NHL On Tap: Ovechkin looks to move up NHL goals list for Capitals

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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 eight games on Tuesday.

 

Ovechkin’s climb up goals list

Alex Ovechkin will have a chance to continue his climb up the NHL goals list when the Washington Capitals play the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday. (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, ATTSN- PT, NBCSWA). Ovechkin scored his 707th goal against the Penguins on Sunday, one behind Mike Gartner for seventh in NHL history. Once Ovechkin gets past Gartner, there are two more players he’s almost certain to pass this season, Phil Esposito (717) and Marcel Dionne (731). If he can match the 0.71 goals-per-game average from last season for the remaining 53 games of this season, it would give him 38 goals, moving him past Brett Hull (741) for fourth. But that’s in the future. First is Gartner. — Amalie Benjamin, staff writer

Hughes vs. Lafreniere

This season’s first edition of the Battle of the Hudson between the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers, at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; MSG, MSG+, NHL.TV), also will be the first NHL game between the past two No. 1 picks in the NHL Draft. Devils forward Jack Hughes, the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, has looked more explosive and more confident in his first two games this season than he did as a rookie last season; he has three assists and leads Devils forwards with an average ice time of 22:14. Forward Alexis Lafreniere, chosen No. 1 by the Rangers in the 2020 NHL Draft, hasn’t scored a point in his two NHL games but saw his ice time go from 13:21 in his NHL debut against the New York Islanders to 16:31 in his second game, and he has a 59.0 shot-attempt percentage (SAT%). Hughes and Lafreniere also have a shared history; they trained at the Bauer Hockey Combine in the 2019 offseason and Lafreniere leaned on Hughes for advice entering the 2019-20 season. “That was the first time I talked to him and he’s a good guy, a really mature guy and [heck] of a player as well,” Lafreniere said in October 2019. We’ll see if his opinion changes after their first NHL meeting. — Adam Kimelman, deputy managing editor

Bobrovsky to make season debut for Panthers 

Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to make his first start of the season for the Florida Panthers when they host the Chicago Blackhawks at BB&T Center (7 p.m. ET; FS-F, NBCSCH, NHL.TV). He did not play in Florida’s season-opening 5-2 win against the Blackhawks on Sunday after skating for the first time in training camp on Jan. 13. But coach Joel Quennevills said Bobrovsky will play Tuesday and the Panthers are hoping he can return to the form that helped him win the Vezina Trophy voted as the top goalie in the NHL in 2013 and 2017 with the Columbus Blue Jackets. In his first season with Florida after signing a seven-year contract July 1, 2019, Bobrovsky was 23-19-6 with a 3.23 goals-against average and .900 save percentage in 50 games (49 starts). It was the highest GAA and lowest save percentage he has had in any of his nine NHL seasons when he played at least 30 games. The Panthers need him to bounce back this season. It starts Tuesday. — Bill Price, Editor-in-Chief 

Tuesday schedule

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

Each team is coming off its first win of the season Saturday, when the Rangers shut out the New York Islanders 5-0 and the Devils defeated the Boston Bruins 2-1 in overtime.

Buffalo Sabres at Philadelphia Flyers, 7 p.m. ET (NBCSP, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

The Sabres look for more from their top line of Jack Eichel, Taylor Hall and Sam Reinhart, which combined to score eight points when the teams played Monday, a 6-1 Sabres win.

Chicago Blackhawks at Florida Panthers, 7 p.m. ET (FS-F, NBCSCH, NHL.TV)

Forward Jonathan Huberdeau scored three points (one goal, two assists) when the Panthers defeated the Blackhawks 5-2 in their season opener Sunday.

Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7 p.m. ET (NBCSN, SN, ATTSN- PT, NBCSWA)

The Penguins will try for their second straight win against the Capitals after opening the season with two losses to the Flyers.

Winnipeg Jets at Ottawa Senators, 7 p.m. ET (TVAS, TSN5, TSN3, NHL.TV)

Jets forward Kyle Connor has scored a goal in each of the first two games of the season and has scored four points (two goals, two assists).

Columbus Blue Jackets at Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN+, FS-D, FS-O, NHL.TV)

The Blue Jackets try for their second win of the season after Joonas Korpisalo made 35 saves in a 3-2 victory against the Red Wings on Monday.

Carolina Hurricanes at Nashville Predators, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN+, FS-TN, FS-CR, NHL.TV)

Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov scored a goal and had an assist in a 4-2 win against the Predators on Monday and can extend his season-opening point streak to four games.

Colorado Avalanche at Los Angeles Kings, 10 p.m. ET (NHLN, SN, FS-W, ALT, NHL.TV)

The Avalanche start a four-game road trip with two games in three nights against the Kings, who are looking for their first win of the season.

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