There won't be nearly as much on the line this time when the Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils get together Friday at Prudential Center.
The Kings and Devils haven't seen each other since June 11, 2012, when the Kings won the first Stanley Cup in franchise history by beating the Devils 6-1 in Game 6 of the Final. The hero of that series, L.A. goaltender Jonathan Quick, will be back on the West Coast for this one; he's sidelined with a groin strain sustained Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres.
Here's a complete look at a busy Friday in the NHL:
Toronto Maple Leafs at Buffalo Sabres -- Ted Nolan makes his debut as interim coach for Buffalo in the opener of a home-and-home series. Nolan was hired earlier this week when Ron Rolston was let go, and Pat LaFontaine was named director of hockey operations following the firing of general manager Darcy Regier. The Sabres haven't played since beating the Kings 3-2 in a shootout Tuesday for their first home win of the season. The Maple Leafs continue to put up points despite being outshot badly almost every night. They lost 2-1 in a shootout to the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday despite being outshot 34-23; for the season they're being outshot by 9.9 shots per game.
Los Angeles Kings at New Jersey Devils -- The Kings come to New Jersey on a high after rallying for three third-period goals to beat the New York Islanders 3-2 on Thursday. Ben Scrivens, who figures to step in as the starter with Quick sidelined, made 23 saves and the Kings got goals by Slava Voynov, Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli in the win. The Devils likely will start Cory Schneider in goal, even though Martin Brodeur is riding a 5-1-0 streak in which he has a 1.17 goals-against average and two shutouts.
Nashville Predators at Pittsburgh Penguins -- This is the end of the road for the Predators; more precisely, it's the end of a seven-game, 17-day trip that started with Nashville going 2-0-1 but has bottomed out with three losses in which the Predators have been outscored 13-1. The Penguins are having troubles of their own. They've dropped three in a row and have scored just once in each game. With a game Saturday in New Jersey, the Penguins could opt to start rookie Jeff Zatkoff in goal for this one.
Anaheim Ducks at Carolina Hurricanes -- The Ducks are glad to be out of Florida, where they dropped the first two games of a four-game trip and were hammered 5-1 by the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday. They've also been battling a flu bug that has hit the team hard. Carolina, on the other hand, is riding a 3-0-1 streak, including a 2-1 victory against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, and is getting healthier. The Hurricanes could have starting goaltender Cam Ward, top-six forward Jeff Skinner and defenseman Tim Gleason back soon.
Montreal Canadiens at Columbus Blue Jackets -- The Canadiens start a back-to-back set with their first visit to Nationwide Arena since Nov. 2, 2010. Peter Budaj will get the start in goal as Montreal tries to bounce back after a 2-1 shootout loss to Tampa Bay on Tuesday. Columbus is playing the second half of a back-to-back; the Blue Jackets are back home after a 3-2 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins on Thursday and hit the road after this one for five games in Canada.
Boston Bruins at Ottawa Senators -- Maybe a new name for their building will help the Senators beat Boston in Ottawa. The Bruins have won their past 11 visits to the building formerly known as Scotiabank Place and now known as Canadian Tire Centre. Boston comes to town following a 3-2 overtime victory against Columbus on Thursday and is expected to start Tuukka Rask in goal after Chad Johnson played against the Blue Jackets. The Senators were riding a 3-0-2 streak until a 5-0 loss at home to the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.
Washington Capitals at Detroit Red Wings -- Mike Green made the trip to Detroit with the Capitals, but there's still no decision as to whether Washington's best offensive defenseman will be able to play due to a lower-body injury. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said he loves to watch the Capitals score against other teams but doesn't want to see it happen against his club. Detroit is trying to end a six-game winless streak at Joe Louis Arena (0-1-5).
Florida Panthers at Minnesota Wild -- The Panthers start a five-game road trip with a stop in St. Paul, where the Wild would like to avenge a 2-1 shootout loss in South Florida last month. Florida traded forward Kris Versteeg back to the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday for a pair of prospects, forward Jimmy Hayes and defenseman Dylan Olsen. The Wild has gone to shootouts in their past three games and won two of them, including a 2-1 defeat of Toronto on Wednesday. Josh Harding leads the NHL with a 1.21 goals-against average.
Philadelphia Flyers at Winnipeg Jets -- The Flyers started 4-10-1 but have won three in a row and are coming off road wins this week against the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins in which they allowed a total of one goal. The Jets also have won three in a row, though the past two have come in shootouts, against the San Jose Sharks and the Red Wings, to get back to the .500 mark (9-9-2). Winnipeg forward Bryan Little has 11 goals in 20 games; he had seven all last season.
San Jose Sharks at Edmonton Oilers -- The Sharks stole two points Thursday, tying the game with 1:05 left in regulation and scoring the winner with 2:22 left in overtime to beat the Vancouver Canucks 2-1. Dan Boyle's misfire wound up being slammed into the net by Tomas Hertl for the tying goal, and Boyle himself did the honors for the game-winner. The Oilers would be happy with a goal from anyone at Rexall Place, where they've been blanked in each of their past three games, including a 3-0 loss to the Dallas Stars on Wednesday.