National Hockey League Games Preview for January 10, 2014 reveals basic info’s on six Friday games. It gives closer look to special team efficiencies and more. Read more below.
Dallas Stars at New York Rangers
Rangers won the first game of the season between these two teams 3-2 on November 21st in Dallas. Stars haven’t won a single game yet in 2014. Both teams have recorded 47 points so far this season. Stars are 11 points behind the third place in the Central Division; Rangers are tied at third in Metropolitan Division. Rangers have much better PP efficiency comparing to their opponents with 21.0 %, Dallas only 12.7 %. Blueshirts are also the better team in PK with 84.6 %, Stars are at 80.1%. Rangers won their last game 3:2 on Wednesday in Chicago. Stars conclude their Metropolitan area trip after they lost games to the Islanders 7:3 on Monday and yesterday night 1:0 to the Devils. Rangers won 5 points in their last three games. Rich Peverly has five points in as many games for Dallas; Brad Richards records 4 points in past three games for the Rangers. Stephane Robidas for Dallas and Derek Dorsett for the Rangers are on IR list.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Washington Capitals
Toronto won the first game these two teams played this season 2-1 in a SO at their Air Canada Centre on Nov. 21. Maple Leafs have lost all three games following a shootout win in 2014 Winter Classic against, they allowed 18 goals against in that streak. Capitals ended a four game losing streak with a 4:3 victory in Tampa Bay on Thursday night. Washington holds the best PP record in the League with 26.1 % efficiency Toronto is fifth best PP team at 21.4 %. Teams are less effective in PK, Toronto is fourth from the bottom with only 76.9 % success, and Washington is at 80.6 %. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has scored the most goals in the League (31), he also records the most PP goals (12). Joffrey Lupul scored a goal in each of the last three games for Maple Leafs. Dave Bolland and Trevor Smith are on IR for Toronto as well as Michael Latta and Jack Hillen for Washington.
New York Islanders at Colorado Avalanche
The last game between these two teams was on Nov. 10, 2011 also at Pepsi Center when Avalanche won 4-3 in OT after coming from 3:0 behind. Islanders are at the 8th spot in Metropolitan Division, but have won their last five away games. Avalanche end their seven game homestand. They are 4-1-1 in first six games. The teams are pretty close in PP efficiency; Colorado is at 19.8 % and Islanders at 19.4 %. Islanders are the least successful team of National Hockey league in PK at only 73.7 %, Avalanche have an 80.2 % PK. Islanders John Tavares holds the third best record in the League with 54 points, he is on a seven game point streak and has made 8 points in last two games. Another Islanders forward Thomas Vanek has a career high 10 game point streak. Gabriel Landeskog is in 8 game point streak for Colorado; Semyon Varlamov won his last four games in Avalanche goal. Avalanche PA Parenteau and Islanders Evgeni Nabokov, Radek Martinek and Lubomir Visnovsky are all on IR list.
Carolina Hurricanes at Columbus Blue Jackets
Blue Jackets won the first game between the teams 4-3 in Raleigh on Dec. 23rd. Hurricanes top goalie Cam Ward is still on IR, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky recently returned in goal for Columbus. Carolina is on a five game winning streak as Justin Peters and Anton Khudobin have done well in Hurricane’s goal in Ward’s absence. Carolina forward Patrick Dwyer is tied second in the League with 2 SHG. Jeff Skinner records 12 points in a six game scoring streak, and he holds third position in the National Hockey League with 9 PP goals. Both teams are not doing well in special teams. Carolina is at 79.7 % in PK; Blue Jackets are even worse with 79.3 %. Hurricanes PP efficiency is at only 14.9 % and Blue Jackets are at 17.1 %.
Pittsburgh Penguins at Edmonton Oilers
The team with the worst record in the Western Conference hosts the number one team of the Eastern Conference of National Hockey League. Pittsburgh won the first game between teams 3-2 at Consol Energy Center on Oct.15th. Penguins have returned four players back from IR list recently and scored 15 goals in past three games. Pittsburgh won 12 out of their last 14 games, Oilers lost 11 of 14. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby leads the League with 65 points; Evgeni Malkin recorded four points in two games after coming back from injury. Oilers Nail Yakupov has three goals in past four games. Pittsburgh is second best team in the League in PP efficiency at 25.7 % while the Oilers are at 17.4 %. Pittsburgh is also second best in PK at 88.8 %, Edmonton has 80.2 % PK.
St. Louis Blues at Vancouver Canucks
Canucks won at St. Louis Scottrade Center 3-2 in the first game between the teams on Oct. 25th. Blues are looking to continue their seven game winning streak. They will end their three game road trip to Western Canada. St. Louis is on top of the Central Division. Canucks lost their last five games. They lost to Pittsburgh 5-4 in a SO on Tuesday after they allowed two goals with the sixth skater on for Pens at the end of regular time. Blues goalie Brian Elliott allowed the opponents to score only nine goals against him in last seven games. And did we mention he won all of them? Canucks forward Daniel Sedin records five points in last five games. St. Louis leading scorer Alex Steen and defenseman Roman Polak are on IR as are Roberto Luongo, Alexandre Burrows, Alexander Edler, Ryan Stanton and Andrew Alberts for the Canucks. Vancouver is the best National Hockey League team in PK at 89.0 %; St.Louis is fifth at 85.4 %. Blues have the third best PP at 24.7 %, Canucks PP is worse with 15.7 % efficiency.
Text: Sela B.