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Daily Primer Oct. 10: Renewing a rivalry

by Brian Compton

The Detroit Red Wings and Phoenix Coyotes are in different conferences now, but they'll have a chance to renew acquaintances Thursday night.

The Coyotes continue their five-game road trip in Detroit, where they'll face the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena (NHLN-US, FSN-A, FSN-D, 7:30 p.m. ET). Detroit and Phoenix were Western Conference foes through last season, but the Red Wings moved to the Eastern Conference when the League realigned during the offseason.

Here's a quick look at all of Thursday's action:

Colorado Avalanche at Boston Bruins - Under the guidance of new coach Patrick Roy, the Avalanche have won their first three games of the season. Perhaps Roy has been a positive influence on Semyon Varlamov? Colorado's goaltender has a 1.00 goals-against average and .967 save percentage out of the gate. Boston is also undefeated, having reeled off back-to-back wins against the Tampa Bay Lightning and Detroit Red Wings. Power forward Milan Lucic has a goal and two assists.

Columbus Blue Jackets at Buffalo Sabres - Columbus returns to the ice for the first time since rallying for a 3-2 shootout victory against the New York Islanders last Saturday. The Blue Jackets trailed 2-0 in the third period before getting goals from Mark Letestu and Nick Foligno. Buffalo is still seeking its first win of the season. The Sabres are off to an 0-3-1 start and have scored four goals in those four games.

Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals- The Hurricanes are looking to bounce back from a 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, their first regulation loss of the season. Veteran forward Radek Dvorak is off to a good start for Carolina (two goals in three games), along with Jeff Skinner (three assists). Washington is playing for the first time since last Saturday, when it suffered a 2-1 loss to the host Dallas Stars. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has six points (four goals, two assists) in three games.

Phoenix Coyotes at Detroit Red Wings - Coyotes coach Dave Tippett was none too pleased after what transpired Tuesday night, and rightfully so. In the second of its five-game road trip, Phoenix was blown out in a 6-1 loss to the New York Islanders. Mike Smith was pulled after the second period, having allowed five goals on 20 shots. Detroit came out of the gate with back-to-back victories before dropping a 4-1 decision to the Boston Bruins last Saturday. Henrik Zetterberg leads the way for the Red Wings with two goals and an assist.

Florida Panthers at Tampa Bay Lightning - The two teams from the Sunshine State go head-to-head for the first time this season at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Florida is aiming to avoid a three-game losing streak after Tuesday's 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. The Panthers will likely be without goalie Tim Thomas, who pulled his groin at Philadelphia. Tampa Bay has won two of its first three games. The Lightning made it two in a row when Alex Killorn scored 1:50 into overtime in a 3-2 win at Buffalo on Tuesday.

Toronto Maple Leafs at Nashville Predators - Toronto suffered its first loss of the season Tuesday after storming out of the gate with three straight victories. Jonathan Bernier made 31 saves, but the Maple Leafs couldn't muster enough offense in a 2-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche at Air Canada Centre. Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul (calf, day-to-day) made the trip with the team. He scored Toronto's lone goal Tuesday prior to the injury. The Predators picked up their first win (1-2-0) Tuesday, a 3-2 victory in their home opener against the Minnesota Wild. Thursday is the second of a five-game homestand for Nashville.

Winnipeg Jets at Minnesota Wild - Winnipeg failed to secure what would have been its third straight win Sunday, dropping a 3-2 decision to the Anaheim Ducks at MTS Centre. Defensemen Tobias Enstrom and Dustin Byfuglien have four assists apiece and Andrew Ladd, Devin Setoguchi, Bryan Little and Michael Frolik all have two goals and an assist. Minnesota is winless through three games, but has earned two points in the standings with a shootout loss against Los Angeles and an overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Zach Parise has three goals in as many games.

Montreal Canadiens at Edmonton Oilers - Montreal continues its journey through Western Canada after suffering a 3-2 loss to the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday. The Canadiens nearly rallied from a 3-0 deficit, thanks to goals from P.K. Subban and Lars Eller, but couldn't find the equalizer to force overtime. Edmonton (1-2-0) earned its first win of the season for new coach Dallas Eakins on Monday, when the Oilers rallied for a wild 5-4 shootout victory against the New Jersey Devils.

San Jose Sharks at Vancouver Canucks - San Jose heads to Rogers Arena after crushing the New York Rangers in a 9-2 win at SAP Center at San Jose on Tuesday. Rookie forward Tomas Hertl continued his remarkable start with four goals, increasing his total to six in three games. Vancouver was on the winning end of the dramatic matchup between goaltenders Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider on Tuesday. Mike Santorelli scored his third goal of the season at 2:18 of overtime, lifting the Canucks to a 3-2 victory against the New Jersey Devils.

New York Rangers at Anaheim Ducks - The Rangers will try to pick up the pieces after being blown out Tuesday in a 9-2 loss at San Jose. New York may have to do so without power forward Rick Nash, who missed the final two periods Tuesday after being hit in the head by Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart (who received a three-game suspension Wednesday). The Rangers have yet to provide an update on Nash's condition. Anaheim will be seeking its third straight win Thursday. The Ducks won two games last weekend, beating Minnesota and Winnipeg.

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