NHL On Tap: Crosby leads Penguins against Lafreniere, Rangers



Top draft picks galore for Rangers, Penguins

If the opener of this two-game set Friday was a sign of what’s to come, the second game between the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SNE, SNO, SNP, ATTSN-PT, MSG 2, NHL.TV) should be tremendous entertainment. Jake Guentzel‘s shootout goal gave the Penguins a 4-3 victory, their third straight, but it was a goal by Rangers forward Kaapo Kakko that caught my attention. Kakko, who struggled at times as a rookie last season with 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists), is off to an encouraging start with two goals in four games. Seeing Kaapo and rookie Alexis Lafreniere go up against Penguins star centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin is an intriguing matchup. Of note: Crosby (2005) and Lafreniere (2020), who each played for Rimouski of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, were No. 1 picks in the NHL Draft; Malkin (2004) and Kaapo (2019) were each selected No. 2. — Mike Zeisberger, staff writer


Flames get back to work

The Calgary Flames return from a five-day break to host the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Saddledome (4 p.m. ET; NHLN, SNW, SNO, NHL.TV). Calgary (2-0-1) has been off since completing a sweep of a two-game series against the Vancouver Canucks with a 5-2 victory Monday, so it will be interesting to see if it can pick up where it left off. Forwards Johnny Gaudreau (two goals, two assists), Elias Lindholm (two goals, two assists) and Sean Monahan (one goal, three assists) are off to good starts with four points each, and goalie Jacob Markstrom has adjusted quickly after leaving Vancouver to sign with Calgary in the offseason, going 2-0-1 with a 1.99 goals-against average, a .935 save percentage and one shutout. The Maple Leafs (4-2-0) begin a four-game road trip with the first of two against the Flames. — Tom Gulitti, staff writer 


Golden Knights, Coyotes wrap up four-game set

The Vegas Golden Knights will be looking to avenge their first loss of the season when they complete a four-game set with the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena (4 p.m. ET; FS-A, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV). After losing the first two games in Las Vegas, the Coyotes responded with what forward Conor Garland called “a must-win situation” at home Friday. He helped with a goal and two assists in a 5-2 victory, denying the Golden Knights what would have been the first 5-0-0 start in their history. Vegas forward Mark Stone will be looking to extend his point streak to six games (two goals, six assists), and defenseman Shea Theodore has scored three goals in the past two. The Coyotes are 11-2-4 in their past 17 home games dating to last season. — Brian Compton, deputy managing editor


Sunday schedule

Detroit Red Wings at Chicago Blackhawks, 12:30 p.m. ET (NBC, TVAS) 

The Original Six rivals play at United Center for the second time in three days; the Blackhawks got their first win of the season, 4-1, on Friday. 

Buffalo Sabres at Washington Capitals, 3 p.m. ET (NBCSWA, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Washington extended its season-opening point streak to five games (3-0-2) with a 4-3 shootout win at Buffalo on Friday. 

Toronto Maple Leafs at Calgary Flames, 4 p.m. ET (NHLN, SNW, SNO, NHL.TV)

Toronto begins a four-game road trip after winning two of three at home, including a 4-2 victory against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday. Calgary has won the first two of its four-game homestand.

Vegas Golden Knights at Arizona Coyotes, 4 p.m. ET (FS-A, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV)

Arizona will try to salvage a split of its four-game set with Vegas. Forward Conor Garland leads the Coyotes with six points (two goals, four assists) in five games, and forward Phil Kessel has four goals.

New York Islanders at New Jersey Devils, 7 p.m. ET (MSG+, MSG+ 2, NHL.TV)

The Islanders and Devils complete a two-game set following New York’s 4-1 win at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday. New York has allowed one goal in its past two games.

New York Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN+, SNE, SNO, SNP, ATTSN-PT, MSG 2, NHL.TV)

Pittsburgh seeks its fourth straight win after losing the first two games of the season. Each of the Penguins’ three victories went past regulation, including a 4-3 shootout win against the Rangers at PPG Paints Arena on Friday. 

Colorado Avalanche at Anaheim Ducks, 8 p.m. ET (PRIME, FS-SD, ALT, NHL.TV)

Colorado wraps up a four-game road trip with its second straight at Anaheim; forward Gabriel Landeskog scored in overtime to give the Avalanche a 3-2 win on Friday. 

Los Angeles Kings at St. Louis Blues, 8 p.m. ET (FS-MW, FS-W, NHL.TV)

It’s the second of back-to-back games between the teams in St. Louis; the Blues defeated the Kings 4-2 on Saturday. 

San Jose Sharks at Minnesota Wild, 8 p.m. ET (FS-N, FS-WI, NBCSCA, NHL.TV)

Minnesota continues its six-game homestand that opened with a 4-1 win against San Jose on Friday. 

Nashville Predators at Dallas Stars, 8 p.m. ET (NHLN, FS-SW, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

Dallas plays it second game of the season after the Western Conference champions opened with a 7-0 win against Nashville on Friday, when forward Joe Pavelski scored four points (two goals, two assists) and goalie Anton Khudobin made 34 saves for the shutout. 

Edmonton Oilers at Winnipeg Jets, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN+, TSN3, SNW, NHL.TV)

The Jets (4-1-0), who completed a three-game sweep against the Ottawa Senators when they won 6-3 Saturday, host the Oilers (2-4-0), who have lost three of their past four games.

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