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Canucks host Sharks in battle of division leaders

NHL.com @NHL
Despite Tuesday's loss to the New York Islanders, the Vancouver Canucks can pull within five points of the Western Conference lead as part of the NHL's 11-game schedule on Thursday night.

The Canucks (43-24-3), who suffered a 5-2 loss to the Isles at GM Place, will host the conference-leading San Jose Sharks at 10 p.m. ET. The Sharks are just 3-3-1 since the Olympic break, but are 21-10-2 on the road this season. Thursday's showdown can be seen on TSN in Canada.

Thursday's action gets under way with four games at 7 p.m. ET. In a game that can be seen on the NHL Network in the U.S., the Pittsburgh Penguins look to get back on track following Wednesday's 5-2 loss at New Jersey when they visit the Boston Bruins. Meanwhile, the New York Rangers host the St. Louis Blues, while Washington visits Carolina and Atlanta takes on Ottawa at Philips Arena (RDS in Canada).

Three more games begin at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Tampa Bay Lightning, who have lost two straight and have fallen six points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, will host the Buffalo Sabres. Also, the New Jersey Devils battle the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre (TSN in Canada), while Phoenix takes its six-game winning streak to Florida. The Coyotes are also only five points behind the Sharks.

Two contests start in the 8 o'clock hour -- the Nashville Predators host the Minnesota Wild at 8 p.m. ET in a battle of teams riding three-game winning streaks, and the Philadelphia Flyers face the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center at 8:30.

In the final game of the night, the Chicago Blackhawks face the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center at 10:30 p.m. ET. The Kings have won only four of their last 10 games (4-4-2) and have been off since a 3-2 home loss to Nashville on Sunday. Chicago lost 4-2 at Anaheim on Wednesday.
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