NHL On Tap: Gaudreau leads Flames against Golden Knights

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 six games Wednesday.

Calgary tries to gain ground

The Calgary Flames are in a slightly precarious situation, exiting the All-Star break, sitting fourth in the eight-team Pacific Division. But there’s also an opportunity because they have played the fewest games (42) in the division. The Flames (23-13-6) hold the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference and are three points ahead of their Alberta rivals, the Edmonton Oilers. Calgary is also five points behind the St. Louis Blues for the first wild card and seven behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the top spot in the Pacific, which means its game against Vegas (28-16-3) at Scotiabank Saddledome (9:30 p.m. ET; SN360, ATTSN-RM, ESPN+, NHL LIVE) could be a chance to make up some ground. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the Golden Knights are playing the second of a back-to-back set following a 4-0 win against the Oilers on Tuesday. Johnny Gaudreau, tied with Colorado Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen for sixth in the NHL with 54 points (18 goals, 36 assists), played his sixth All-Star Game and will be key for the Flames out of the break. — Amalie Benjamin, staff writer

Forsberg, Predators look to continue surge

Filip Forsberg and the Nashville Predators will look to pick up where they left off before the break when they visit the Dallas Stars (8 p.m. ET; TNT, TVAS, NHL LIVE). Forsberg has scored 13 goals in his past 14 games to increase his season total to 24 and is on four-game goal and point streak (five goals, three assists). The Predators (28-14-4) are 4-0-1 in their past five games. The Stars (23-18-2) trail the Flames by four points for the second wild card in the Western Conference after losing two of three games before the break. Forward Joe Pavelski has been held without a point in his past three games after scoring 27 points (10 goals, 17 assists) in his previous 14. — Tom Gulitti, staff writer

Flyers hope to keep momentum after break

The Philadelphia Flyers (15-22-8) won two games before the break and will look to continue to build momentum when they host the Detroit Red Wings (7 p.m. ET; NBCSP, BSDET, ESPN+, NHL LIVE). They hope to do better than the last time they returned from some extended time off. They were 4-0-1 in five games leading into the Christmas break and felt good about their game, but then were 1-10-3, including 13 straight losses, before the skid ended with those two recent wins. Getting Derick Brassard back after the forward missed 11 games with a lower-body injury should be a boost for Philadelphia. The Red Wings (20-21-6) are looking to get back on track after they were 2-4-1 leading into the All-Star break. — Adam Kimelman, deputy managing editor

Wednesday schedule

Detroit Red Wings at Philadelphia Flyers (7 p.m. ET; NBCSP, BSDET, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Red Wings and Flyers face off in the first game of a home-and-home series that concludes at Detroit on Saturday. Coming off an MVP appearance at the 2022 Honda NHL All-Star Game, Claude Giroux will look to keep rolling. The Flyers captain has scored eight points (four goals, four assists) in 11 games since Jan. 1.

Chicago Blackhawks at Edmonton Oilers (8 p.m. ET; SN, NBCSCH, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Blackhawks (16-23-7) are 1-5-2 in their past eight games, including three consecutive losses, following a four-game winning streak. Defenseman Seth Jones is fourth in the NHL and leads Chicago in averaging 26:12 of ice time. The Oilers (23-17-3) had a six-game point streak (5-0-1) end with a 4-0 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday. Goalie Mike Smith made 24 saves on 28 shots after missing eight games with a thumb injury.

Nashville Predators at Dallas Stars (8 p.m. ET; TNT, TVAS, NHL LIVE) 

Goalie Juuse Saros has not allowed more than two goals in his past five starts (4-0-1, 1.78 goals-against average, .950 save percentage) for the Predators. The Stars continue a stretch of six-straight home games after going 1-2-0 in their first three. Dallas is 15-6-1 at American Airlines Center this season.

Vegas Golden Knights at Calgary Flames (9:30 p.m. ET; SN360, ATTSN-RM, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

Robin Lehner is expected to start for the Golden Knights after goalie Laurent Brossoit had a 28-save shutout Tuesday. The Flames begin a seven-game homestand and will play 13 of 16 at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary has won three in a row and is 6-2-0 in its past eight games.

Arizona Coyotes at Seattle Kraken (10 p.m. ET; TVAS, ROOT-NW, BSAZ, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Kraken (15-27-4) left for the All-Star break on a high note with Philipp Grubauer getting the first shutout in team history, making 19 saves in a 3-0 victory against the New York Islanders on Feb. 2. Seattle forward Riley Sheahan is expected to play his 600th NHL game.The Coyotes (11-31-4) have one win in their past eight games (1-7-0) and are coming off a 5-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.

New York Islanders at Vancouver Canucks (10:30 p.m. ET; TNT, SNP, NHL LIVE)

The Islanders (16-17-6) open a four-game road trip against the Canucks (21-20-6). New York lost three of its final four games before the break. Vancouver opened a three-game homestand with a 5-1 win against Arizona on Tuesday backed by J.T Miller, Bo Horvat and Elias Pettersson, who each had a goal and an assist.

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