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Monday, January 24, 2011
What to watch for Monday night

By ESPN.com

New York Rangers (28-19-3) at Washington Capitals (27-14-8), 7:30 p.m. ET

Season series: 1-1
Starting goaltenders: Martin Biron (7-4-0, 2.33 GAA) vs. Braden Holtby (4-2-1, 2.79 GAA)
Preview: Coming off his first hat trick of the season, Alex Ovechkin looks to end his drought against the Rangers and avenge the Capitals' most lopsided defeat of the season, a 7-0 loss to New York. Ovechkin has not scored in his past three games against the Rangers, the longest drought of his career against New York. While the Capitals are hoping for more production from Ovechkin, the Rangers are looking for the same from Marian Gaborik. After ending his eight-game goal drought with a four-goal outburst against the Leafs, Gaborik has no points in his past two games.

St. Louis Blues (22-18-7) at Colorado Avalanche (24-18-6), 9:30 p.m. ET

Season series: 1-0 Colorado
Starting goaltenders: Jaroslav Halak (17-15-5, 2.58 GAA) vs. Peter Budaj (11-7-3, 3.12 GAA)
Preview: As Colorado tries to avoid a third consecutive loss, it will need to continue its recent luck against St. Louis. The Avalanche have won five consecutive games against the Blues, their longest win streak against St. Louis since the franchise moved from Quebec at the start of the 1995-96 season. All-Star center Matt Duchene has a five-game point streak against St. Louis and is one point shy of 100 in his two-year career.

Nashville Predators (27-15-6) at Calgary Flames (22-21-6), 9:30 p.m. ET

Season series: 1-0 Calgary
Starting goaltenders: Pekka Rinne (17-11-4, 2.08 GAA) vs. Miikka Kiprusoff (18-18-2, 2.84 GAA)
Preview: The Predators are an NHL-best 10-2-0 since New Year's Eve, helping them vault from 12th place in the West to fourth. But their hot streak has not helped them against the Flames recently. Calgary is 7-2-0 against Nashville since the start of the 2008-09 season. A Predators win Monday night would give Nashville 10 wins in January, which would be the just the sixth time in franchise history they have won 10 games in a month.

Dallas Stars (29-14-5) at Vancouver Canucks (29-10-9), 10 p.m. ET

Season series: 1-0 Vancouver
Starting goaltenders: Kari Lehtonen (21-10-5, 2.49 GAA) vs. Roberto Luongo (21-8-7, 2.35 GAA)
Preview: The Canucks are winless in their past four games, but have pushed the past three games beyond regulation to hold on to their lead in the West. Vancouver has won six of seven against Dallas, including all three meetings at Rogers Arena. But Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen is 6-0-1 in January with a 1.70 GAA average. Lehtonen will need to continue his strong play to shut down the Canucks’ Ryan Kesler, who has 26 goals, which is already tied for his single-season career high.

Boston Bruins (27-14-7) at Los Angeles Kings (25-22-1), 10:30 p.m. ET

Season series: 1-0 Los Angeles
Starting goaltenders: Tim Thomas (23-4-6, 1.83 GAA) vs. Jonathan Quick (20-14-1, 2.22 GAA)
Preview: The Bruins have picked up at least one point in their past nine road games heading into Monday night's matchup in Los Angeles, but they will need to overcome an injury to Marc Savard to improve their streak. Savard returned to Boston to be evaluated after being checked into the boards and leaving the game on Saturday. The Kings are looking to win consecutive games for the first time since a four-game winning streak from Dec. 21-27. With Tim Thomas' save percentage currently at .945, the Bruins goalie is trying to become the first with a save percentage of .940 or better heading into the All-Star break having played at least 20 games.