Leafs reverse home fortunes
The ebb-and flow fortunes of the Toronto Maple Leafs (12-8-3) have turned in the right direction again, especially at home. They've won three in a row at the Air Canada Centre as they welcome the Dallas Stars (9-10-5).
Saturday, in downing the Washington Capitals 6-2, they matched a season-high for goals, paced by a pair of scores by Tyler Bozak, one on the power play. That was just one of three goals with a man advantage for the Leafs, who have struggled to find the range when presented with the opportunities.
Their only loss in a four-game stretch was to Pittsburgh in overtime on the road.
The Stars and NHL goals leader Tyler Seguin (18) come to Toronto in the midst of a three-game road trip.They lost the opener of the journey on Saturday night, 5-2 in Colorado.
Canucks happy to see Caps again
Back on Oct. 26, the Vancouver Canucks (16-7-1) downed the Capitals 4-2. Since then they've gone 12-4-1 to enter the Western Conference's upper echelon.
Now they catch up to a struggling Capitals team (10-9-4) in Washington that's gone 1-2-1 in its past four starts, including the drubbing they received Saturday in Toronto.
Vancouver also fell in its last start as the Red Wings got to Ryan Miller in a 5-3 verdict in Detroit.
Shawn Matthias carries a hot hand for the Canucks with goals in three straight games and the franchise is 13-2-2 all-time against the Capitals.
Hudler, Ramo red hot for Flames
If you were asked to choose who would lead the Calgary Flames (15-8-2) back to respectability at the start of the season, the first two names to come to mind probably wouldn't have been Jiri Hudler and Karri Ramo.
But they've been key figures in back-to-back shutout wins over San Jose (2-0) and the Arizona Coyotes (3-0) on Saturday.
Hudler supplied the offence with three goals and an assist, while Ramo stretched his personal winning streak to four games, topped off by the double whitewashes.
The Coyotes (10-12-3) bounced back from Saturday's home defeat by breaking the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night, thanks in large part to rookie Tobias Rieder and his two shorthanded goals in 58 seconds.
Mike Smith got the win in goal for the Coyotes but hasn't had much luck against the Flames, posting a 0-4-1 career record against them.
Senators run into surging Isles
A tough road trip (1-3 so far) gets tougher for the Ottawa Senators (10-9-4) as they face the Islanders (17-7-0) in Uniondale, NY.
The Senators lost 4-1 Saturday in Tampa as they struggle to generate offence.
Bobby Ryan is out with a broken finger and team scoring leader Clarke MacArthur has just one goal in 11 games after a fast start.
With their best start in 34 years (since the 1980-81 Stanley Cup winning team) the Islanders have fashioned an 11-2-0 home-ice record.
Goalie Jaroslav Halak has a lot to do with it. He's on a nine-game winning streak.