NHL schedule: Five questions for Thursday

Bruce Bennett

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 there be any headline news in the game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins?

Already considered one of the NHL's fiercest rivalries, the last meeting between the Flyers and Penguins resulted in another goal-filled affair. Philadelphia won, 6-5, thanks to a hat trick from red-hot Jakub Voracek. However, Pittsburgh won the first meeting, 3-1. Will Thursday be another noteworthy chapter between these two rivals?

2. Will Sidney Crosby extend his five-game point streak?

Much like Voracek for the Flyers, Crosby has been a point-producing machine. Entering Thursday night as the NHL's leading scorer with 36 points, the Penguins captain has accumulated 19 points over his last 10 games. This includes 11 points over the course of his five-game streak. Will it continue on Thursday night?

3. Will the New Jersey Devils end their six-game losing streak?

Times have been tough for the Devils. After starting the year on a torrid pace, the club has drastically cooled off, losing six straight games (0-5-1 over that span). In addition, the team has lost nine of its last 11. New Jersey will host the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night. Can the Devils put an end to the slide?

4. Will the Columbus Blue Jackets extend their winning streak to three games?

Watch out for the Blue Jackets. Having recorded their first consecutive victories of the season, the club is looking to one-up the accomplishment with its first three-game winning streak of the abbreviated year. Only thing standing in Columbus's way? The Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks have lost four of their last five and are entering the night off a shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks.

5. Will the Los Angeles Kings win more than 50 percent of their face-offs on Thursday night?

The Kings have won seven of their last eight games. Over that span, the club has won 57 percent of all face-offs taken. Given that face-offs are correlated to possession and possession is correlated to winning, it's fair to argue that the Kings' dominance on the draw has been beneficial. Will it continue against the Dallas Stars on Thursday night?

More in the NHL:

Injuries can’t stop the ‘Hawks

Rest in peace, Stompin’ Tom

Sens, Leafs opens with ugly fight

Dissecting the Devils slump

All the NHL trade rumors

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