SPORTS

NHL: 5 things to know for Tuesday

12/16/2014 01:35 EST | Updated 02/15/2015 05:59 EST
The Toronto Maple Leafs look to extend their winning streak against the Anaheim Ducks, the Canadiens try to blow away the Hurricanes, the Flames try to avoid a sixth loss in a row and the Oilers enter the post-Dallas Eakins era.

Here's what you need to know for Tuesday night in the NHL:

Leafs go for 5 straight wins

The Anaheim Ducks (21-6-5) visit Toronto in the midst of a second seven-game winning streak. But the Toronto Maple Leafs (18-9-3) are also in the midst of a hot streak, having won four straight.

The Leafs have been strong at home, posting 13 wins at the ACC this season. Over the last nine home games they've won eight.

Anaheim will have to overcome some history, winning only three times in Toronto since joining the NHL in 1993. Ryan Getzlaf has had four goals and 10 assists in his last eight games. Ryan Kesler has also been a top-performer scoring four goals and two assists over the last five games.

Leafs defenceman and ex-Duck Stéphane Robidas told reporters Monday that he expects a "battle."

Canadiens try to weather the Hurricanes

A betting man would say this game should be a lock for the Montreal Canadiens (19-10-2) who despite some troubles lately, are much better than the Carolina Hurricanes (8-18-3). The Habs have won two straight and they play well at home, posting an 11-3-1 record in Montreal while the Hurricanes oscillate from suck to blow on the road, going 3-11-2.

Carolina has lost their last five games, posting a 2-8-0 record over their last 10. Unfortunately for the Hurricanes, they are playing like the Oilers, tied for last place in the league with 19 points.

Montreal has confirmed they will start Carey Price in net who has earned a 1.94 goals-against average over his last 14 games. 

Flames try to avoid 6th straight loss

The Calgary Flames (17-13-2) have been enduring their longest losing streak of the season, but hope to turn things around when they host the New York Rangers (14-10-4) for a east versus west showdown. The Flames have lost five in a row, going 4-6-0 over their last 10 games. They are coming off a four-game road trip, losing every game including a 2-1 loss to Chicago on Sunday.

The Flames will need some leadership on offence as goals have been short lately, scoring only eight goals during their losing streak. Jiri Hudler scored his team-leading 12th goal Sunday but other top-scorers Sean Monahan and Dennis Wideman will need to contribute. Monahan and Wideman combined for only one goal and one assist during the losing streak.

Here's a look at Hudler's goal:

McTavish, Nelson take the reigns in Edmonton

The Edmonton Oilers (7-19-5) will try to start a much-needed turnaround with a new coach behind the bench. GM Craig McTavish will likely be behind the bench until interim head coach Todd Nelson is ready to take over. The Oilers face the Arizona Coyotes (10-16-4) in their first game since Dallas Eakins was fired Monday in the wake of a dismal stretch where they lost 15 of 16 games and averaged only 1.7 goals. Yikes.

Key to getting back on track will be figuring out a way to make the most out of young Oilers players Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov who all have the potential to earning the team wins. Nugent-Hopkins has a team-leading 19 points, Hall has 18 and Yakupov has eight.

Jets face the Sabres

The Winnipeg Jets (15-10-6) will try to get back in the win column when they take on the surging Buffalo Sabres (13-16-2). If the Sabres win, that would be five in a row for Buffalo, a feat they haven't matched since March 27, 2012. Buffalo has won seven of their last 10 and are coming off a 5-4 shootout win against Ottawa on Monday. Meanwhile, Winnipeg has lost two in a row.

Jets coach Paul Maurice has been rotating goaltenders lately and it's Ondrej Pavelec's turn, so he is expected to start. Pavelec has a 1.38 G.A.A. and has won seven of eight against the Sabres.

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