Twenty-two of the league’s 30 teams are in action, including Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Vancouver and Winnipeg, following a six-day break.
Here are six things to know for Tuesday night’s NHL games.
Malkin, Crosby scratched
Injuries are the big story in Winnipeg as the Jets put its five-game win streak on the line against a patchwork Pittsburgh Penguins lineup. The 26-14-8 Jets won’t have to worry about the Pens’ top offensive threats in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. They have undisclosed injuries and won’t play while defenceman Kris Letang, who was concussed after getting hit from behind by Philadelphia’s Zac Rinaldo last week, will try to get medical clearance to play. Rinaldo, a repeat offender, was suspended eight games Monday. With 205-man games lost to injury, Pittsburgh (26-12-8) limped in the all-star break, going 0-2-2 in its last four.
Jets forward Mathieu Perreault (upper-body injury) is likely to flank the left side of Mark Scheifele and Michael Frolik after absorbing a vicious cross-check from Chicago’s Daniel Carcillo on Jan. 16. Perreault has six goals in six games and 15 in 45 games this season to rank third on the team.
In hot pursuit
The Montreal Canadiens, eyeing top spot in the East, host the Dallas Stars at the Bell Centre. Montreal is 7-2-1 in its last 10 games and 29-13-3 overall, good for third spot in the conference, three points behind East-leading Tampa Bay and two in behind Detroit. The Stars beat the Canadiens 4-1 in their first meeting last month in Dallas.
A matchup to watch is Montreal goalie Carey Price against Stars forward Tyler Seguin. Price ranks fifth in the league in goals-against average (2.15) and save percentage (.929). He’ll face a Dallas offence that ranks fourth in NHL scoring with 3.09 goals a game, while Seguin leads the league in goals (28) and is second in points with 52.
Besides Pittsburgh, several NHL teams will feel the absence of key players on Tuesday. Columbus will be without starting goalie Sergei Bobrovsky when it hosts Washington after he was placed on injured reserve with a groin injury. The New York Islanders will miss forward Kyle Okposo against the Rangers on Long Island. He’s out six to eight weeks with an upper-body injury. Arthroscopic knee surgery will keep defenceman Erik Johnson out of Colorado’s lineup in Nashville and for the next three to eight weeks, while veteran Canucks blue-liner Kevin Bieksa won’t face former Vancouver teammate Ryan Kesler when Anaheim pays a visit. He’s out six to eight weeks following hand surgery.
A decent-sized winning or losing streak will end when Winnipeg visits Pittsburgh and Detroit and Florida square off in Sunrise, Fla. The Jets have won five straight while the Penguins have dropped four in a row. The Red Wings have reeled off five consecutive victories and the Panthers are looking for their first win in five attempts.
Others trying to extend winning runs include the New York Rangers (3 games), Tampa Bay (3) at Carolina and Anaheim (5) at Vancouver. Hoping to halt skids are Buffalo (11) at Calgary, Arizona (6) at Philadelphia and Washington (3) at Columbus.
Tampa Bay could be without forward Tyler Johnson, the Lightning's leading scorer, for its game against the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh, N.C. He didn’t play in Sunday’s all-star game in Columbus because of a lower-body injury but might suit up Tuesday after participating in all-star weekend events.
Close scoring race
The NHL scoring race could have a different look Wednesday morning. Leader Jakub Voracek (56 points) and the Philadelphia Flyers host Arizona. Fresh off a six-point all-star performance, he’ll likely hold off Dallas’ Tyler Seguin, who is second in league scoring with 52 points and plays in Montreal. However, Voracek’s linemate, Claude Giroux, could move up a couple of spots from fifth. His 51 points matches Chicago’s Patrick Kane and the Pittsburgh duo of Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. The Blackhawks are idle while Malkin and Crosby will sit out the Penguins’ game at Winnipeg with undisclosed injuries. Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf is seventh in NHL scoring with 50 points entering Tuesday’s game at Vancouver.
Elsewhere, the hometown Edmonton Oilers try for a third straight win, facing the Minnesota Wild at 9:30 p.m. ET.