Welcome to the NHL On Tap. Three NHL.com writers will share what they are most looking forward to on the schedule each day. Today, their choices from five games on Wednesday.
Bruins resilience to be tested
One of the reasons the Boston Bruins (27-4-3) sit atop the NHL standings is their ability to put bad games behind them and reset quickly. The Bruins are the only team in the NHL to not have losses in consecutive games this season, and after each of their previous six losses they’ve come back with a vengeance, scoring at least three goals in five of their games, and allowing one goal or fewer four times. After their 3-2 shootout loss at the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday, they’ll put that streak to the test when they play the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Wednesday (7:30 pm ET; TNT, TVAS, SN NOW). The Devils (22-10-2) have struggled recently, going 2-5-1 in their past eight games, including a 4-3 loss to the Bruins on Friday, their final game before the holiday break. — Adam Kimelman, deputy managing editor
Lightning seeks fifth straight home win
The Tampa Bay Lightning will go for their fifth consecutive home win when they host the Montreal Canadiens (7 pm ET; SN, BSSUNX, RDS, ESPN+, SN NOW) after an extended Christmas break. The Lightning (11-20-1) haven’t played since their 7-4 loss at the Detroit Red Wings on Dec. 21; their game against the Buffalo Sabers scheduled for Friday was postponed due to severe winter weather in Buffalo. Tampa Bay has outscored opponents 19-6 in four straight wins at Amalie Arena. Nikita Kucherov has been responsible for some of that success; the forward has 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) in his past nine games. The Canadiens (15-16-3) have lost five of six (1-4-1). Forward Cole Caufield has three goals in his past five games. –William Douglas, staff writer
Flames, Kraken continue jostling for position in Pacific
Just one point separates the Calgary Flames and Seattle Kraken heading into their Pacific Division showdown at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle on Wednesday (10 pm ET; TNT, TVAS, SNW, SN NOW). The Kraken (18-10-4) have 40 points and are in a third-place tie in the division with the Edmonton Oilers, one point ahead of the Flames (16-13-7). It is going to be a fascinating dogfight for playoff positions during the second half of the season in the Pacific, so head-to-head matchups like these will be vital when all is said and done. The Kraken won the previous game between the teams this season, a 5-4 victory in Calgary on Nov. 1. Seattle has at least one point in its past three games (2-0-1). Calgary will try to rebound from a 2-1 loss against the rival Oilers on Tuesday and look to avoid back-to-back losses in key divisional matchups. –Mike Zeisberger, staff writer
Montreal Canadiens at Tampa Bay Lightning (7 pm ET; SN, BSSUNX, RDS, ESPN+, SN NOW)
The Canadiens will continue their seven-game road trip after starting it 1-1-1 before the holiday break. The Lightning return home after losing back-to-back road games to Atlantic Division rivals, 7-4 against the Red Wings on Dec. 21 and 4-1 against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Dec. 20. Tampa Bay forward Brandon Hagel has four goals in his past four games.
Boston Bruins at New Jersey Devils (7:30pm ET; TNT, TVAS, SN NOW)
Boston forward David Pastrnak has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) during a five-game point streak against New Jersey, including two goals when the teams played Friday. Devils forward Jack Hughes has five points (three goals, two assists) during a five-game point streak, and 18 points (11 goals, seven assists) in his past 14 games.
Detroit Red Wings at Pittsburgh Penguins (7:30 pm ET; ATTSN-PT, BSDET, ESPN+, SN NOW)
The Red Wings (14-11-7) had lost six in a row (0-4-2) until defeating the Lightning 7-4 on Dec. 21. They’ll attempt to build on that momentum against the Penguins after enjoying a week-long break for the holidays. Pittsburgh (10-19-5) will try to rebound after a 5-1 loss at the New York Islanders on Tuesday; the Penguins were 8-1-1 over a 10-game stretch prior to Tuesday.
Calgary Flames at Seattle Kraken (10 pm ET; TNT, TVAS, SNW, SN NOW)
The Flames are 3-1-1 in their past five thanks in part to forward Tyler Toffoli, who has seven points (four goals, three assists) during that span. Kraken forward Jared McCann will try to extend his goal streak to four games.
Vegas Golden Knights at Anaheim Ducks (10 pm ET; SN360, BSSC, ATTSN-RM, ESPN+, SN NOW)
Vegas (12-24-1) will try to split back-to-back games in southern California after losing 4-2 at the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday. Forward Mason McTavish has been on a roll for the Ducks (9-22-4) with six points (two goals, four assists) in the past five games.