Acorn returns to Buffalo on a winning streak
Jack Acorn Being back in Buffalo and feeling as good in his game as he has in a long time could make for some very interesting television viewing. The Vegas Golden Knights center is on a six-game streak (eight points; three goals, five assists) and his team is bringing an eight-game winning streak to the KeyBank Center to play the Buffalo Sabers (7:00 p.m. ET; ESPN+, HULU, SN NOW). Eichel leads Vegas with 15 points (six goals, nine assists). He is returning to Buffalo as a guest player for the second time since the Sabers traded him to the Golden Knights on November 4, 2021. Eichel played for Buffalo last season but didn’t have a point in a 3-1 loss on March 10. Vegas (12-2-0) leads the NHL with 12 wins and 24 points. Buffalo (7-6-0) desperately needs a win. The Sabers have lost three straight after winning three in a row and need to end their losing streak early if they want to be a contender for the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season. Too often in the past they’ve let bad streaks fester and ruined strong starts. A win against the Golden Knights would restore their confidence. — Dan Rosen, senior writer
Blackhawks try to slow down Kings’ Vilardi
Gabriel Vilardi will look to continue his scoring streak when the Los Angeles Kings (8-6-1) defeat the Chicago Blackhawks (5-5-2) at Crypto.com Arena (10:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, HULU, SN360, TVAS, SN NOW). The 23-year-old forward has 10 goals in 15 games this season, including one in five straight home games, building on his NHL career high set in 54 games in 2020-21. Connor McDavid the Edmonton Oilers (14 goals) and Bo Horvat The Vancouver Canucks (12) are the only players in the league with more goals. Only three Kings players have needed fewer games to score 10 goals in a season over the past 30 years: Michael Cammalleri (10 games in 2007/08), Anze Kopitar (12 games 2009-10) and Luc Robitaille (12 games 1999-2000 and 13 games 1992-93). — Tom Gulitti, staff writer
Oilers visit Hurricanes in potential Stanley Cup preview
The Carolina Hurricanes and Oilers went into the season as two of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup after Edmonton reached the Western Conference Finals last season and Carolina was just one win away from the Eastern Conference Finals. Carolina (8-4-1) has lost back-to-back, including 3-0 at the Florida Panthers on Wednesday, completing the clash when Edmonton beat Edmonton at the PNC Arena (7:00 p.m. ET; BSSO, SNW, ESPN+ , SN NOW). One of the Hurricanes’ four regular losses this season came at the Oilers (6-4 on Oct. 20). McDavid will be looking to extend his points streak to nine games, with other Oilers moving forward Leon Draisaitl will try to get his to 10 games. Draisaitl also has a five-game scoring streak. But Edmonton (8-6-0) is playing its first game without a forward Evander Kanewho will be out for 3-4 months after his wrist was cut by a skate in Tuesday’s 3-2 Tampa Bay Lightning win. – David Satriano, staff writer
Games on Thursday
Calgary Flames at Boston Bruins (7 p.m. ET; SN360, SNE, SNO, SNP, TVAS, NESN, ESPN+, SN NOW)
The Bruins (11-2-0) may tie their longest season-opening home winning streak (8-0-0 in 1983-84). They win a 3-1 win against the St. Louis Blues as a goaltender on Monday Linus Ullmark made 26 saves for his ninth win (9-1-0) with an average of 2.05 goals and 0.932 saves. The Flames (5-5-2) have lost all five games in November and have been 0-4-2 in the last six. They last won on October 25, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 at home. They have scored the first goal in three games in a row.
Edmonton Oilers at Carolina Hurricanes (7 p.m. ET; BSSO, SNW, ESPN+, SN NOW)
Forward Martin Neca leads the Hurricanes with 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) and has points in 10 of 13 games this season, including five multipoint games. Carolina is 2-0-0 in the second game of the season. McDavid has 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) in his last eight games and Draisaitl has 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in his last nine for the Oilers.
Ottawa Senators at the New Jersey Devils (7 p.m. ET; MSGSN2, TSN5, RDS, ESPN+, SN NOW)
The Devils (10-3-0) and Senators (4-8-0) are going in different directions. New Jersey has won 10 of 11 and has eight straight wins for the first time since February 6-22, 2011. Ottawa has lost six straight games, all in the rule.
Philadelphia Flyers at Columbus Blue Jackets (7 p.m. ET; BSOH, NBCSP, ESPN+, SN NOW)
John Tortorella will take on his former team as coach of the Flyers for the first time. Tortorella coached the Blue Jackets for six seasons from 2015-21, going 227-166-54 in 447 games and having the most wins of any coach in Columbus history. Philadelphia is 7-3-2 in its first 12 games under Tortorella, including a 5-1 win over St. Louis on Tuesday. The Blue Jackets (3-9-0) have lost five straight games, including two to the Colorado Avalanche on Friday and Saturday at the 2022 NHL Global Series in Tampere, Finland. This is her first game since this trip.
Vegas Golden Knights at Buffalo Sabers (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, HULU, SN NOW)
The Golden Knights may tie the second-longest winning streak in their history behind a 10-game run April 9-28, 2021. They play the last of five games that include wins against the Washington Capitals, Senators, Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs. The Sabers lost 4-1 at home to the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday.
New York Rangers at Detroit Red Wings (7 p.m. ET; BSDET, MSG, ESPN+, SN NOW)
The Red Wings (7-3-3) are 3-0-1 in November, including a 3-2 win in overtime at Rangers on Sunday when they came from a 2-0 deficit at the start of the second period came back. They lost 2-3 in a shootout to the Canadiens on Tuesday. The Rangers (6-5-3) have lost three times in a row (0-2-1), including a 4-3 loss to the New York Islanders on Tuesday. They led 3-1 at the start of the third period but conceded three goals in a row.
Arizona Coyotes at New York Islanders (7:30 p.m. ET; MSGSN, BSAZ, ESPN+, SN NOW)
The Islanders (9-5-0) have recovered from two goals down in the third period and won each of their last two games, 4-3 in overtime against the Flames on Monday and Rangers on Tuesday. They have won seven out of eight and have been 8-0-0 against Arizona since October 8, 2013. The Coyotes (5-6-1) have won the first two of a 14-game road trip. Karel Wejmelka allowed three goals in 69 shots in the two games.
San Jose Sharks at the St. Louis Blues (8 p.m. ET; BSMW, NBCSCA, ESPN+, SN NOW)
The Blues (3-8-0) are hoping to end their eight-game losing streak. They were surpassed 38-12 in that span, losing four games by four goals and two by three. The Sharks (3-8-3) have lost four straight games, including the last three in the shootout, opening a four-game trip.
Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche (9 p.m. ET; ALT, BSSO, ESPN+, SN NOW)
The Avalanche (6-4-1) are playing their first game since returning from Finland where they played in the middle Nathan MacKinnon had seven assists in his two wins against the Blue Jackets. But injuries to the defenders Bowen Byram (week to week, lower body) and Samuel Girard (Day by day, lower body) affected the journey. Colorado was already missing up front Valery Nikhushkin (ankle surgery), Gabriel Landeskog (knee surgery) and Darren Helm (unknown). The Predators (5-7-1) lose 5-1 at the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday. This is the finale of their five-game road trip (2-2-0).
Chicago Blackhawks v Los Angeles Kings (10:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, HULU, SN360, TVAS, SN NOW)
The Kings are in the middle of a four-game homestand 2-0-0 and 5-2-1 in their last eight games. The Blackhawks are 1-3-2 in their last six after a four-game winning streak, but that win was a 2-1 overtime win over the Kings at home on Nov. 3. Jonathan Tows leads Chicago with seven goals in 12 games after the forward had 12 goals in 71 games last season.
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