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Thursday's games: Points to watch

10/13/2011

What to watch for in tonight's slate of NHL games:

Capitals at Penguins, 7 p.m. ET

  • The Penguins are 26-13-6 since Sidney Crosby's injury on Jan. 5.

  • The Capitals are looking for their first 3-0-0 start since 2007-08.

  • The Capitals are 10-0-2 in their past 12 games versus the Penguins.

  • Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth is 2-0-1 with a 0.65 GAA and .977 save percentage in three career game against the Penguins. He also posted two shutouts his past two games versus Pittsburgh.

  • Alex Ovechkin has no goals in two games and is looking to avoid being scoreless in the first three games of a season for the first time in his career.

  • So far this season, the Penguins are 5-for-20 on power play and have killed off

    all 16 power plays by opponents.

Kings at Devils, 7 p.m. ET

  • The Kings’ Dustin Penner is set to make his season debut after missing the first two games with a lower-body injury.

  • Anze Kopitar leads the Kings with three goals; he scored three goals total in 11 games in October last season.

  • The Devils are 1-1-0 this season (both games at home); last season, they didn’t win second home game until Nov. 22 (2-5-2).

  • The Kings have won their past three meetings against the Devils.

Lightning at Islanders, 7 p.m. ET

  • The Lightning are playing their first five games of season on the road because of renovations to the St. Pete Times Forum.

  • Lightning forward Steven Stamkos has no goals in his first three games of season. Last season, Stamkos scored four goals in his first three contests. It is his longest goal drought to start a season since he went scoreless in eight games in 2008-09.

  • The Islanders are 4-1-0 in their past five games against the Lightning.

  • Goalie Al Montoya is 10-6-5 with a 2.31 GAA since joining the Islanders last season.

Flames at Canadiens, 7:30 p.m. ET

  • The last meeting between the teams was on Feb. 20, 2011 at the Heritage Classic. Calgary won the outdoor game 4-0.

  • The Flames are looking to avoid their first 0-3-0 start since 2000-01.

  • The Flames have allowed five goals in each of their first two games.

  • The Canadiens killed off all 11 power plays by opponents this season.

Avalanche at Senators, 7:30 p.m. ET

  • This will be Craig Anderson’s first game against the Avalanche since being dealt from Colorado to Ottawa on Feb. 18, 2011.

  • The Avalanche have won four straight games versus the Senators.

  • Ottawa has allowed the first goal in its three games so far this season.

Canucks at Red Wings, 8 p.m. ET

  • The Canucks are playing the second game on back-to-back nights. They lost 5-4 against Philadelphia on Wednesday.

  • Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo has allowed 20 goals in his past four road games dating back to 2011 the Stanley Cup finals.

  • The Red Wings are looking for their first 3-0-0 start to the season since 2005-06 (also 3-0-0).

  • The Canucks are 3-0-3 in their past six games against the Red Wings.

Coyotes at Predators, 8 p.m. ET

  • Nashville, which is playing in its home opener tonight, is looking to start 3-0-0 for the second straight season. The Preds’ best start came in 2005-06 when they won their first eight games of the season.

  • Predators goalie Pekka Rinne is 10-2-1 in his past 13 home games.

Oilers at Wild, 8 p.m. ET

  • The Wild have won 16 straight games at home against the Oilers.

  • The Oilers’ last win on the road against the Wild was on Jan. 16, 2007.

Jets at Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m. ET

  • This will be the Jets’ first road game of the season (they lost 5-1 in their season opener against the Canadiens).

  • The Jets are 1-2-1 all-time against Blackhawks in Chicago, all as the Atlanta Thrashers.

  • The Blackhawks split a home-and-home series with the Dallas Stars to open the season.

  • Chicago’s Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith were born in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Blues at Stars, 8:30 p.m. ET

  • The Stars’ two wins this season have been 2-1 victories.

  • Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen is 6-1-0 in his career against the Blues. He has allowed no more than two goals in those seven contests.