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 three games on Friday.
Pavelski looks to extend points streak to eight
Joe Pavelski is one of the hottest players in the NHL and will try to extend his point streak to eight games when he and the Dallas Stars (18-13-2) visit the Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVAS, BSFL, BSSW+, NHL LIVE). The 37-year-old forward is coming off the first five-point game of his NHL career, with two goals and three assists in the Stars’ 5-2 victory against the Seattle Kraken on Wednesday. Pavelski has scored 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in his past seven games and is flourishing on the Stars’ top line with Roope Hintz and Jason Robertson. Pavelski (35 points), Robertson (32) and Hintz (26) are Dallas’ top three point-scorers and have helped the Stars go 5-1-0 in their past six games. Dallas defeated visiting Florida 6-5 in a shootout Jan. 6. The Panthers (24-7-5) are 6-0-1 in their past seven, the only blemish in that span against the Stars. — Mike Zeisberger, staff writer
MacKinnon closing in on 600 points, 600 games
The race to 600 games and points continues for Nathan MacKinnon when the Colorado Avalanche (22-8-3) host the Arizona Coyotes at Ball Arena (9 p.m. ET; ALT, BSAZ+, ESPN+, NHL LIVE). The Avalanche center will be playing his 597th NHL game and he has scored 595 points (216 goals, 379 assists). The way MacKinnon has been trending this season, with 35 points (six goals, 29 assists) in 23 games, he could well reach the points milestone first. The 26-year-old scored a goal in a 5-4 overtime loss at the Nashville Predators on Tuesday, bouncing back after his 13-game point streak (24 points; four goals, 20 assists) ended in a 4-3 win against the Seattle Kraken on Monday. The Coyotes (8-23-3) defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 on Wednesday, despite being outshot 46-18, and are 7-4-3 in one-goal games this season. — Tim Campbell, staff writer
Kaprizov expected to return for Wild
Kirill Kaprizov is expected to play for the Minnesota Wild against the Anaheim Ducks at Xcel Energy Center (8 p.m. ET; BSN, BSWI+, BSSC, BSSD, ESPN+, NHL LIVE). The 24-year-old forward, who leads Minnesota with 40 points (14 goals, 26 assists) in 32 games, practiced Wednesday for the first time since sustaining an upper-body injury in the second period of a 3-2 win at the Boston Bruins on Jan. 6. Kaprizov missed one game, a 3-2 shootout win against the Washington Capitals two days later. The Wild (21-10-2) had their next two scheduled games postponed, at the Winnipeg Jets on Monday and at the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday. Forward Troy Terry has scored six points (four goals, two assists) in his past five games for the Ducks (19-13-7). — Mike G. Morreale, staff writer
Dallas Stars at Florida Panthers (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVAS, BSFL, BSSW+, NHL LIVE)
Dallas forward Jamie Benn is expected to play his 900th NHL game. He has scored 740 points (320 goals, 420 assists) in 899 games, all with the Stars. Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau has scored 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) in a six-game point streak.
Anaheim Ducks at Minnesota Wild (8 p.m. ET; BSN, BSWI+, BSSC, BSSD, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)
The Wild, who have defeated the Ducks twice this season (2-1 on Oct. 15 and 4-3 in overtime Oct. 23) have won their past two after a five-game winless streak (0-4-1) from Dec. 11-Jan. 1. Anaheim is 2-4-2 in its past eight games and will play the first game of a back-to-back that finishes at the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.
Arizona Coyotes at Colorado Avalanche (9 p.m. ET; ALT, BSAZ+, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)
Coyotes center Alex Galchenyuk is expected to play his 600th NHL game. He has scored 337 points (140 goals, 197 assists) in 599 games for the Montreal Canadiens, Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota Wild, Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs. The Avalanche are 5-0-1 in their past six and 10-1-1 in their past 12, and center Nazem Kadri has scored at least one point in each of the past 13 games he has played (23 points; six goals, 17 assists). Colorado seeks to extend its 12-game home winning streak, the longest by any team in the NHL this season.