Duels to watch: Vital Ovechkin-Crosby game in playoff race
Crosby and the Penguins neck and neck with Ovechkin and the Capitals
A clash between the two great rivals Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby Still grabs attention, but the two teams’ closeness in the standings makes this duel between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena (7 p.m. ET; NBCSWA, ATTSN-PT, ESPN+, SN NOW) even more important .
Both teams have 56 points and hold the two fourth aces spots in the Eastern Conference. And as is often the case, the performance of the two generationally talented players has been central to their team’s successes, or failures, of late.
Crosby had nine points (two goals, seven assists) over the last five games, a streak in which the Penguins (24-15-8) had at least one point each time (3-0-2). It wasn’t always easy, like in their 7-6 overtime win over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, but Pittsburgh finds a way to score points.
Ovechkin has been limited to two goals in his last two games, which partly explains the setbacks of the Capitals (25-19-6), which are 3-6-0 in their last nine games. Ovechkin was notably absent against the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday, and unsurprisingly, the Capitals pulled it off in a 6-2 loss.
The Capitals’ struggles also stem from their power play performance. They have scored just one goal in 22 attempts in their last nine games, and have allowed their opponents a shorthanded goal as a bonus.
Tristan Jarry will be absent for at least the next two games for the Penguins, who could still count on the return to play of the defender Kris Letangwho had four points (two goals, two assists) against the Panthers.
Titan duels in the Atlantic section
The Tampa Bay Lightning will be looking for their 11th straight win at home, but the challenge will be daunting as the Boston Bruins visit Amalie Arena (7 p.m. ET; TVAS, SNE, SNO, SNP, BSSUN, NESN , ESPN+, SN NOW).
The Bruins (38-5-4), who are having a historic season, have won their last seven games on the road, and have not lost in regulation in their last ten games on opposing ice (9 -0-1)
The Bruins became the team that needed the fewest games (47) in NHL history on Tuesday to reach the 80-point plateau.
The Lightning’s recent success (30-15-1) stems from the performance of several of their key players. The Guardian Andrei Vasilevskiy notably won eight of his last 11 starts to bring his total to 250 wins in 399 regular season games. He is the second fastest goaltender to reach this milestone in NHL history, after Ken Dryden (381 games).
The Captain of Tampa Bay Steven Stamkos has found the back of the net in his last four games, and has collected at least one point in his last nine games (seven goals, six assists).
Thompson, Dahlin continue to pull Sabers to playoffs
The Buffalo Sabers will look to continue their progress toward a playoff berth when they visit the Winnipeg Jets at the Canada Life Center (8 p.m. ET; TSN3, MSG-B, ESPN+, SN NOW).
Two Sabers players (25-19-3) are delivering performances that have them talking about some of the individual honors handed out at the end of the season, and their performance is one of the main reasons why Buffalo could put an end to an absence from the spring tournament that has lasted since 2011.
Tagus Thompson is a leading candidate for the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player. Thompson has eight points (two goals, six assists) over the past five games. During the same period, the defender Rasmus Dahlinan increasingly serious contender for the Norris Trophy, had five points (one goal, four assists).
The Jets (31-17-1) managed to neutralize Thompson in the only meeting between the two teams this season, a 4-2 victory by Winnipeg at KeyBank Center on January 12.
If the Sabers are riding a four-game winning streak, it should be noted that the Jets have won their last three games in front of their fans.
In action tonight…
Boston Bruins at Tampa Bay Lightning (7 p.m. ET; TVAS, SNE, SNO, SNP, BSSUN, NESN, ESPN+, SN NOW)
Detroit Red Wings at Montreal Canadiens (7 p.m. ET; RDS, TSN2, BSDETX, ESPN+, SN NOW)
Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals (7 p.m. ET; NBCSWA, ATTSN-PT, ESPN+, SN NOW)
Buffalo Sabers at Winnipeg Jets (8 p.m. ET; TSN3, MSG-B, ESPN+, SN NOW)
New Jersey Devils at Nashville Predators (8 p.m. ET; BSSO, MSGSN, ESPN+, SN NOW)
Philadelphia Flyers at Minnesota Wild (8 p.m. ET; ESPN+, HULU, SN NOW)
Anaheim Ducks at Colorado Avalanche (9 p.m. ET; SN360, ALT, BSW, ESPN+, SN NOW)
Chicago Blackhawks at Calgary Flames (9 p.m. ET; TVAS, SNW, NBCSCH+, ESPN+, SN NOW)
St. Louis Blues at Arizona Coyotes (9 p.m. ET; BSAZ, BSNW, ESPN+, SN NOW)