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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final

Flyers-Leafs, Sharks-Canucks highlight HNIC

Saturday, 01.10.2009 / 12:00 PM / Game-Day Skate

By Adam Schwartz - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Flyers host the Maple Leafs (7 p.m. ET, CBC, NHLN-US) and the Sharks visit Mats Sundin and the Canucks (10 p.m. ET, CBC, NHLN-US) in a Hockey Night in Canada doubleheader that leads Saturday night's nine-game slate.

In addition to the Philadelphia-Toronto game, four early-evening games feature the Canadiens hosting the Capitals (7 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS); the Rangers playing their second game in two nights when they face the Senators (7 p.m. ET, CBC); the Red Wings concluding a three-game homestand when they play the Sabres, and the Wild ending a four-game road trip in Columbus.

Later, the Blackhawks travel to Nashville; the Coyotes clash with the Stars in a Pacific Division showdown; and the Devils begin a season-long five-game road trip in Los Angeles.   

Here's what to keep an eye out for:

* Canadiens right wing Alex Kovalev, who was voted as a starter for the Eastern Conference at the All-Star Game, is tied for the team lead with 31 points. Kovalev, who scored 35 goals in 82 games last season, has just 11 in 40 games this season, putting him on pace for 22.

* Ottawa right wing Daniel Alfredsson, who plays on a line with Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley, is the only one of the three without a minus rating. Alfredsson is second on the team in scoring with 36 points -- Heatley has 1 more point than him and Spezza has 3 fewer points than him -- and has 7 of his 11 goals at home.

* Toronto left wing Lee Stempniak, who had 10 assists and 13 points in 14 games with the Blues before being traded to the Leafs for Carlo Colaiacovo and Alex Steen, has just 5 assists and 8 points in 21 games with Toronto. Stempniak, who played for Toronto GM Brian Burke at the 2007 World Championship, has just 3 assists and 5 points in his last 17 games.

* The Flyers, who have won three of their last five games, have the best home power play in the League at 36.5 percent. Philadelphia, which leads the League with 485 road hits, is just 25th with 332 home hits.

* Detroit center Pavel Datsyuk, who leads the Central Division and is tied for sixth in the League with 47 points, has 22 points in his last 12 games. Datsyuk, who is just 2 goals shy of his fifth consecutive 20-goal season, is tied for third in the division and leads the team with a plus-16 rating.

* Wild right wing Cal Clutterbuck, who averages just 11:01 of ice time, leads the Northwest Division with 137 hits. Clutterbuck, who is not known for his scoring touch, scored 4 goals before recording an assist in the NHL, but has his 2 assists this season in the last four games.

* Chicago left wing Martin Havlat, who played just 109 games total in the previous three seasons, has played every one of the Blackhawks' 38 games this season. A four-time 20-goal scorer, Havlat has 11 goals in 38 games, putting him on pace for 23. 

* Predators right wing J.P. Dumont, who leads the team in assists by eight, has just 3 assists against divisional opponents. Dumont, who had an assist against Chicago in the prior meeting between the two teams this season, played a season-low 12:38 Thursday in the Predators' 5-3 win against the Penguins.

* The Stars are last in the Pacific Division with 39 points, but have won four of their last seven games and scored more than 3 goals three times during that span. Dallas, which has allowed the most goals in the division with 133, has an 8-9-2 record when being outshot.

* The Coyotes, who haven't made the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2002 and haven't won a playoff series since 1987, when they where the Winnipeg Jets, entered the weekend seventh in the Western Conference with 45 points.

* New Jersey center John Madden, who has eight straight 10-goal seasons, has just 4 goals in 34 games, putting him on pace for just eight. Madden, who usually plays with Jay Pandolfo and Mike Rupp, has just 1 goal in his last 28 games.

* Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, who is playing in the YoungStars game in Montreal, leads rookies with an average ice time of 23:54 per game. Doughty is third among rookie defensemen with 12 points, but has just 1 point in his last 11 games.

Contact Adam Schwartz at aschwartz@nhl.com.

I've been getting frustrated lately, and the only thing keeping me sane was the team winning and other people stepping up and scoring. Then you just kind of let it go and realize you can end the series with one shot, that frustration goes away for a brief moment, and that's what happened.

— Montreal forward Max Pacioretty after scoring the series winner in Game 4 -- his first career playoff goal -- to eliminate the Lightning and send the Canadiens into the second round