5 NHL Questions: Pennsylvania rivalry heats up, Western powers seek separation

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

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.)

1. Which Pennsylvania team takes the first game of the home-and-home?

The NHL doesn't usually schedule weekend matinee home-and-homes, so it's fitting that they save the enticing matchups for when they do. The Penguins and Flyers begin an intriguing series on Saturday in Philly, with the Penguins riding a three-game win streak and the Flyers 7-2-1 in their last ten games. Something will have to give at the Wells Fargo Center.

2. Can the Coyotes get back into the playoff picture?

The Flames did the 'Yotes a solid by defeating the Dallas Stars in a shootout on Friday night. Now the Coyotes, just two points back of Dallas and the final wild card spot, can overtake the Stars with a win against Calgary on Saturday. Every point is crucial these days, and since Dallas has a game in hand Phoenix can't afford to let the Flames win.

3. Can the Ducks keep the Sharks at bay for another day?

Anaheim avoided falling to second place in the Pacific with a 6-4 win against Colorado on Friday, but their battle for the division doesn't get any easier against the Kings on Saturday. The Kings have their own problems to worry about after watching a two-goal lead turn into a 3-2 loss against the Leafs on Thursday. If Anaheim loses, San Jose can take the division lead on Sunday.

4. Can Jeff Skinner replicate his performance and keep the Hurricanes alive in the East?

Skinner unbelievably had 13 shots on goal on Thursday, breaking a Hurricanes record previously held by captain Eric Staal. Carolina hopes he has something left in the tank, because they play the dominant Bruins on Saturday in a huge game. They simply can't afford to drop any more points if they want to somehow make the playoffs.

5. Can the Wild separate itself from the wild card hunters?

Dallas' loss on Friday leaves the door open for Minnesota to make a six-point gap between them and the Stars for the seventh seed in the West. Columbus poses a stiff challenge, but the Wild will look to Darcy Kuemper once again to lead the way.

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