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 two games Wednesday.
Penguins aim for ninth straight win
The Pittsburgh Penguins try for their ninth consecutive win when they host the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; TNT, NHL LIVE). Pittsburgh (18-8-5) is coming off an 8-5 win against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday when Evan Rodrigues and Bryan Rust each scored a hat trick. St. Louis (19-9-5) seeks its third win in a row following a 6-4 victory against the Minnesota Wild at the 2022 Discover NHL Winter Classic and is 7-1-2 in its past 10 games. Vladimir Tarasenko has a five-game goal streak and 10 points (six goals, four assists) in that span for the Blues, who are second in the Central Division, one point behind the Nashville Predators. — William Douglas, staff writer
Blues face another tough test
After defeating the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 on Dec. 29 and the Wild 6-4 outdoors Saturday, the Blues face the red-hot Penguins. St. Louis has been led by its top line of Tarasenko (33 points), Pavel Buchnevich (30 points) and Ivan Barbashev (27 points), and has depth scoring with 10 players who have at least 15 points this season. After facing the Penguins, the Blues will return home for a five-game homestand beginning against the Washington Capitals on Friday. — David Satriano, staff writer
Oilers hope to rebound, could be without McDavid
The Oilers will look to end a four-game skid when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m. ET; SN, TVAS, ESPN+, NHL LIVE). The Oilers (18-13-2) are 0-2-2 and will play their sixth straight road game; they are 2-8-2 in 12 games since Dec. 3. Adding to Edmonton’s woes, it could be without center Connor McDavid, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. McDavid leads the NHL with 53 points (19 goals, 34 assists). Toronto (21-8-2) has won three games in a row, including 6-0 against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday in its first game since a 5-1 win at the Oilers on Dec. 14. Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews had a false positive test for COVID-19 on Monday and said Wednesday he expects to play against the Oilers. — Mike G. Morreale, staff writer
Edmonton Oilers at Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m. ET; SN, TVAS, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)
Edmonton forward Zach Hyman will play in Toronto for the first time since leaving the Maple Leafs and signing a seven-year contract with the Oilers on July 28. Center John Tavares has scored eight points (two goals, six assists) in a six-game point streak for Toronto, which is 13-4-1 at home.
St. Louis Blues at Pittsburgh Penguins (7:30 p.m. ET; TNT, NHL LIVE)
Goalie Tristan Jarry and forward Kasperi Kapanen are expected to return from NHL COVID-19 protocol for Pittsburgh. The Blues rank third in the NHL in power-play percentage (29.5) and the Penguins are first in penalty-killing percentage (91.0 percent).
New York Islanders at Vancouver Canucks, postponed