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Here’s a look at the best matchups in the NHL this week.
Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 7:00 p.m. ET
The Boston Bruins (31-10-12, 74 points) and the Chicago Blackhawks (25-21-6, 56 points) may have started out on different trajectories this season, but after a solid mid-season climb, Chicago finds itself just three points out of a playoff spot with a couple of games in hand. This contest will prove crucial to the Hawks’ playoff chances, while the Bruins continue to try and fend off the Lightning at the top of the Atlantic.
Friday, Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m. ET
It’s been a down year for the Minnesota Wild (23-22-6, 52 points) but the Dallas Stars (29-18-4, 62 points) still have lots to play for as they try to lock down one of the top three spots in the Central down the stretch. The ageless Eric Staal continues to be a revelation for the Wild, and the Stars are led by their big three of Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and Alex Radulov up front, and sophomore sensation Miro Heiskanen on the back end.
Saturday, Feb. 8 at 7:00 p.m. ET
A crucial matchup in the Metropolitan Division as the Eastern Conference-leading Washington Capitals (35-13-5, 75 points) host the Philadelphia Flyers (28-17-7, 63 points), who are battling for their playoff lives. The Flyers are one of six squads scrapping it out for four playoff spots in the East, along with the Maple Leafs, Blue Jackets, Islanders, Hurricanes and Panthers.
Saturday, Feb. 8 at 3:00 p.m. ET
If you peeked at the standings frequently over the first half of the season, you would’ve noticed the Arizona Coyotes (26-21-7, 59 points) right at the top of the Pacific Division. Heading into Saturday’s matchup with the Boston Bruins (31-10-12, 74 points), however, the Coyotes find themselves trying to hold off the upstart Blackhawks for the final wild-card spot in the West. Huge two points up for grabs for the Yotes.
Sunday, Feb. 9 at 6:00 p.m. ET
Both the Los Angeles Kings (19-29-5, 43 points) and New York Rangers (25-21-4, 54 points) are trudging their way through expectedly bad seasons, but there’s plenty of young talent on both sides with lots to play for, despite their teams’ struggles this year. LA’s Alex Iafallo, Tyler Toffoli and Anze Kopitar are always worth the price of admission, while the Rangers’ trio of Artemi Panarin, Kaapo Kakko and Adam Fox have injected life into New York’s rebuild.
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