NHL 5 questions: Red Wings, Bruins begin rivalry, Briere faces Flyers

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

A daily feature which asks the five biggest questions about today's NHL action. Will they be answered? (That doesn't count as one of the five questions.)

1. How will Danny Briere play against his old team?

After a few strong initial years in Philadelphia, Briere's declining performance led to an unceremonious departure from the Flyers organization this offseason. The Quebec native quickly signed with his boyhood team in Montreal, and now he'll face off against his old teammates Saturday night at the Bell Centre. Will Briere make enough of an impact to make Paul Holmgren regret letting him go? Probably not, but it'll be a fun one to watch nonetheless.

2. Can the Ducks' defense show up Saturday against Minnesota?

I think we all can agree that the Avalanche have some talented forwards on their roster, but giving up six goals to one of the league's worst teams last season is still embarrassing. Anaheim will try to tighten things up in their own end Saturday against the Wild. Jonas Hiller gets his first start of the season, so that helps.

3. Will the Oilers redeem themselves after their collapse on Thursday night?

Edmonton blew a two-goal lead on Thursday, surrendering three unanswered goals in the final two periods against Winnipeg. Not the way you want to start the season, and it doesn't get any harder on Saturday. Coach Dallas Eakins will try to bounce back and earn his first NHL win Saturday night against a Vancouver team hungry for its first win as well.

4. Who wins the first game of the Boston-Detroit divison rivalry?

Boy, this will be a fun series to watch over the next ten years. The two stories franchises will begin their Atlantic Division rivalry in Boston on Saturday in what will be the first of many must-watch games between these two this season. If Boston wants to deal Detroit its first loss they'll have to beat Jimmy Howard, who has been fantastic through two games (1.48 GAA, .933 SV%).

5. How will the Leafs adapt without Nikolai Kulemin?

This is where David Clarkson's suspension really hurts. Kulemin will miss the next two weeks with a bone chip in his ankle, testing the depth of Toronto's already depleted forward group. Saturday's game against Ottawa is the first test for the Leafs without one of their best forwards.

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