Game Day Preview: Hawks In An Unfamiliar Place

Adam Proteau
183647224 Toews

Six games are on tap for Friday:

Phoenix at Philadelphia: The Flyers dropped three straight to open the season but were able to capitalize against the lowly Panthers for their first win of the season Tuesday night. Captain Claude Giroux has been held pointless through four games and has been held to just ten shots. The Coyotes are .500 on the season after an impressive performance over the Red Wings last night. This will be Phoenix’s fourth game in a five-game road trip.

Craig Berube won his first game as head coach of the Flyers and will strive to remain perfect after Peter Laviolette’s firing.

Players To Watch: Radim Vrbata and Martin Hanzal lead the way for Coyotes who are both scoring at a point-per-game pace through four games. http://coyotes.nhl.com/club/stats.htm

Los Angeles at Carolina: The Kings have stumbled out of the gate early on, somehow managing to scrape a 2-2-0 record after lackluster play. While the Hurricanes haven’t looked much better, they own an extra point with an overtime loses. The lack of firepower has been an issue with The Staals and Semin combining for just four points through four games. Tonight might be there chance to spark some offence as they square off against the struggling Jonathan Quick, who strangely has begun the season with a 3.13 GAA and an .890 save percentage.

Player To Watch: Jeff carter has been the king of the Kings through four games, registering four goals and an assist in that span.

Fifth overall pick in 2013 Elias Lindholm scored his first NHL goal against the Capitals Thursday night.

Pittsburgh at Florida: Bad news for Florida and great news for Pittsburgh. The Penguins have come roaring out of the gate winning all three games, averaging four a night and only allowing one. The Panthers on the other hand have looked miserable since shining in their season opener. Their 18 goals against is third last in the league early on. As they return to the sunshine state, the Panthers may be able to reverse their fortunes as the crowd cheers on for the home-opener.

Player To Watch: Marc-Andre Fleury has been lights out through three games, but may get some rest tonight as rookie goaltender Jeff Zatkoff could get his first NHL start.

Twice the Panthers have allowed seven goals in a game. Once to St. Louis and last night against state rival Tampa.

NY Islanders at Chicago: The Blackhawks haven’t quite started the same way they did a year ago, sitting 1-1-1, and losing their last two. Since they play tomorrow night against the Sabres, Corey Crawford sits in place of Nikolai Khanibulin, who starts for Chicago for the first time in four years. The Islanders have yet to lose in regulation and look fiery through three, averaging four goals per game. Michael Grabner had a three assist game against the Coyotes and has six points in three games.

Player To Watch: Patrick Kane has scored in every game this season. He is tied for the team lead in points with Brandon Saad with four. http://blackhawks.nhl.com/club/stats.htm

If the Islanders win tonight, it will be Chicago’s first three-game winless streak since February of 2004.

Dallas at Winnipeg: Dallas is the last team to play their third game as they only sit 1-1-0. But they won’t get much rest for long with six games in eight days including a three-game road trip. Winnipeg started the season with 10 goals in two wins but have only managed three goals over their two losses since. This will be the first of five matchups as the two become Central Division rivals.

Player To Watch: Alex Chiasson has only played nine games in the NHL but has very mustered eight goals in total, including one in each game to start this young season.

Originally drafted second overall by the Thrashers in 2002, Keri Lehtonen gets the start against his old team.

New Jersey at Calgary: The battle of hell commences tonight as the Devils face the Flames. Neither team was expected to shine this season, and while New Jersey has done what pretty much everybody had expected, the Flames certainly have not. With a point in every game this season, Calgary sits a win away from a share of first in the Pacific with San Jose. If the Devils lose tonight it will be their fifth straight (though three were in overtime) and a team record to start the season.

In all three overtime losses, the Devils had the lead for a large portion of the game. The Oilers and Canucks both came back with just ten minutes left in regulation.

Player To Watch: Rookie Sean Monahan shares the team lead in points with 5, registering three goals and two assists.