Tonight’s slate of games look extremely promising - on paper, at least. There are two great games in the Western Conference, one bitter rivalry match and a few gut check opportunities to boot. Let’s take a look at Wednesday’s offerings, including the standout duo.
Los Angeles Kings (39-22-4, 82 pts) at Chicago Blackhawks (43-17-5, 91 pts) 8:30 PM ET
This game puts together two teams that share some interesting similarities but also some glaring disparities. Both the Kings and Blackhawks feature mostly youthful core players along with solid veteran role players, defensive minded coaches and average goalies. Los Angeles might be a year behind Chicago, though, and their roster is as low-risk as the Blackhawks’ is now-or-nothing (we’ll discuss that later this week). This should be intriguing.
Vancouver Canucks (41-23-2, 84 pts) at Phoenix Coyotes (39-22-5, 83 pts) 10:00 PM ET
You really have to hand it to the Vancouver Canucks for playing so well in less than ideal circumstances. They’ve been hot lately (7-3) which is impressive considering the fact that they’re on a historic road trip. With the Sharks far, far ahead in first place, the light at the end of the tunnel for Phoenix would be holding onto the fourth seed.
Jump for the remaining games.
Dallas Stars (29-24-12, 70 pts) at Buffalo Sabres (35-20-9, 79 pts) 7:00 PM ET
This is a tale of two goalies. While Ryan Miller is becoming about as close to a household name as a goalie can get, Marty Turco is fighting for his future. Then again, if Turco keeps playing like he did against Washington, he might just stay in Dallas. (I still doubt that, though.)
New York Rangers (29-28-9, 67 pts) at New Jersey Devils (38-23-3, 79 pts) 7:00 PM ET
It’s good that this game gets a natural bump from being a rivalry match because the two teams aren’t bringing much to the table right now. The Rangers have slipped out of the top eight with a three game losing streak. The Devils are in a considerable slump right now, going 3-6-1 in their last 10 games.
Carolina Hurricanes (27-31-7, 61 pts) at Washington Capitals (44-13-9, 97 pts) 7:00 PM ET
OK, let’s see how hot the Carolina Hurricanes really are. Washington narrowly missed extending their home winning streak when they lost to Dallas in a thrilling game.