There are just 3 games Wednesday in the NHL, but there figures to be plenty of excitement, particularly when the Detroit Red Wings
square off against the Anaheim Ducks
at 10 p.m. ET in a rematch of the 2007 Western Conference Finals.
In addition to the Detroit-Anaheim game, the New Jersey Devils
look to get back on track after losing 2 in a row when they play host to the 3-3-3 Toronto Maple Leafs
(7:30 p.m. ET, RIS, TSN), and the Dallas Stars
look to climb up the Pacific Division standings when they play the only team in the NHL without a regulation loss, the Minnesota Wild
Here's what to watch:
* Toronto, which is in fourth place in the Northeast Division, is 1 of just 3 teams with 3 shootout losses this season. The Maple Leafs, who have scored just 20 goals, the fewest in the division, have given up 28, the most goals in the division.
* Maple Leafs left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky
, who is second on the team with 7 points, has just 1 road point this season. Ponikarovsky, who has never had more than 24 assists in a season, is on pace to record 45 this season.
* New Jersey left wing Zach Parise
, who led the team with 65 points last season, already has 5 more points than any other New Jersey skater. Parise, who has 5 goals and 9 points in 12 career games against the Maple Leafs, is second among Devils forwards with an average of 18:43 of ice time per game.
* Defenseman Bryce Salvador
, who was acquired by the Devils for Cam Janssen
last February, leads the team with 16 blocked shots. Salvador, who has been paired with Paul Martin
, is averaging the second-most ice time on the team, 22:59 minutes per game.
* The Wild, who are in first place in the Northwest Division with 13 points, have a perfect 3-0 road record. Minnesota, which is coached by defensive mastermind Jacques Lemaire
, has given up just 14 goals in 7 games, the fewest goals in the League.
* Minnesota left wing Benoit Pouliot
, selected No. 4 in the 2005 Entry Draft, has 3 points in 7 games while averaging just 11:34 of ice time per game. It's an increase from the 8:49 he averaged in 11 games last season.
* Wild defenseman Brent Burns
, who had a combined plus-28 rating in his previous 2 seasons, has a minus-3 rating in 7 games this season. Burns, who has scored more than 7 goals just once in his career, has 2 goals in 7 games this season.
* The Stars, who have 3 players averaging more than a point per game, have given up the most goals in the League with 38. Dallas, which is 1 of just 2 teams that hasn't played a divisional game, has given up the first goal in 6 of their first 9 games this season.
* Dallas captain Brenden Morrow
, who is tied for the team lead with 10 points, has a goal and 4 assists in his last 2 games. Morrow, who has a minus-6 rating in the Stars' 6 losses this season, was second on the team with 15 points in the Stars' 18-game run to the Western Conference Finals last season.
* Red Wings right wing Marian Hossa
has been held pointless in just 1 game this season. Hossa, who has 4 goals and 6 points in his last 3 games, has at least 5 shots on goal in 6 games.
* Detroit left wing Tomas Holmstrom
, who had 6 goals in his first 6 games this season, hasn't scored in his last 3 games. Holmstrom, who played with Henrik Zetterberg
and Pavel Datsyuk
in last season's playoffs, has a minus-8 rating in 36 career games against Anaheim.
* The Ducks, who are riding a 4-game win streak, don't have a player averaging a point per game. Anaheim, which was 1 of just 3 Western Conference teams to reach 100 points last season, got off to a slow start to this season, losing 5 of its first 6 games.
* Anaheim center Ryan Getzlaf
, who had just 1 assist in his first 6 games this season, has 3 goals and 5 points in his last 3 games. Getzlaf, who plays alongside Corey Perry
, played a season-high 20:54 Monday in the Ducks' 3-2 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets
Contact Adam Schwartz at email@example.com.