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Add Hockey to Your Weekend Sporting Menu

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Here’s a look at the top NHL games to keep your eye on this weekend. ↵

↵FRIDAY -- New Jersey Devils at Washington Capitals: The last time these teams met was on October 18 in Washington when Martin Brodeur stoned both Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin in New Jersey's 4-3 shooutout win -- Washington's only loss at home this season. But a little less than a month later, Brodeur is out with a bicep tear that's going to keep him on the shelf for several months, leaving the Devils reeling. They've given up 15 goals in the five games since his injury, and have won only one of those games. ↵

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↵Meanwhile, the Caps are on a four-game winning streak, though all of those wins came with Brent Johnson in the net. He was injured early in the 5-1 win over Carolina on Wednesday, so the inconsistent Jose Theodore will get the start against the Devils. If the Caps focus on being responsible defensively, they'll win going away. If not, this could turn into a shooting gallery. ↵

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↵That game not to your liking? Then switch over to an old Norris Division clash as the Blackhawks host the Blues in Chicago. ↵

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↵SATURDAY -- Boston Bruins at New York Rangers: The Broadway Blues might still be on top of the East standings, but it looks like the Bruins are ready to stake their own claim to the penthouse. Boston is 8-2-0 in its last 10 games, and that includes last night's 6-1 thumping of division-rival Montreal, one that came with a classic dust-up between Boston's Milan Lucic and Montreal's Mike Komisarek. ↵

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↵And while the Rangers are playing solid hockey, they just don't seem to have the same sort of snarl they did last season with Sean Avery and Brendan Shanahan in the lineup. I say they can't handle Boston. ↵

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↵If that Original Six clash doesn't interest you, why not watch a rematch of last year's Eastern Conference semifinal, as Philadelphia visits Montreal. Simon Gagne (two shorthanded goals on Thursday night) is back with a vengeance, by the way. ↵

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↵SUNDAY -- San Jose Sharks at Chicago Blackhawks: It's tough coming up with more superlatives about the San Jose Sharks these days, as just about everything seems to be working under new head coach Todd McLellan. The Sharks are 8-1-1 in their last ten and 10-0-1 at home while scoring more goals than any other team in the NHL. But Sunday night sees them visiting Chicago, where the Blackhawks have a tidy 6-0-3 record -- and are finally playing in front of sell out crowds. ↵

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↵You might want to ask team captain Patrick Marleau how he feels about playing for McLellan after being subjected to regular public criticism from ex-head coach Ron Wilson, but Marleau's play on the ice is doing the talking now, as he leads the team with 19 points. But as good as Marleau has been, right wing Devin Setoguchi has been just as good and leads the team with nine goals. I say the Hawks play valiantly, but fall in the end to a team that's just playing too well right now. No interest, there? Then take in the last game of the night -- the Kings at Anaheim. The Kings are no joke, they're playing .500 hockey, and it's easy to see this team challenging for a playoff spot in years to come once Jonathan Bernier is done simmering in the AHL. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.