Twenty-six teams will compete on a very busy Thursday night, and the League's two biggest stars will clash in a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference semifinal.
In a game that can be seen on the NHL Network in the U.S., Alex Ovechkin
and the Washington Capitals
will face Sidney Crosby
and the Pittsburgh Penguins
at 7:30 p.m. ET at Mellon Arena. The Caps have won four in a row and have built a 17-point lead in the Southeast Division, while the Pens are coming off a 6-4 home win against the New York Islanders
on Tuesday that saw Crosby factor into each Pittsburgh tally.
Five games have 7 p.m. ET start times -- the Ottawa Senators
, who have won four straight, will host the St. Louis Blues
(RDS in Canada); the Florida Panthers
face the Isles on Long Island; Philadelphia hosts the New York Rangers
; Carolina visits Atlanta and the Tampa Bay Lightning
face the Toronto Maple Leafs
at the St. Pete Times Forum (TSN in Canada).
The Detroit Red Wings
continue their push for a playoff spot at 8 p.m. ET, when they visit the Minnesota Wild
at the Xcel Energy Center. The Wings have earned points in seven of their last 10 games and sit just one point behind Los Angeles for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
One hour later, the Phoenix Coyotes
host the Nashville Predators
at Jobing.com Arena. Nashville (29-17-3) has won seven of 10 and resides in second place in the Central Division, while the Coyotes are 13 points behind the first-place San Jose Sharks
in the Pacific and are coming off a 7-2 home loss to Buffalo on Monday.
At 9:30 p.m. ET, the Calgary Flames
return to the ice for the first time since their 9-1 loss at San Jose on Monday as they host the Chicago Blackhawks
(34-12-4) at the Pengrowth Saddledome. The game can be seen on TSN in Canada.
Three more games take place on the West Coast. At 10 p.m. ET, the Vancouver Canucks
host the Dallas Stars
at GM Place, where the Stars will shoot for their third straight victory. The Canucks won 3-2 in overtime at Edmonton on Wednesday. Thirty minutes later, the Kings host the Buffalo Sabres
at the Staples Center and the Sharks will host the Anaheim Ducks
at HP Pavilion. San Jose has won three in a row, including a 5-1 win over the Kings on Tuesday. Anaheim is starting a six-game trip after beating Buffalo 5-4 on Tuesday.