Games You Can't Miss on This Weekend's NHL Schedule
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The last weekend of March features some great NHL matchups as we look forward to the final month of the season. The decisive stretch of the schedule could see another streak that rivals the Chicago Blackhawks’ from earlier this season as the Pittsburgh Penguins have won 13 straight and continue to improve their roster.
March 29 is Good Friday and boasts one of the more anticipated games of the weekend. Here’s a look at the games you can’t miss.
Anaheim Ducks at Chicago Blackhawks, March 29
The pride of the Western Conference comes together again as the Ducks face off against the Blackhawks.
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TV: Comcast Sports Net Chicago, Fox Sports West
Start: 8:30 p.m. EST
It’s the top two teams in the Western Conference squaring off for the third and final time before potentially meeting in the Western Conference Finals. Chicago sits atop the standings with 53 points. Anaheim has 48.
The Hawks are looking to solidify their claim as the league’s best team, but Anaheim won the first two meetings. A season sweep for the Ducks would certainly give them a lot of confidence if they were to meet in the postseason.
The third period has been the deciding factor in the series, with Anaheim outscoring Chicago 4-0 in that frame to steal a 4-2 win and a 3-2 shootout victory.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Ottawa Senators, March 30
Another weekend, another installment in the Battle of Ontario between the Senators and Maple Leafs.
Start: 7 p.m. EST
This is the fourth game in the Battle of Ontario series between the Leafs and Senators. The home team has won each of the first three contests with Toronto picking up two of the three. Ottawa hosts this one.
No Craig Anderson for Ottawa for this contest, but Ben Bishop is 1-1 against the Leafs this season. Colin Greening and Erik Condra have had their way with Toronto, gathering four points apiece in the season series.
Nazem Kadri picked up the game-winning goal for the Leafs in the last meeting―a 5-4 win on March 6.
Ben Scrivens is 1-1 with a 1.50 goals against average in two meetings with the Senators.
Los Angeles Kings at Minnesota Wild, March 30
These two teams are gaining a lot of knowledge on how to go on a streak in the NHL.
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TV: Fox Sports West, Fox Sports North, Fox Sports Wisconsin
Start: 8 p.m. EST
The Los Angeles Kings know a little about getting on a hot streak and how important that can be to a season. The Minnesota Wild learned that the hard way last season with an epic second-half collapse. The Wild took that lesson to heart this season and have won seven straight games to catapult themselves to the top of the Northwest Division.
Minnesota is third in the Western Conference (42 points) and hosts Los Angeles (sixth, 38 points) for the first of three meetings in this final stretch. Anze Kopitar (30 points) and Slava Voynov (20) anchor the defending Stanley Cup champions against Ryan Suter (27), Mikko Koivu (30) and the rest of the streaking Wild.
Chicago Blackhawks at Detroit Red Wings, March 31
Chicago and Detroit have one of the longest standing rivalries in the history of sports dating all the way back to the 1920s.
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Start: 12:30 p.m. EST
The featured game on NBC this weekend is the Blackhawks and Red Wings. For the third time this season, two Original Six teams square off as the Red Wings look to solidify a playoff spot and steal another win from their Central Division rivals.
The first two games didn’t disappoint as these teams split 2-1 decisions. Chicago’s win came in overtime, while the Red Wings picked up a win in a shootout.
This rivalry dates back to before the Red Wings were the Red Wings. They were once the Detroit Cougars―before 1932. These teams have met over 700 times in the regular season and have faced each other in 15 postseason series.
History alone makes this game a must-watch.
Boston Bruins at Buffalo Sabres, March 31
The Sabres have taken two of three from the rival Bruins this season. Do they make it three of four?
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TV: NBC Sports, NESN, MSG-Buffalo
Start: 7:30 p.m. EST
It has been an up-and-down season for the Buffalo Sabres. Last week, they were just two points out of the playoffs. Unfortunately for Buffalo fans, it appears that was just a tease as the team is now sliding back again.
Boston will be jockeying for the Northeast Division title with Montreal for the remainder of the season and understands how crucial points are. Even after missing out on acquiring Jarome Iginla, the Bruins will look forward to the postseason with a dangerous lineup.
Buffalo won two of the first three games against the Bruins this season thanks to seven third-period goals. Tuukka Rask has started just one of the three games for Boston and gave up six goals in a 7-4 loss.
This is another great rivalry that demands our attention.