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 Saturday.
Terrific Toffoli looking for more
What more does Montreal Canadiens forward Tyler Toffoli have to give after scoring six points (five goals, one assist) in two straight games (1-0-1) against his former team, the Vancouver Canucks, on Wednesday and Thursday? We’ll find out in their third game in four days at Rogers Arena on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, CITY, TVAS, NHL.TV). Toffoli, who signed a four-year contract with the Canadiens on Oct. 12, scored 44 points (24 goals, 20 assists) in 68 games for the Canucks and Los Angeles Kings in 2019-20. The 28-year-old, who played 10 regular-season games and seven Stanley Cup Playoff games with Vancouver last season, is the first player in NHL history to score each of his first five goals with a team against his previous team. Toffoli is certainly proving to be a solid offseason acquisition. He brings championship pedigree, having won the Stanley Cup as a rookie with the Kings in 2013-14, and versatility with an ability to play anywhere in the lineup and be effective in all situations. — Mike G. Morreale, staff writer
One of the blessings of the 2020-21 NHL season, division realignment and schedule is more games between the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins. The teams will play for the second time in three days at TD Garden on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, NESN, NBCSP, NHL.TV) and still have six more games to play this season in the MassMutual East Division. The game Saturday will be much about style. The Bruins prefer not to play wide open and trade scoring chances, as they did in their 5-4 win in a shootout against the Flyers on Thursday, when they scored four goals in the third period before getting the shootout winner from forward Jake DeBrusk. Before that game, the Bruins had a 3-2 win in a shootout and 2-1 loss in overtime against the New Jersey Devils and a 1-0 loss to the New York Islanders. The Flyers have scored 19 goals in their first five games, going 3-1-1, including a 6-3 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins and a 6-1 victory against the Buffalo Sabres. The difference in styles makes for an intriguing rematch in Boston on Saturday. — Tim Campbell, staff writer
Kings try to build on first win
It’s always interesting to see how teams with lower outside expectations, rebuilding teams like the Los Angeles Kings, play at the start of the season. Will they surprise? Will they be what we all thought they’d be? The Kings have been closer to a surprise through four games and they were rewarded Thursday with an impressive 4-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche, for many a Stanley Cup favorite this season. The Kings started with consecutive 4-3 overtime losses to the Minnesota Wild followed by a 3-2 loss to the Avalanche before winning Thursday. They’ll try to follow up that performance against another Stanley Cup contender, the St. Louis Blues, at Enterprise Center (8 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-MW, FS-W, NHL.TV). It’s the Kings’ first road game of the season; they’ll play against the Blues again on Sunday. The Blues are coming off a 2-1 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks. Their offense has run hot and cold in their four games; hot in wins against the Avalanche (4-1) and Sharks (5-4) and cold in losses against the same two teams, including 8-0 against Colorado. The Kings can make things interesting in the Honda West Division if they keep building their game the way they have this season. — Dan Rosen, senior writer
Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets, 2 p.m. ET (NHLN, ESPN+, SN, FS-O, SUN, NHL.TV)
The Lightning will go for their fourth straight win to start the season after Brayden Point scored in overtime to give them a 3-2 win against the Blue Jackets on Thursday.
Montreal Canadiens at Vancouver Canucks, 7 p.m. ET (CBC, SN, CITY, TVAS, NHL.TV)
This is the third game between the Canadiens and Canucks in four nights. They combined for 20 goals in the first two; a 6-5 win in a shootout for Vancouver on Wednesday and a 7-3 win for Montreal on Thursday.
Philadelphia Flyers at Boston Bruins, 7 p.m. ET (NHLN, NESN, NBCSP, NHL.TV)
The Bruins had scored three goals in their first nine periods plus two overtimes before scoring four in the third period of a 5-4 shootout win against the Flyers on Thursday.
Los Angeles Kings at St. Louis Blues, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN+, FS-MW, FS-W, NHL.TV)
Kings center Anze Kopitar is tied for the NHL lead with six assists, including four in his past two games.
Ottawa Senators at Winnipeg Jets, 10 p.m. ET (NHLN, CBC, SN, NHL.TV)
The Jets defeated the Senators 4-1 on Thursday, when the teams combined for 14 penalties totaling 34 minutes in the third period.