5 NHL Questions: Lessons learned in Edmonton, Luongo faces the Ducks

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

A daily feature which asks the five biggest questions about today's NHL action. Will they be answered? (That doesn't count as one of the five questions.)

Can San Jose get out to a better start?

Generally speaking, your odds of winning a game when you give up four goals in the span of 10 minutes are not good. Antti Niemi and the Sharks learned that the hard way on Saturday when their comeback bid fell short against the Colorado Avalanche. The Sharks thought they were out of their funk after the new year started, but they've dropped two out of their last three games. A better start out of the gate will help them survive Chicago.

Did the Oilers' top line learn its lesson?

Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins didn't like what he saw out of Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and David Perron (a combined minus-9) on Friday and benched them for most of the third period. There's no question the trio has offensive ability, but their lack of concern defensively has them in Eakins' doghouse. Will they play better and snap the Oilers' losing streak?

Will Nashville make up some ground in the West?

The matchup in Carolina on Sunday is interesting. The Hurricanes and Predators have nearly identical records and yet are in much different playoff race situations. While the Hurricanes are within striking distance of a playoff spot, the Predators are fifth in their own division and in the middle of a dogfight for the final wild card spot in the West. With the Stars' loss on Saturday, Nashville can pick up the pace in the hunt.

Is Roberto Luongo the one to take down the Ducks?

Yes, the Anaheim Ducks are still undefeated at home. But Roberto Luongo just stopped 48 shots in his first game off injured reserve. If anyone can shut the door on Anaheim, it's him.

Do the Penguins finally get Evgeni Malkin or Kris Letang back?

Coach Dan Bylsma will evaluate the two again after practice this morning, but the two stars are as close as ever to returning to the lineup. That's welcome news for Sidney Crosby, who has been carrying the Penguins on his back for a month now.

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