A rare meeting between Original Six teams highlights what should be an exciting 10-game NHL schedule on Thursday night.
The Chicago Blackhawks
, who sit atop the Central Division with 63 points, visit the Boston Bruins
at TD Garden at 7 p.m. ET. Boston (22-13-7) has earned points in seven of its last 10 games and resides in second place in the Northeast Division.
Two other games also begin at 7 p.m. -- the New York Rangers
return to the ice following Wednesday's 5-2 win against the Dallas Stars
as they travel to Atlanta to take on the reeling Thrashers. John Anderson
's club is 0-6-3 in its last nine games -- including 0-5-2 on a seven-game trip that ended with a 5-2 loss at Pittsburgh on Tuesday -- and has fallen 14 points behind the Washington Capitals
in the Southeast Division. Meanwhile, the Caps (25-11-6), who promoted Alex Ovechkin
to team captain on Tuesday before beating Montreal 4-2, host the Ottawa Senators
in a game that can be seen on TSN in Canada.
Thirty minutes later, the Battle of Pennsylvania resumes in Pittsburgh as the Penguins host the Philadelphia Flyers
at Mellon Arena. The Flyers climbed over the .500 mark on Wednesday with a 6-2 win on home ice against the Toronto Maple Leafs
. This showdown can be seen on the NHL Network in the U.S. Also at 7:30, the Montreal Canadiens
host the Florida Panthers
at the Bell Centre (RDS in Canada).
The Nashville Predators
return to the ice at 8 p.m. ET as they host the Carolina Hurricanes
at the Sommet Center. The 'Canes will be without No. 1 center Eric Staal
, who lost his sister-in-law to cancer this week. Nashville is 13-8-1 at home despite Tuesday's 3-1 loss to Calgary.
At 9 p.m. ET, the Edmonton Oilers
(16-22-5), who are 1-8-1 in their last 10 games, host the Columbus Blue Jackets
at Rexall Place in a battle of reeling teams. The Blue Jackets (15-20-9) have lost 13 consecutive games on the road.
Two more games get under way at 10 p.m. ET -- the Anaheim Ducks
look for their second straight win as they battle the St. Louis Blues
at the Honda Center, while the Vancouver Canucks
look to make it four in a row against the Phoenix Coyotes
(26-14-4) at GM Place.
In the final game of the night, the Los Angeles Kings
go for the fourth straight win as they host the Detroit Red Wings
(21-15-6) at the Staples Center. Mike Babcock's club, which has been ravaged by injuries this season, is just five points behind Nashville for second place in the Central Division despite losing 4-1 at Anaheim on Tuesday. The Kings come off a 6-2 win at San Jose on Monday.