NHL Games of the Week: Saturday, April 1st – Friday, April 7th

NHL Games of the Week

Zach Hyman #11 of the Toronto Maple Leafs battles for the puck with Rasmus Ristolainen #55 of the Buffalo Sabres during the first period at the Air Canada Centre on January 17, 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

Mick Kern from NHL Network Radio here. We’re running down the must-hear NHL games of the week, including the Leafs at the Sabres and the Ducks visiting the Oilers:

Saturday, April 1st – Anaheim Ducks at Edmonton Oilers
10:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91

The Battle for First Place in the Pacific Division; it’ll make for a great movie.  The three way struggle between the Ducks, Sharks, and Oilers may go down to the wire.  So the two points up for grabs for grabbing the W this evening are huge.  Anaheim are much better at home than on the road, while Edmonton are lights out at home, as are the Ducks.  Flip a coin.

Sunday, April 2nd – Washington Capitals at Columbus Blue Jackets
5:45 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 220

Over on the other side of the continent, The Battle for First Place in the Metropolitan Division would also make for a great film.  This also appears to be a three way wrestling match, featuring the Penguins, Capitals and Blue Jackets.  Washington and Columbus meet up in Ohio this evening, and the atmosphere will resemble a playoff game.  Home ice advantage in the post-season may very well hinge on games such as these.

Monday, April 3rd – Toronto Maple Leafs at Buffalo Sabres
7:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91

Both of these teams are undergoing a remodeling/rebuilding phase, though the young Maple Leafs are ahead of schedule, in the thick of the race for an Eastern Conference playoff spot, and not all that far off the pace for home ice advantage in the first round of the post-season. As for the Sabres, their rebuild is proceeding at a slower pace, and this will be the 6th straight spring that they’ll sit on the bench during the playoffs.

Tuesday, April 4th – New York Islanders at Nashville Predators
8:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 205

The Nashville Predators will make the playoffs this season; the only question is where they’ll finish in the Western Conference.  There’s no guarantee that the Islanders will be in the post-season a week from now, though they are right there in the Eastern Conference.  Both teams need the win tonight, though for the visitors, it’s much more crucial that they leave with the two points.

Wednesday, April 5th – New York Rangers at Washington Capitals
8:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91

These two Metropolitan rivals have had some memorable playoff matchups recently (2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015).  They very well might meet up again this spring.  For now, both teams are jockeying for position in the tough Met division.

Thursday, April 6th – Chicago Blackhawks at Anaheim Ducks
10:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91

This would make for a great Western Conference Final come this May.  Granted, a lot of games to play between now and then, and a lot can change, but these teams are two of the battleship teams in the West, with their sights set on the Stanley Cup.  The Ducks sport one of the best home records this season, while the Blackhawks have proven they can win at home or away.

Friday, April 7th – Tampa Bay Lightning at Montreal Canadiens
7:30 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 219

Can Tampa Bay qualify for the playoffs this spring?  Can Montreal hold on to first place in the Atlantic Division?  After meeting up this past Saturday in Tampa, these two teams hook up in Montreal this evening, the only game on tap in the National Hockey League.

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