NHL Games of the Week – March 26th to April 1st

NHL

Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Dominic Moore #28 of the New York Rangers line up for a face-off during the second period at Consol Energy Center on February 10, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Photo by Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images

Saturday, March 26th – Dallas Stars at San Jose Sharks
4:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91

The Stars and Sharks are both steaming towards the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.  The only question is, who will both teams face in the first round in the tough Western Conference?  Dallas have surprised people this season by holding down first place in the Central Division, a bracket that also includes the St. Louis Blues and the defending Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.  San Jose are holding their own in the Pacific Division, currently sitting third behind the powerful Kings and Ducks.

Sunday, March 27th – Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Rangers
7:30 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 219

The sudden resurgence of the Penguins is a cautionary tale for anyone who is foolish enough to think the NHL season is decided after only a couple of months.  Led by captain Sidney Crosby, and the steady goaltending of Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh are once again a force in the Metropolitan Division.  That’s the same division the Rangers reside in, and net minder Henrik Lundqvist continues to turn in stellar performances.  Both these teams sport similar records with less than 10 games to play in the regular season.

Monday, March 28th – Los Angeles Kings at San Jose Sharks
9:30 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91

While the Sharks have put together an impressive season, the Kings have been even better.  After missing the playoffs last season, Los Angeles have returned to their winning ways, and are in a battle with the rival Anaheim Ducks for top spot in the Pacific Division.  The Kings have a tougher regular season schedule remaining than the Ducks.

Tuesday, March 29th – Chicago Blackhawks at Minnesota Wild
8:00 PM Eastern – Sirius 216 XM 223

The defending Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks have not necessarily lit the hockey world on fire since the All-Star Break, but they did the same thing last season, and ended up winning their third Stanley Cup in six seasons once the dust settled in June.  They’re one of the top contenders yet again, and tonight face a Wild team that live up to their name, seemingly forever ensconced in a wild card battle…including this season.

Wednesday, March 30th – Calgary Flames at Anaheim Ducks
9:45 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91

After making the playoffs last spring, and taking the first round against the Canucks, the Flames will sit out the post-season this time around.  While that is disappointing for hockey fans in Cowtown, they have to be heartened by the plethora of impressive young talent on the Calgary roster.  Not the same thing for the Ducks, who are one of the top contenders for the Stanley Cup this season.  After a slow start, Anaheim are back to where they belong, fighting for first place in the Atlantic Division.

Thursday, March 31st – Nashville Predators at Pittsburgh Penguins
7:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 219

We know the Penguins have played better as-of-late.  What about the Nashville Predators?  They currently reside in one of the Western Conference wildcard spots, but could move up the standings in the best division in hockey, the Central Division.

Friday, April 1st – Vancouver Canucks at Anaheim Ducks
9:45 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91

The Canucks fell to the Calgary Flames in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs last spring, and will miss the entire tournament this time around.  There are a lot of questions about the future of the Vancouver roster, as the team’s brain trust decides which direction they wish to take the Canucks, who peaked in 2011 with a seven game loss to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final.

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