Tuesday’s action kicks off at 7 p.m. with six games. The Eastern Conference-leading Ottawa Senators
take on the Boston Bruins
; the Pittsburgh Penguins
face off against the New York Rangers
in an Atlantic Division showdown; the Phoenix Coyotes
travel east to play the Philadelphia Flyers
; the Toronto Maple Leafs
meet the Carolina Hurricanes
; the Atlanta Thrashers
host the Tampa Bay Lightning
and the Calgary Flames
face the Columbus Blue Jackets
Later, the Florida Panthers
play the Montreal Canadiens
, the Nashville Predators
and Minnesota Wild
get together and the Pacific Division-leading Dallas Stars
take on the Edmonton Oilers
The late games pit the New Jersey Devils
against the Vancouver Canucks
and the Anaheim Ducks
against the San Jose Sharks
Here’s what to watch:
* The Ottawa Senators
are a streaky club. After losing seven-straight, Ottawa has won five in a row.
* First-year Boston coach Claude Julien
has helped turn around the Bruins. After missing the playoffs last season, the Bruins are tied for second place with the Devils in the Eastern Conference this season.
* Penguins center Sidney Crosby
has scored 24 points in 18 games against the Rangers; but Crosby is minus-4 in his last four contests.
* The Coyotes are 3-1 on their six-game bi-costal road trip. Phoenix defeated the Los Angeles Kings
, Rangers and Devils, but fell to the New York Islanders
. Phoenix will conclude its road trip Thursday in San Jose.
* The Flyers Mike Richards
is being hailed by some as the next Bobby Clarke
. Richards leads the club in goals (15), assists (23) and points (38) and was rewarded by signing a 12-year, $69 million contract extension this past week.
* Toronto’s Nik Antropov
has recorded points in eight of his last nine contests. He has scored six goals and added nine assists for 15 points during that span.
* Carolina’s 39-year-old defenseman Glen Wesley
has not played as many as 20 minutes in any game this season; but leads the club with a plus-7 rating.
* The Lightning has yielded 20 goals in its last four contests, including nine in Thursday’s 9-6 loss to the Flames.
* Atlanta forward Mark Recchi
has three points in three games with the Thrashers and is backing up his words that the Penguins will regret their decision to waive the veteran forward.
* Calgary looks to go a perfect 6-0 on its road trip. If the Flames can come away with a victory at Nationwide Arena in Columbus it will be a club record.
* Columbus star left winger Rick Nash
has not recorded a point in his last four games, but the Brampton, Ont., native is on pace to score 46 goals this season.
* The Florida Panthers
have been in a “win-one-lose-one” groove. The Panthers have alternated wins and losses in their past six games. After Sunday’s 3-1 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks
, the Panthers are looking for their second win in a row Tuesday in Montreal.
* Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau
maintains that Cristobal Huet
is the club’s No. 1 goalie, but recent decisions make observers believe otherwise. Even though Huet returned from injury Saturday, he did not get the start Saturday in the Habs’ 4-1 victory against the rival Toronto Maple Leafs
nor will Huet start in the Montreal crease Tuesday. Carey Price
will be in the nets again.
* Dallas defenseman Sergei Zubov
quietly leads the League in scoring among defenseman with four goals and 28 assists for 32 points. The Stars defender has multiple points in his last three games, including a four-point effort Dec. 10 in Dallas’ 5-4 victory against Edmonton.
* Where would the Oilers be without the shootout? Edmonton is 10-1 in shootouts and sits one point behind Anaheim for eighth place in the Western Conference.
* The Devils begin a three-game Western Canadian road trip, which includes stops in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary. New Jersey’s visit to Vancouver will mark its only contest in the Pacific Time zone this season.
* The Canucks host the Devils for the first time since Dec. 29, 2001 when Vancouver won, 4-2.
* San Jose forward Joe Thornton
is averaging a point a game against the Ducks through 29 career contests.
* Anaheim defenseman Chris Pronger
has played at least 28 minutes in five of his last six games, highlighted by his 31:09 of ice time Dec. 10 in the Ducks’ 4-3 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets