NHL schedule: Five questions for Thursday

Chris McGrath

A daily feature which asks the five hardest-hitting questions imaginable about this day in the NHL. Will our quandaries be answered? (That doesn't count as one of the five questions.)

1. Will the Montreal Canadiens hold onto first place in the Northeast Division?

The Boston Bruins are poised to take over as the leaders of the Northeast. However, the team will only manage to do so on Thursday night with a win and a Canadiens regulation loss. Can Montreal extend their run as leaders of the pack?

2. Will the Carolina Hurricanes take over first place in the Southeast Division?

Somewhat similar situation as above. The Winnipeg Jets are currently leading the Southeast and can maintain their spot with a victory against the Washington Capitals on Thursday. However, if the Hurricanes win and the Jets lose in regulation, Carolina will regain the division lead.

3. How will Martin Brodeur fare in his return?

The New Jersey Devils goaltender is finally expected to make his return start after a 13-game absence. Forced to sit out 11-consecutive games due to a sore back, Brodeur returned Tuesday night in a backup role and is expected to return as starter on Thursday night. New Jersey struggled without Brodeur, registering a 3-8-2 record over the 13 games he missed. Will his return make a difference?

4. Will the Nashville Predators snap their four-game losing streak against the Calgary Flames?

The Predators are struggling at the moment and will be looking to end a four-game slide on Thursday night. Having allowed at least three goals in each contest (outscored 20-12 over that span), the normally defensive Nashville has been anything but. The Flames have won two of their last three games, which includes a 6-3 victory over Nashville last Friday.

5. Will the Los Angeles Kings extend their winning streak to four games?

While the Predators are struggling, the Kings are surging. Winners of three straight, the team looks for their fourth consecutive win on Thursday night against the Dallas Stars. The reigning Stanley Cup champions have outscored opponents 12-4 over their current streak.

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