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Weekly Primer

Stadium Series between Kings, Avalanche highlights week ahead

Ovechkin's quest for 700 goals, Hockey Day in America among can't-miss events

by Jon Lane @JonLaneNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

The 2020 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series between the Los Angeles Kings and Colorado Avalanche at the U.S. Air Force Academy is Saturday. But there are more stories to watch this week. Here are the top five along with fantasy can't-miss players. 

 

1. Kings, Avalanche face off in Stadium Series

The Los Angeles Kings and Colorado Avalanche will play in the 2020 Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series at Falcon Stadium at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN360, TVAS2).

The game will be the first played outdoors at Falcon Stadium and second time the NHL will host the Stadium Series at a U.S. Service Academy. The Washington Capitals defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland on March 3, 2018.

The Kings played in the first Stadium Series game at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 25, 2014, a 3-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks, and defeated the San Jose Sharks 2-1 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, on Feb. 21, 2015. The Avalanche will participate in their second outdoor game. They lost 5-3 to the Detroit Red Wings at Coors Field on Feb. 27, 2016.

Los Angeles and Colorado play for the first time this season. The Kings are 70-52-4 with eight ties against the Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques since the latter's first NHL season in 1979-80.

Video: 2020 Stadium Series at Falcon Stadium time-lapse

 

2. Ovechkin close to 700 goals for Capitals

Alex Ovechkin is two goals from becoming the eighth member of the 700-goal club in the NHL. The Washington Capitals start their week against the New York Islanders at Capital One Arena on Monday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, ESPN+, SNW, SNP, TVAS, NBCSWA, MSG+, NHL.TV).

The forward has scored 698 goals in his 15 NHL seasons and is set to join Wayne Gretzky (894), Gordie Howe (801), Jaromir Jagr (766), Brett Hull (741), Marcel Dionne (731), Phil Esposito (717) and Mike Gartner (708).

Ovechkin has scored 40 goals this season, tied with Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews for most in the NHL.

Video: LAK@WSH: Ovechkin earns natural hat trick in win

 

3. Lightning visit Blue Jackets in playoff rematch

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Columbus Blue Jackets will play at Nationwide Arena on Monday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV) for the first time since Columbus swept Tampa Bay in the 2019 Eastern Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Blue Jackets became the first team to sweep a Presidents' Trophy winner in the first round and won a playoff series for the first time with a 7-3 victory against the Lightning in Game 4 on April 16, 2019. Tampa Bay tied an NHL-record 62 wins (1995-96 Red Wings) but was the third Presidents' Trophy winner to be swept (Red Wings, 1995 Stanley Cup Final; Calgary Flames, 1988 Smythe Division Final).

Columbus (30-17-9) is 19-3-5 since Dec. 9 and third in the Metropolitan Division. Tampa Bay (35-15-5) has won six in a row, is 18-2-1 since Dec. 23 and second in the Atlantic Division.

 

4. Sedins to be honored by Canucks

Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin each will have his number retired by the Vancouver Canucks before the game against the Chicago Blackhawks at Rogers Arena on Wednesday (10:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN, SN360, NBCSCH, NHL.TV).

The ceremony is part of a week-long celebration honoring their NHL careers and the Canucks' 50th season. Henrik, Vancouver's captain from 2010-18, will have his No. 33 retired and Daniel his No. 22.

The 39-year-old twins were selected on back-to-back picks in the 1999 NHL Draft (Daniel No. 2, Henrik No. 3), played their entire 17-season NHL careers with Vancouver and retired following the 2017-18 season. Henrik is the Canucks leader in games played (1,330), points (1,070) and assists (830). Daniel is first in goals (393) and second in games played (1,306), assists (648) and points (1,041).

Daniel and Henrik are the only siblings in NHL history to each have a least 1,000 points. Henrik won the Art Ross Trophy and Hart Trophy (each in 2009-10) and the King Clancy Trophy twice (also in 2015-16). Daniel won the Art Ross Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award in 2010-11.

Sedin Week in Vancouver begins against the Nashville Predators on Monday (10 p.m. ET; SNP, FS-TN, NHL.TV) with "Legends Night" that will celebrate the careers of the four former Canucks who each have their numbers retired: Stan Smyl, Trevor Linden, Pavel Bure and Markus Naslund.

 

5. Hockey Day in America

Hockey Day in America will highlight the diversity and growth of the game in the United States on Sunday with NBC Sports covering three games beginning with the Red Wings against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC).

The 10-hour broadcast also includes the Boston Bruins against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden (3:30 p.m. ET; NBC) and the St. Louis Blues facing the Predators at Bridgestone Arena (6 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV).

The annual event was created to engage the hockey community in celebrating the sport at all levels and exposing it to new audiences.

 

Fantasy can't-miss picks

Joe Pavelski, C/RW, DAL: He's on a five-game point streak (six points; four goals, two assists) with 12 shots on goal. Pavelski, who has four power-play points during the streak on mostly the first unit with valuable forwards Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, is worth owning again in standard leagues and has four games this week. -- Pete Jensen

Sean Monahan, C, CGY: He scored one goal and had two shots on goal against the Canucks on Saturday and gains value with four games against the San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks this week. -- Rob Reese

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