NHL schedule: Five questions for Tuesday

USA TODAY Sports

A daily feature which asks the five hardest-hitting questions imaginable about this day in the NHL. Will our quandaries be answered? (That doesn't count as one of the five questions.)

1. Will the Columbus Blue Jackets extend their five-game winning streak?

Logically, the Columbus Blue Jackets followed the Chicago Blackhawks as the NHL's hottest team. Having recorded wins in five-straight games, the Blue Jackets are one win shy of a franchise record six-game winning streak. In addition, the club has recorded points in seven-consecutive games and sit four points back of a playoff spot.

2. What kind of dynamic will the game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins possess?

Confusing question, but here it is more simply: Pittsburgh scores a lot of goals (averaging an NHL-leading 3.65 per game) and Boston doesn't allow a lot of goals (ranked third with 2.13 against per game). Will the game be open-ended with plenty of goal scoring? Or, will it be a defensive battle? With both teams considered the class of the Eastern Conference entering competition on Tuesday night, what kind of contest are we gonna see?

3. How will Brent Burns fare as a forward?

While Burns was originally drafted as a forward, he has spent his NHL career as a defenseman. On Tuesday night, he is expected to play as the third line winger against the St. Louis Blues. We obviously want to know how this plays out. Did he actually play at forward? How long? Any points? Any mistakes?

4. Will the Washington Capitals defense falter due to injury?

The Capitals were already without Mike Green and then announced on Tuesday that Tom Poti and John Erskine will be out due to upper-body injuries. Without three key members of their defense corps, will the team struggle on the backend?

5. How will Alexander Steen fare in his return?

Head coach Ken Hitchcock has still yet to officially decide if Steen will return to the lineup. However, indications from morning skate have led many to believe he will play on Tuesday night. If he does, how did he do? Any notable contributions for the St. Louis Blues?

More in the NHL:

Rethinking realignment

A look at Dallas Stars penalties

NCAA: BU coach Jack Parker retires

All the NHL trade rumors

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