Each Canadian NHL team in action has a reason to be confident on Tuesday night. The Canadiens have home ice for a tasty showdown with the Predators, the Senators like playing in New York, while the Canucks and even the Oilers carry the momentum of victories in their recent starts.
Here are four things to watch in tonight’s games:
Nashville’s Pekka Rinne is still two to four weeks away after sustaining a sprained knee. Montreal’s Carey Price, who missed the last two games with an upper-body injury, is back practising but not expected to start.
Even though they’re facing a Rangers team that’s coming off a 5-2 victory over Pittsburgh and is on home ice, the Ottawa Senators (18-18-8) have a lot of confidence heading into Tuesday’s game at Madison Square Garden.
They’ve managed to defeat the Rangers (26-13-4) in New York the last seven times they’ve met, and they’ve seen some decent play from Craig Anderson, despite a 3-2 loss Saturday to Carolina. The goalie has fashioned a respectable 6-3-2 record in his last 11 starts.
Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has struggled against the Senators, losing all seven of those home games and four of the last five overall. Lundqvist is expected to start, despite smashing his hand against a skate in the Sunday win over Pittsburgh.
A team finally scored on Ryan Miller after his shutout streak lasted just over 200 minutes, but the Canucks (26-15-3) continued their flawless road trip with a 2-1 win Monday in Florida. Now they’ll tangle with the Lightning (29-14-4) in St. Petersburg, Fla.
One of the Oilers’ young guns, Nail Yakupov, came through Saturday in their 3-2 shootout victory over the Panthers. The 21-year-old was the first to shoot against Roberto Luongo and made good on his chance to end another Oilers losing streak.
Now Edmonton ?(12-26-9) will be facing a Capitals team stinging from a pair of one-goal defeats in its last two outings. Washington (24-13-8) is shooting for an eighth consecutive home victory and has witnessed an upswing in production by Alex Ovechkin, who’s notched 13 points, including nine goals, in his last 10 games.
The Capitals have taken eight of their last nine encounters with the Oilers.