Five NHL questions: Battle of PA resumes; Oilers look to improve luck at home

Justin K. Aller

A daily feature that 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. What will come of the Battle of Pennsylvania?

The Pittsburgh Penguins have dominated the Metropolitan Division, and the Philadelphia Flyers have struggled to remain out of its cellar. In a surprising twist, the Penguins enter Wednesday night on a two-game losing streak and Philadelphia enters it on a two-game winning streak. Will this game live up to meetings from the past, or will it be just another night of Eastern Conference hockey?

2. Will Claude Giroux and/or Sidney Crosby continue their streaks?

The two captains go as their teams do; Giroux has registered points in consecutive games, while Crosby has gone consecutive games without one. Crosby enters competition on Wednesday with a league-leading 23 points and has registered a point in all but four games this season.

3. Will the Minnesota Wild continue their three-game home winning streak?

Minnesota has won three of its last four, which includes three consecutive victories at Xcel Energy Center. The club will attempt to make it four consecutive wins on home ice when it hosts the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.

4. Will the Edmonton Oilers be shut out at home for the third consecutive game?

Tough times for the Oilers, as they have failed to score a goal in consecutive home games. After being shut out by the Maple Leafs (4-0), the Oilers were shut out by the Detroit Red Wings (5-0). Edmonton has lost five of its last six games and carries a three-game losing streak into its game against the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night.

5. How will Niklas Backstrom perform?

Backstrom hasn't played since Oct. 28 against the Chicago Blackhawks because Josh Harding has run away with the No. 1 job in Minnesota. Backstrom returns to the crease against the Maple Leafs on Wednesday night. How will he do?

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