The Panthers and the Devils do battle and more NHL Games of the Week

Panthers Devils NHL
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - APRIL 02: Sam Bennett #9 of the Florida Panthers celebrates the game-winning overtime goal by Gustav Forsling #42 against Andrew Hammond #35 of the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on April 02, 2022 in Newark, New Jersey. The Panthers defeated the Devils 7-6 in overtime.

Saturday, December 17th – 7 pm Eastern – SiriusXM 91
Florida Panthers at New Jersey Devils

A meeting of two teams that have so far defied pre-season expectations, but for polar opposite reasons.  The Panthers have not, as of yet, lived up to their billing, while the Devils have overachieved. Can Florida find their game and climb back into the Eastern Conference playoff race? Can New Jersey maintain their game and grip on first place in the Metropolitan Division?

Sunday, December 18th – 8 pm Eastern – SiriusXM 91
Winnipeg Jets at Seattle Kraken

It appears last season was merely an annoying anomaly for the Jets, who find themselves again in the middle of the playoff mix in the Central Division. Over in the Pacific Division, the second-year Kraken may be the pleasant surprise of the season, as they’ve been sitting in the top three in their division almost from day one.

Monday, December 19th – 7 pm Eastern – SiriusXM 91
Detroit Red Wings at Washington Capitals

It’s been a good start to the season for the Red Wings, who haven’t qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoff since 2016. They face a Capitals’ team that has been hobbled by injuries to key players, though Washington has been playing better in the past couple of weeks. The storyline is also future Hockey Hall of Fame forward Alexander Ovechkin, who last week became only the third NHL’er to reach the 800 regular season career goal mark…and counting.

Tuesday, December 20th – 7 pm Eastern – SiriusXM 91
New York Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins

Did the Rangers overachieve last season? Are they a playoff team this time around? Even their own passionate fans cannot agree, and tonight New York visits a Penguins squad that has also run hot and cold this season. The tight battle for a playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division means the two points up for grabs are important, even in late December.

Wednesday, December 21st – 9:30 pm Eastern – SiriusXM 91
Edmonton Oilers at Dallas Stars

Jason Robertson has been a goal-scoring sensation for the Stars this season, and tonight he and his teammates face a visiting Oilers roster that features the top two point producers in the league. While Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have produced as expected, if not more, the concerns about Edmonton revolve around depth scoring, defence, and the question that asks if their goaltending is more reliable than last season (seemingly yes, so far).

Thursday, December 22nd – 7:00 pm Eastern – SiriusXM 91
Winnipeg Jets at Boston Bruins

As good as the Jets have been two months into the 2022-23 regular season, the Bruins have been better, particularly on home ice. This will be a good test for Winnipeg, who have picked themselves up from a disappointing season last year. Boston has designs on first place in the Atlantic Division, with only Toronto currently offering any real competition for that crown.

Friday, December 23rd – 8:00 pm Eastern – SiriusXM 91
Colorado Avalanche at Nashville Predators

While injuries have always been a factor in sports, spare a thought for the Colorado Avalanche, who currently have to endure the loss of front-line players that would capsize lesser talented teams. The defending Cup champion Avalanche needs to keep things close in hopes of getting those players back in time to make a run for better playoff positioning in the tough Central Division. As for the Predators, they have stayed close in the race for one of the two wildcard spots up for grabs in the Western Conference, a race that should go down right to the wire.