NHL schedule: Five questions for Friday

Debby Wong-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. Who will be in control of the eighth seed in the Western Conference by the end of the night?

The St. Louis Blues will host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night. If Columbus wins in regulation, they will take over the final playoff spot. Any other result gives St. Louis the eighth seed.

2. Of the players traded by the New York Rangers and Blue Jackets, who will have the best night?

Every available player swapped in the Marian Gaborik trade recorded a goal in their debut with their new team. Gaborik scored the game-winning goal on Thursday night, while Derick Brassard and John Moore both collected tallies in their debut on Wednesday night (Brassard had a four-point night, as well). Will any of the players continue their success on Friday?

3. Will the Pittsburgh Penguins fall into a three-game losing streak?

If they fail to beat the Rangers on Friday night they will. Pittsburgh has yet to lose more than two games in a row all season. Over their last two games, they have been outscored, 10-2.

4. How will the Buffalo Sabres fare in their first game without Jason Pominville?

Buffalo decided to trade their captain to the Minnesota Wild prior to Wednesday's deadline. How will they play in their first game without him?

5. Will the Dallas Stars or Penguins get revenge on Friday night?

There are two instances of opponents playing consecutive games against one another on Friday night. The Penguins will host the Rangers, while the Anaheim Ducks will host the Stars. Pittsburgh and Dallas both lost in the first game. Will they have better luck this time around?

More in the NHL:

Every deadline day trade

Grading the trading

Pitkanen injury renews hybrid icing debate

Why puck possession matters

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