Getting your Ducks in Order

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A lot of NHL teams will have played a third of the season once this week ends as the season is entering the Christmas season. The holiday roster freeze goes into effect on Dec. 20 until the 27th as no players will be allowed to be waived, traded or loaned to the minors.

On Tuesday, the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning meet for the first time since they met in the Stanley Cup Final last season. The two teams are going in opposite directions as Tampa Bay has a 13-5-4 record while Montreal is 6-17-2 and in fourth last place in the NHL standings.

The big story of the week is that the Anaheim Ducks play a rare five times this week and all games are on the road.

WEEK OF DECEMBER 6-12

5 Games – Anaheim

4 Games - Carolina, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Vancouver

3 Games – Arizona, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Edmonton, Florida, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York Islanders, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vegas, Washington, Winnipeg

Anaheim plays all five games on the road.

Carolina, Minnesota and Nashville play all four games on the road.

St. Louis and Vancouver play all four games at home.

Buffalo, Edmonton, New Jersey, the New York Rangers, San Jose, Seattle, Toronto and Vegas play three games at home.

Boston, Dallas, Florida, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay play three games on the road.

INJURIES

Ryan Getzlaf is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

ANAHEIM

Games this week

@ Washington, @ Buffalo, @ Columbus, @ Pittsburgh, @ St. Louis

Tired: @ Buffalo (Tuesday)

Rested: @ Pittsburgh (Saturday)

Notes

The Ducks play a rare five game week, including three games in four nights as well as a pair of back-to-back games...Expect to see John Gibson play three times with Anthony Stolarz getting the call twice...Gibson has been great this season with a 10-6-2 mark to go with a 2.68 GAA and a .915 save percentage while Stolarz is 3-2-1 with a 2.82 GAA and a .919 save percentage after a 6-5 win Wednesday over Vegas...Jamie Drysdale has 12 points in 24 games as the 19-year-old defenseman is gaining confidence on the blueline...Ryan Getzlaf missed Wednesday’s tilt after he was injured Tuesday when he fell awkwardly into the boards against the Kings. Consider him day-to-day. Getzlaf has only one goal in 23 games but does have 19 assists.

ARIZONA

Games this week

@ Dallas, vs. Florida, vs. Philadelphia

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Coyotes put out a press release on Thursday stating there is no way the team is for sale and on its way to Houston...It is hard to look at the Arizona stats as they have scored only 42 goals in 23 games and are a minus -126 combined as a team, led by Jakob Chychrun’s minus-25...Kyle Capobianco is the only plus on the squad at plus-four as he has played only since Nov. 12, a total of nine games where the Coyotes have a 4-4-1 record, going 1-12-1 without the defenseman in the lineup...Nick Schmaltz returned to the ice on Thursday for practice after missing the last five-and-a-half weeks with an upper-body injury...The original diagnosis was three-four weeks and he still is not ready to return...Karel Vejmelka was outstanding Monday, stopping all 46 shots in a 1-0 win over Winnipeg for his first career shutout.

BOSTON

Games this week

@ Vancouver, @ Edmonton, @ Calgary

Tired: @ Edmonton (Thursday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Bruins make their annual swing through Western Canada this week, playing three games in four nights...Look for Jeremy Swayman to play twice with Linus Ullmark picking up the other start...Brad Marchand will return this week after missing all of this past week with a three-game suspension for slew-footing Vancouver’s Oliver Ekman-Larsson...Taylor Hall has temporarily replaced him on the top line with Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak...Jake DeBrusk requested a trade from the Bruins after he was a heathy scratch on the weekend and scored the game-winner Thursday when put back in the lineup...Swayman was outstanding Thursday, stopping all 42 Nashville shots in a 2-0 win...Coach Bruce Cassidy is in COVID-19 protocol with mild symptoms.

BUFFALO

Games this week

vs. Anaheim, vs. New York Rangers, vs. Washington

Tired: None

Rested: vs. Anaheim (Tuesday)

Notes

The Sabres are headed towards the basement of the Atlantic Division after a great 5-1-1 start as they are 3-11-2 since...The Sabres are still in sixth spot in the division but that is because Montreal and Ottawa have been so bad...The Sabres finally got Casey Mittelstadt back in their lineup Thursday after he missed 21 games with an upper-body injury...He scored Thursday as well as having three shots on goals and blocking a pair in a busy 19:02 of playing time...Vinnie Hinostraza has been a nice addition to the Sabres as he has four goals and 11 points this season in a secondary role...The Sabres picked up a goaltender Thursday when they acquired Malcolm Subban from the Chicago Blackhawks...Look for Subban to get some starts with Dustin Tokarski in COVID protocol.

CALGARY

Games this week

@ San Jose, vs. Carolina, vs. Boston

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Flames are atop the Pacific Division standings with 33 points, one better than their provincial rival Edmonton Oilers, although Calgary has played a pair of extra games...Nevertheless, the Flames have been great this season after missing the playoffs last year in the all-Canadian division...Calgary has been getting outstanding goaltending from Jacob Markstrom who is 10-4-4 with a sparkling 1.76 GAA and a just as good save percentage of .939...Dan Vladar has been exceptional as well when between the pipes as he is 4-0-1 with a 1.57 GAA and a .946 save percentage...That is how you win games in the NHL, with great netminding...Milan Lucic scored again on Thursday as he has a goal in three of his last four games...Sean Monahan is turning into a middle-to-bottom center on the depth chart as he has only two goals and 10 points in 23 games.

CAROLINA

Games this week

@ Winnipeg, @ Calgary, @ Edmonton, @ Vancouver

Tired: @ Vancouver (Sunday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Hurricanes go right across the Prairies as well as playing in Vancouver this week as they play four times on the road including three games in four nights...Expect to see Frederik Andersen play three times with Antti Raanta playing once...The Hurricanes still have three players in COVID protocol including Tony DeAngelo, Brett Pesce and Ethan Bear...Teuvo Teravainen scored Thursday in a 3-2 loss to lowly Ottawa, and it was the 100th goal of his NHL career...While the Hurricanes are getting very good starts to the season from Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov and Tony DeAngelo, they could use a little more from Jordan Staal and Nino Niederreiter offensively...Jordan Martinook injured his ankle Thursday and should be considered day-to-day.

CHICAGO

Games this week

vs. New York Rangers, @ Montreal, @ Toronto

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Blackhawks play all three games against Original Six teams this week...Alex DeBrincat has 13 goals this season to lead the Blackhawks but has only four assists...Seth Jones has been a great addition to the blueline and his 19 points in 22 games are more than fantasy-worthy...Another week and another goalless week for Jonathan Toews who has yet to score in 22 games this season...The Blackhawks dealt Malcolm Subban to Buffalo for future considerations...Connor Murphy took a shot off his hand, courtesy of Alex Ovechkin on Thursday and did not return...Tyler Johnson has been out since Oct. 29 with a neck injury and there is still no timetable for his return...Josiah Slavin made his NHL debut Thursday and picked up an assist in Chicago’s 4-3 shootout win.

COLORADO

Games this week

@ Philadelphia, @ New York Rangers, vs. Detroit, vs. Florida

Tired: None

Rested: @ Philadelphia (Monday), @ New York Rangers (Wednesday) vs. Detroit (Friday)

Notes

The Avalanche complete a five-game road trip this week and play four times but they are spaced out evenly...The Avs had Nathan MacKinnon return to their lineup on Wednesday and he assisted on a pair of goals in an 8-3 loss to Toronto...Nazem Kadri continues to be a stud for the Avalanche as he has nine goals and 30 points this season as well as 30 penalty minutes in just 20 games...Cale Makar leads all defensemen with 10 goals in 18 games as he found the back of the net Thursday in a 4-1 win over Montreal...Darcy Kuemper has struggled at times in the Colorado crease and is 9-5-0 with a 2.84 GAA and a lackluster .903 save percentage. He currently is out with an upper-body injury suffered early in the week. The injury forced the Avs to recall Justus Annunen from the minors to back up Jonas Johansson as Pavel Francouz was sent to the minors to get in some playing time...Erik Johnson played in his 800th career game Thursday.

COLUMBUS

Games this week

@ Toronto, vs. Anaheim, @ Seattle

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Blue Jackets were forced to recall goaltender Daniil Tarasov to make his NHL debut Thursday as both Elvis Merzlikins and Joonas Korpisalo were out of action with non-COVID illnesses...Tarasov took the 3-2 loss to Dallas but managed to play well, making 34 saves...Emil Bemstrom was activated from the injured reserve list on Thursday but was sent to the minors as he has been out all season with an oblique strain suffered in practice just before the start of the season...Adam Boqvist, an important part of the return when Columbus dealt Seth Jones to Chicago, had a pair of goals and an assist Saturday with two points coming with the man-advantage. The 21-year-old has four goals and seven points in 14 games with three goals and all three assists coming in the last five contests. He is someone to consider in most pools.

DALLAS

Games this week

vs. Arizona, @ Vegas, @ Los Angeles, @ San Jose

Tired: @ Los Angeles (Thursday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Stars play four games this week including three games in four nights...It looks like Jake Oettinger has taken over the starter’s cage for Dallas as he is a perfect 5-0-0 with a 1.41 GAA and a .951 save percentage. He should get three starts in goal this week with Braden Holtby getting the other while Anton Khudobin is shuffled off to the press box...The Stars have scored within 75 seconds in four straight games, an NHL record...Jason Robertson is on a five-game points streak...Roope Hintz had only one assist in his first 10 games but has been on fire ever since with 10 goals and four assists in his last 11 games...Congratulations go out to Joe Pavelski who scored his 400th career goal on Nov. 26, becoming the 10th American-born player to do so.

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DETROIT

Games this week

vs. Nashville, @ St. Louis, @ Colorado

Tired: @ Colorado (Friday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Red Wings play three games in four nights...Alex Nedeljkovic will get a pair of starts with Thomas Greiss getting one...Nedeljkovic has a 7-3-3 record with a 2.58 GAA and a .923 save percentage, giving the Red Wings the goaltending they need for this season and the years to come...Tyler Bertuzzi, the lone NHL player who has not been vaccinated, has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not play this week...After 20 games this season, Dylan Larkin has 21 points including 10 goals...Last season, Larkin had only nine goals and 23 points in 44 games...That is quite a turnaround...Lucas Raymond continues to lead the Red Wings and all NHL rookies with 22 points as he was named the NHL’s rookie for the month of November.

EDMONTON

Games this week

vs. Minnesota, vs. Boston, vs. Carolina

Tired: None

Rested: vs. Boston (Thursday)

Notes

The Oilers had Darnell Nurse on the ice Thursday for an optional practice as he has been out of action since Nov. 18 with a broken finger and he has not been ruled out of action for the Dec. 5 game against the Kings...He could be back this week and that will be a big help for the Edmonton blueline...Connor McDavid had four-point night against Pittsburgh Wednesday to move to within one point of teammate Leon Draisaitl for the NHL scoring lead. McDavid has 40 points in 21 games...Zach Hyman is third in Oilers goal scoring with 11 in 21 games...Kyle Turris has been a healthy scratch in each of his last two games...Duncan Keith was placed on the injured reserve list...Mike Smith has been out of action since Oct. 19 with a lower-body injury and has been making progress towards his return as he skated and took some shots before practice this week.

FLORIDA

Games this week

@ St. Louis, @ Arizona, @ Colorado

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

Aaron Ekblad has a pair of three-point games this week, giving him eight goals and 23 points in 23 games... He is one of the best defensemen in the league and there is a reason he went first overall in the 2014 NHL Draft. He leads all defensemen in NHL scoring...Maybe Thursday’s game will help the confidence of goaltender Spencer Knight who took over the crease from Sergei Bobrovsky after Bobrovsky gave up four goals on 12 shots. Knight stopped all 19 Buffalo shots and picked up the win after the Panthers scored six straight after trailing 4-1...Jonathan Huberdeau has eight goals and 28 points in 23 games to lead Florida after a goal and five points Thursday, giving him eight points in his last two games.

LOS ANGELES

Games this week

@ Vancouver, vs. Dallas, vs. Minnesota

Tired: @ Vancouver (Monday)

Rested: vs. Dallas (Thursday)

Notes

The Kings have been treading water with a 9-9-4 record, good for sixth in the Pacific...Brendan Lemieux is currently serving a five-game suspension for biting the Senators Brady Tkachuk in a fight Nov. 27...He will be eligible to return in time for the Minnesota game this week...Dustin Brown finally scored on Tuesday, ending a 15-game goalless drought...The Kings claimed defenseman Christian Wolanin off waivers from Buffalo this week...Drew Doughty returned to the Los Angeles lineup on Tuesday after missing almost six weeks with a knee injury. He has a goal and seven assists in six games this season...Viktor Arvidsson has a four-game points streak...Anze Kopitar has 23 points in 22 games including eight assists in his last six games.

MINNESOTA

Games this week

@ Edmonton, @ San Jose, @ Los Angeles, @ Vegas

Tired: @ Vegas (Sunday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Wild play four games this week including three games in four nights...Cam Talbot should get three starts with Kaapo Kahkonen getting the crease once...Ryan Hartman is having a great season with 13 goals and 21 points in 23 games and has a five-game points streak at this time...He trails only Kirill Kaprizov who has nine goals and 28 points in 23 games, including six goals and 17 points in his last eight games...Jared Spurgeon has missed the last six games with a lower-body injury but could return shortly as he has started skating again...Mats Zuccarello returned to the Minnesota lineup Thursday after missing a couple of games with an upper-body injury...Jordan Greenway had a goal and two assists Tuesday for his only points in his last seven games.

MONTREAL

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Chicago, @ St. Louis

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Canadiens fired GM Marc Bergevin on Sunday while hiring former Rangers GM Jeff Gorton as their new Executive Vice President of hockey operations...Scott Mellanby resigned the day before as assistant GM as the Canadiens are definitely redefining their front office...On the ice, the Canadiens continue to flounder as they are 6-17-2, good for seventh place in the Atlantic, 13 points out of a playoff spot...Considering they went to the Stanley Cup Final last season, it is quite a comedown for the Habs...It hurts that their top goal scorer has only seven goals in 25 games and that is Josh Anderson...Tyler Toffoli had 28 goals last season but has only five in 25 games...Chris Wideman leads all Montreal defensemen with eight points as Jeff Petry has been a major disappointment with only two assists in 25 games...Sami Niku and Brendan Gallagher are in COVID protocol.

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NASHVILLE

Games this week

@ Detroit, @ New York Islanders, @ New Jersey, @ New York Rangers

Tired: @ New Jersey (Friday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Predators are on the road for all four games this week, including three games in four nights...Jusse Saros is slated to be between the pipes three times with David Rittich playing once...Saros has started 19 of the Predators 23 games and is 10-8-1 with a 2.34 GAA and a .923 save percentage...Mikael Granlund had four assists Tuesday to take over the team lead in points with 25 while Filip Forsberg had four goals in the same 6-0 win over Columbus as he has 10 goals in 14 games after missing most of November with an upper-body injury...The Predators acquired Kole Sherwood from Ottawa for future considerations on Tuesday...Roman Josi has seven goals and 20 points in 23 games.

NEW JERSEY

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, vs. Philadelphia, vs. Nashville, @ New York Islanders

Tired: @ New York Islanders (Saturday)

Rested: vs. Nashville (Friday)

Notes

The Devils play three games in four nights as part of their four-game week, so expect to see Mackenzie Blackwood play three games and Jonathan Bernier play once...The Devils made a huge investment in their future as they signed Jack Hughes to an eight-year/$64 milllion extension...The future superstar has shown glimpses of greatness in his first two seasons after beings selected first overall in 2019 and is being paid for his potential which should come to the forefront shortly...The Devils also inked Russian defenseman Shakir Mukhamadullin to an entry-level deal. He was selected 20th overall in the 2020 Draft and was loaned back to Salavat Yulaev Ufa of the KHL for the rest of the 2021-22 season...Andreas Johnsson had two goals and four points Sunday to vault him into the Devils scoring lead, along with Jesper Bratt as each have 18 points in 21 contests.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

Games this week

@ Ottawa, vs. Nashville, vs. New Jersey

Tired: None

Rested: @ Ottawa (Tuesday), vs. New Jersey (Saturday)

Notes

The Islanders are in big trouble as COVID continues to go through the team...They had two games postponed last week and returned to action on Thursday in a 2-1 overtime loss to San Jose...The Isles have a 5-10-3 record, seven points behind the seventh placed Philadelphia Flyers...Mathew Barzal snapped a five-game goalless drought with the Islanders lone goal Thursday...Casey Cizikas and Zdeno Chara are still in COVID protocol...With Josh Bailey, Anders Lee, Ross Johnston, Andy Greene, Kieffer Bellows and Adam Pelech out of COVID protocol, the Islanders returned Thomas Hickey, Paul LaDue and Richard Panik to the minors...Brock Nelson leads the Islanders with nine goals and 11 points.

NEW YORK RANGERS

Games this week

@ Chicago, vs. Colorado, @ Buffalo, vs. Nashville

Tired: vs. Colorado (Wednesday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Rangers play three games in four nights as part of their four-game week...Igor Shesterkin should get three starts with Alexandar Georgiev picking up one...Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko were selected first and second overall in 2020 and 2019 respectively but have combined for only eight goals and six assists this season with Kakko playing 17 games and Lafreniere playing 21...Igor Shesterkin has continued his outstanding play this season with a 12-3-2 mark to go with a 2.15 GAA and a .935 save percentage...Artemi Panarin was fined $5,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct by the NHL...He leads the Rangers with 23 points while Chris Kreider has 16 goals including nine on the power play in 21 contests.

OTTAWA

Games this week

@ New Jersey, vs. New York Islanders, vs. Tampa Bay

Tired: vs. New York Islanders (Tuesday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Senators put Matt Murray on waivers and when he passed through, he was sent to the minors...Anton Forsberg got the start on Thursday and stopped 47 shots in a 3-2 win over Carolina Thursday...It was only the Senators fifth win of the season...Tyler Ennis is fourth in scoring on Ottawa with only goal but 10 assists...Josh Norris leads with nine goals...Thomas Chabot was expected to quarterback the power play but he has only three assists with the man-advantage and has not scored this season in 21 games as he has only eight assists...Shane Pinto underwent shoulder surgery and the Sens are hoping the center will return in late March or early April.

PHILADELPHIA

Games this week

vs. Colorado, @ New Jersey, @ Vegas, @ Arizona

Tired: vs. Colorado (Monday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Flyers play four games this week including three in four nights...Expect to see Carter Hart play three times with Martin Jones getting one start...Joel Farabee is out of action after crashing into the boards Wednesday and suffering an upper-body injury...Ryan Ellis is making progress from his lower-body injury that has kept him out of action since Nov. 13. GM Chuck Fletcher said that Ellis is undergoing treatment that requires him to ‘lay low’ for a week...He is week-to-week but could be back in the next 1-3 weeks...Kevin Hayes (abdomen) returned to the Flyers lineup on Wednesday after re-injuring himself on Nov. 16...Nate Thompson will be out for a while as he needs shoulder surgery...Claude Giroux leads the Flyers with 18 points in 21 games.

PITTSBURGH

Games this week

@ Seattle, @ Washington, vs. Anaheim

Tired: vs. Anaheim (Sunday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Penguins complete a five-game road trip this week...Sidney Crosby has a four-game points streak and has two goals and eight points in 11 games...Evgeni Malkin participated in Wednesday’s optional practice as he practiced for the third straight day with a non-contact jersey...Malkin has yet to play this season after undergoing off-season knee surgery and is getting close to returning to action...It would not surprise if he is able to go this week...Tristan Jarry was the second star of the week and is 10-5-4 with a 1.97 GAA and a .933 save percentage...Fenway Sports Group has reached an agreement to acquire a controlling interest in the Penguins but current owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle will still be a part of the new ownership group...The front office will also stay the same.

SAN JOSE

Games this week

vs. Calgary, vs. Minnesota, vs. Dallas

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Sharks are still hanging in as they are fourth in the Pacific with a 13-9-1 record, three points up on the Vegas Golden Knights...Timo Meier continues to be a top NHL scorer as he has 11 goals and 24 points in just 18 games...James Reimer is having an outstanding season with an 8-4-1 record to go with a 2.05 GAA and a .934 save percentage...It looks like the Sharks made a great move in moving Martin Jones and Devan Dubnyk out and bringing in Reimer and Adin Hill as their netminding has solidified the team...Evander Kane cleared waivers this week and has been sent to the San Jose Barracuda of the AHL after completing his 21-game suspension for violating the NHL/NHLPA COVID protocol.

SEATTLE

Games this week

vs. Pittsburgh, vs. Winnipeg, vs. Columbus

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Kraken have been getting better goaltending of late from Philipp Grubauer and Chris Driedger as they are 4-1-1 in the last six games, giving up 14 goals...Driedger was placed in injured reserve this week with a lower-body injury so the Kraken recalled Joey Daccord from the minors...Schwartz leads in points with 17, one up on Jordan Eberle who leads in goals with 11...Eberle missed his first game of the season Wednesday with a lower-body injury as did Schwartz which required the Kraken to recall Kole Lind from Charlotte of the AHL...Mark Giordano is hoping to play this week as he is still in COVID protocol after entering on Nov. 26.

ST. LOUIS

Games this week

vs. Florida, vs. Detroit, vs. Montreal, vs. Anaheim
Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Blues play three games in four nights as part of their four-game week with all games at home...Jordan Binnington is currently out as he is in COVID-19 protocol so Ville Husso is currently the starter...Assuming that Binnington is not ready to go this week, look for Husso to play three games with Charlie Lindgren playing once...Lindgren has been outstanding in the minors as he is 8-1-1 with a 2.16 GAA and a .925 save percentage with Springfield...Logan Brown made his St. Louis debut on Tuesday and scored. He was dealt for during training camp with the Blues giving Ottawa Zach Sanford in return...Justin Faulk is also in COVID protocol as is Tyler Bozak...David Perron is still day-to-day after missing the last three games with an upper-body injury.

TAMPA BAY

Games this week

@ Montreal, @ Toronto, @ Ottawa

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Lightning finish their five-game road trip this week with a trip to Eastern Canada to play their division foes...The Lightning are currently sitting in third place in the Atlantic behind Florida and Toronto...Victor Hedman had a big game Thursday with a pair of goals and three points in a 4-2 win over St. Louis. The 30-year-old defenseman has five goals and 22 points in 22 games as he is having another season worthy of Norris Trophy consideration...Steven Stamkos returned to the Tampa Bay lineup on Thursday after missing Tuesday’s game for the birth of his second child...Stamkos leads the Lightning with 11 goals and 25 points...Alex Killorn is having a fine season with 20 points, good for third-best on the Lightning.

TORONTO

Games this week

vs. Columbus, vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Chicago

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Maple Leafs are the hottest team in the NHL, winning 15 of their last 17 contests...They flexed their muscles on Wednesday as Colorado were the victims to the tune of 8-3...Don’t forget about Auston Matthews as far as the Rocket Richard Trophy is concerned as he had the hat trick Wednesday to give him 13 goals, tied for eighth in the NHL, just seven behind Leon Draisaitl...Michael Bunting is having a strong season in the Blue-and-White as he has six goals and 17 points in 24 games after his three-assist night Wednesday...Kirill Semyonov was placed on waivers and is expected to return to Russia as the two sides agreed on terminating his contract. He had three games with Toronto this season, spending most of his time in the AHL...Petr Mrazek is expected to play with the Toronto Marlies this weekend after as he has been out of action since Oct. 30 with a groin injury...He could return to the Maple Leafs in time for the upcoming week.

VANCOUVER

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, vs. Boston, vs. Winnipeg, vs. Carolina

Tired: None

Rested: vs. Los Angeles (Monday), vs. Winnipeg (Friday), vs. Carolina (Sunday)

Notes

It was a big night for the Canucks Quinn Hughes on Wednesday as he picked up four assists in a 6-2 win over Ottawa...The Canucks have won two in a row with Thatcher Demko between the pipes as he has given up three goals on 55 shots...He is 8-10-1 this season with a 2.91 GAA and a .908 save percentage...Elias Pettersson continues to struggle with only four goals and 12 points in 24 games...Brock Boeser’s name has come up in trade rumors. He has only four goals and nine points in 21 games this season...J.T. Miller has a team-leading eight goals and 23 points this season...Tyler Myers has yet to score this season and has six assists.

VEGAS

Games this week

vs. Dallas, vs. Philadelphia, vs. Minnesota

Tired: None

Rested: vs. Minnesota (Sunday)

Notes

The Golden Knights received some great news on Thursday as Jack Eichel resumed skating for the first time since he had disk replacement surgery in his neck just three weeks ago. Eichel is hoping to return to action after the Olympic break at the end of February as he was given a three-month recovery schedule if all went well...The Golden Knights are still floundering in the standings as they are 12-10-0, good for fifth in the Pacific...Max Pacioretty had a goal and an assist Wednesday to give him seven points in just five games...Alec Martinez has been out three weeks with a facial laceration and there is still no timetable for his return...William Karlsson is out with a broken foot suffered on Oct. 29 and is now in COVID-19 protocol...Jonathan Marchessault returned to action against the Oilers after missing five games in COVID-19 protocol.

WASHINGTON

Games this week

vs. Anaheim, vs. Pittsburgh, @ Buffalo

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Capitals have been getting top-notch seasons out of their top players as Alex Ovechkin has 19 goals and 38 points while Evgeny Kuznetsov has 28 points, Tom Wilson 23 and John Carlson 22, all in 24 games...It was been particularly good for Kuznetsov who had a horrible campaign last season with 29 points in 41 games including a couple of stints on the injured reserve list with COVID...Nicklas Backstrom skated before practice on Thursday as he has yet to play this season due to a lingering hip injury...T.J. Oshie also skated before practice with a non-contact jersey as he has missed the last two weeks with a lower-body injury...Congratulations go out to Aliaksei Protas who scored his first career NHL goal Saturday.

WINNIPEG

Games this week

vs. Carolina, @ Seattle, @ Vancouver

Tired: @ Vancouver (Friday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Jets have been unable to score of late...They have found the back of the net only nine times in their last seven games and that includes a four-spot Saturday against the Flames...Kyle Connor scored twice against Calgary but has not scored in six of his last seven games...Connor Hellebuyck has a 7-6-4 record with a 2.60 GAAA and a .918 save percentage...Paul Stastny returned to the lineup after missing eight games...Nate Schmidt and Neal Pionk lead the Jets in defenseman points with 12...Blake Wheeler continues to slump with no goals this season and only seven assists in 17 games...One bright spot has been the play of Pierre-Luc Dubois who has 11 goals and 18 points in 22 games with a team-leading four power play goals.