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Daily Primer Oct. 24: Bruins try to cool off Sharks

by John Kreiser

The San Jose Sharks will be the visitors Thursday night at TD Garden, but they'll be the better-rested team when they meet the Boston Bruins (7 p.m. ET; NHLN-US).

The Sharks spent Wednesday in Boston practicing and resting, while the Bruins were on the road beating the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 -- but losing Loui Eriksson, who left in the third period after a high hit by John Scott in the third period.

At 8-0-1, the Sharks are the only team that has not lost a game in regulation. They're coming off a 1-0 shootout victory against the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night.

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

New York Rangers at Philadelphia Flyers-- One of these slumping but well-rested teams will get a boost after their first meeting of the season at Wells Fargo Center. The Rangers are 2-5-0 as they prepare for the eighth of a nine-game season-opening trip; they've been off since a 4-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. Rookie Cam Talbot will make his NHL debut; Henrik Lundqvist is out with an undisclosed injury. The Flyers have lost seven of eight and have had a week off since losing 4-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins last Thursday. They've had Vincent Lecavalier skating as a right wing during practice, though the 14-year veteran center is questionable with a lower-body injury.

Vancouver Canucks at New Jersey Devils-- The Canucks wrap up a seven-game trip with a tough back-to-back: They're in Newark on Thursday before visiting the St. Louis Blues on Friday. The Canucks were sloppy defensively against the New York Islanders on Tuesday but still left Long Island with a 5-4 overtime victory. They'll see former Canuck Cory Schneider at the other end of the ice, just as they did when the teams met earlier this month in Vancouver, a game the Canucks won 3-2 in OT. Schneider owns the Devils' only victory in their first nine games.

San Jose Sharks at Boston Bruins-- The Sharks and Bruins don't see each other very often, but two of the players who will take the ice know each other very well. San Jose called up forward Freddie Hamilton for Monday's game against the Detroit Red Wings, and he's expected to suit up against Boston -- where one of the Bruins trying to stop him will be defenseman Dougie Hamilton, Freddie's younger brother. It will also be the first game as a Shark for forward Mike Brown, who was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers earlier in the week.

Chicago Blackhawks at Tampa Bay Lightning-- The Blackhawks have six wins, but they've developed the bad habit of blowing two-goal leads in the third period. They beat the Florida Panthers 3-2 in a shootout on Tuesday in a game that marked the third time this season that Chicago went to a shootout after leading 2-0 entering the final 20 minutes. The Blackhawks have won two of those games; the one loss was to the Lightning on Oct. 5 in Chicago. Tampa Bay has been off since Saturday when it was steamrolled 5-0 by the Bruins.

Anaheim Ducks at Montreal Canadiens-- The Ducks got their eight-game trip off to a fast start by grabbing a 2-0 lead against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday, only to allow four unanswered goals in a 4-2 loss. It's a return to Montreal for Anaheim's Saku Koivu, who spent 10 seasons as the Canadiens' captain before signing with Anaheim in 2009. The Canadiens also blew a 2-0 lead on Tuesday; they allowed four straight goals to the Edmonton Oilers in a 4-3 loss.

Winnipeg Jets at Nashville Predators-- The Jets hit the road after playing eight of their first 10 games at home, including a just-concluded stretch in which they finished 2-3-1 after a 5-4 shootout loss to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. Nashville is back home after a 2-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday in which the Predators managed all of 16 shots on goal. Nashville needs to start scoring; the Predators are averaging less than two goals a game.

Carolina Hurricanes at Minnesota Wild-- The Hurricanes begin the second half of a four-game trip. They had a four-day break in the schedule after Saturday's 4-3 victory against the New York Islanders, and that might give defenseman Tim Gleason (concussion) enough time to be ready to make his season debut. The Wild don't score much, but it's not because of shot differential. The Wild are averaging 30.5 shots on goal per game while allowing a League-low 21.2. They limited Nashville to 16 in a 2-0 win on Tuesday.

Calgary Flames at Dallas Stars -- The Flames are looking for their second win on a tough five-game trip that concludes in Dallas. Perhaps the happiest Flame on the ice will be rookie Sean Monahan, who was informed Wednesday that the team won't be sending him back to juniors. The Stars expect to have starting goaltender Kari Lehtonen back in goal after he missed five games with a lower-body injury. One player who won't be in the lineup is forward Ryan Garbutt, who will begin sitting out a five-game suspension for charging Dustin Penner of the Anaheim Ducks in a 6-3 loss on Sunday.

Washington Capitals at Edmonton Oilers -- The Capitals are just 4-5-0, but they've won their past two games and are getting plenty of production from Alex Ovechkin. Ovi scored twice in a 5-4 shootout win at Winnipeg on Tuesday, giving him nine goals in Washington's first nine games. That matches the best nine-game start of his career; he also had nine in the first nine games of the 2009-10 season. Edmonton is back home after a 2-3-1 road trip that ended on an upswing with victories against the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens.

Phoenix Coyotes at Los Angeles Kings-- Would you believe that Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith has more goals than the Kings' No. 1 center? It's true -- Smith scored into an empty net on Saturday, while Anze Kopitar hasn't scored a goal through the team's first 10 games. Neither has Mike Richards or Jarret Stoll, the usual second- and third-line centers. Coach Darryl Sutter's reaction: "I can't play center. I'm not very good." The Coyotes come to L.A. riding a 5-0-2 streak after Tuesday's 4-2 home win against Calgary, which had beaten the Kings 3-2 at Staples Center one night earlier.

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