SPORTS

NHL: 4 things to know for Tuesday night

04/07/2015 12:41 EDT | Updated 06/07/2015 05:59 EDT
The Winnipeg Jets, having regained playoff position in the Western Conference, will be looking to move into a tie with Minnesota for the first wild-card spot. Elsewhere, Ottawa and Calgary are home and look to improve their post-season chances.

Here are four things to know for Tuesday night's NHL games:

Mind games

Ondrej Pavelec has passed the physical hurdles of late, starting 10 of Winnipeg's past 11 games and keeping the Jets in the playoff hunt. Can he remain mentally strong Tuesday in St. Louis, where a Barret Jackman shot (see below) from just inside the centre red line eluded him with 63 seconds in regulation and capped a come-from-behind 5-4 Blues win on March 10? Pavelec's 32-save shutout against Minnesota on Monday helped Winnipeg move back into the second wild-card playoff spot and to within two points of the Wild with each team having played 79 games.

Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien will sit the third of his four-game suspension. The Central-leading Blues have won three straight and lead Nashville by a point as they eye a division title.

Minnesota opens a three-game, regular-season-closing road trip at Chicago on Tuesday. While the Wild are 6-2-4 in back-to-back games this season, they are 1-3-0 versus the Blackhawks this season and 3-7-1 in their last 11 regular-season visits to the United Center.

Trying to solve Pens

The Ottawa Senators haven't won against Pittsburgh in two meetings this season, but they're hoping the third time's a charm. If not, it would mark another missed opportunity in their playoff chase. Ottawa is two points back of Detroit for the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference and faces a Penguins outfit that has dropped three straight. Rookie goalie Andrew Hammond will make his fifth straight start for the Senators and first against Pittsburgh, which would clinch a playoff spot with a victory.

Ottawa fans will also be keeping an eye on the Red Wings-Carolina matchup in Detroit, where the home team is on a 3-5-2 run but can clinch a 24th consecutive post-season berth with a win and a Senators loss in regulation. Carolina fell 4-3 to the last-place Buffalo Sabres on Monday.

Flames eye fast start

Calgary enters Tuesday's contest against the visiting Arizona Coyotes tied with Los Angeles for third place in the Pacific Division with 93 points but holding the tiebreaker with 39 combined regulation and overtime wins to 37 for the Kings. The Flames are 4-0 against Arizona this season, outscoring their opponent 17-6. An early goal would go a long way to increasing Calgary's chances at victory since netminder Jonas Hiller has been guilty of getting beat quickly in his last three starts. Karri Ramo remains sidelined with an undisclosed lower-body injury.

The Kings face a must-win scenario in Edmonton after Monday's 2-1 shootout loss in Vancouver dropped the defending Cup champions to 13-24 in one-goal games and one point behind Winnipeg for a wild-card position. Oilers coach Todd Nelson is leaning toward starting Richard Bachman in goal. He is 2-0-1 versus L.A. in his career with a 0.70 GAA and .979 save percentage.

Presidents' Trophy run

The New York Rangers, having already clinched a Metropolitan Division title, will be thinking bigger when they attempt a four-game season sweep of the Devils in New Jersey. A victory would give New York its first Presidents' Trophy as the NHL's top point-getter since 1994. And Cal Talbot, the man who played a big part in the Rangers' climb to first in the division, is expected to start in goal. Talbot went 16-4-3 with a .929 save percentage when starter Henrik Lundqvist was sidelined by injury. Derek Stepan, who scored the game-tying goal and overtime winner in Monday's 4-3 decision over Columbus, leads the Rangers with four goals and five points against the Devils in two games.

MORE:cbcSports