NHL On Tap: Predators look for statement win against Golden Knights

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Predators look for statement win in Vegas

The Nashville Predators have a chance to make big statement when they play at the Vegas Golden Knights (10 p.m. ET; ATTSN-RM, BSSO, ESPN+, NHL LIVE). The Predators (20-11-2) are coming off a 6-1 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. A win in Las Vegas would be another indication for why they should be taken seriously as a top team in the NHL. The Predators beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 at home Dec. 16. It was a signature win, the kind that turned heads considering the opponent. This would be another one of those types of wins if they can get it against the Golden Knights, who are coming off a 5-4 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday. Vegas (22-12-1) is first in the Pacific Division, four points ahead of the Anaheim Ducks, and 10-2-1 since Dec. 3. The Predators are second in the Central Division, one point behind the St. Louis Blues. — Dan Rosen, senior writer

 

Hughes, Devils bring streaks to Boston

Jack Hughes has three consecutive multipoint games (three goals, five assists) for the New Jersey Devils, who have won three straight since the NHL holiday break. They look to keep those streaks alive when the Devils visit the Boston Bruins on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; SNP, NESN, MSG+, ESPN+, NHL LIVE). After Hughes scored three points (one goal, two assists) for New Jersey (13-15-5) in a 4-3 victory against the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday, he scored three more (two goals, one assist), including the winning goal in overtime, in a 6-5 victory against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday and had two assists in a 4-3 overtime win against the Washington Capitals on Sunday. Boston (16-10-2) has won two in a row since the break, a 4-3 overtime victory against Buffalo on Saturday and a 5-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday. — Tom Gulitti, Staff Writer

 

Another test for hot Panthers

The Florida Panthers (21-7-4) continue to make it clear that they are a viable Stanley Cup contender with a three-game winning streak out of the break, including victories against the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning. But they’re not just hot right now — they’re steaming. The Panthers have scored 18 goals in the past three games, including nine against the Lightning on Dec. 30. Florida is two points behind the Washington Capitals for most in the NHL and one behind the Lightning for first in the Atlantic Division. The Panthers look to keep rolling when they host the Calgary Flames (7 p.m. ET; BSFL, SNW, ESPN+, NHL LIVE). The Flames (17-7-6) have scored 11 goals in their past two games after an 18-day COVID-19-related shutdown. They seek their third consecutive victory Tuesday, trying to make up ground in the Pacific Division, where they are in third place, five points behind the first-place Vegas Golden Knights and one point behind the Anaheim Ducks. — Amalie Benjamin, staff writer

 

Tuesday schedule

New Jersey Devils at Boston Bruins (7 p.m. ET; SNP, NESN, MSG+, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

Dougie Hamilton will not play for the Devils after the defenseman left their game Sunday in the first period when he was hit in the face by a puck. The Bruins are coming off consecutive wins after coach Bruce Cassidy broke up the team’s top line, putting David Pastrnak with Erik Haula and Taylor Hall, and adding Craig Smith to the top line with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron

Calgary Flames at Florida Panthers (7 p.m. ET; BSFL, SNW, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau has a road point streak of 10 games, which started Nov. 16, during which he’s scored 15 points (seven goals, eight assists). Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jake Guentzel is the only player with a longer streak this season. His 12-game point streak on the road ended Dec. 6. Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau has scored eight points (one goal, seven assists) in his past two games and is fourth in the NHL with 41 points (11 goals, 30 assists).

Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets (7 p.m. ET; BSOH, BSSUN, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Lightning (21-8-5) have lost three straight games (0-2-1) for the second time this season (0-2-1 from Oct. 19-25). Forward Oliver Bjorkstrand is out of NHL COVID-19 protocol and expected to return for the Blue Jackets (15-14-1), a boost for a team that lost 7-4 to the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday, allowing seven straight goals after taking a 4-0 lead. However, Columbus defenseman Zach Werenski was placed in COVID-19 protocol Tuesday and will not play.

San Jose Sharks at Detroit Red Wings (7:30 p.m. ET; BSDET, NBCSCA, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Red Wings (15-15-3) have lost two in a row, including a 5-1 loss to the Bruins on Sunday, and have been outscored 8-2 in those defeats. The loss Sunday dropped them behind the Bruins in the Atlantic Division standings, where they are fifth. The Sharks (17-15-1) lost 8-5 to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday and have allowed 17 goals in their past three games (2-1-0). They will be without forward Logan Couture, who was placed in COVID-19 protocol Tuesday.

Colorado Avalanche at Chicago Blackhawks (8:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, HULU, TVAS, NHL LIVE)

Nathan MacKinnon had three assists in a 4-2 win for the Avalanche (18-8-2) against the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday to extend his point streak to 10 games, during which he’s scored 17 points (two goals, 15 assists). It’s the fifth time he’s had a point streak of at least 10 games in the NHL. Only Joe Sakic (10 times), Peter Stastny (10 times) and Michel Goulet (seven times) have more in Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques history. Colorado is 7-2-1 (.750 points percentage) since MacKinnon returned to the lineup Dec. 1 after a lower-body injury. Blackhawks (11-17-4) goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to make his first start since Dec. 17 after being removed from NHL COVID-19 protocol Sunday. 

Winnipeg Jets at Arizona Coyotes (9 p.m. ET; BSAZ+, TSN3, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Jets (15-11-5) go for their third straight win after a 5-4 overtime victory against the Vegas Golden Knights, their first game since Dec. 19. Clayton Keller has scored six points (four goals, two assists) during a three-game point streak for the Coyotes (6-21-3), who will play their first game since an 8-7 shootout loss to the Sharks on Dec. 28 after their scheduled game against the Dallas Stars on Sunday was postponed because of COVID-19 concerns.

Nashville Predators at Vegas Golden Knights (10 p.m. ET; ATTSN-RM, BSSO, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

Predators captain Roman Josi has scored 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in his past 17 games and is second among NHL defenseman with 11 goals and fourth with 30 points this season. Golden Knights forward Mattias Janmark has scored four goals in the past three games.

Philadelphia Flyers at Anaheim Ducks (10 p.m. ET; SN, BSSC, BSSD, NBCSP, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

Goalie Carter Hart, who was removed from NHL COVID-19 protocol Saturday and practiced Monday, is expected to return for the Flyers (13-13-6). The Ducks (17-11-7) canceled practice Monday after forwards Nicolas Deslauriers and Derek Grant, along with a team staff member, entered COVID-19 protocol. Forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Trevor Zegras already were in protocol for the Ducks, who have lost four straight (0-2-2). 

Washington Capitals at Montreal Canadiens (postponed)

New York Islanders at Seattle Kraken Senators (postponed)

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