Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thursday's thrillers

I wanted a corny headline. Did that work?

Carolina (2-0-0) at Ottawa (0-2-1), 7 p.m. EDT, TSN

Thusly, the Hurricanes' long, long, long road trip continues. Good thing they got four points from their overseas trip. They might need each one after finishing their cross country tour. Cam Ward is looking strong, 18-year-old Jeff Skinner appears to belong in the NHL, and Jussi Jokinen is out to show his 65-point season last year wasn't a fluke.

As for Ottawa...if Jarkko Ruutu is your leading scorer through three games, you're in trouble. Plus the Senators' goaltending is as murky as ever.

Tampa Bay (2-0-0) at Philadelphia (2-0-1), 7 p.m., Versus

This should be a good one. Simon Gagne returns to Philadelphia as part of a star-studded cast featuring Steven Stamkos, Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis. The Lightning are fresh off a solid 4-3 overtime win.

Rookie goalie Sergei Bobrovsky is doing a solid job leading the Flyers with the injury to Michael Leighton. Philadelphia went to the wire with Colorado last time out, needing a late Jeff Carter tally to break a tie score.

St. Louis (2-0-0) at Nashville (2-0-0), 8 p.m.

Someone will suffer their first loss of the season. Goal scoring could be low in this one, as each team has allowed just two goals total in their first two games.

Detroit (2-0-1) at Dallas (2-0-0), 8:30 p.m., NHL Network

Johan Franzen is scoring goals at his typical pace, with three so far in three games. Brenden Morrow's doing even better, with three in two games. That battle of power forwards could be a fun matchup to watch.

Edmonton (2-0-0) at Minnesota (0-1-1), 8:30 p.m.

The Wild finally get a chance to erase the sting of Finnishing their road trip (Get it? Because they went to Finland? Funny) with just one point by going against one of the early-season darlings, the Oilers. Edmonton is getting great goaltending from Nikolai Khabibulin and solid depth throughout the lineup. A total of 13 players have registered points in two games. For Minnesota, Todd Richards may be beheaded soon if he doesn't start winning.

Florida (0-2-0) at Calgary (1-1-0), 9:30 p.m.

The Panthers are the last team in the NHL yet to record one point in the standings. Sadly, that might be the norm for Florida, a team still struggling to find an identity offensively. The good news for them is the Flames aren't exactly lighting the lamp either.

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