By the end of Tuesday night's 10-game schedule, one team will be breathing a gigantic sigh of relief. But will it be the defending Stanley Cup champions who end their losing streak, or the guys paying them a visit?
The Pittsburgh Penguins
, who have dropped their last five games, will play host to the Atlanta Thrashers
, in an 0-5-3 skid of their own, at 7:30 p.m. ET. While the Penguins are still second in the Atlantic Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference, the Thrashers have slipped to ninth, three points behind the Rangers and Canadiens, who are tied for seventh.
In one of three 7 p.m. games that begin Tuesday's action, Montreal pays a visit to Southeast Division-leading Washington. Florida travels to Toronto in a battle of teams on the outside looking in at the East playoff race, while Dallas is in New Jersey for a rematch of the 2000 Stanley Cup Final. The Devils, who are first in the East, will pay tribute to their second Cup-winning team.
Also at 7:30, Ottawa will host Boston. The Bruins play for the second time in 24 hours, coming off a tough 3-2 loss to the Rangers in New York that saw them lose leading scorer Patrice Bergeron
to an apparent hand injury. The Senators beat the Flyers 7-4 in their last game Saturday afternoon behind four goals from Alex Kovalev
In the 8 p.m. games, Calgary visits Nashville in a battle for sole possession of fifth in the Western Conference while Chicago could have the top spot all to itself with a win over visiting Minnesota.
Phoenix looks to draw closer to first-place San Jose in the Pacific Division when it heads into Edmonton for a 9 p.m. start.
Capping a busy Tuesday are a pair of 10 p.m. games featuring Columbus in Vancouver and Detroit playing at Anaheim. The Red Wings and Ducks met in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, but both sit outside the top eight with a little over three months left in the regular season.