NHL On Tap: Hurricanes visit Panthers in historic game



Hurricanes, Panthers meet in NHL first

The Carolina Hurricanes (9-0-0) visit the Florida Panthers (9-0-1) on Saturday (6 p.m. ET; BSFL, BSSO, ESPN+, NHL LIVE) in the first game in NHL history to feature two teams with season-opening point streaks of at least nine games. With a 10th straight victory, the Hurricanes would tie the NHL record for longest winning streak to begin a season shared by the 2006-07 Buffalo Sabres and 1993-94 Toronto Maple Leafs. The Panthers can move within one of their record for longest point streak to begin a season of 12 from 1996-97 (8-0-4). Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky is day to day after leaving Florida’s 5-4 overtime win against the Washington Capitals on Thursday with an upper-body injury. Carolina defenseman Brett Pesce is week to week atter leaving a 4-3 win at the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday with a lower-body injury. — Tom Gulitti, staff writer


Golden Knights, Canadiens in semifinal rematch

The Golden Knights and Canadiens play for the first time since Montreal eliminated Vegas in six games in the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Semifinal last season when the teams meet at Bell Centre (7 p.m. ET; CITY, SNE, TVAS, ATTSN-RM, ESPN+, NHL LIVE). The Golden Knights were heavily favored to win the series but came up short and have struggled to start the season (5-5-0) with numerous injuries to key players (forwards Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone, William Karlsson and defenseman Zach Whitecloud are each out). The Canadiens, who have been without goalie Carey Price (player assistance program) this season and captain Shea Weber, whose NHL career is likely over because of multiple injuries, have three wins in 12 games (3-9-0). Montreal ranks next-to-last in the NHL with 2.00 goals per game and has scored two goals or fewer nine times. — David Satriano, staff writer


Ovechkin looks to make more history

Alex Ovechkin has turned every Capitals game into must-watch TV because of his once-in-a-generation climb up the NHL goal scoring list. With 740 goals heading into their game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Capital One Arena on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSWA, NBCSP, ESPN+, NHL LIVE), Ovechkin is one away from tying Brett Hull for fourth in League history. And the Flyers certainly are a team Ovechkin has had success against. His 42 goals in 63 games are his fourth-most against any opponent, including eight goals during a six-game goal streak against Philadelphia. The Flyers are allowing 2.56 goals per game this season, down from 3.52 per game last season. But Ovechkin is Ovechkin, the greatest goal scorer of his era, and even at age 36 he’s shown no signs of slowing, tied with Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl for the NHL lead with 10 goals in 10 games. — Adam Kimelman, deputy managing editor


Saturday schedule

Tampa Bay Lightning at Ottawa Senators (2 p.m. ET; NHLN, TVAS2, TSN5, BSSUN, NHL LIVE)

Brady Tkachuk will wear the C for the first time after being named the Senators captain Friday. Ottawa is 0-2-1 in its past three games, including a 5-1 loss at home to the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday. Tampa Bay will be without defenseman Mikhail Sergachev, who will serve the first of a two-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of Mitchell Marner in a 2-1 overtime loss at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.

Carolina Hurricanes at Florida Panthers (6 p.m. ET; BSFL, BSSO, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Hurricanes are 6-0-2 in their past eight games against the Panthers. Aleksander Barkov has scored five goals in his past three games, including his 188th NHL goal in a 5-4 overtime win against the Washington Capitals on Thursday. He needs one more goal to pass Olli Jokinen for most in Panthers history.

New York Islanders at Winnipeg Jets (7 p.m. ET; SN360, CITY, SNW, MSG+, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Jets are off to their best 10-game start (6-2-2) since the franchise relocated to Winnipeg in 2011. With points in eight-straight games (6-0-2), they are one away from matching the longest point streak in Atlanta Thrashers/Jets history of nine games from 2005-06 (6-0-3). The Islanders are 4-0-2 since opening the season with two straight regulation losses. New York forward Brock Nelson scored four goals in a 6-2 victory at the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. 

Detroit Red Wings at Buffalo Sabres (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, BSDET, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Sabres return home after going 1-3-0 on a four-game road trip, including a 5-2 loss to the Seattle Kraken on Thursday after trading center Jack Eichel to the Vegas Golden Knights earlier in the day. The Red Wings have lost the first three games of their four-game road trip and are 0-3-1 in their past four. Center Dylan Larkin has missed the past two games for personal reasons. 

Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, CBC, SNO, SNP, NESN, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Bruins and Maple Leafs meet for the first time since Boston’s 4-2 victory at Toronto on Nov. 15, 2019. Patrice Bergeron, who scored four goals in Boston’s 5-1 home win against Detroit on Thursday, has scored 64 points (24 goals, 60 assists) in 69 games against Toronto, his most against any opponent. Forwards John Tavares (three goals, three assists) and Mitchell Marner (two goals, five assists) each has a four-game point streak for Toronto, which has won four in a row.

Vegas Golden Knights at Montreal Canadiens (7 p.m. ET; CITY, SNE, TVAS, ATTSN-RM, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Canadiens are 1-1-0 on a five-game homestand. Montreal forward Nick Suzuki has scored five points (two goals, three assists) in his past two games. The Golden Knights have won four of their past five games (4-1-0) after a four-game losing streak (0-4-0).

Minnesota Wild at Pittsburgh Penguins (7 p.m. ET; ATTSN-PT, BSN, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Penguins are expected to be without center Sidney Crosby, defensemen Brian Dumoulin, Marcus Pettersson and Chad Ruhwedel and coach Mike Sullivan, who remain in COVID-19 protocol for the final game of an eight-game homestand (3-3-1 so far). Forward Bryan Rust will be a game-time decision for Pittsburgh after missing the past seven games with a lower-body injury. Defenseman Alex Goligoski is expected to return for Minnesota after missing three games with an upper-body injury. 

Philadelphia Flyers at Washington Capitals (7 p.m. ET; NBCSWA, NBCSP, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

Capitals forward Anthony Mantha was placed on injured reserve after having shoulder surgery Friday. The Flyers are 3-1-1 in their past five games after a 3-2 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday.

Colorado Avalanche at Columbus Blue Jackets (7 p.m. ET; BSOH, ALT, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Avalanche and Blue Jackets complete a home-and-home series that began with the Blue Jackets’ 5-4 overtime win Wednesday. That victory was costly for Columbus because forward Patrik Laine sustained an oblique strain in the third period and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. Defenseman Devon Toews (shoulder surgery) and forwards Mikko Rantanen (lower body) and Andre Burakovsky (upper body) are expected to play for Colorado after recovering from injuries. It will be Toews’ first game of the season.

Seattle Kraken at Arizona Coyotes (10 p.m. ET; BSAZ+, ROOT-NW, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Coyotes (0-10-1) will try to avoid setting a record for the longest streak without a win to start a season in their history following a 3-1 loss at the Anaheim Ducks on Friday. Arizona, which returns home after an 0-6-0 road trip, also started 0-10-1 in 2017-18. Jordan Eberle scored the first hat trick in Kraken history in a 5-2 home win against the Sabres on Thursday. Jaden Schwartz has a five-game point streak (two goals, five assists) for Seattle, which is 1-4-1 on the road. 

New York Rangers at Calgary Flames (10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, CITY, MSG, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Rangers have points in four straight games (2-0-2) and are 1-0-2 on their four-game road trip following a 6-5 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Friday. The Flames have points in nine straight games (6-0-3) since losing 5-2 in their season opener to the Oilers. Calgary forward Matthew Tkachuk has scored five points (four goals, one assist) during a five-game point streak.

New Jersey Devils at San Jose Sharks (10 p.m. ET; NBCSCA, MSG+, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Sharks play the final game of a five game homestand when they are 2-2-0 so far. San Jose assigned rookie center William Eklund to Djurgardens in the Swedish Hockey League on Friday after he had four assists in nine NHL games. The Devils wrap up a three-game California road trip when they are 0-1-1 so far. Defenseman Dougie Hamilton did not play in New Jersey’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Friday because of a lower-body injury.

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