Hockey Day in America

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Michael Finewax
·25 min read
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This Sunday is Hockey Day in America and the game will be celebrated on both NBC and NBCSN. It will be a great day of hockey and don’t forget to tune in as Buffalo plays the New York Islanders at noon Eastern on NBC and then there is a triple-header on NBCSN starting at 2:30 Eastern as Tampa Bay visits Chicago, Boston hosts New Jersey at 5 pm ET and the New York Rangers take on Pittsburgh at 7:30 ET.

The rest of the NHL must have taken notice this week when the Toronto Maple Leafs went into Edmonton and beat the Oilers three-straight games, holding Connor McDavid without a point in all three contests for the first time since October 19-22, 2019. They gave up only one goal to the high-flying Oilers in three games, outscoring them 13-1 in sweeping all three contests.

The problem the Maple Leafs had in the past few years was holding the opposing team in the playoffs (usually Boston) down offensively, especially on the power play, but this year’s team looks a lot better. While the North Division looks to be the weakest of the four at the top, the advantage the Leafs will get if they advance to the Stanley Cup semi-finals is that all the teams in the other Divisions could beat each other up, allowing the Leafs to play a less than 100 percent team.

We were all saddened to hear late Thursday night of the passing of Canadian icon Walter Gretzky, the father of NHL great Wayne and Canada’s Hockey Dad. Walter, 82 was an instrumental part of the Great One’s career and when Wayne made it big, refused to move out of his three-bedroom bungalow in Brantford, Ontario as it was his home. We will miss Walter and condolences to the entire Gretzky family as well as the world of hockey on this loss.

Editor’s Note: Drafting is only half the battle! Get an edge on your competition all season long with rankings, projections, trade evaluator, lineup adviser and much more with our NHL Season Tools. Click here to learn more!

WEEK OF MARCH 8-14

4 Games Anaheim, Arizona, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, New Jersey, New York Islanders, Ottawa, Toronto, Vegas

3 Games –Boston, Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Detroit, Florida, Nashville, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Jose, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, Washington, Winnipeg

2 Games – Calgary

Anaheim, Colorado, Columbus, Minnesota and the New York Islanders play four games at home.

Arizona, Los Angeles, Montreal and Vegas play four games on the road.

Chicago, Nashville, New Jersey, the New York Rangers, Ottawa and Winnipeg play three games on the road.

Detroit, Edmonton, Philadelphia, Toronto and Vancouver play three games at home.

Any crossed off games have been postponed due to the coronavirus and are expected to be replayed at a later date.

INJURIES

Joel Farabee is on the COVID protocol list. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

ANAHEIM

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, vs. Los Angeles, vs. San Jose, vs. San Jose

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Ducks play four games this week including three in four nights. John Gibson will get the call in goal on three occasions with Ryan Miller playing once...The Ducks have lost eight straight games going 0-6-2 and are 0-12-5 on the season when giving up two or more goals...After scoring only once in his first 20 games, Rickard Rakell has two in his last three contests as well as five points in his last three games...Josh Manson (oblique) is close to returning after being injured on January 18...Hampus Lindholm has missed five of the Ducks last six games and will miss the next six weeks with a fractured left wrist...Jamie Drysdale, the Ducks first pick and sixth overall in 2020, was sent to the minors Wednesday.

ARIZONA

Games this week

@ Colorado, @ Minnesota, @ Minnesota

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Coyotes play the Wild twice this week in Minnesota after ending last week with a pair of games at home...Conor Garland missed Saturday’s game with a lower-body injury but was back in the lineup Wednesday and picked up his 13th assist of the season, giving him 20 points in 21 games...Nick Schmaltz snapped his five-game pointless drought with a goal Wednesday in a win over Los Angeles...Niklas Hjalmarsson played in his 800th NHL game Wednesday...Darcy Kuemper is day-to-day with a lower-body injury and Antti Raanta was outstanding Wednesday, stopping 40 shots in a 3-2 win...Jakob Chychrun has really come into his own this season as the defenseman has five goals and 16 points in 22 games and leads the Coyotes with 18 penalty minutes.

BOSTON

Games this week

@ New York Islanders, vs. New York Rangers, vs. New York Rangers

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Bruins are sitting third in the East, trailing Washington and the Islanders at this time but with games in hand on both...After missing four games with a lower-body injury, the Bruins welcomed David Krejci back on Wednesday...It was the same welcome feeling for defenseman Matt Grzelcyk who had missed 13 games previously with various injuries...Charlie Coyle was placed on the COVID-19 protocol list Wednesday...The Bruins claimed defenseman Jarred Tinordi off waivers from Nashville Saturday and will provide Boston with another depth defenseman...Boston signed Curtis Hall, their fourth-round pick in 2018, to a three-year/entry level contract.

BUFFALO

Games this week

@ Philadelphia, vs. Pittsburgh, vs. Pittsburgh

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Sabres were full of hope at the beginning of the season after signing Taylor Hall as a free agent, but Buffalo has not had a good season and have less points than any other team in the NHL with 15 at this time...Hall finally scored his second of the season Thursday in another losing cause and he only has 13 points in 21 games...Rumors continue to flow that Jack Eichel, their superstar, will be traded...Eichel was looking to be dealt last off-season, but thought the moves to bring Hall and Eric Staal to Buffalo would help...Unfortunately, this will be the sixth straight season since he was drafted that Eichel will miss the post-season...It certainly doesn’t help that Kyle Okposo has only one point, an assist, in 16 games this season, while Jeff Skinner is even worse with no goals and one assist in 18 games while earning $9 million per season.

CALGARY

Games this week

vs. Montreal, vs. Montreal

Tired: None

Rested: vs. Montreal (Thursday)

Notes

The Flames play only twice this week...After beating Ottawa 7-3 Thursday night, Calgary fired coach Geoff Ward and replaced him with Alberta native Darryl Sutter, who coached the Flames from December 28, 2002-July 2, 2006 as well as being their GM from April 2003-December 28, 2010...Dillon Dube broke an eight-game goal scoring drought Thursday with a hat trick against the Senators...Jacob Markstrom returned to the Flames Thursday, albeit as the backup goaltender after missing 12 days with an upper-body injury...He could play both games this week...Derek Ryan returned Thursday as well, scoring once after missing 13 games with a broken finger...Sam Bennett was a healthy scratch Thursday.

CAROLINA

Games this week

vs. Nashville, vs. Nashville, @ Detroit

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Hurricanes lost Petr Mrazek on January 30 but their goaltending continues to be a source of strength as James Reimer is 10-3-0 while backup Alex Nedeljkovic has been great, going 4-2-1 with a 2.26 GAA and a .927 save percentage...The Hurricanes are getting plenty of production from all over their lineup as seven players have 15 or more points in 23 games and Teuvo Teravainen has nine in just 13 injury-riddled games...Martin Necas has two goals and six points in his last three games to give him 17 with a plus-10 rating this season...Jordan Staal had a three-point night Thursday and has eight goals and 12 assists in 21 games...Sebastian Aho has the same stats but in 23 contests.

CHICAGO

Games this week

@ Dallas, @ Dallas, @ Florida

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Blackhawks had an unfortunate overtime loss Thursday as Victor Hedman scored with less than a tenth of a second left in a 3-2 game...Kevin Lankinen continued his excellence in net and is 9-3-4 with a 2.57 GAA and a .924 save percentage...Duncan Keith has yet to score this season and has only seven assists in 24 games...Dylan Strome (concussion protocol) skated on Thursday. He has been out since February 22...Patrick Kane became the 100th NHLer to score 400 goals and he was also named the second star of the week as he had three goals and eight points in four games...Alex DeBrincat has 26 points this season in 20 games...Brent Seabrook's NHL career is over due to injury.

COLORADO

Games this week

vs. Arizona, vs. Arizona, vs. Los Angeles, vs. Los Angeles

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Avalanche play four games this week with Philipp Grubauer playing at least three times and possibly four as they play every other night...If Colorado gives him a rest, then Hunter Miska will get one start...Nathan MacKinnon was injured Wednesday and should be fine to play this week as coach Jared Bednar was optimistic about his health after the game...Mikko Rantanen had a big game Wednesday with a pair of goals and two assists. He has 22 points including a team-leading 10 goals and is tied with MacKinnon for the team’s lead in points...The Avs are hurting on the blueline with Cale Makar (upper body) and Bowen Byram (upper body) out of the lineup...The injuries have given Devon Toews and Samuel Girard more power-play time.

COLUMBUS

Games this week

vs. Florida, vs. Florida, vs. Dallas, vs. Dallas

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Blue Jackets play three games in four nights as part of their four-game week...Joonas Korpisalo should play three times with Veini Vehvilainen the current backup starting once unless the Blue Jackets recall Matiss Kivlenieks in the interim...Columbus has won two in a row after GM Jarmo Kekalainen gave coach John Tortorella a vote of confidence on the weekend...Cam Atkinson leads the Jackets with 10 goals and 19 points, one point better than Oliver Bjorkstrand...Zack Werenski continues to be a disappointment for his fantasy owners with only one goal and seven points in 18 games...Max Domi is struggling with three goals and seven points in 25 games to go with a team-worse minus-11 rating.

Don’t forget, for everything NHL, check out NBC Sports EDGE's Player News, and follow @NBCSEdge HK and @mfinewaxhockey on Twitter.

DALLAS

Games this week

vs. Chicago, vs. Chicago, @ Columbus, @ Columbus

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Stars play four games this week, including three games in four nights...Anton Khudobin should get the start in net three times with Jake Oettinger playing once...The Stars continue to flounder as they have lost four in a row and are at the bottom of the Central Division standings with a 6-8-4 record...They have played the least amount of games in the Central but still, they are not winning and are 13 points out of a playoff spot at this time...Miro Heiskanen scored his first of the season Thursday and has 10 points this season...Roope Hintz is out of action with an undisclosed injury while Alexander Radulov could return at some point this week as he has been practicing in a regular jersey. He has already missed 10 games this season and has 11 points in eight games.

DETROIT

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Carolina

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Red Wings hope to get Dylan Larkin back in the lineup this week after missing the last four games with an upper-body injury...It’s hard to believe that six goals lead the Red Wings after 25 games but that’s what Bobby Ryan and Anthony Mantha have...Ryan leads the Wings with 13 points...The Red Wings placed Valtteri Filppula on waivers this week and he passed through...Jonathan Bernier has been sneaky good once again this season as his performances get lost on a poor Detroit team...He is 6-5-0 with a 2.94 GAA and a .910 save percentage, compared to Thomas Greiss who is 1-11-3 with a 3.37 GAA and a .885 save percentage...The Red Wings hope that Tyler Bertuzzi is back at some point this week.

EDMONTON

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, vs. Ottawa, vs. Ottawa, @ Vancouver

Tired: @ Vancouver (Saturday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Oilers play four games this week including three games in four nights...Mike Smith will likely get three starts with Mikko Koskinen getting the crease once...The Oilers took it on the nose against Toronto this past week, losing all three at home to fall 10 points behind the Maple Leafs in the race for first place in the North...Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was the only Oiler to score against Toronto as the Maple Leafs outscored them 13-1 in the three games...Dominik Kahun is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury...Alex Chiasson was suspended for Wednesday’s game against Toronto after cross-checking Jimmy Vesey at the end of Monday’s contest, for which he received five minutes for cross-checking and a 10-minute misconduct...Connor McDavid still leads the NHL with 40 points, despite not getting a point in the three-game series against Toronto.

FLORIDA

Games this week

@ Columbus, @ Columbus, vs. Chicago

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Panthers are 3-2-2 in their last seven games after starting the season at 11-2-2...Aaron Ekblad had a stud of a game Thursday as the defenseman had two goals and four points with both goals coming on the power play...Chris Driedger could be dealt at some point, whether before the deadline or during the off-season as he would have to be exposed in the expansion draft as Florida has to protect Sergei Bobrovsky. Rather than lose him for nothing as he is 7-2-2 with a 2.25 GAA and a .926 save percentage, the Panthers would like to get something for him...Frank Vatrano is seeing first line minutes with Carter Verhaeghe and Aleksander Barkov while Jonathan Huberdeau is on the second unit with Alexander Wennberg and Patric Hornqvist.

LOS ANGELES

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ Anaheim, @ Colorado, @ Colorado

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Kings are starting to slump as they are 0-2-1 in their last three...They are still getting great goaltending from Jonathan Quick and especially Cal Petersen and this could bode well for a team looking for a netminder as the Kings should be willing to trade Quick and his contract and let Petersen handle the starting job...Petersen is 4-4-2 with a 2.43 GAA and a .928 sav percentage...Drew Doughty spent the off-season working on his shot and all the work has paid off as he six goals and 18 points in 21 games...Lias Andersson has only one goal in 11 games and hasn’t played since February 16. The off-season acquisition from the Rangers was taken seventh overall in 2017 but looks to be a bust.

MINNESOTA

Games this week

vs. Vegas, vs. Vegas, vs. Arizona, vs. Arizona

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Wild play Vegas twice and Arizona twice at home this week after doing the same but on the road last week...Look for Cam Talbot and Kaapo Kahkonen to share the net...Marcus Foligno had a great two games in Vegas with three goals and an assist in two games...Zach Parise was a healthy scratch Wednesday for the first time during his nine years with the Wild. He has three goals and nine points in 19 games...Kirill Kaprizov saw his five-game points streak end Monday. He has six goals and 17 points in 20 games...Jordan Greenway has scored only once in his last 10 games and has three goals and 15 points in 20 contests.

MONTREAL

Games this week

@ Vancouver, @ Vancouver, @ Calgary, @ Calgary

Tired: @ Calgary (Thursday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Canadiens play four games on the road this week including three in four nights...Hopefully Carey Price has found his game again and will play three times with Jake Allen playing once...Montreal continued its firing ways this week, letting goaltending coach Stephane Waite go and giving the job to Sean Burke...The Canadiens have points in each of their last three games, going 1-0-2 as they will start a six-game road trip this week, going to Winnipeg for a pair after they play this week’s games...Tyler Toffoli has 14 goals this season to lead Montreal and he is tied for second in the NHL with Connor McDavid, four behind Auston Matthews...Montreal has yet to win in six games that have gone into extra time, losing four times in overtime and twice in a shootout.

NASHVILLE

Games this week

@ Carolina, @ Carolina, @ Tampa Bay

Tired: None

Rested: vs. Carolina (Tuesday)

Notes

The Predators got Ryan Johansen back from COVID protocol after missing only one game...The Predators used Kasimir Kaskisuo as their backup to Pekka Rinne Thursday after Juuse Saros suffered an upper-body injury Tuesday when he was hit by Nino Niedereiter behind the net...Mattias Ekholm is the number one player likely to be traded at or before the deadline according to The Athletic...Ryan Ellis is out for the next four-six weeks with an upper-body injury...Filip Forsberg has 11 points in his last 10 games and has 22 points this season in 23 contests...Roman Josi has six assists in his last six games...Viktor Arvidsson has only two goals this season.

NEW JERSEY

Games this week

@ Washington, @ New York Islanders, @ New York Islanders vs. New York Islanders

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Devils play four games this week and three occur in four nights...Mackenzie Blackwood should pick up three starts with Aaron Dell getting one...It was not a good night for Blackwood Thursday as he was pulled after giving up four goals on only 15 shots less than four minutes into the third period...Nikita Gusev was a healthy scratch Thursday despite four points in his last six games...Nico Hischier is week-to-week with a sinus fracture and is in concussion protocol. It’s been a tough year for Hischier who suffered a broken fibula during off-season training and then tested positive for COVID-19 during his rehab...Pavel Zacha saw his 10-game points streak end on Tuesday.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

Games this week

vs. Boston, vs. New Jersey, vs. New Jersey, @ New Jersey

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Islanders play four games this week, including three games in four nights...Semyon Varlamov is off to a great start and should get three starts with Ilya Sorokin picking up one...Sorokin finally gave up a goal Thursday after two straight shutouts...He has won his last three games and has faced only 58 shots in the three games...Nick Leddy has 15 points in 23 games this season, third-best on the Islanders...Matt Martin doubled his goal count for the season Thursday with a pair of goals...Oliver Wahlstrom is producing on the second power play with a goal and five points in the last three weeks...Jean-Gabriel Pageau has eight goals in his last 11 games and nine this season.

NEW YORK RANGERS

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, @ Boston, @ Boston

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

Igor Shesterkin suffered a lower-body injury Thursday that looked serious and he needed help getting up and was unable to put any weight on his right leg...If Alexandar Georgiev is available in your fantasy pool, pick him up quickly...Chris Kreider had the hat trick Thursday as the Ragners defeated New Jersey 6-1...Kaapo Kakko is getting close to a return as he has been out since February 18 on COVID protocol...The Rangers expect Jacob Trouba to return at some point during this week as they are in the midst of a seven-game road trip...Artemi Panarin is still skating but there is no word of his return as he has been out since a report came out of Russia claiming he punched a woman 10 years ago, something everyone denies...He has 18 points in 14 games and the Rangers miss him a lot.

OTTAWA

Games this week

@ Edmonton, @ Edmonton, @ Edmonton, vs. Toronto

Tired: None

Rested: vs. Toronto (Sunday)

Notes

The Senators play four games this week as they complete a six-game road trip with a trio of games in Edmonton...Tim Stutzle was named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for February scoring three times and adding seven assists in 14 games...Drake Batherson, Stutzle’s linemate, saw his seven-game points streak end Thursday and his six-game goal scoring streak end Tuesday. He has nine goals and 18 points in 26 games and is one of the Senators building blocks for the future...Derek Stepan is out for the season after damaging his labrum in his dislocated shoulder...It has been a tough year for Stepan who is away from his family in Arizona and wanted to move back to the States. He will now get his wish of returning home.

PHILADELPHIA

Games this week

vs. Buffalo, vs. Washington, vs. Washington

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Flyers finally got everyone back from the COVID protocol list but added Joel Farabee Thursday to the list...Claude Giroux has two goals and six points in five games since returning from his bout with COVID...Carter Hart continues to be quite inconsistent this season as he has given up 11 goals in his last three games and that includes a shutout Sunday against Buffalo. He is 6-4-3 with a 3.49 GAA and a .893 save percentage...Erik Gustafsson has nine points in 15 games but has sat out the last three as a healthy scratch...Alain Vigneault picked up his 700th win in the NHL Sunday and passed Mike Babcock for eighth place Thursday with his 701st win.

PITTSBURGH

Games this week

vs. New York Rangers, @ Buffalo, @ Buffalo

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Penguins were worried when they had to place Sidney Crosby on the COVID protocol list but Crosby only missed one game and returned on Thursday, chipping in with one assist...Jason Zucker (lower body) was placed on the long-term injured reserve list retroactive to February 23...Jared McCann is seeing second line time with Evgeni Malkin and Kasperi Kapanen while Bryan Rust is back on the top line with Jake Guentzel and Crosby...Kris Letang has five goals and nine points in his last seven games after starting the season with seven assists in 14 games...Crosby, Guentzel and Rust lead the Penguins with seven goals this season as Pittsburgh has played 22 games.

SAN JOSE

Games this week

vs. St. Louis, @ Anaheim, @ Anaheim

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Sharks are led in scoring by Logan Couture with 11 goals and 19 points in 20 games...It was an interesting season debut for Joachim Blichfeld on Wednesday as he picked up 12 penalty minutes as well as a hearing from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for an illegal hit to the head on Colorado star Nathan MacKinnon for which Blichfeld received a match penalty and a two-game suspension...Tomas Hertl is starting to feel better after a few tough days with COVID-19 according to coach Bob Boughner...Timo Meier saw his three-game points streak come to an end Wednesday after he had two goals and seven points in the three contests...Erik Karlsson scored his first of the season Monday but has only five points in 16 games to date.

ST. LOUIS

Games this week

@ San Jose, vs. Vegas, vs. Vegas

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Blues have straightened the ship and have won three in a row since Jordan Binnington went crazy when pulled on Saturday against San Jose, jostling with three Shark players on his way to the tunnel...Jordan Kyrou is on a three-game points streak and has 20 points in 23 games...Oskar Sundqvist has two goals and four points in four games...David Perron has 23 points to lead the Blues...Vladimir Tarasenko should be back on the ice at some point this week if not sooner as he has missed the start of the season after undergoing off-season shoulder surgery...Congratulations to Dakota Joshua who scored in his NHL debut Monday.

TAMPA BAY

Games this week

@ Detroit @ Detroit, vs. Nashville

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

Andrei Vasilevskiy has been sensational this season as he is 14-3-1 with a 1.66 GAA and a .942 save percentage...Vasilevskiy saw his shutout streak end Thursday at 228:27 when Ryan Carpenter of the Blackhawks scored, beating the former Lightning record of 202:46 of John Grahame in the 2005-06 season. Vasilevskiy was the NHL’s first star of the week with a 3-0-0 record to go with a 0.67 GAA and a .975 save percentage as he had a pair of shutouts...The Lightning finish a six-game road trip this week in Detroit...Anthony Cirelli returned to action on February 27, a lot quicker than most thought when he suffered an upper-body injury on February 11...He has a goal and an assist in two games since his return.

TORONTO

Games this week

vs. Winnipeg, vs. Winnipeg, vs. Winnipeg, @ Ottawa

Tired: @ Ottawa (Sunday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Maple Leafs play four games with three coming in four nights...Toronto had goaltending injuries this past week and used all three at Jack Campbell and Michael Hutchinson shutout the Oilers while Frederik Andersen gave up only one goal to Edmonton on Wednesday to sweep the three-game series...Look for Andersen and Campbell to play this week after Hutchinson lost to Vancouver Thursday night...Auston Matthews leads the NHL in goals with 18 but has not found the back of the net since February 20, which has been four straight games for the center...William Nylander saw his four-game goal scoring streak end Thursday...He had been hot with five goals in the four games and has 10 goals and 20 points in 25 games.

VANCOUVER

Games this week

vs. Montreal, vs. Montreal, vs. Edmonton

Tired: None

Rested: vs. Edmonton (Saturday)

Notes

The Canucks looked great Thursday in a 3-1 win over North Division leading Toronto with Thatcher Demko making 31 saves...Demko seems to have taken over as the number one goaltender as he is 6-9-1 with a 2.93 GAA and a .911 save percentage while Braden Holtby is 4-6-1 with a 3.56 GAA and a .893 save percentage...Brock Boeser leads the Canucks with 12 goals and 25 points in 27 games...Jake Virtanen had only one goal and no assists in his first 21 games but had a pair against Toronto Thursday...Elias Pettersson missed Thursday’s game with an upper-body injury and was replaced in the lineup by Marc Michaelis who made his NHL debut.

VEGAS

Games this week

@ Minnesota, @ Minnesota, @ St. Louis, @ St. Louis

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Golden Knights play three games in four nights as part of their four-game week...Marc-Andre Fleury has been sensational this season and should get at least two starts and likely three with Robin Lehner being on the sidelines...Logan Thompson is the backup at this time but Oscar Dansk could be recalled if needed if Lehner cannot go...William Karlsson has been heating up of late as he has three goals and eight points in his last six games...He has 16 points including six goals in 19 games to date...Mark Stone assisted on all five Vegas goals Monday and had the primary assist on all five, becoming the first player to do so since Artemi Panarin did so on December 8, 2017 for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

WASHINGTON

Games this week

vs. New Jersey, @ Philadelphia, @ Philadelphia

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Capitals finally got Ilya Samsonov back on the weekend as defeated New Jersey on Sunday but Vitek Vanecek was back in net Wednesday and stopped 18-of-19 shots in a shootout win over Boston...Look for both goaltenders to share the net the rest of the way unless one or the other gets very hot or very cold...Alex Ovechkin scored Sunday for the second time in nine games but was unable to find the back of the net Wednesday. He has only seven goals this season and was fined $5,000 for spearing Boston agitator Trent Frederic Wednesday...Evgeny Kuznetsov returned to the Washington lineup Wednesday after missing a pair of games with an upper-body injury...Nicklas Backstrom leads the Capitals with 10 goals and 25 points in 22 games.

WINNIPEG

Games this week

@ Toronto, @ Toronto, @ Toronto

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Jets play the Maple Leafs all three games this week and they trail Toronto for first place by seven points heading into action on March 5...Connor Hellebuyck will likely play all three games although Laurent Brossoit has been strong this season at 4-1-0 with a 2.19 GAA and a .936 save percentage...Paul Stastny and Pierre-Luc Dubois switched spots in the lineup as Stastny moved to the first line on the wing with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler while Dubois is centering Kyle Connor and Nikolaj Ehlers, giving Winnipeg an extremely strong top-two lines...Stastny had a couple of goals Thursday in a 4-3 overtime win over Montreal with Dubois scoring the OT winner.