The Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers hope that playing at home will finally turn into an advantage.
Each team enters Sunday with a losing mark in its own building. The Red Wings take a 5-7-6 record at Joe Louis Arena into their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Rangers are 5-9-1 at Madison Square Garden as they prepare for a visit from the Calgary Flames, including an 0-3-1 record through the first four games of a franchise-record nine-game homestand.
Here's a look at all of the action Sunday:
Philadelphia Flyers at Washington Capitals -- The low point of the Flyers' early-season struggles came when these teams met Nov. 1, when the Capitals routed Philadelphia 7-0 at Wells Fargo Center. Since then, the Flyers have played well enough to get back into the playoff race in the Metropolitan Division. This is the opener of a home-and-home series that concludes Tuesday night in Philadelphia. The Capitals are back at Verizon Center after losing 3-2 to the Florida Panthers in a 10-round shootout on Friday night.
Tampa Bay Lightning at Detroit Red Wings -- It took two decades, but the Lightning have finally beaten the Red Wings in back-to-back games. Tampa Bay has won both times the teams have played this season -- the first in overtime, the second in a shootout. But the Lightning continue to struggle on the road without injured star Steven Stamkos; Tampa Bay has dropped seven in a row away from home after a 3-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Friday. Detroit's home woes continued Saturday when the Red Wings lost 4-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Florida Panthers at Montreal Canadiens -- The Panthers leave the warmth of Florida for a Canadian winter this week; they begin a four-game swing through Canada with their first visit of the season to Bell Centre. They won't have starting goaltender Tim Thomas, who's out with a groin injury, but backup Scott Clemmensen survived a 10-round shootout to beat Washington on Friday. The Canadiens got a taste of winter Saturday on Long Island, where they delighted busloads of their fans who turned out in a snowstorm to see a 1-0 overtime victory against the New York Islanders.
Calgary Flames at New York Rangers -- The Flames have scored four goals in their past two games, both 2-1 victories in overtime, and Paul Byron has been involved in three of them. He set up Chris Butler's OT winner on Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes before tying the game and setting up Matt Stajan game-winner in overtime against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault will go with Henrik Lundqvist in goal three nights after he hooked him less than 15 minutes into what became a 4-2 home loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Los Angeles Kings at Chicago Blackhawks -- Two of the elite teams in the Western Conference meet for the first time since the Blackhawks ended the Kings' hopes for a Stanley Cup repeat last spring. Chicago's NHL-leading offense figures to be tested by a Kings team that has gone 18 games without allowing more than two goals and has won six in a row after beating the Ottawa Senators 5-2 on Saturday. After rolling up 19 goals during a three-game winning streak, the Blackhawks got a taste of their own medicine when they were routed 7-3 on the road by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night. Patrick Kane, whose 44 points are two behind League scoring leader Sidney Crosby of the Penguins, scored two goals in the loss.
Edmonton Oilers at Anaheim Ducks -- A visit to Southern California doesn't figure to be a tonic for the Oilers, who've dropped their previous two games and were beaten 4-0 by the Vancouver Canucks on Friday night in the opener of a four-game road trip. Anaheim is the only team in the League that hasn't lost a home game in regulation. The Ducks are 12-0-2 at Honda Center, and they have had a three-day break after beating the Minnesota Wild 2-1 on Wednesday for their fourth consecutive victory. Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf has at least a point in each of the Ducks' past 13 games; his personal scoring streak is 15 games, but he missed three games in early November due to injuries.