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 nine games Thursday.
Islanders looking to extend point streak
Sidney Crosby will play his 999th NHL game for the Pittsburgh Penguins against the New York Islanders (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, ATTSN-PT, MSG+, NHL.TV), who take an eight-game point streak (5-0-3) into Pittsburgh. The Islanders are 3-0-1 in their past four games against the Penguins and one of the keys this season has been their hot starts with half of their goals (19 of 38) being scored in the first period. New York forward Jean Gabriel Pageau will attempt to extend his goal-scoring streak to five games and exploit a Pittsburgh team that’s 2-3-0 in its past five and 3-4-1 in its past eight. — Mike Zeisberger, staff writer
Panarin expected back for Rangers
The New York Rangers are hoping for an offensive spark from the expected return of their top forward Artemi Panarin at the Philadelphia Flyers (7 p.m. ET; TVAS, NBCSP, MSG, NHL.TV). Panarin, who missed the past two games with a lower-body injury, leads the Rangers in goals (five), assists (10), points (15) and power-play points (six) in 12 games. New York is winless in its past four games (0-3-1), scoring two goals or fewer in each and being shut out twice. The Flyers, who are scheduled to play their first game since Feb. 7, had seven players on the COVID-19 protocol list as of Wednesday, including forwards Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek and Travis Konecny. Forward James van Riemsdyk leads Philadelphia with 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in 13 games and is tied for 11th in NHL scoring. — Pete Jensen, senior fantasy editor
Anderson-Dolan hopes to continue goal streak
Rookie Jaret Anderson-Dolan will look to extend his goal-scoring streak to three games when the Los Angeles Kings visit the Arizona Coyotes (9 p.m. ET; FS-A, FS-W, NHL.TV). The 21-year-old forward scored one goal and one assist in consecutive wins against the San Jose Sharks and Minnesota Wild, and has scored five points (three goals, two assists) with a plus-2 rating in five games this season. Anderson-Dolan has been the center on a line with left wing Carl Grundstrom and Trevor Moore at 5-on-5 and utilized on the second power-play unit (one power-play goal). He said the chemistry with his linemates has been great and he’s gained greater confidence with more playing time as a result. The Kings (5-6-3) seek a third straight win for the first time this season. The Coyotes (7-6-2) completed a seven-game series against the St. Louis Blues (4-2-1). — Mike G. Morreale, staff writer
New Jersey Devils at Boston Bruins, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN+, SN360, SNE, SNW, SNP, NESN, MSG+ 2, NHL.TV)
The Bruins (10-2-2) are tied with the Florida Panthers and Chicago Blackhawks for the second-most points (22) in the NHL behind the Toronto Maple Leafs (26). Boston has scored eight goals in its past four games while going 0-for-10 on the power play. The Devils play the second of 47 scheduled games in 83 days.
New York Rangers at Philadelphia Flyers, 7 p.m. ET (TVAS, NBCSP, MSG, NHL.TV)
The Rangers have been outscored 11-4 and shut out twice during their 0-3-1 skid.
New York Islanders at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7 p.m. ET (NHLN, ATTSN-PT, MSG+, NHL.TV)
The Penguins are 3-4-1 in their past eight games after their top line of Jake Guentzel, Crosby and Bryan Rust was held without a point in a 3-1 loss to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday.
Nashville Predators at Columbus Blue Jackets, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN+, FS-O, FS-TN, NHL.TV)
The Blue Jackets have allowed 3.47 goals-against per game while giving up at least six goals in three of their past seven (3-3-1). The Predators have lost nine of 13 (4-9-0) since outscoring the Blue Jackets 8-3 in two games to start the season and return after their two-game series against the Dallas Stars was postponed because of continued power outages in the Dallas area caused by a winter storm.
Ottawa Senators at Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. ET (SNO, TSN5, RDS, NHL.TV)
The Senators and Maple Leafs conclude their three-game series after splitting the first two Monday and Wednesday. Toronto center Auston Matthews has scored an NHL-high 14 goals and 28 points (17 goals, 11 assists) in 19 games against Ottawa.
Buffalo Sabres at Washington Capitals, 7 p.m. ET (NBCSWA, MSG-B, NHL.TV)
The Sabres begin a four-game road trip last in the NHL with 15 goals scored at 5-on-5. Washington is 15-3-2 against Buffalo since the 2014-15 season. Capitals goalie Vitek Vanecek will make his 12th consecutive start.
San Jose Sharks at St. Louis Blues, 8 p.m. ET (FS-MW, NBCSCA, NHL.TV)
The Blues host the Sharks after going 3-3-1 seven straight games against the Arizona Coyotes. San Jose goalie Martin Jones is 6-5-0 with a 1.99 GAA, .919 save percentage and one shutout in 11 games against St. Louis.
Los Angeles Kings at Arizona Coyotes, 9 p.m. ET (FS-A, FS-W, NHL.TV)
The Kings start a six-game road trip at the Coyotes, who were 4-2-1 in seven consecutive games against the Blues.
Minnesota Wild at Anaheim Ducks, 10 p.m. ET (SN, PRIME, FS-SD, FS-N, FS-WI, NHL.TV)
The Wild and Ducks play the first of two consecutive games against one another. Minnesota plays its second game since Feb. 2. Anaheim has alternated wins and losses (3-2-1) in its past six games.