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 five games on Friday.
Penguins vs. Flyers, round two
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers play at Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m. ET, NHLN, SN, TVAS, NBCSP, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV), two days after facing off on opening night. This will be a good indication of whether the realigned divisions and condensed regular-season schedule spices up rivalries — as if this intrastate feud needs any more seasoning. Will the Penguins have their postseason snarl two games into the season? Will the good vibes for the Flyers carry over from the 6-3 win on Wednesday in which Joel Farabee scored four points (one goal, three assists), Oskar Lindblom scored a goal in in in his first game in Philadelphia since being diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer on Dec. 11, 2019, and Nolan Patrick scored his first goal after missing last season with a migraine disorder? Can the Flyers keep Evgeni Malkin and Jake Guentzel off the scoreboard two nights in a row? I’ve got my popcorn ready. — William Douglas, staff writer
Hoffman’s debut with the Blues
Forward Mike Hoffman, who signed a one-year contract with the St. Louis Blues on Jan. 11, missed their season opener on Wednesday because of a delay in getting his work visa approved. The forward is expected to be eligible when the Blues play the Avalanche at Ball Arena (9 p.m. ET; ESPN+, ALT, FS-MW, NHL.TV). Although the Blues defeated the Avalanche 4-1 on Wednesday without Hoffman, they will surely get a boost with him in the lineup. Hoffman, who attended training camp on a professional tryout, led the Florida Panthers with 29 goals last season and 36 in in 2018-19. St. Louis hopes he can help fill in for Vladimir Tarasenko, who began the season on long-term injured reserve while recovering from shoulder surgery. — Tom Gulitti, staff writer
Stutzle’s NHL debut with Senators
I love seeing players break into the NHL, and I’m looking forward to seeing all of the excitement that comes with it when Tim Stutzle makes his debut for the Ottawa Senators when they play the Toronto Maple Leafs at Canadian Tire Centre (7 p.m. ET; RDS, TSN5, TSN4, NHL.TV). Selected No. 3 by the Senators in the 2020 NHL Draft, the 18-year-old impressed his teammates immediately upon joining training camp on Sunday. The Senators have said they’ll manage Stutzle’s minutes, so he’s not overtaxed. But whether he plays five or 15 minutes in his NHL debut, it should be fun to watch. — Tracey Myers, staff writer
Washington Capitals at Buffalo Sabres, 7 p.m. ET (MSG-B, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)
Forward Alex Ovechkin seeks to score his first goal of the season and climb the NHL all-time list.
Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers, 7 p.m. ET (NHLN, TVAS, SN, NBCSP, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)
The Flyers look for their second straight win against their intrastate rival.
Chicago Blackhawks at Tampa Bay Lightning, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN+, SUN, NBCSCH, NHL.TV)
Forward Steven Stamkos and the Lightning look to build off their season-opening win against the Blackhawks on Wednesday.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Ottawa Senators, 7 p.m. ET (RDS, TSN5, TSN4, NHL.TV)
Forward Tim Stutzle, the No. 3 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, is expected to make his NHL debut for the Senators.
St. Louis Blues at Colorado Avalanche, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN+, ALT, FS-MW, NHL.TV)
Forward Mike Hoffman is expected to make his season debut for the Blues.