NHL On Tap: Flames visit Penguins, look to sweep five-game road trip

Wild look to extend hot start

The Minnesota Wild make their first visit to the Seattle Kraken on Thursday (10 p.m. ET; ROOT-NW, BSN, BSWI, ESPN+, NHL LIVE) after opening their three-game road trip with a 3-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. The Wild have won five of their first six games (5-1-0) though forward Kirill Kaprizov (five assists) still is looking for his first goal of the season and hasn’t scored a point in the past three games. The Kraken continue their inaugural homestand which began with a 5-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, their first at Climate Pledge Arena, and are 1-1-0 during their four-game homestand. Forward Brandon Tanev quickly has become a Seattle fan favorite with his tenacious play and his Seattle-best five goals in seven games, including two against Montreal. — Tom Gulitti, staff writer

Blues still sizzling

I am not good at predictions. Never have been, never will be. I didn’t think the St. Louis Blues would be atop the Central Division this season, but there they are, with a 5-0-0 record, entering their game against the Colorado Avalanche (2-4-0) at Enterprise Arena on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; BSMW, ALT, ESPN+, NHL LIVE). Forwards David Perron (six goals, two assists) and Jordan Kyrou (two goals, six assists) lead the Blues with eight points in five games each. Forward Vladimir Tarasenko has looked good in scoring six points (three goals, three assists) in five games. St. Louis’ penalty kill is first in the NHL at 93.8 percent (15 for 16) and its power play is second at 37.5 percent (6 for 16). Meanwhile, the Avalanche have struggled to find consistency through their first six games. The Blues will be a big test. — Tracey Myers, staff writer

Road warriors

The Calgary Flames (4-1-1) will look to conclude a five-game road trip with a fifth straight win when they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins (7 p.m. ET; TVAS, ATTSN-PT, SNW, ESPN+, NHL LIVE). Calgary forward Johnny Gaudreau has eight assists during a five-game point streak and forward Andrew Mangiapane has six goals during a four-game goal streak. Penguins (3-1-2) captain Sidney Crosby (wrist) will be out for the seventh straight game despite practicing Wednesday on the top line. Pittsburgh also will be without centers Evgeni Malkin (knee) and Jeff Carter (COVID-19 protocol), and defenseman Kris Letang (COVID-19 protocol). The Penguins had their season-opening five-game point streak (3-0-2) ended in a 5-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. — Mike G. Morreale, staff writer

Thursday schedule

Arizona Coyotes at Tampa Bay Lightning (7 p.m. ET; BSSUN, BSAZ, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Lightning ended a three-game losing streak (0-2-1) and won for the first time this season in regulation, defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 on Tuesday. The Coyotes penalty killing is 35.7 percent, having have allowed nine power-play goals in 14 shorthanded situations this season.

Calgary Flames at Pittsburgh Penguins (7 p.m. ET; TVAS, ATTSN-PT, SNW, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Flames, who have not trailed at any point through the first four games of their five-game road trip, have swept a road trip of five-plus games once (6-0-0 from Dec. 9-18, 2007). Calgary forwards Andrew Mangiapane (seven goals) and Elias Lindholm (seven) have equaled the Flames mark for most goals in the first six games of a season (Gary Roberts, 1991-92). Pittsburgh has points in seven of its past eight games against Calgary (4-1-3). Forward Jake Guentzel has scored six points (four goals, two assists) in eight games against the Flames, including three goals in his past four against them.

Boston Bruins at Carolina Hurricanes (7 p.m. ET; SN360, SNE, SNO, SNP, BSSO, NESN, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Hurricanes are 5-0-0 for the second time in their history (2019-20). Forward Sebastian Aho has scored seven points (four goals, three assists) during a season-opening five-game point streak. Boston lost 4-1 at the Florida Panthers on Wednesday. Bruins forward Brad Marchand is one assist from becoming the 10th player all-time with 400 assists for Boston.

Colorado Avalanche at St. Louis Blues (8 p.m. ET; BSMW, ALT, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Avalanche have lost four of their past five games (1-4-0), including 5-3 against the Blues on Oct. 16. Colorado forward Nathan MacKinnon has scored six points (one goal, five assists) during a four-game point streak. The Blues set their record for most wins to begin a season with their fifth in a row in a 3-0 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday. Blues forward Ivan Barbashev has scored five points (three goals, two assists) during a five-game point streak.

Philadelphia Flyers at Vancouver Canucks (10 p.m. ET; SN, NBCSP+, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

Canucks forwards Conor Garland (three goals, five assists) and J.T. Miller (one goal, seven assist) are tied for the Vancouver scoring lead with eight points in seven games each. Philadelphia won 5-3 at the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday in its first road game of the season. Forwards Claude Giroux (four goals, two assists) and Cam Atkinson (six goals, one assist) each scored to extend their point streak to start the season to five games.

Buffalo Sabres at Anaheim Ducks (10 p.m. ET; BSSC, BSSD, MSG-B, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

Ducks forward Troy Terry has scored seven points (two goals, five assists) during a five-game point streak. The Sabres have scored at least five goals in three of their six games this season, marking the first time they’ve done that since 2007-08. Buffalo forward Victor Olofsson has scored four points (three goals, one assist) in his past four games.

Minnesota Wild at Seattle Kraken (10 p.m. ET; ROOT-NW, BSN, BSWI, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

Cam Talbot is the second goalie in Wild history start a regular season with five straight wins, joining Manny Fernandez (6-0-0, Oct. 11-29, 2002). Minnesota defenseman Matt Dumba is one point from 200 in the NHL. The Wild will be without forwards Mats Zuccarello and Rem Pitlick, each of whom was placed into NHL COVID-19 protocol Thursday. Kraken forward Brandon Tanev has scored five goals in seven games after scoring seven in 32 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins last season.

Winnipeg Jets at Los Angeles Kings (10:30 p.m. ET; BSW, TSN3, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

Forward Pierre-Luc Dubois has scored seven points (four goals, three assists) during a five-game points streak for the Jets, who have won three in a row. Kings captain Anze Kopitar has no points and a minus-2 rating in his past two games after scoring nine points (six goals, three assists) in his first four games of the season.

Montreal Canadiens at San Jose Sharks (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCA, TSN2, RDS, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Sharks begin a five-game homestand after concluding a five-game road trip (3-2-0) with a 3-1 loss at the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. San Jose forwards Logan Couture (three goals, six assists) and Timo Meier (four goals, five assists) each has scored nine points during a six-game point streak to begin the season. The Canadiens began a four-game road trip with a 5-1 loss at the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday. Montreal forward Jonathan Drouin has scored four points (one goal, three assists) in his past five games.

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