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Best in the West square off

Friday, 01.07.2011 / 8:40 PM / Schedule

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Best in the West square off
The Vancouver Canucks are in the unaccustomed position of being atop the overall regular-season standings -- the first time that's happened in seven years. The Detroit Red Wings would like nothing more than to replace them.

The top two teams in the West get together for the third time this season when the Wings come to Rogers Arena for a 10 p.m. ET faceoff. Both teams have won at home, with the Canucks rallying for a 6-4 victory on Nov. 6 and the Wings winning 5-4 in overtime at home on Dec. 22.

The game, one of 11 on Saturday's schedule, can be seen in Canada as the second half of Hockey Night in Canada's weekly doubleheader.

Saturday's action starts at 1 p.m. ET when the New Jersey Devils visit Philadelphia in the back end of a home-and-home series. The Flyers won 4-2 at New Jersey on Thursday night. Two hours later, the New York Islanders continue a Western trip with a stop at Colorado. The Isles lost 2-1 at Edmonton on Thursday while the Avs were losing 2-0 at home to Phoenix.

Four games get under way at 7 p.m. ET. In a showdown for first place in the Northeast Division, Montreal hosts Boston at the Bell Centre in a game that can be seen on CBC and RDS in Canada and on the NHL Network in the United States. The Habs are coming off a 2-1 shootout win against Pittsburgh on Thursday, the same night the Bruins lost 3-1 at home to Minnesota.

Also at 7, Minnesota moves on to Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay visits Ottawa and Florida travels to Washington, where the Caps have been off since Tuesday's 1-0 overtime loss to the Lightning.

Three more games get under way at 8. The New York Rangers visit St. Louis, where the Blues will try to rebound from Thursday's 6-5 shootout loss to Toronto; Buffalo concludes a road trip with a stop in Phoenix and Nashville goes for a sweep of its three-game swing through California with a visit to San Jose. The Sharks are coming off a 3-0 loss to the Sabres on Thursday.

In the late game, Columbus also concludes a week out West with a stop in Los Angeles. The Kings have lost the first four games of their eight-game homestand, including a 5-2 loss to Nashville on Thursday.
Quote of the Day

There's no discouragement in that room. There's no issues there at all to be honest with you. It's more about, 'Hey, it's opportunities for players.' And if we become that bad of a team because of one player, it's not a real good sign for our hockey club. So this is part of sports. It's part of hockey.

— Bruins coach Claude Julien on the loss of Zdeno Chara to injury
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