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 five games Wednesday.
‘Streaking’ Senators going for third straight
For the first time this season, we can use “momentum” and “Ottawa Senators” in the same sentence. The Senators (4-12-1) have won consecutive games for the first time since March 5-7 and hope to make it a three-game winning streak when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m. ET; SN, TVAS, NHL.TV). The Battle of Ontario took a surreal turn Monday when Ottawa scored five unanswered goals to defeat Toronto 6-5 in overtime. The Senators, who might want to frame their stunning comeback, trail the Maple Leafs (11-3-2) by 15 points in the Scotia North Division, but they’ve come to life the past two games heading into another 60 or more unpredictable minutes against their archrival. The Maple Leafs will be looking for revenge Wednesday and Auston Matthews will try to push his personal point streak to 14 games. The center has scored 19 points (13 goals, six assists) during a 13-game run, missing the Jan. 22 game against the Edmonton Oilers with an upper-body injury. — Dave Stubbs, columnist
Panthers, Hurricanes compete for first place
First place in the Discover Central Division is on the line when the Florida Panthers visit the Carolina Hurricanes (5 p.m. ET; NHLN, FS-CR, FS-F, NHL.TV). The Panthers and Hurricanes each have 20 points in 13 games, one fewer point in one fewer game than the Tampa Bay Lightning, who don’t play again until Thursday. It’s too early in the season to worry about first place in a division, but the Panthers and Hurricanes have their eyes on it because each is playing well. The Panthers are coming off a 6-4 win against the Lightning, their second win in three games against the defending Stanley Cup champions. The Hurricanes have won three games in a row and four of their past five. They trailed 2-0 and 3-1 in the first period against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday before scoring six straight goals in a span of 33:12 for a 7-3 win. Look for offense in this one. The Hurricanes average 3.62 goals per game; the Panthers 3.31. — Dan Rosen, senior writer
Oilers, Jets and fireworks likely
The Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers play the second of their two-game series at Rogers Place (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TVAS, SNW, TSN3, NHL.TV). Their game Monday was another wild one that the Jets eventually won 6-5. That makes 28 goals scored by the two teams in their three games this season and there’s a strong chance the high-octane hockey will continue Wednesday. Oilers center Connor McDavid had two assists Monday and leads the NHL with 30 points (nine goals, 21 assists) in 17 games, a pace that will take him to 99 points this season. His teammate, Leon Draisaitl, who won the scoring race and the Hart Trophy voted as the most valuable player in the NHL last season, was held without a point Monday but is second to McDavid with 26 points (eight goals, 18 assists) in 17 games. The Jets aren’t without their own skill. Center Mark Scheifele scored three points (one goal, two assists) Monday and is fifth in the NHL with 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists) in 15 games. Nikolaj Ehlers scored his 10th goal of the season in the Jets’ win, and Kyle Connor scored his eighth. The goalies will try their best Wednesday, but they have their work cut out for them. — Tim Campbell, staff writer
Florida Panthers at Carolina Hurricanes, 5 p.m. ET (NHLN, FS-CR, FS-F, NHL.TV)
This is the second of four straight road games for the Panthers. They are 4-0-1 on the road; the Hurricanes are 4-0-0 at home.
Ottawa Senators at Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. ET (SN, TVAS, NHL.TV)
Senators forward Evgenii Dadonov has scored five goals in his past five games, including the game-tying and game-winning goals in a 6-5 overtime victory against the Maple Leafs on Monday.
Chicago Blackhawks at Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane is fourth in the NHL with 22 points (seven goals, 15 assists) and has seven multiple-point games this season.
Vancouver Canucks at Calgary Flames, 10 p.m. ET (SN1, SNP, NHL.TV)
The Flames have won four of their past five games (4-1-0), including a 4-3 overtime victory against the Canucks on Monday.
Winnipeg Jets at Edmonton Oilers, 10 p.m. ET (NBCSN, TVAS, SNW, TSN3, NHL.TV)
Oilers center Connor McDavid has scored 499 points in the NHL (171 goals, 328 assists). If he scores a point Wednesday, he’ll tie Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby among active players for fewest games to reach 500 points (369).