5 NHL Questions: King Henrik seeks improvement, Isles travel without Tavares

Jim McIsaac

Can Lundqvist turn his season around as December comes to a close?

Will Henrik Lundqvist get back on track?

December has not been kind to King Henrik. He's 2-4-2 with a 3.41 goals against average and a .874 save percentage in his last eight games and was benched for the last three in favor of Cam Talbot. He's back in the lineup on Sunday against a Tampa Bay club that torched him for five goals last time the two teams met. Can he rebound?

Will the Blue Jackets finally beat the Penguins at home?

Pittsburgh is the thorn in Columbus' side, having beaten the Jackets the last five times they've visited Nationwide Arena. Winners of three straight, this is the perfect time for Columbus to break that streak. The key might be Ryan Johansen, who has five goals and ten points in his last ten games.

Can the Hurricanes make the most of their visit to Toronto?

Surprisingly, the Hurricanes haven't traveled to play the Maple Leafs since 1991, when they were still the Hartford Whalers. Carolina has lost four games in a row, but the Leafs have been struggling as well. This is a good opportunity for Cam Ward to put the 'Canes on his back and make up some ground in the Metropolitan Division.

Can the Tavares-less Islanders get it done in Minnesota?

New York's first game without Tavares this season went better than expected, considering the massive slump the Islanders are in right now. The Wild aren't so hot either at the moment, so the opportunity is there for the Islanders to finally pick up a win. The only question is whether Tavares' absence really sets in on Sunday.

Will the Stars snap out of their home power play funk?

Dallas has picked up the pace overall with their special teams, but they're still converting at a dismal three-percent clip on the power play at home. They continue their five-game homestand on Saturday with the red-hot Blues in town, fresh off a thrilling 6-5 barnburner win over Chicago. St. Louis doesn't make a lot of mistakes, so the Stars need to start converting when St. Louis does.

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