5 NHL questions: Final games of 2013

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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. Will the Anaheim Ducks enter 2014 with the most points in the NHL?

Anaheim trails the Chicago Blackhawks by two points for the league lead entering competition on Tuesday night. With a victory over the San Jose Sharks, the Ducks will take over as the top team. The Sharks are currently in the midst of a four-game winning streak and have defeated Anaheim in both games this season.

2. Will the Minnesota Wild end the year on a high note?

Times have been tough for Minnesota, as the team has lost its footing in the Central Division and has lost five straight games entering Tuesday night. Unfortunately, it will be a difficult task for the sliding Wild as they face the St. Louis Blues, who have won two straight, in addition to seven of their last 10 (7-1-2).

3. How will Marc Staal perform in his return?

Staal has missed the last 10 games due to a concussion, but is expected to return for Tuesday's game against the Florida Panthers. This latest injury extends an unfortunate run of head trauma that has come to Staal, as he broke his orbital bone after taking a puck to the face last season.

4. Will Claude Giroux extend his scoring streak?

Giroux limped out of the gate but has been on fire, registering at least one point in nine consecutive games (six goals, 11 assists over that span). The Flyers will challenge Calgary on Tuesday night. Will Giroux carry his streak into the new year?

5. Will the Dallas Stars extend their six-game point streak?

The Stars are on the verge of entering the playoff picture after registering points in six straight. The club will attempt to finish the year in a playoff spot with a regulation win over the slumping Los Angeles Kings and a regulation loss by the Phoenix Coyotes.

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