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HNIC doubleheader features Crosby, Sundin

Saturday, 01.31.2009 / 10:00 AM / Game-Day Skate

By Adam Schwartz - NHL.com Staff Writer

Another Saturday means another Hockey Night in Canada doubleheader as the Penguins are in Toronto (7 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS, NHLN-US) for the first time this season, and then the struggling Canucks try to right the ship against the Wild (10 p.m. ET, CBC, NHLN-US) in two of eight games Saturday night after four matinees.

The Panthers continue their playoff push against the Islanders; the Stars try to continue turning around their season against the Blue Jackets; the Hurricanes host the Thrashers in a Southeast Division matchup; the Flyers make a rare trip to St. Louis; the Sabres play their fifth game in a six-game road trip against the Coyotes; and the Sharks face the Blackhawks.

Here's what to keep an eye on:

* The Maple Leafs, who are fourth in the Northeast Division with 44 points, are 3-8 in overtime and shootouts. Toronto, which has scored just 34 of their 142 goals in the first period, is 5-8-3 when being outshot.

* Panthers center Michael Frolik, who played in the YoungStars Game during All-Star Weekend, leads Southeast Division rookies with 24 points. Frolik, who averages 14:28 of ice time per game, has 2 goals and 4 points in his last two games.

* Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo, who is fourth on the team with 9 goals, has 4 goals in his last three games, including the game-winning goal Thursday in the Islanders' 5-4 win against the Thrashers. It was his first NHL game-winner, and also was part of his first two-goal game at the NHL level.

* Dallas left wing Loui Eriksson, who leads the team in goals by nine, is second in the Pacific Division with 23 goals. Eriksson, who had a hat trick in his last game against Columbus, is scoreless in nine other games against the Blue Jackets.

* Thrashers defenseman Ron Hainsey, who leads the team with an average ice time of 22:57 per game, is a team-worst minus-17. Hainsey, who signed a five-year contract with Atlanta last summer, leads the team's defensemen with 25 points.

* Tim Gleason leads Carolina defensemen with 102 hits. Gleason, who was a fan of Steve Yzerman and the Red Wings growing up, averages the second-most shorthanded ice time on the team at 2:51 per game.

* Blues center Jay McClement, who is a plus-1 in 19 St. Louis wins, is a minus-11 in 28 losses. McClement, who never has scored 10 goals in a season, has won 179 more faceoffs than any teammate.

* Buffalo left wing Clarke MacArthur, who prefers his chicken wings mild, had his second multiple-point game of his season Tuesday in Buffalo's 10-2 victory against the Oilers. MacArthur, who only has 3 of his 12 goals on the road this season, has 8 points in 13 Saturday games.

* Phoenix left wing Mikkel Boedker, who has 4 points in his last five games, is second among Pacific Division rookies with 22 points. Boedker, one of four Danish players currently in the NHL, played in the Memorial Cup final with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League last season.

 
* Canucks center Henrik Sedin, who leads his team in assists by 11, has 3 assists and 4 points in his last three games. Sedin, who has 18 of his 37 assists at home this season, has 28 assists and 33 points in 47 career games against the Wild.

* The Blackhawks, who have lost four of their last six games, are 16-3-3 when scoring first, but are 8-15-5 when the opposition scores first. Chicago, which hasn't made the playoffs in the last five seasons, is in fourth place in the Western Conference with 60 points.

* San Jose defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who would like to be an engineer if he wasn't in hockey, leads the team with 71 blocked shots. Vlasic, whose plus-19 rating is the best among Sharks defensemen, leads the team with an average ice time of 24:22 per game.

* The Sharks, who lead the League with 77 points, have played just four games that haven't been decided in regulation and have three wins in those games. San Jose, which is 24-0-2 entering the third period with a lead, is 7-4-2 when trailing after the first period.

Contact Adam Schwartz at aschwartz@nhl.com.
Quote of the Day

We think that Randy is a very good coach. Our players think that Randy is a very good coach. We think that he's going to get the most out of this group. With the addition of the two assistants, a bit of a different dynamic, we're very comfortable that this is a quality coaching staff that's going to maximize the potential of this team.

— Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis on head coach Randy Carlyle and his staff