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 eight games Saturday.
Suzuki leads Canadiens against Kings
The results may not be where the Montreal Canadiens would prefer, sixth in the Atlantic Division with a 13-11-2 record, but it’s hard to argue with what they’ve gotten from new captain Nick Suzuki. The forward leads Montreal with 29 points (14 goals, 15 assists) in 26 games this season and earned the Molson Cup for November, given to the team’s best player each month. Suzuki will be honored before the Canadiens host the Los Angeles Kings (14-11-4) at Bell Centre on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, TVAS, CITY, SNE, BSW) and then will try to extend his four-game point streak (two goals, three assists). The Kings are 3-4-3 in their past 10 games, including being shut out 5-0 by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday. — Amalie Benjamin, staff writer
Marner can extend point streak to 22 games
It’s been marvelous to watch Mitchell Marner continue his point streak. The forward ran it to 21 straight games for the Maple Leafs when they defeated the Kings 5-0 on Thursday, and the forward has 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists) in that span. He’ll look to make it 22 in a row when the Maple Leafs (17-5-6) host the Calgary Flames (13-11-3) on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, SNO, SNW, SNP, ESPN+). Marner is the 10th player in 35 years to have a point streak of at least 21 games in the NHL, and third among active players (Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks had a 26-game point streak from Oct. 17-Dec. 15, 2015 and Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins had a 25-game streak from Nov. 5-Dec. 29, 2010). The Maple Leafs will take it, as they will their recent run of team success: they’re 10-0-3 in their past 13 games, three off the longest point streak in franchise history (14-0-2 from Nov. 22 to Dec. 26, 2003). — Tracey Myers, staff writer
Robertson looks to get back on track for Stars
Jason Robertson has been so good this season that it’s notable when the forward goes a game without a point. That he’s gone two straight without one is downright stunning considering the season he’s had. But Robertson can end his mini-drought when the Dallas Stars (15-7-5) host the Detroit Red Wings at American Airlines Center on Saturday (2 p.m. ET; NHLN, BSSW, BSDET, SN NOW). Robertson’s 23 goals are second in the NHL to Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (25) and his 41 points are tied for third behind McDavid (54) and Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (46). Robertson has done well against the Red Wings in his four NHL seasons with 11 points (five goals, six assists) in eight games. Detroit (13-8-5) will look to slow Robertson and win for the third time on their four-game road trip (2-1-0). Detroit forward David Perron is expected to play in his 1,000th NHL game. — Adam Kimelman, deputy managing editor
Ottawa Senators at Nashville Predators (1:30 p.m. ET; TVAS, BSSO, TSN5, ESPN)
Defenseman Thomas Chabot has goals in three straight games and six points (three goals, three assists) in a four-game point streak for the Senators (10-14-2). The Predators’ three-game winning streak ended Thursday when they lost 5-2 to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Seven of Nashville’s past eight wins have been by one goal. The Predators (12-10-2) are 8-0-2 in one-goal games this season.
Detroit Red Wings at Dallas Stars (2 p.m. ET; NHLN, BSSW, BSDET, SN NOW)
Detroit is 0-7-2 in its past nine games in Dallas; the Red Wings’ first road win against the Stars was Feb. 29, 2016. Dallas forward Roope Hintz has eight points (three goals, five assists) in his past four games.
Florida Panthers at Tampa Bay Lightning (4:30 p.m. ET; SN360, BSSUNX, BSFL, ESPN+, SN NOW)
The Panthers (13-10-4) have scored at least five goals in six of their past seven wins dating to Nov. 6, including five goals Thursday in a 5-1 win against the Red Wings. Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk has a four-game point streak (three goals, five assists). The Lightning (16-9-1) have won nine of their past 12 games. Lightning goalie Brian Elliott is 6-0-0 in six appearances since Oct. 22, his longest winning streak in five years. Tampa Bay forward Steven Stamkos has a 12-game point streak (seven goals, 12 assists).
Buffalo Sabres at Pittsburgh Penguins (7 p.m. ET; ATTSN-PT, MSG-B, ESPN+, SN NOW)
It’s the second of a back-to-back set after the Penguins defeated the Sabres 4-3 in overtime Friday. The Penguins (15-8-4) have won four straight and are 9-1-1 in their past 11 games. Forward Tage Thompson has 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in a six-game point streak for the Sabres (12-13-2), who are 3-1-1 in their past five.
Calgary Flames at Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m. ET; CBC, SNO, SNW, SNP, ESPN+)
The Flames had their three-game winning streak end with a 3-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday. Maple Leafs forward Michael Bunting has nine assists in a seven-game point/assist streak.
Los Angeles Kings at Montreal Canadiens (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, CITY, SNE, TVAS, BSW)
The Kings had scored at least one power-play goal in their previous seven games (11 power-play goals) before being held scoreless in three chances against the Maple Leafs on Thursday. The Canadiens have been off since Tuesday, when they scored two goals in seven seconds during the second period in a 4-2 win against the Seattle Kraken.
Carolina Hurricanes at New York Islanders (7:30 p.m. ET; MSGSN, BSSO, ESPN+, SN NOW)
Sebastian Aho (lower-body) did not practice Friday with the Hurricanes (14-6-6) and is not expected to play Saturday. Forward Jesper Fast may also be out for Carolina, which has points in six straight games (4-0-2). Forward Brock Nelson has a seven-game point streak (five goals, three assists) for the Islanders (17-11-0), who defeated the New Jersey Devils 6-4 on Friday. Nelson hasn’t gone consecutive games without a point this season, with a point in 22 of 28 games.
Minnesota Wild at Vancouver Canucks (10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, CITY, BSN, BSWI, ESPN+)
The Canucks (12-12-3) have won six of eight games, including three straight in overtime. Forward Elias Pettersson became just the second player in Canucks history to score the overtime winner in consecutive games, scoring Dec. 5 against the Canadiens and Dec. 7 against the San Jose Sharks, joining Mike Santorelli (Oct. 6 and 8, 2013). The Wild (13-11-2) have lost two in a row after a 5-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Friday. Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov had an assist Friday to extend his franchise-record point streak to 14 games (nine goals, 12 assists). It’s the third-longest in the NHL this season.