NHL schedule: Five questions for Wednesday

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 Chicago Blackhawks clinch the No. 1 seed in the West?

They can do so if the Columbus Blue Jackets defeat the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night.

2. Will the Boston Bruins clinch a playoff spot?

Wednesday night will likely be an emotional night for the Bruins and their fans. In addition, the team can earn a spot in the 2013 playoffs with at least one point against the Buffalo Sabres.

3. What kind of impact will Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron have in their returns?

Both players have missed time due to concussion. They are both expected to return Wednesday night. Will Claude Julien ease them back into the lineup, or will they resume their regular responsibilities?

4. How will Peter Budaj perform Wednesday night?

The Montreal Canadiens have been outscored, 12-4, over their last two games. No. 1 goalie Carey Price started both games but Budaj finished them. Budaj is expected to get the start on Wednesday. Will he be in goal at the final horn?

5. Will the Detroit Red Wings still be in possession of the eighth seed in the West by night's end?

Columbus is tied with Detroit in total points, but the Red Wings have played one fewer game. In the event that both teams register an equal amount of points, Detroit keeps it's spot.

More in the NHL:

Six (!) outdoor games in 2014

Welcoming Craig MacTavish as Oilers GM

Jimmy Howard’s case for the Vezina

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