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Boston's visit to Buffalo highlights seven-game schedule

by Adam Schwartz
The Boston Bruins will visit the Buffalo Sabres in a Northeast Division showdown.
Monday is going to be a busy night in the NHL with seven games scheduled.

There is a trio of 7 p.m. starts. The Boston Bruins will visit the Buffalo Sabres in a Northeast Division showdown; the New Jersey Devils visit Washington to play the Capitals for the second time in four days and the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks will travel to Nationwide Arena to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Later, the surging Toronto Maple Leafs host the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Nashville Predators play rival Detroit and Edmonton pays a visit to rival Dallas.

In the late game, Roberto Luongo will look to get the Canucks back on track after losing in a shootout to Pittsburgh on Saturday night. Vancouver faces the Los Angeles Kings.

Here’s what to look for:

* When Bruins goalie Tim Thomas went down with a lower-body injury last Thursday, the Bruins sought outside help and traded minor-leaguer Nate DiCasmirro and a 2009 fifth-round draft pick to Phoenix for goalie Alex Auld. Playing for his fourth club in three seasons, Auld is looking to make a name for himself in Boston. He got off to a good start with the Bruins last Saturday when he let in just one goal on 26 shots and backstopped Boston to a 2-1 victory against the Maple Leafs.

* Buffalo will look to continue its offensive ways against the Bruins on Monday night after it routed the San Jose Sharks 7-1 last Saturday night.

* New Jersey’s nine-game winning streak was ended Sunday night when the New York Rangers shut the Devils out in 1-0 overtime victory. Brendan Shanahan’s one-timer proved to be the difference.

* There is a strong possibility backup goalie Kevin Weekes will start in net for the Devils. Martin Brodeur has started the Devils’ last 12 contests.

* Washington will be looking for revenge on the Devils who beat them 3-2 Friday in New Jersey.

* The Anaheim Ducks will fly east to Columbus to take on the improved Blue Jackets, who have won two of their last three.

* Monday night’s contest will be one of only nine games the Ducks play in the Eastern time zone during the regular season.

* The Maple Leafs, who have won four of their last five, will look to continue their winning ways when Tampa Bay visits the Air Canada Centre. With a win, Toronto would move into a four-way tie with the Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens, all idle Monday night, for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

* Tampa Bay has earned at least one point in each of its last four games.

* Detroit, winners of its last six, will look to increase its nine-point lead over the second-place Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference when the Wings fly into Nashville.

* The Edmonton Oilers will have a chance to climb out of the Northwest Division cellar when they face off in Dallas. A win would move the Oilers into a tie with idle Calgary Flames for the fourth spot in the Northwest.

* Dallas is eyeing sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division, where the Stars and the San Jose Sharks are tied for the division lead with 34 points each.

* The Canucks will try to increase their one-point Northwest Division lead when they face the Kings at Staples Center. The Canucks have won five of their last seven games.

* Despite an inspiring performance by goalie Roberto Luongo last Saturday night, the Canucks fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a shootout during Sidney Crosby’s first visit to Vancouver.

* The Kings will be trying to get out of last place in the Pacific Division; a victory would allow Los Angeles to tie Phoenix Coyotes for fourth place in the division.

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