Will Alex Ovechkin reach 400 career goals?
It's been nothing short of an 'A+' season for the Capitals winger, who has been nearly a goal-a-game player, and has buoyed Washington into a playoff position. When his team travels to Carolina Friday night, Ovechkin will have a chance to record his 400th career goal in his 634th NHL game, as he currently is sitting at 399.
Who will win the battle of desperate New York hockey clubs?
The Rangers and the Islanders are both starved for points, as each team is now looking up at the Flyers for third place in the Metropolitan Division, and the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. But it's been a rough go of late for both franchises. The Rangers are currently 1-3-2 in the midst of a nine-game homestand, and the Islanders are just 1-9-4 in their last 14 games. The Rangers won the only other game between these two teams this season, 3-2.
Can Vancouver rebound in Chicago?
After a seven-game winning streak was halted in Minnesota on Tuesday, Vancouver lost its second consecutive game in Dallas on Thursday night. The streak was enough to put Vancouver back into the top eight in the West, and on Friday night, the Canucks will face another stiff test when they travel to Chicago to take on the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks. The home team is up to its usual winning ways, taking five of its last six games, and outscoring its opponents in that stretch 28-15.
How much better will Winnipeg be with Zach Bogosian?
The Jets' move to the Western Conference has come with its growing pains, but also just its fair share of injuries. Friday night, when Winnipeg hosts the Panthers, the Jets will return their top defenseman to the lineup in Bogosian. In the 15 games he missed, Winnipeg posted a 5-7-3 record and struggled to defend in those losses, nearly giving up five goals per game. But with him in the lineup, the team has been better than .500 at 10-9-2, and is much better off on its own blueline.
In a philosophical question that extends back to the team's Stanley Cup matchup, Friday night's game in New Jersey between the Devils and Ducks will be another matchup of defense versus offense. The Devils enter the game allowing the eighth-fewest goals per game in the league, while the Ducks boast the league's third-highest goal scoring output. In short: Something's gotta give.