NHL On Tap: Ovechkin tries again to set all-time power-play goals record


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 six games on Wednesday.

Ovechkin tries again for power-play goal record

Alex Ovechkin will try again to set the NHL record for most power-play goals when the Washington Capitals (18-6-7) host the Nashville Predators (19-10-1) on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSWA, BSSO, ESPN+, NHL LIVE). Ovechkin tied Dave Andreychuk for the most power-play goals (274) in a 5-4 overtime loss at the Chicago Blackhawks on Dec. 15 but has not scored any with the man-advantage in two games since. Ovechkin, who’s in his 17th NHL season and has played 1,228 games, also has scored the fourth most goals in NHL history with 752, trailing only Wayne Gretzky (894), Gordie Howe (801) and Jaromir Jagr (766). Ovechkin is second in the League with 22 goals this season, behind Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (23), and third in points with 47, two behind co-leaders Draisaitl and Oilers teammate Connor McDavid (49). — Pete Jensen, senior fantasy editor

Top players returning for Panthers, Rangers 

The Florida Panthers (18-7-4) and New York Rangers (19-7-4) had similar struggles earlier this month. Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov, who has scored 18 points (10 goals, eight assists) in 16 games, missed 12 of the past 13 games after sustaining an upper-body injury Dec. 7. Florida lost three in a row heading into the break that was extended due to COVID-19. The Rangers are 0-3-1 in their past four. They lost goalie Igor Shesterkin (13-3-2, 2.05 goals-against average, .937 save percentage and one shutout in 18 games) for eight games and their leading scorer, forward Artemi Panarin (33 points; nine goals, 24 assists in 29 games), for one game to lower-body injuries. Now all three players are back when the Rangers and Panthers play at FLA Live Arena on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; BSFL, MSG 2, ESPN+, NHL LIVE). Jonathan Huberdeau took part in the morning skate and could also return for Florida from NHL COVID-19 protocol. These two teams are fun to watch but even more so when their best players are healthy, so let’s welcome the return of (more) hockey games with a hopefully robust contest. — Tracey Myers, staff writer

Canucks seek seventh straight win under Boudreau

The Vancouver Canucks will try to improve to 7-0-0 under coach Bruce Boudreau when they face the Anaheim Ducks (10:30 p.m. ET; SNP, BSW, ESPN+, NHL LIVE) in the first of back-to-back games and the start of a three-city U.S. West Coast road trip. Boudreau replaced Travis Green on Dec. 5 and Vancouver (14-15-2) has sought to claw its way into playoff contention since. A Canucks win would match their longest streak since winning seven in a row from Dec. 19, 2019 to Jan. 4, 2020. Forward Brock Boeser has four goals in his past five games, including two in Vancouver’s 5-2 win against the San Jose Sharks on Dec. 16. The Ducks (17-9-6) are 6-1-3 in their past 10 games. Ducks forward Troy Terry has scored four points (three goals, one assist) in his past five games. — William Douglas, staff writer

Wednesday schedule

New Jersey Devils at Buffalo Sabres (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, MSG+ 2, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Devils (10-15-5), who are playing their first game since Dec. 19, have lost six in a row. Forwards Alex Tuch and Peyton Krebs, who were acquired from the Vegas Golden Knights in the Jack Eichel trade, are expected to make their debuts for the Sabres (10-15-5). Buffalo forward prospect JJ Peterka will play his first NHL game

New York Rangers at Florida Panthers (7 p.m. ET; BSFL, MSG 2, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

Forward Chris Kreider has scored five points (one goal, four assists) in his past two games for the Rangers. The Panthers are 14-3-0 at home this season, with an NHL-best .824 points percentage at FLA Live Arena. 

Nashville Predators at Washington Capitals (7 p.m. ET; NBCSWA, BSSO, ESPN+, NHL LIVE) 

Predators forward Filip Forsberg has scored 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in 11 games against the Capitals. Nashville has won seven straight games. Washington is 2-2-1 in its past five games and 9-3-4 at home this season.

Edmonton Oilers at St. Louis Blues (8:30 p.m. ET; SN360, SN1, SNE, SNO, SNW, BSMW, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Oilers (18-11-0) won two in a row prior to the break. The Blues (17-9-5), 5-1-1 in their past seven games, will play their final game before facing the Minnesota Wild at the 2022 Discover NHL Winter Classic at Target Field in Minneapolis on Saturday.

Philadelphia Flyers at Seattle Kraken (10 p.m. ET; TVAS, ROOT-NW, NBCSP, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Flyers (12-12-5) have won four of their past five games. This is the first of a five-game homestand for the Kraken (10-17-3), who have lost two in a row and are 6-9-1 at home this season.

Vancouver Canucks at Anaheim Ducks (10:30 p.m. ET; SNP, BSW, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

Vancouver defenseman Quinn Hughes has six assists in his past five games and 24 in 30 games this season. The Ducks are fourth in the NHL on the power play (26.7 percent) and penalty kill (85.5).

Chicago Blackhawks at Winnipeg Jets, postponed

Pittsburgh Penguins at Toronto Maple Leafs, postponed

Boston Bruins at Ottawa Senators, postponed

Detroit Red Wings at New York Islanders, postponed 

Dallas Stars at Colorado Avalanche, postponed

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