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NHL On Tap: Canadiens coach set for debut against Jets

Kane going for 400th NHL goal with Blackhawks, Tkachuk reunion highlight 10-game schedule @NHLdotcom

Welcome to the NHL On Tap. Three writers will share what they are most looking forward to on the schedule each day. Today, their choices from the 10 games Thursday.

First game for Canadiens coach 

The Montreal Canadiens visit the Winnipeg Jets (8 p.m. ET; TSN3, TSN2, RDS, NHL.TV) in their first game after Claude Julien was fired as coach and replaced by assistant Dominique Ducharme on Wednesday. Montreal was 1-3-2 prior to the coaching change after starting 8-2-2 and is hoping for better goaltending from Carey Price, who is 5-3-3 with a 2.95 goals-against average and an .893 save percentage in 11 games, well below his NHL career average (.917). The Jets play their first game since Sunday winners of consecutive games and third in the Scotia North Division, one point ahead of the Canadiens. Forward Pierre-Luc Dubois, traded to Winnipeg by the Columbus Blue Jackets on Jan. 23, returned from a lower-body injury Sunday and had his best game of the season, scoring three points (two goals, one assist), including the overtime goal, in a 4-3 win against the Vancouver Canucks. -- Pete Jensen, senior fantasy editor 

Shooting for 400

Patrick Kane is two goals from becoming the 100th NHL player to score 400 goals and can get there when the Chicago Blackhawks visit the Columbus Blue Jackets (7 p.m. ET; FS-O, NBCSCH, NHL.TV). Kane scored his 398th NHL goal and had three assists in a 6-5 shootout win against the Blue Jackets on Tuesday. He has scored 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in five games against Columbus this season, 33 points (10 goals, 23 assists) in his past 19 against them, and 67 points (22 goals, 45 assists) in 51 games, his most against any NHL opponent. Kane has scored seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past two games and leads the Blackhawks in assists (21) and points (30) in 20 games. The last time he reached 30 points in 20 games was 2015-16, when he scored 106 points (46 goals, 60 assists) and won the Hart Trophy voted as NHL most valuable player. Chicago has won four of its past five games (4-1-0). Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine has scored seven points (three goals, four assists) in his past six. -- Mike G. Morreale, staff writer

A Tkachuk reunion

Brothers Matthew Tkachuk and Brady Tkachuk will face off against each other for the first time this season when the Calgary Flames play at the Ottawa Senators (7 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS2, SNW, NHL.TV). The Flames and Senators will play five times in the next 11 days, including three consecutive games at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa. Matthew of the Flames and Brady of the Senators have been on opposite sides four previous times during their NHL careers. Coach D.J. Smith said Ottawa's 5-4 overtime win against Montreal on Tuesday may have been Brady's best game since being selected with the No. 4 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. His two-goal performance notwithstanding, the Senators have been playing much better hockey of late, winning two straight games and four of their past six. Additionally, Senators rookie forward Tim Stutzle has scored three points (one goal, two assists) in his past three games and is looking more comfortable. -- Mike Zeisberger, staff writer

Thursday schedule 

Boston Bruins at New York Islanders, 7 p.m. ET (SN360, SNE, SNO, SNP, MSG+, NESN, NHL.TV) 

The Bruins play their first game since a 7-3 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Honda NHL Outdoors Sunday in Lake Tahoe. The Islanders gave the Bruins their first two regulation losses of the season, 1-0 on Jan. 18 and 4-2 on Feb. 13, each at Nassau Coliseum.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN+, TVAS, NBCSWA, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)

The Penguins have won three in a row and five of their past six (5-1-0), and four of their first five games against the Capitals (4-1-0). Washington is 3-1-1 following a four-game losing streak.

Carolina Hurricanes at Tampa Bay Lightning, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN+, SUN, FS-CR, NHL.TV)

The Hurricanes and Lightning play the second of back-to-back games and for the fourth in six days. They are tied for second in the Discover Central Division, one point behind the Florida Panthers.

Dallas Stars at Florida Panthers, 7 p.m. ET (FS-F, FS-SW+, NHL.TV)

Florida defenseman Keith Yandle is set to pass Steve Larmer for third place in NHL history by playing his 885th consecutive game. Doug Jarvis is the record holder with 964, 50 ahead of Gary Unger. The Stars defeated the Panthers 3-0 on Wednesday behind 43 saves by Anton Khudobin for their first victory since Feb. 2 (0-3-3).

Chicago Blackhawks at Columbus Blue Jackets, 7 p.m. ET (FS-O, NBCSCH, NHL.TV)

The Blackhawks are 4-1-0 in their past five games. The Blue Jackets have lost four of five (1-2-2) despite Patrik Laine scoring six goals in 10 games since he was traded to Columbus by the Winnipeg Jets on Jan. 23, including two power-play goals and one assist in a 6-5 shootout loss to the Blackhawks on Tuesday.  

Calgary Flames at Ottawa Senators, 7 p.m. ET (TSN5, RDS2, SNW, NHL.TV)

The Flames visit the Senators for the first of three straight games. Ottawa has won four of its past six (4-2-0).

New Jersey Devils at Buffalo Sabres, 7 p.m. ET (MSG-B, MSG+, NHL.TV)

The Sabres look for their third consecutive victory against the Devils, who will try to avoid their season-high fourth straight loss. Buffalo goalie Linus Ullmark has a 1.95 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage in three games against New Jersey this season.

Nashville Predators at Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. ET (NHLN, FS-D, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

The Red Wings are averaging 1.86 goals per game, last in the NHL, and were defeated by the Predators 2-0 on Tuesday. Nashville ends a four-game road trip seeking its third straight victory.

Montreal Canadiens at Winnipeg Jets, 8 p.m. ET (TSN3, TSN2, RDS, NHL.TV)

Dominique Ducharme will coach his first game for the Canadiens after replacing Claude Julien on Wednesday. Montreal will have to contain the line of Pierre-Luc Dubois, Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler, which combined for three goals and six assists for the Jets in a 4-3 overtime victory against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday. Scheifele has scored 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) during a 10-game point streak.

Edmonton Oilers at Vancouver Canucks, 10 p.m. ET (SN, NHL.TV)

The Canucks have won two of their past 12 games (2-8-2) while blowing multigoal leads in their past two. The Oilers have won four in a row and seven of their past eight (7-1-0).  

Vegas Golden Knights at San Jose Sharks -- postponed 

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