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NHL: 6 things to know for Thursday night

11/06/2014 12:52 EST | Updated 01/06/2015 05:59 EST
Six of the seven Canadian teams are in action on a busy Thursday night in the NHL. Here's what you need to know:

Hungry for road win

The Edmonton Oilers (4-7-1) are in Boston looking for their first win there since Nov. 7, 1996. They'll be without their captain, former Boston Bruin Andrew Ferrence, who is serving a three-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of the Vancouver Canucks' Zack Kassian. 

The Oilers will hope that forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins can maintain his hot streak when they face the Bruins (8-6-0). He has at least a point in six of the past seven games, including a beautiful goal against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night.

With Edmonton's dismal road record, they'll need all the firepower they can get. The team is currently winless away from home (0-3-1). 

Home ice advantage

The Ottawa Senators (6-3-2) could benefit from a missing Zach Parise when they host the Minnesota Wild (7-4-0). The Wild forward did not return for the third period of Tuesday's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He is reportedly suffering from a concussion. 

The home team doesn't exactly need the help, as they are currently undefeated in regulation (3-0-2) at the Canadian Tire Centre. In addition, the Wild are struggling to score on the power play. They are 29th in the league, and have no power-play goals on the road. 

Flames enjoying win streak

The Calgary Flames (8-4-2) will look to extend their three-game winning streak when they visit the Tampa Bay Lightning (8-3-1). Flames goalie Jonas Hiller is also enjoying a winning streak of his own. He has been solid in net, going 6-0-1 in his past seven starts. Hiller has come up big for the Flames, recently robbing the Washington Capitals' Tom Wilson of the game winner Tuesday night with a huge save. 

It's a matchup of a dominant home team and a strong road team. The Lightning have only one regulation loss while playing host. The Flames, on the other hand, have earned the majority of their wins on the road. Six of their eight victories have come as the visiting team.

Hot teams battle

Two of the hottest teams in the NHL will face off in Winnipeg, as the Jets (7-5-1) host the Pittsburgh Penguins (8-2-1). The Jets have won three in a row, and are 5-0-1 in their last six games. The Penguins have won five straight.

The teams are both on a roll, but differ greatly in average goals per game. The Penguins sit atop the scoring chart with an average of 4.09. This could be the difference-maker against the Jets, who have an underwhelming 1.85 goals per game. 

Winnipeg forward Bryan Little is their top scorer with 10 points. By stark contrast, Sidney Crosby is the top scorer for the Penguins with 19 points. 

Leafs hope to continue turnaround

The Colorado Avalanche (3-6-5) are having a very disappointing start to their season. They hope to end their three-game losing streak against the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs (6-5-1), who continue to be great on the road (3-1-1). 

Conversely, the Leafs seem to be turning things around after a questionable start. After going 2-3-1 in their first six games, they have managed to improve to 4-2-0 in their last six. 

Avalanche goalie Reto Berra will relieve Semyon Varlamov, who has earned a break after facing an average of 35.2 shots in his seven starts. 

Divisional rivals reunite

Two divisional rivals will meet in San Jose tonight when the Vancouver Canucks (9-4-0) take on the Sharks (7-4-2).

It could be an interesting meeting for the teams, who have not played each other in nearly a year. The Sharks have claimed 10 of the last 11 games against the Canucks, including a 2013 Western Conference quarter-final sweep. 

Each team hopes to extend its respective winning streak. The Canucks have won five of their last six games, and the Sharks have gone 3-0-1 in their last four. 

Tonight will be the return of Canucks forward Alex Burrows, who is coming back from a three-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Montreal Canadiensdefenceman Alexei Emelin. 

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