Game Day Preview: Cross-Country Meets

Alan Bass
GP10-13

Only four games on tap tonight, but you’re not going to want to miss these. Take a look at what the NHL has in store for us:

Phoenix at Carolina

In the first meeting between these two teams since 2011, it’s bound to be a close one. The Coyotes are coming off a strong contest against the Flyers, and despite the Hurricanes’ 2-1-2 record, they have been within a goal of winning in each game but one this season. Both teams have been mediocre offensively, but stellar on defense and in goal. The Coyotes might have the advantage though, as they rank seventh in the league in faceoff percentage to Carolina’s 28th.

In an attempt to both increase their scoring and their veteran presence, the Phoenix Coyotes add Jeff Halpern to their roster (USA Today)

Jeff Skinner might technically be on the third line, but he’s still leading the Canes in scoring (Charlotte Observer)

Player to watch: Newly-acquired Nathan Gerbe has four points in five games and leads the Hurricanes in goals. His energy and offensive talent could not only provide the few goals needed to beat Phoenix, but could lessen the Coyotes time of possession.

Los Angeles at Florida

While Florida is coming off a big win against the Penguins, both the Panthers and the Kings are sitting near the bottom of the NHL standings. Florida has struggled to keep the puck out of their net, while Los Angeles has struggled to put the puck in the opposing net. However, both teams have picked it up in the last game or two, and this should be a good game with two hungry teams.

A preview of the cross-country matchup (ESPN)

Carolina wants to give everyone a chance to see some action (Carolina Hurricanes)

Player to watch: The only player on the Kings with a positive plus/minus rating, defenseman Robyn Regehr has been a stallworth on the back end and will give the Kings a big push to overtake the Panthers.

New Jersey at Winnipeg

In a battle of the bottom feeders, the Devils have yet to win a game, and the Jets have lost three games in a row. Both teams have been terrible on the penalty kill, in the faceoff circle, and defensively. Perhaps this game can be a coming out party for one of the two squads.

Cory Schneider is getting the start and does not want the Devils to begin panicking just yet (Newark Star Ledger)

Talk is cheap – it’s time for the Jets to take action (Winnipeg Free Press)

Player to watch: Ryane Clowe has been completely absent from the Devils’ first five games – he has one point and a minus-five rating. A strong showing from him tonight could spark the Devils to victory.

Ottawa at Anaheim

The Ducks have had a great start to the season and are on the way up, while the Senators have lost three consecutive games going into tonight’s matchup. Scoring has been an issue for Ottawa, and Anaheim has been one of the best defensive teams in its division. Will the trend continue tonight in Orange County?

The Senators are pleased to have Jason Spezza return to action tonight (NBC Sports)

Celebrating their 20th season in the NHL, the Ducks are holding “Throwback Night” in honor of their history (Anaheim Ducks)

Player to watch: Ryan Getzlaf has yet to have a serious impact so far, but look for the Ducks’ veteran center to have a coming-out party at home against the Sense tonight.