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Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Burnside: This week's games to watch

By Scott Burnside

Tuesday: Flyers at Lightning, 7:30 p.m. ET

The third game in a mighty 12-game homestand for the Lightning, and they host the league’s best team (at least for our money). Tampa Bay could pull within two points of Philly for the top spot the Eastern Conference.

Prediction: The Bolts start the post-All-Star weekend schedule with their third straight win.

Tuesday: Canucks at Stars, 8:30 p.m. ET

The Stars will be hoping to avenge their 7-1 loss in Vancouver shortly before the break. We wonder if the Canucks will be spending a few nights in Big D before the game as the Stars did in Vancouver? Probably not. Still, this should be a good tilt between two division leaders.

Prediction: The Stars will even the score at home.

Wednesday: Sharks at Ducks, 10 p.m. ET

The Ducks have won seven of their past 10 games and continue to impress. Goalie Jonas Hiller was solid in the All-Star Game, and he’ll have to keep up his strong play against a Sharks team that would like to create some breathing room for itself in the playoff bracket. San Jose is 4-0-1 in its past five contests.

Prediction: The Ducks will continue their strong play and defeat the streaky Sharks.

Thursday: Wild at Avalanche, 9 p.m. ET

The Avs hit the break tied with San Jose for the last playoff berth, while the Wild were just one point back and have come on strong in recent weeks. This is the kind of game that’s going to hurt for the loser.

Prediction: The Avs will get their game going.

Friday: Sabres at Penguins, 7 p.m. ET

The Sabres have some ground to make up if they want to revisit the playoff tournament in April, and they’ll visit a Penguins team still missing Sidney Crosby even though the Pittsburgh captain has been given clearance to begin light workouts. There’s a better chance Evgeni Malkin will be on the ice, but either way, these are the types of games the Sabres have to win.

Prediction: Crosby or no Crosby, the Pens will be too tough for the Sabres.

Last week: 3-2.