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NHL On Tap: Flames searching for offense against Senators

Flyers visit Penguins, Blackhawks at Lightning highlight 10-game schedule

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

Flames seek spark against Senators

The Calgary Flames will host the Ottawa Senators (9 p.m. ET; SNW, TSN5, RDS2, NHL.TV) after the teams played three games in Ottawa. The Flames lost two of the three games (1-2-0) and were outscored 14-8. Key for Calgary will be slowing Ottawa forwards Drake Batherson and Tim Stutzle; Batherson scored five points (four goals, one assist) and Stutzle had four assists in the three games. The Flames have been outscored 30-15 in their past eight games (2-5-1) and scored one goal or fewer six times. Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk will be looked upon to provide an offensive spark after scoring six points (two goals, four assists) in his past six games. -- Mike Zeisberger, staff writer

Blackhawks ready for Lightning

The Chicago Blackhawks are a much different team than the one that started the season with consecutive losses to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and will look to prove it in the first of a three-game set in Chicago (8 p.m. ET; ESPN+, NBCSCH, SUN, NHL.TV). They lost four straight games to begin the season (0-3-1), including the two in Tampa Bay on Jan. 13 and Jan. 15, but are 12-4-3 since then. The Blackhawks, who will play the Lightning and Florida Panthers a combined nine times in March, are fourth in the Discover Central Division after winning six of their past eight games (6-2-0). The Lightning are tied with the Carolina Hurricanes for first in the division and have outscored opponents 17-3 during a five-game winning streak. Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 28 saves for his third consecutive shutout, a 2-0 win at the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, to extend his shutout streak to 200:45. It's the longest in the NHL this season and the longest of his NHL career. -- Mike G. Morreale, staff writer

Pennsylvania showdown continues

The Philadelphia Flyers look to avenge their 5-2 loss at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday when the teams play again in Pittsburgh (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN360, SNE, SNO, SNP, ATTSN-PT, NBCSP, NHL.TV). The Flyers defeated the Penguins in each of their first two games of the season but the Penguins responded without captain Sidney Crosby, who missed the game while in NHL COVID-19 protocol. But he will return to the lineup for this game. The Flyers and Penguins are tied for fourth in the MassMutual East Division with 25 points each. Flyers center Sean Couturier has points in seven straight games (five goals, six assists), tied with Drake Batherson of the Ottawa Senators for the longest active streak in the NHL. -- Pete Jensen, senior fantasy editor

Thursday schedule

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

The Sabres and Islanders are going in opposite directions in the MassMutual East Division. New York has won four of five (4-0-1) and is 9-2-2 since Feb. 6, and rookie forward Oliver Wahlstrom is on a five-game point streak (three goals, three assists). Buffalo is 2-7-1 since resuming play Feb. 15 after NHL COVID-19 protocols and has an NHL-low 15 points (6-11-3).

New York Rangers at New Jersey Devils, 7 p.m. ET (MSG+ 2, MSG, NHL.TV)

The Devils have scored 46 goals this season, tied with the Dallas Stars for the second-fewest in the NHL, but nine have come in two games against the Rangers. Since a 5-2 win at New York on Feb. 16, New Jersey is 2-6-0, with four of those losses by one goal. The Rangers are 4-2-0 with 19 goals in their past six games.

Detroit Red Wings at Carolina Hurricanes, 7 p.m. ET (FS-CR, FS-D, NHL.TV)

The Hurricanes are home after a five-game road trip and will play in front of fans for the first time this season. Brothers Evgeny Svechnikov of the Red Wings and Andrei Svechnikov of the Hurricanes could play against each other for the first time in the NHL.

Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN+, SN360, SNE, SNO, SNP, ATTSN-PT, NBCSP, NHL.TV)

The Flyers are 4-for-37 (10.8 percent) on the power play in their past nine games. The Penguins are 8-1-0 at home, where they play 11 of their next 15 games.

Winnipeg Jets at Montreal Canadiens, 7 p.m. ET (TSN2, RDS, TSN3, NHL.TV)

The Jets begin a five-game road trip with two in Montreal. They are 6-0-1 following a regulation loss. The Canadiens look for their second win under coach Dominique Ducharme, who replaced Claude Julien on Feb. 24.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Chicago Blackhawks, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN+, NBCSCH, SUN, NHL.TV)

Andrei Vasilevskiy's shutout streak of 200:45 is 2:01 behind John Grahame's Lightning record of 202:46 set from Jan. 17-29, 2006. Tampa Bay takes a five-game winning streak into Chicago. The Blackhawks are coming off a 7-2 victory against the Red Wings on Feb. 28 when forward Patrick Kane scored his 400th NHL goal. 

Florida Panthers at Nashville Predators, 8 p.m. ET (FS-TN, FS-F, NHL.TV)

The Panthers are 1-0-2 in their past three games despite trailing after two periods in each of them. The Predators are without center Ryan Johansen (NHL COVID-19 protocol), forward Luke Kunin (lower-body injury) and defenseman Ryan Ellis (upper-body injury), and goalie Juuse Saros is day to day after a collision with Hurricanes forward Nino Niederreiter on Tuesday.

Columbus Blue Jackets at Dallas Stars, 8:30 p.m. ET (FS-SW, FS-O, NHL.TV)

The Blue Jackets ended a three-game losing streak (0-3-0) with a 4-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday; the four goals doubled their output during their losing streak. The Stars have lost three straight games (0-3-0) but play the second of a five-game homestand.

Ottawa Senators at Calgary Flames, 9 p.m. ET (SNW, TSN5, RDS2, NHL.TV)

The teams play for the fourth time in eight days after the first three were played in Ottawa. The Senators are 6-4-0 in their past 10 games after starting the season 2-12-1.

Toronto Maple Leafs at Vancouver Canucks, 10 p.m. ET (SNP, TSN4, NHL.TV)

The Maple Leafs have won four straight games, lead the NHL with 38 points (18-4-2) and have a plus-31 goal differential. The Canucks start a five-game homestand but are 0-3-2 in their past five games at Rogers Arena.

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