Welcome to the NHL on Tap. Three NHL.com writers will share what they are most looking forward to on the schedule each day. Today, their choices from the six games on Friday.
Capitals, Bruins go at it again
The rematch between the visiting Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins in Boston (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVAS, NESN, NBCSWA, NHL.TV) should be fun to watch after their game Wednesday had all the physicality and intensity of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In defenseman Zdeno Chara‘s return to Boston for the first time since the former Bruins captain signed with the Capitals as an unrestricted free agent, Washington prevailed 2-1 in a shootout in a tight-checking battle that featured 54 hits. Expect emotions to be running high again with much at stake in the MassMutual East Division. Washington is tied with the New York Islanders for first with 30 points each and Boston is three points behind. The Capitals won two of their first three games against the Bruins this season, the first a 4-3 overtime victory Jan. 30. — Tom Gulitti, staff writer
‘Dollar Dollar Bill Kirill’
Kirill Kaprizov has been great this season and I’m looking forward to seeing to what the Minnesota Wild rookie forward will do when they visit the Arizona Coyotes (9 p.m. ET; FS-A, FS-N, FS-WI, NHL.TV). The title of my entry is a slogan on a T-shirt for Kaprizov created by Wild defenseman Matt Dumba for how money the 23-year-old is with the puck on his stick. Kaprizov leads NHL rookies with 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 20 games, two ahead of Ottawa Senators forward Josh Norris (15 points in 26 games). He’s one reason why the Wild are fourth in the Honda West Division. The Coyotes are two points behind the Wild, but Minnesota has two games in hand. — Tracey Myers, staff writer
I can’t get enough of watching the Vegas Golden Knights, who have won four straight games while scoring 16 goals. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is having an epic season (11-3-0, 1.71 goals-against average, .939 save percentage, three shutouts in 14 games) and proving his critics wrong. Their defensemen are fun to watch, and their forward depth is the envy of the NHL, with six scoring at least 12 points. It’s appointment viewing any time forward Mark Stone plays and he might be the best 200-foot player around. He had five assists against the Minnesota Wild on Monday and there is a feeling Stone, who leads the Golden Knights with 24 points (five goals, 19 assists) in 19 games, can do something like that on any given night. Let’s throw in the fact they are visiting their fiercest rival, the San Jose Sharks (10:30 p.m. ET; SN, NBCSCA, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV), and all the ingredients are in place for a must-see game. — Shawn P. Roarke, director of editorial
Washington Capitals at Boston Bruins, 7 p.m. ET (NHLN, TSN, TVAS, NESN, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)
The Capitals have won a season-high four consecutive games and are on a six-game point streak (5-0-1). The Bruins are 2-4-1 in their past seven after starting 10-1-2.
Tampa Bay Lightning at Chicago Blackhawks, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN+, NBCSCH, SUN, NHL.TV)
The Lightning and Blackhawks play the second of a back to back after the Lightning won 3-2 in overtime Thursday. The reigning Stanley Cup champions are tied for first with the Carolina Hurricanes in the Discover Central Division. The fourth-place Blackhawks hold a four-point lead on the fifth-place Columbus Blue Jackets.
St. Louis Blues at Los Angeles Kings, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN+, FS-W, FS-MW, NHL.TV)
Forward Zach Sanford has scored six points (four goals, two assists) in his past three games and the Blues are one point behind the Vegas Golden Knights for first in the Honda West Division. The Kings trail the Minnesota Wild by three points for fourth place but have lost three straight (0-2-1) following a six-game winning streak.
Anaheim Ducks at Colorado Avalanche, 9 p.m. ET (TVAS2, ALT, PRIME, FS-SD, NHL.TV)
The Avalanche return home after splitting two games at the San Jose Sharks and going 3-1-0 on a four-game road trip. The Ducks have lost eight in a row (0-6-2).
Minnesota Wild at Arizona Coyotes, 9 p.m. ET (FS-A, FS-N, FS-WI, NHL.TV)
The Coyotes have struggled at home, going 3-4-2 during nine-game homestand to end February. The Wild are 6-1-1 since Feb. 18.
Vegas Golden Knights at San Jose Sharks, 10:30 p.m. ET (SN, NBCSCA, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV)
Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is seven games from tying Hockey Hall of Famer Grant Fuhr (868) for 11th in NHL history. The Sharks have lost three of four (1-3-0) and might miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season after making it the previous four and 14 of the past 15.