5 NHL questions: Sharks look to continue streak; Penguins without Malkin

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Spo

A daily NHL feature that asks five questions about the days games. Will they be answered? (That doesn't count as one of the questions.)

1. Which Stanley Cup contender will extend its winning streak: San Jose (six games) or Pittsburgh (four games)?

The game of the night just might be in Pittsburgh, where the Sharks and Penguins will be facing off. San Jose enters the game with a league-best six-game winning streak, and Pittsburgh, which will be without Evgeni Malkin, is on a four-game winning streak. Which team keeps it going in this matchup of Stanley Cup contenders?

2. Who will be in first place in the Atlantic Division after the Bruins and Canadiens play?

The other contender for the game of the night is in Montreal, where the Bruins and Canadiens face off with first place in the Atlantic Division on the line. The Bruins own a one-point lead over the Canadiens heading into Thursday night, and both teams are playing excellent hockey right now. Montreal is 8-1-1 in its past 10, and Boston is 7-2-1.

3. Will Henrik Lundqvist give up fewer than three goals?

Playing in his first game since signing a new seven-year contract extension, Henrik Lundqvist gets the additional reward of getting to play against the Buffalo Sabres. Will he hold them to fewer than three goals? He's already shut them out once this season, stopping all 29 shots he faced on Halloween.

4. Will Phil Kessel score for Toronto?

There was some concern that maybe Kessel would have to miss Toronto's game against Dallas, but coach Randy Carlyle says he is in after leaving practice this week with an unspecified injury. He will be playing with a new center, Nazem Kadri, due to the injury to Tyler Bozak, but Kessel has goals in three of his past four games. Will he add another one against the Stars?

5. Will the Islanders snap their losing streak?

The New York Islanders have been struggling lately, winning just two of their past 14 games and losing seven in a row. So it's probably a bad time to be starting a four-game road trip that will take them through St. Louis, Los Angeles, Anaheim and San Jose. Ouch. They get the Blues on Thursday. Will the streak end?

More from SB Nation NHL:

Sharks sit atop the NHL Power Rankings

Killer Curves: How McSorley’s stick turned the ‘93 Finals

Tough times ahead for Toronto?

Devils going green for outdoor game

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