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Weekly Primer

Stadium Series warmup, Hockey Week Across America highlight week ahead

Ducks honoring Niedermayer among 5 things to watch

by Jon Lane @JonLaneNHL / Staff Writer

The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins playing for the final time until the 2019 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series and the Anaheim Ducks retiring Scott Niedermayer's No. 27 are among the highlights of the week ahead.

Here's a look at 5 things to watch:


1. Stadium Series warmup

The Philadelphia Flyers face the Pittsburgh Penguins at Wells Fargo Center on Monday (7 p.m. ET; SN, TVAS, NBCSP, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV) in the final game between the teams before the 2019 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Lincoln Financial Field on Feb. 23.

Video: 2019 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series: Logo Reveal

The Flyers defeated the Penguins 4-2 at PPG Paints Arena on Dec. 1 behind three assists from Andrew MacDonald and two points (one goal, one assist) by Jakub Voracek. They enter the game on a 10-game point streak (9-0-1) and six points behind the Penguins for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. 


2. McDavid against Crosby

Sidney Crosby and the Penguins play Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers in Pittsburgh on "Wednesday Night Hockey" (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS).

It's the second time this season that Crosby and McDavid will face off against one another. Crosby scored twice, including the game-winner in overtime, in the Penguins' 6-5 win against the Oilers at Rogers Place to overcome McDavid's two points (one goal, one assist).


3. Hockey Week Across America

Hockey Week Across America begins with an NBC Sports tripleheader Sunday. The New York Rangers visit the Penguins (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVAS) followed by the St. Louis Blues taking on the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN) and the Flyers playing the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena (6 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

The Blues (27-22-5) have won six in a row and begin the week tied with the Wild (27-24-5) as the two wild cards from the Western Conference at 59 points. St. Louis is also two points behind the Dallas Stars for third place in the Central Division with a game in hand after it was last in the NHL from Jan. 17-19.

Minnesota is playing the rest of the season without center and captain Mikko Koivu, who had surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee Feb. 8.


4. Honoring Niedermayer

Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman Scott Niedermayer will have his No. 27 retired by the Anaheim Ducks before the game against the Washington Capitals at Honda Center on Sunday (9 p.m. ET; ESPN+, PRIME, NBCSWA).

Niedermayer was captain when the Ducks won the Stanley Cup for the first time with a five-game win against the Ottawa Senators in the 2007 Final. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 21 games.

Niedermayer is Anaheim's all-time leader among defensemen with 60 goals, 204 assists, 264 points and 39 power-play goals.

Video: Scott Niedermayer on Ducks retiring his number


5. Milestone watch

* Patrick Kane will try to extend his point streak to 15 games and get closer to Florida Panthers forward Mike Hoffman (17) for the longest this season when the Chicago Blackhawks play the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SNE, SNO, SNP, TVAS, NESN, NBCSCH). 

Kane has 31 points (11 goals, 20 assists) during the run and is second behind Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov with 81 points (33 goals, 48 assists). Forwards Alex DeBrincat (15 points; five goals, 10 assists) and Jonathan Toews (14 points; seven goals, seven assists) also have point streaks of eight and seven games, respectively, for the Blackhawks, who have won seven in a row.

* Alex Ovechkin is three goals from becoming the fourth player in NHL history with at least 10 40-goal seasons, joining Wayne Gretzky (12), Marcel Dionne (10) and Lemieux (10). The Capitals are home against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSWA, FS-W, NHL.TV) and on the road against the Columbus Blue Jackets, San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

* Kris Letang is one goal for breaking Paul Coffey's Penguins record for goals by a defenseman (108). Pittsburgh is in Philadelphia on Monday, and home against the Oilers and Rangers on Wednesday and Sunday.

Letang is already the Penguins leader in games played (735), goals, assists (375) and points (483) by a defenseman in the regular season. 

* Zdeno Chara is two goals from becoming the 21st defenseman to score 200 in the NHL. The Bruins host the Blackhawks on Tuesday and travel to play the Ducks on Friday and Kings on Saturday.

* Joe Thornton is one assist from passing Gordie Howe (1,049) for ninth place on the NHL all-time list for the San Jose Sharks, who visit the Vancouver Canucks on Monday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, NESN, NHL.TV) and are home against the Capitals on Thursday and Canucks on Saturday. 

Thornton is also 14 assists behind Steve Yzerman for eighth place.

* Goalie Craig Anderson is one game from 600 in the NHL. The Senators play the Carolina Hurricanes at Canadian Tire Centre on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS, FS-CR, NHL.TV), and visit the Red Wings on Thursday and Winnipeg Jets on Saturday. 

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