Welcome to the NHL On Tap. Three NHL.com writers will share what they are most looking forward to on the schedule each day. Today, their choices from the six games Saturday.
Canucks try to remain perfect under Boudreau
The Vancouver Canucks will try to win their seventh straight game when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, CBC, NHL LIVE). Vancouver is 6-0-0 having outscored opponents 21-10 since Travis Green was fired as coach and replaced by Bruce Boudreau on Dec. 5. One key has been the play of forward Brock Boeser, who has scored five goals in six games since the coaching change. The Canucks (14-15-2) face a tough test in the Maple Leafs (20-8-2), who are tied with the Carolina Hurricanes for the NHL lead in wins and rank in the top 10 in goals per game (3.27; eighth) and goals against per game (2.50; fourth). Toronto hasn’t played since Tuesday after their game against the Calgary Flames on Thursday was postponed because of COVID-19 concerns. — David Satriano, Staff Writer
Blackhawks hope to continue solid play
The Chicago Blackhawks will complete a tough stretch of three games in four days when they visit the Dallas Stars (8 p.m. ET; BSSW+, NBCSCH, ESPN+, NHL LIVE) following a 5-4 overtime win against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday and a 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators on Friday. The Blackhawks (11-15-3) have looked like a new team since Derek King replaced the fired Jeremy Colliton as coach Nov. 6. They’re 10-6-1 and allowing 2.71 goals per game, after starting the season 1-9-2 and allowing 3.92 goals in their first 12 games. The Blackhawks look like they’re having fun again, especially forward Alex DeBrincat, who has scored 15 points (10 goals, five assists) in his past 17 games, and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who is 8-3-1 with a .933 save percentage and two shutouts in his past 12. The Stars (13-12-2) are just looking for a victory. After a season-best seven-game winning streak, a 4-1 loss at the St. Louis Blues on Friday extended their season-long losing streak to five games. — Adam Kimelman, Deputy Managing Editor
Edmonton looks for better luck in Seattle
The Edmonton Oilers’ first visit to Climate Pledge Arena on Dec. 3 ended in a 4-3 loss to the Seattle Kraken that began a six-game losing streak. The Oilers hope for a better outcome in their second visit to face the Kraken on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, SN360, SN1, CITY, TVAS2, ROOT-NW, ESPN+, NHL LIVE). Edmonton (17-11-0) ended its losing streak with 5-2 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday, when Jesse Puljujarvi had two goals and an assist. Connor McDavid had two assists for the Oilers and is tied with Alex Ovechkin of the Capitals for the League lead with 47 points (16 goals, 31 assists). Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl leads the NHL with 23 goals. The Kraken (10-16-3) have one win in five games (1-3-1) since the victory against the Oilers. — Tom Gulitti, Staff Writer
Toronto Maple Leafs at Vancouver Canucks (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, CBC, SN, NHL LIVE)
The Maple Leafs are expected to be without forwards John Tavares, Wayne Simmonds and Alexander Kerfoot, each of whom was placed in NHL COVID-19 protocol Friday. Canucks forward J.T. Miller has scored nine points (two goals, seven assists) in a six-game point streak.
Ottawa Senators at Philadelphia Flyers (7 p.m. ET; SN360, SN1, CITY, NBCSP, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)
The Flyers (11-12-5) have points in four straight games (3-0-1) following a 0-8-2 stretch. Defenseman Thomas Chabot has scored nine points (one goal, eight assists) during a six-game point streak for the Senators (9-17-1).
Los Angeles Kings at Carolina Hurricanes (7 p.m. ET; BSSO, BSW, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)
The Hurricanes (20-7-1) opened a three-game homestand with a 5-3 victory against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday to improve to 5-1-0 in their past six games. Goalie Jonathan Quick is 4-0-2 with a 1.63 goals-against average, .947 save percentage and one shutout in his last six starts for the Kings (13-10-5).
Chicago Blackhawks at Dallas Stars (8 p.m. ET; BSSW+, NBCSCH, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)
The Stars begin a three-game homestand at American Airlines Center, where they are 9-3-1. The Blackhawks are in a good spot to make up ground in the Central Division. Their 3-2 overtime loss to the Predators on Friday started a run of five of six games against teams in their division.
New Jersey Devils at Detroit Red Wings (8 p.m. ET; BSDET, MSG+, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)
The Devils (10-13-5) have lost four in a row and are 2-8-2 in their past 12 games. The Red Wings (14-13-3) are 1-4-0 in their past five. Detroit forward Lucas Raymond is first in the League among rookies with 27 points (10 goals, 17 assists) in 30 games.
Edmonton Oilers at Seattle Kraken (10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, SN360, SN1, CITY, TVAS2, ROOT-NW, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)
It’s the third and final game of this season series; each team has won once on home ice. Leon Draisaitl has scored six points (three goals, three assists) against the Kraken, who are winless in their past three home games (0-2-1).
Florida Panthers at Minnesota Wild, postponed
Boston Bruins at Montreal Canadiens, postponed
Tampa Bay Lightning at Colorado Avalanche, postponed
Columbus Blue Jackets at Calgary Flames, postponed