NHL schedule: Five questions for Monday

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 Boston Bruins and/or Minnesota Wild regain the top spots in their divisions?

The Bruins have had a chance to take over the Northeast Division lead from the Montreal Canadiens for a few days now. With a victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night, they will. Same is the case for the Minnesota Wild, who have been taking turns as leader of the Northwest Division with the Vancouver Canucks. A win against the Dallas Stars swings the lead back in Minnesota's favor.

2. How will Joffrey Lupul perform in his first game back from suspension?

Lupul missed the majority of the 2013 season after fracturing his forearm on Jan. 23. In the two games he played after the injury, Lupul contributed three goals and an assist before being suspended. Will he pick up where he left off?

3. Who will be in eighth place in the Western Conference at the end of the night?

The Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks could potentially claim ownership to the final playoff position in the West at the end of the night. San Jose has the easiest route to eighth place as they are awarded the position with a win.

Dallas will retain control of the spot with a win and any kind of Sharks loss, or an overtime loss and San Jose regulation loss.

Nashville will pull into eighth only if both Dallas and San Jose lose.

4. How will Dallas perform in their first game without Brenden Morrow?

The Stars traded their former captain along with a third-round draft pick to the Pittsburgh Penguins for defense prospect Joe Morrow and a fifth-round draft pick on Sunday afternoon. How will the team fare without Morrow in the lineup?

5. Will the Wild extend their five-game winning streak?

As noted previously, Minnesota is in a race with Vancouver for the Northwest crown. Both teams have compiled extended streaks, with the Canucks recording victories in four-consecutive games and the Wild collecting five. Minnesota has a chance to improve that streak to six games on Monday night.

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