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NHL: 3 things to know for Wednesday

02/04/2015 12:07 EST | Updated 04/06/2015 05:59 EDT
The Oilers welcome a familiar face, the Flames understand the significance of their meeting with the Sharks, and the Rangers continue to climb the standings.

Here are three stories for tonight's NHL action:

Perron returns to Edmonton

It might be too soon for a tribute video, but David Perron will skate at Rexall Place for the first time as a visitor since being dealt by the Oilers to the Penguins on Jan. 2.

At the time, it was a welcomed change of scenery for Perron, who had been acquired by the Oilers in July 2013.

Perron met with the media yesterday to discuss the transition to a playoff contender in Pittsburgh (28-14-8) and it sounds like he is settling in quite nicely playing on the top line line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz.

However, the Oilers (14-28-9) have been playing better of late, going 6-6-1 since the trade, and may prove to be a tougher test than the Penguins are expecting. 

Jordan Eberle appears to be heating up for Edmonton with three goals in the past two games. 

Just another day in the Pacific

When the Flames (28-20-3) host the Sharks (27-17-7), playoff positioning will once again be on the line in a bunched up Pacific Division.

Calgary enters the contest as the second wild card team, but tied with Vancouver at 59 points, and just two points back of the second-place Sharks. 

The importance of a game like this is not lost on Calgary coach Bob Hartley and rookie Johnny Gaudreau.

Working in the Flames' favour is the fact that they are 2-1-0 against the Sharks this season and are 7-3-0 in their last 10 games overall.

Rangers can take another step

It can be difficult to gain ground in the NHL standings because of "three-point" games where the losing team picks up a point for falling in overtime or a shootout. Those can be frustrating if you're chasing both teams involved.

Try telling this to the Rangers (29-15-4). They have been steadily climbing the standings since the turn of the calendar to 2015.

On Jan. 1, New York was seven points behind the Islanders and Penguins, but enters tonight's matchup against the Bruins (27-16-7) with a chance to pull even with the Penguins and within a point of the division-leading Islanders. 

The Rangers continue to benefit from the strong play of netminder Henrik Lundqvist. He is sixth in the league with 25 wins and ranks third with five shutouts.

Although, the team announced late Tuesday morning that Lundqvist will not be available tonight as originally expected. Cam Talbot will get the start instead.  

Another key factor has been the resurgence of Rick Nash. The left-winger's 31 goals not only tie him with Alex Ovechkin for tops in the NHL, but also surpass his output from all of last season. 

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