheet in Dallas’ 3-2 setback to Los Angeles on Jan. 19 and again in a 5-2 loss to the Kings on March 15. Jeff Carter notched an assist in each of those contests before scoring two goals and setting up another in Los Angeles’ 3-0 victory over Calgary on Thursday. The win was only the second in six outings for the Kings, who are one point ahead of Anaheim for the top spot in the Pacific Division.

    TV: 4 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest (Dallas), FSN West (Los Angeles), SN1

    ABOUT THE STARS (47-22-9): Patience is paying dividends for Ales Hemsky, who has collected two goals and five assists on his six-game point streak. “I’m feeling pretty confident. I’ve changed my game a little bit being more patient, focusing more on defense and then waiting for my opportunities,” the 32-year-old Hemsky told the team’s website. Hemsky has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in his last 12 games for Dallas, which is clinging to a two-point lead over St. Louis in the Central.

    ABOUT THE KINGS (46-26-5): Jonathan Quick added another line in the record book on Thursday as extended his own NHL mark for American-born goaltenders with his 42nd career shutout. The 30-year-old Connecticut native can also break his own franchise record for wins in a season on Saturday, as Quick’s 39 victories this season match his total from 2009-10. “Hey, winning matters. At the end of the day, winning matters,” coach Darryl Sutter told the team’s website. “There’s a lot of goalies that when you give up two or three goals that their game changes not for the better, where Jonathan is about winning and having to make big saves and that sort of thing.”


    1. Los Angeles C Anze Kopitar has scored one goal and set up three others in two games versus Dallas this season.

    2. Stars C Tyler Seguin is expected to start skating in the next few days as he works his way back from an Achilles tendon cut, coach Lindy Ruff told the team’s website on Friday.

    3. The Kings have scored a power-play goal in three of their last four contests after going 0-for-18 in their previous seven.

    PREDICTION: Kings 2, Stars 1


    Preview: Detroit at Toronto

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 2, 2016
    Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario

    With a difficult schedule remaining as they try to keep alive the NHL’s longest active postseason streak, the Detroit Red Wings face what is shaping up as a must win when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. Detroit trails third-place Boston by one point in the Atlantic Division with four games to play.

    The Red Wings, who are seeking their 25th consecutive trip to the playoffs, also are even in points with Philadelphia for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers, however, have two games in hand and will visit Motown on Wednesday before Detroit finishes the season with road games at Boston and the New York Rangers. The Red Wings have limited Toronto to two goals in winning two of their three meetings this season, but they came out on the short end of a 1-0 decision at home on March 13. Following a hot stretch during which they captured five of six, the Maple Leafs have won just once in their last four games and scored a total of two goals in the three losses.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, NHL Network, FSN Detroit Plus, CBC, CITY (Toronto)

    ABOUT THE RED WINGS (39-28-11): Jimmy Howard got the nod in net over the slumping Petr Mrazek and made 20 saves in Friday’s 3-2 victory over the Minnesota, but coach Jeff Blashill declined to name a starter for Saturday’s matchup. Riley Sheahan continued his late-season hot streak by scoring once and setting up another tally to give him four goals and two assists over his last five games. Rookie Dylan Larkin boosted his team-leading goal total to 23 by converting on Detroit’s white-hot power play.

    ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS (28-38-11): Jonathan Bernier got off to a dreadful start this season, failing to win in his first 11 appearances, and struggled again during a three-start losing streak from Feb. 27-March 5 by giving up 10 goals. Bernier seems to have figured out things over his last six outings, posting a 4-2-0 record and .952 save percentage. “Obviously, he’s played at a high level this last while,” coach Mike Babcock said. “He knows that. We know that. (He) feels good about himself, practices like that and that helps your team win.”


    1. The Red Wings are 10-for-22 on the power play over their last seven games.

    2. Bernier is 5-3-2 with a 2.33 goals-against average versus Detroit.

    3. Larkin has 45 points, good for 12th place on Detroit’s all-time rookie scoring list.

    PREDICTION: Red Wings 3, Maple Leafs 2 (OT)


    Preview: New Jersey at Tampa Bay

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 2, 2016
    Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida

    The Tampa Bay Lightning have yet to seal their spot in the playoffs and a loss to the visiting New Jersey Devils on Saturday will make that quest more difficult with a four-game road trip to end the regular season looming. Tampa Bay put forth a lackluster effort in a 3-0 loss to draft lottery-bound Montreal on Thursday, dropping to 3-2-0 on its final homestand.

    “We need a lot better than that,” Lightning captain Steven Stamkos told the Tampa Tribune. “It can’t be in spurts, it has to be more consistent than that, and that’s something we have been battling of late.” The Lightning, who trail first-place Florida by two points in the Atlantic Division, scored a total of 13 goals in the first two games of the homestand but have managed five in the last three, with Ben Bishop’s heroic shutout performance against Toronto salvaging one contest. New Jersey is on the verge of being eliminated from playoff contention after a 3-2 loss at Florida on Thursday. The Devils are expected to have All-Star Cory Schneider back in net Saturday for the first time since March 4 due to a knee injury.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, MSG Plus (New Jersey), Sun Sports (Tampa Bay)

    ABOUT THE DEVILS (37-33-8): A loss or a victory by Philadelphia officially will end New Jersey’s chances for the postseason as it has dropped three of its last four contests (1-2-1). Kyle Palmieri, who leads the team with 54 points, needs one goal to reach 30 for the first time in his career but is mired in a four-game drought while Travis Zajac has scored twice in three contests. Jordin Tootoo (wrist surgery) is lost for the season while defenseman David Schlemko (upper body) and Jacob Josefson (wrist) could return to the lineup Saturday.

    ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (44-28-5): Coach Jon Cooper told reporters Friday, “Nobody’s pointing fingers at anybody. We’ve put ourselves in a great position to make the playoffs. We still have work to do.” The Lightning managed three shots in the third period Thursday and have been out of sync since defenseman Anton Stralman (fractured fibula) went down on March 25. Stamkos, who has recorded team highs of 36 goals and 64 points, and blue-liner Victor Hedman (club-best 36 assists) missed practice Friday for body maintenance but are expected to play.


    1. Bishop’s next appearance will be his 193rd for the Lightning, passing Nikolai Khabibulin for second place on the team’s all-time list among goaltenders behind Daren Puppa (206).

    2. New Jersey D John Moore, who has gone seven contests without a point, is slated to play his 300th NHL game on Saturday.

    3. The Lightning allowed just 21 shots in a 4-0 road victory over the Devils on Feb. 26 and the teams meet again in New Jersey on April 7.

    PREDICTION: Lightning 3, Devils 1


    Preview: Montreal at Florida

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 2, 2016
    Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida

    The Florida Panthers can break the franchise record for wins in a season and solidify their hold on first place in the Atlantic Division when they host the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday. The Panthers took over the top spot with a 3-2 triumph over New Jersey on Thursday, tying the 1999-2000 team with 43 victories with five games remaining left in order to set a new standard.

    Florida owns a two-point lead over Tampa Bay in the division as its top line of Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov and Jaromir Jagr is heating up, recording seven goals and 10 assists over the last four games. “They played really well,” Panthers coach Gerard Gallant told reporters after the trio scored all three goals in Thursday’s win. “They’re our leaders and they took control tonight.” The Canadiens have been eliminated from playoff contention but are making an impact after knocking of two straight postseason hopefuls. Mike Condon, who is slated to start Saturday, notched his first career shutout in a 3-0 win at Tampa Bay on Thursday and coach Michel Therrien told reporters, “I thought we competed. We played the right away.”

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, Sportsnet, TVA (Montreal), FSN Florida

    ABOUT THE CANADIENS (36-36-6): Torrey Mitchell and David Desharnais both reached double digits in goals Thursday while defenseman Alexei Emelin notched a pair of assists. Captain Max Pacioretty (57 points) and Alex Galchenyuk (52) – the team’s top two scorers – were kept off the scoresheet against Tampa Bay to remain at 27 goals apiece. Brendan Gallagher (groin) is expected to return to the lineup Saturday, but defenseman Nathan Beaulieu suffered a broken thumb Thursday and is lost for the season.

    ABOUT THE PANTHERS (43-25-9): Huberdeau has netted five goals in his last four contests while Jagr has recorded six points and Barkov five in the same span. Nick Bjugstad moved between Reilly Smith and Jussi Jokinen, who is second behind Jagr (61) on the team in points with 58, with Vincent Trocheck (ankle) out for the rest of the regular season. The Panthers did get defenseman Erik Gudbranson and Derek MacKenzie back from lower-body injuries for the game against New Jersey.


    1. The Panthers have outscored the Canadiens 7-2 in two victories this season and will visit Montreal on Tuesday.

    2. Florida G Roberto Luongo (32-19-6 this season), who was rested Thursday, is 12-14-4 lifetime with a .921 save percentage against the Canadiens.

    3. Montreal RW Sven Andrighetto has recorded a goal and three assists during his three-game point streak.

    PREDICTION: Panthers 4, Canadiens 2


    Preview: Buffalo at NY Rangers

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 2, 2016
    Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

    The New York Rangers need one victory to wrap up a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference, but they also are in a hotly contested battle with Pittsburgh and the New York Islanders for second place in the Metropolitan Division. The Rangers will try to rebound from a two-game skid when they host the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.

    The Rangers trail the Penguins by one point and lead the Islanders by two, but have a chance to pick up ground Saturday with their two division rivals squaring off. Coach Alain Vigneault was not pleased with his team’s performance in Thursday’s 4-3 loss at Carolina, which denied New York a chance to clinch a postseason slot. “We definitely weren’t prepared to compete. Disappointing considering a win would have assured us a playoff spot,” Vigneault said. Buffalo, which plays three of its final four on the road, routed Toronto 4-1 on Thursday to improve to 3-1-1 in its last five games.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET; MSG Buffalo, Bell TV (Buffalo), MSG New York, NHL.TV

    ABOUT THE SABRES (32-35-11): Goaltender Jason Kasdorf returned to practice Friday but will not accompany the team to New York while defenseman Cody Franson is not expected back this season due to a concussion, Buffalo coach Dan Bylsma said at Friday’s practice. Forward Evander Kane has already been ruled out for the remainder of the season after suffering an upper-body injury in Monday’s loss at Detroit. Forward Ryan O’Reilly has four points during a three-game streak but has failed to tally in nine career meetings against the Rangers.

    ABOUT THE RANGERS (43-25-9): New York has history on its side against Buffalo, winning nine in a row, but it also had a nine-game winning streak snapped against the Hurricanes after giving up two unanswered goals in the third period. “Just focus on (Saturday), don’t overthink the situation,” goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said at Friday’s practice. We want to have a good feeling in this room and to get that you need to win games.” Although Lundqvist has lost his last two starts, he is 21-5-3 with a 2.19 goals-against average at Madison Square Garden this season.


    1. The Rangers are 6-for-16 on the power play over the past five games.

    2. Buffalo has killed off 18-of-19 short-handed situations over the past seven contests.

    3. Rangers C Derick Brassard has three goals and four assists in two matchups versus the Sabres this season.

    PREDICTION: Rangers 5, Sabres 2


    Preview: Columbus at Carolina

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 2, 2016
    Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

    The Carolina Hurricanes have a faint pulse in the NHL postseason picture, but they need to win their final four games and hope for plenty of help to avoid missing the playoffs for the seventh straight season. Sitting five points out of eighth place with four games remaining, Carolina hosts the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.

    Despite picking up a point in 12 of 14 games last month, the Hurricanes haven’t posted back-to-back victories since March 8-10. They kept their fleeting hopes alive by knocking off the New York Rangers on Thursday, but eighth-place Philadelphia has two games in hand on Carolina. After a bit of a midseason revival under replacement coach John Tortorella, Columbus is stumbling toward the finish line with four consecutive defeats. The Blue Jackets also have dropped four in a row to Carolina, including a 3-2 home loss on March 24.

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

    ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (30-39-8): Rookie Sonny Milano, the No. 16 overall pick in the 2014 draft, made his NHL debut in Thursday’s 4-3 loss at the New York Islanders and had one shot on goal and was a minus-1. “Once the second period started I started to feel more like myself,” the 19-year-old Milano said. “It was definitely a big difference at first. I was so nervous. I’m not going to lie.” Rookie netminder Joonas Korpisalo, who has sat in place of Sergei Bobrovsky the past two games, yielded four goals in an overtime loss to Carolina on Jan. 9.

    ABOUT THE HURRICANES (34-28-16): Also making his NHL debut Thursday was Carolina forward Sergey Tolchinsky, who collected an assist on a second-period goal by defenseman Justin Faulk. “It’s great, an unbelievable feeling,” said Tolchinsky, who was sent back to Charlotte of the American Hockey League on Friday along with Derek Ryan. “I think things went really good for my first game.” Forward Victor Rask, who has scored five times in his last five games, has enjoyed success against Columbus with three tallies and two assists in five contests.


    1. Blue Jackets F Boone Jenner has scored five times in the last seven games and is one shy of 30 goals for the season.

    2. Hurricanes G Cam Ward is 2-0-1 in his last three starts but is 4-4-1 with a 2.79 goals-against average versus the Blue Jackets.

    3. Columbus has lost seven straight (0-6-1) away from home.

    PREDICTION: Hurricanes 3, Blue Jackets 2


    Preview: San Jose at Nashville

    When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 2, 2016
    Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee

    The Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks haven’t been playing their best hockey as the postseason draws near. The struggling clubs look to get it in gear at the other’s expense on Saturday when they meet at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.

    The Predators have won both encounters with the Sharks this season, but failed to clinch a playoff berth on their third such opportunity with Thursday’s 5-2 setback to Pittsburgh. While Nashville holds a four-point lead over Minnesota for the top wild-card spot in the Western Conference, San Jose remains comfortably in third place in the Pacific Division despite dropping a 4-2 decision to Vancouver for its fourth loss in six outings. Defenseman Brent Burns recorded three straight multi-point performances and seven in March to earn NHL Third Star of the Month honors on Friday. Burns collected 19 points (six goals, 13 assists) during March to set career highs and single-season franchise records for goals (27), assists (46) and points (73) by a blue-liner.

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, CSN California (San Jose), FSN Tennessee (Nashville), NHL.TV

    ABOUT THE SHARKS (43-29-6): Joe Thornton is showing no signs of slowing down as he notched an assist versus the Caucks for his 1,335th point, tying him with Mike Gartner for 30th place on the career list. With San Jose likely heading for a third-place finish, the 36-year-old Thornton told the San Jose Mercury News that while he’d prefer to play in the games, “I’m sure if Pete (DeBoer) said, ‘Hey, you’re taking a day off,’ I would. But for me, it’s all about timing, rhythm. I feel healthier when I play.” Thornton scored and set up a goal in a 6-2 setback to the Predators on Feb. 6.

    ABOUT THE PREDATORS (39-26-13): James Neal scored and set up a goal versus his former team on Thursday to increase his point total to 13 (eight goals, five assists) in his last nine games. The 28-year-old also tallied against San Jose on Feb. 6 for one of his 31 goals this season, tying him with Filip Forsberg for top honors on the club. Speaking of the 21-year-old Swede, Forsberg collected a goal and two assists in that contest and has seven points (three goals, four assists) in his last seven games.


    1. San Jose has won five of its last six on the road to improve to a Western Conference-best 26-10-3 away from home.

    2. The Predators have won six straight home meetings with the Sharks.

    3. Nashville G Pekka Rinne has stopped 48-of-51 shots to win both outings with San Jose this season.

    PREDICTION: Sharks 2, Predators 1


    Preview: Calgary at Edmonton

    When: 10:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 2, 2016
    Where: Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta

    The Calgary Flames get one last chance to maintain their dominance on their provincial rival’s home ice when they visit the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night in the Battle of Alberta. The Flames have made themselves at home in Edmonton, posting a 7-0-1 record in their last eight visits – with their last regulation loss coming on April 1, 2013.

    With the Oilers set to move to a new arena next season, Saturday’s matchup will represent Calgary’s final chance to victimize Edmonton at Rexall Place. However, the Flames have been a trainwreck away from home and sport the league’s worst road record at 12-24-3. The Oilers have dropped four of their last five games and are last in the Western Conference with 67 points – three fewer than Calgary. The teams have split four meetings this season, with Edmonton snapping a seven-game skid at Rexall Place with a 2-1 shootout victory on Jan. 16.

    TV: 10 p.m. ET, Sportsnet, CBC

    ABOUT THE FLAMES (32-40-6): Making the last stop on its four-game road trip, Calgary will attempt to bounce back from a pair of decisive losses at Anaheim and Los Angeles that dropped its record to 0-8 against the two Pacific Division powers. The Flames have won only eight of 26 games (8-15-3) against their division rivals after posting a dominating 22-6-1 mark against the Pacific last season en route to their surprising playoff run. “It’s been a tough year for us in our own division. I don’t know why,” Calgary center Mikael Backlund said.

    ABOUT THE OILERS (30-42-7): Connor McDavid, the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft, was named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month after amassing five goals and 11 assists in 15 games, which included a seven-game point streak that was halted in Monday’s 2-1 loss to Anaheim. McDavid joined Washington superstar Alex Ovechkin as the only rookies to win the monthly honor three times, a feat more impressive in light of that fact that he missed nearly three full months to injury. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins practice Friday for the first time since suffering a concussion on March 22.


    1. McDavid has appeared in only two games versus Calgary, notching a pair of goals and an assist.

    2. Calgary has permitted seven goals in 17 short-handed situations over the past five games.

    3. Oilers F Jordan Eberle has scored five times in his last eight games and has 10 tallies and 15 assists in 28 contests versus the Flames.

    PREDICTION: Oilers 3, Flames 2


    Preview: Washington at Arizona

    When: 10:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 2, 2016
    Where: Gila River Arena, Glendale, Arizona

    With the Presidents’ Trophy and a franchise record for victories in a season already secured, the Washington Capitals don’t have much left to accomplish this regular season. The Capitals still have their single-season point mark for which to aim, and they attempt to inch closer when they visit the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday for the finale of their three-game road trip.

    Washington edged Colorado on Friday to post its club-record 55th victory and raise its point total to 116 – five shy of the total it produced in 2009-10. While Washington tunes up for a run at the Stanley Cup, Arizona runs out the string as it was eliminated from playoff contention with Thursday’s loss at Dallas. The Coyotes look to improve upon their solid 21-15-4 record at home as they play their final game at Gila River Arena before ending the season with a four-game road trip. The Capitals are hoping to complete a sweep of the two-game season series after recording a 3-2 victory over Arizona at home on Feb. 22.

    TV: 10 p.m. ET, CSN DC (Washington), FSN Arizona

    ABOUT THE CAPITALS (55-16-6): Alex Ovechkin, who notched a goal and an assist in the first meeting with the Coyotes, moved closer to locking up his fourth consecutive – and sixth overall – Maurice Richard Trophy by scoring his 45th goal Friday. The 30-year-old captain has a five-goal lead over Chicago’s Patrick Kane and Stars captain Jamie Benn after reaching 45 for the eighth time in his 11 NHL seasons. Braden Holtby could receive a rest Saturday after pulling within one victory of Martin Brodeur’s single-season record of 48 set in 2006-07.

    ABOUT THE COYOTES (34-36-7): Already without leading scorer Oliver Ekman-Larsson due to an illness, Arizona lost Martin Hanzal after one period Thursday for the same reason. The 29-year-old Czech scored the lone goal against Dallas to set a career high of 41 points. Defenseman Alex Grant and Eric Selleck made their debuts for Arizona on Thursday after last appearing in the NHL with Anaheim in 2013-14 and Florida in 2012-13, respectively.


    1. Capitals C Nicklas Backstrom hopes to return to the lineup after missing Friday’s contest with an undisclosed injury.

    2. Arizona recalled C Laurent Dauphin from Springfield of the American Hockey League.

    3. Washington RW Justin Williams will reach the 1,000-game plateau should he appear in each of the Capitals’ final five contests.

    PREDICTION: Capitals 4, Coyotes 1


    Hot teams
    — Senators won their last two games, 2-1/3-2. Flyers won four of last six games.
    — Penguins won four in row, nine of last 10 games. Islanders won four of last five games.
    — Dallas Stars won six of their last seven games.
    — Tampa Bay won four of its last six games.
    — Montreal won 3-0/4-3 in its last two games. Florida won three of last four games.
    — Red Wings are 5-3 in their last eight games.
    — Washington is 6-3 in its last nine games.

    Cold teams
    — Kings lost four of their last six games.
    — Carolina lost its last four games, outscored 16-7. Columbus is 3-7 in its last ten games.
    — New Jersey lost three of its last four games.
    — Sabres lost four of their last five road games. Rangers lost 3-2ot/4-3 in last two games.
    — Maple Leafs lost three of their last four games.
    — San Jose lost four of its last six games. Nashville lost last three games, outscored 14-7.
    — Calgary lost five of its last six games. Edmonton lost four of its last five.
    — Arizona lost 4-1/5-2 in its last two games.

    Series records
    — Senators won three of last four games with Philly.
    — Islanders won five of last seven games with Pittsburgh.
    — Dallas/Los Angeles split their last ten games.
    — Carolina won six of last seven games with Columbus.
    — Devils lost three of last four visits to Tampa Bay.
    — Canadiens won six of last nine games with Florida.
    — Rangers won their last nine games with Buffalo.
    — Maple Leafs won four of last six games with Detroit.
    — Predators won six of last eight games with San Jose.
    — Flames won eight of last ten games with Edmonton.
    — Washington won three of its last four games with Arizona.

    — Under is 7-2-1 in last ten Ottawa games.
    — Over is 4-1-1 in last six Pittsburgh games.
    — Seven of last ten Dallas Stars games went over the total.
    — Under is 6-3-1 in last ten Carolina-Columbus games.
    — Six of last seven Devil-Lightning games stayed under total.
    — Four of last five Florida games went over the total.
    — Over is 5-0-2 in last seven Ranger games.
    — Last eight Detroit-Toronto games stayed under the total.
    — Over is 4-0-1 in last five San Jose games.
    — Five of last seven Calgary-Edmonton games went over.
    — Eight of last ten Arizona games stayed under the total.

    — Detroit lost last nine games if it played the night before.
    — Washington won seven of last nine if it played the night before.


    Grand Salami – April
    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

    4/1 5 25 36 OVER
    4/2 11 – – –



    KINGS -ML -150


    Hockey Crusher

    Edmonton Oilers -144 over Calgary Flames
    (System Record: 68-5, won last game)
    Overall Record: 68-76-22

    New Jersey Devils + Tampa Bay Lightning – UNDER 5

    Los Angeles Kings + Dallas Stars – UNDER 5.5

    Ottawa Senators + Philadelphia Flyers – OVER 5

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