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Second half gets under way with 12 games Tuesday

Monday, 01.31.2011 / 9:16 PM / Schedule

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Second half gets under way with 12 games Tuesday
After a highly-entertaining All-Star weekend, the NHL resumes its regular-season schedule Tuesday night with all but six teams back in action.
After a highly-entertaining All-Star weekend in Raleigh, N.C., the NHL resumes its regular-season schedule Tuesday night with all but six teams back in action. The Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues, originally scheduled to play at Scottrade Center, were postponed due to a major storm in the Midwest.

VERSUS, which televised the All-Star Game, gets right back in the saddle as it televises the showdown featuring the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins from Madison Square Garden (the game, which begins at 7:30 p.m. ET) can also be seen on TSN2 in Canada). The Pens will still be without Sidney Crosby, who was just cleared to resume light workouts after missing most of January with a concussion. New York, however, will have Ryan Callahan back in the lineup. The American Olympian hasn't played since suffering a fractured hand on Dec. 15.
 
Canadian fans will also be treated to the Montreal Canadiens-Washington Capitals match from the Verizon Center at 7:30 p.m. ET (TSN, RDS). Alexander Ovechkin, who put on a show at the skills competition Saturday night, enters averaging a point per game (19 goals, 32 assists in 51 games). The Caps, however, trail the Tampa Bay Lightning by four points in the Southeast Division. Montreal is also four points back in its division, as Boston sits atop the Northeast with 63 points.

Five games get under way at 7 p.m. ET. The Toronto Maple Leafs, who have lost three in a row, will host the Florida Panthers. Peter DeBoer's club went .500 prior to the break (22-22-5), but sits eight points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The New Jersey Devils, who are threatening to climb out of the cellar in the East, will battle the Ottawa Senators at the Prudential Center. New Jersey has turned things around under Jacques Lemaire, as the Devils are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games and are just two points behind the New York Islanders.

The Carolina Hurricanes, who did a tremendous job of hosting this weekend's festivities, will host the Bruins at RBC Center. Paul Maurice's club is seeking its third straight win and is just one point behind Atlanta for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Chicago continues to fight for a playoff berth in the Western Conference as it visits the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. Just eight months after winning their first Stanley Cup since 1961, the Blackhawks (26-20-4) reside in a three-way tie for seventh place in the conference.

The Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning, who skated to a wild 8-7 decision at the Wells Fargo Center back on Nov. 18, will face each other Tuesday night at the St. Pete Times Forum at 7:30 p.m. ET. Superstar center Steven Stamkos had three goals and two assists in the victory.

Three more games get under way in the 8 o'clock hour -- the Nashville Predators, who are 10 games above the .500 mark at 27-17-6, will host the Calgary Flames at Bridgestone Arena at 8 p.m. ET. Calgary has earned points in nine of its last 10 games (6-1-3) and has pulled within two points of a playoff spot in the West.

Also at 8 p.m. ET, the Los Angeles Kings face the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center. The Kings have won three in a row and, like their opponent Tuesday night, are just one point out of playoff position.

Thirty minutes later, two of the top teams in the West go head to head as the Dallas Stars host the Vancouver Canucks at the American Airlines Center. The Canucks, who currently possess the No. 1 seed in the conference, are 14-7-4 on the road this season. Dallas, meanwhile, has built a five-point lead in the Pacific Division.

VERSUS will also broadcast the final game of the night, which will take place in San Jose as the Sharks host the Phoenix Coyotes at HP Pavilion. The Coyotes, who racked up 50 wins last season, currently hold on to the sixth seed in the West. San Jose, which reached the Western Conference Finals last May, are a part of that aforementioned three-way tie for seventh place.
Quote of the Day

It's a little different but it feels amazing. A new chapter in my life and I'm excited. It's been amazing. Better than I expected. The weather is great, the place is just amazing. I can't say enough good things about it. I'm glad to get the season going.

— Ryan Kesler on his transition to the Anaheim Ducks