NHL Five Questions: Toews, Crosby face off outdoors in Chicago

Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Will Crosby and Toews still be best buds after Saturday? Is this Martin Brodeur's last game in New Jersey? Will someone please notice Ryan Johansen?

1. It's the final Winter Classic NHL Stadium Series game. Who wins at Soldier Field?

Anyone else forget that we had one more outdoor game left to play? Me too. The Chicago Blackhawks will host the Pittsburgh Penguins at icy Soldier Field in Chicago on Saturday night. Both teams are atop their respective divisions, but wins just became valuable commodities for the Blackhawks, who have to keep pace with the suddenly mightySt. Louis Blues in the Central. The Penguins will try to right the ship after losing to the Montreal Canadiens earlier in the week.

2. How will Marty Brodeur fare in what could be his final start in New Jersey?

The trade deadline rolls around on Wednesday, and Martin Brodeur could find himself suiting up for another team by that time. Cory Schneider has effectively won the New Jersey Devils starting job away, so Brodeur's start on Saturday could be his last as a Devil. Will he put on a vintage Brodeur performance?

3. Will Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Valeri Nichushkin continue tearing up the competition?

No line in the NHL has looked more dangerous than the Dallas Stars' top line this season, and teams have yet to figure out a way to slow it down. The three youngsters lit up the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday with two goals and three assists. Will the Tampa Bay Lightning find a way to shut them down?

4. Will the game in Montreal descend into madness?

The Toronto Maple Leafs sit just two points behind the Habs and can leapfrog them with a win at the Bell Centre on Saturday. The timing couldn't be better, as Carey Price will miss his third straight game with an injury. With playoff spots on the line and the home stretch upon us, the intensity will be higher than usual for this rivalry game. That usually means the final box score will include a lot of penalty minutes.

5. Will Ryan Johansen score again?

Johansen's emergence as a dangerous threat for the Columbus Blue Jackets is one of the biggest under-reported stories in the Eastern Conference this season. He's in the top 15 in the NHL with 24 goals. Eighteen of the Jackets' 29 wins have come when he's scored a goal. His gargantuan offensive presence has saved the Blue Jackets while Marian Gaborik was on the injured reserve. Can he keep up the pace on Saturday?

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