Your 2020-21 NHL on NBC TV schedule

All 31 NHL Teams Featured Throughout Roughly 100 Games Across NBC and NBCSN; 21 Teams Make At Least Four Appearances

Schedule Features Wednesday Night Hockey and Tuesday Hockey Happy Hour Doubleheaders; More Than 75% of Teams Appear on Wednesday Nights

NBC Sports announced its full regular-season schedule that will feature all 31 NHL teams across roughly 100 games on NBC and NBCSN, beginning January 13 with a Wednesday Night Hockey tripleheader on NBCSN headlined by the defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning against the Chicago Blackhawks.

NBC Sports will present a record 16 regular-season games on the NBC broadcast network, beginning Sunday, Jan. 17 when the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Washington Capitals.

In December, the NHL announced a 56-game regular-season schedule per team for the 2020-21 season, as well as a divisional realignment which limits team matchups to intra-division play and minimizes team travel as much as possible.

 • No team will have more than seven exclusive appearances on NBC and NBCSN and 21 teams will have at least four national appearances this year.

 • Some teams will appear nationally more than seven times, but those games will be blacked out in the local market and shown on their local RSN.

Additional NHL NBC schedule highlights:

 • Wednesday Night Hockey Presented by New Amsterdam Vodka on NBCSN – More than 75% of NHL teams will appear on Wednesday nights on NBCSN, and most will feature doubleheaders (and in some cases tripleheaders) surrounding its Wednesday Night Hockey coverage, including both early and late start times.

 •Tuesday Hockey Happy HoursThree Tuesday Hockey Hour doubleheaders (Feb. 2, Feb. 9 and March 9) that will begin at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

 • NHL on NBC – NBC Sports will showcase the NHL 16 times on NBC – once per week on average during the 2020-21 season – marking the most-ever NHL regular-season games on NBC. In addition, the final matchup on Saturday, May 8, is TBD and will feature the most compelling game with playoff implications.

 • Sunday Night Hockey on NBCSNThere will be 10 Sunday Night Hockey matchups on NBCSN, featuring teams from all four divisions, all four Conference Final teams from the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and a majority of matchups featuring a traditional Western Conference team.

2020-21 NHL NBC REGULAR-SEASON SCHEDULE (ALL TIMES EASTERN)

Wed., Jan. 13 Pittsburgh Philadelphia NBCSN PHI 6-3
  Chicago Tampa Bay NBCSN TB 4-1
St. Louis Colorado NBCSN STL 5-1
Sun., Jan. 17 Washington Pittsburgh NBC PIT 4-3 (SO)
Mon., Jan. 18 Columbus Detroit NBCSN CBJ 3-2
Boston N.Y. Islanders NBCSN NYI 1-0
Buffalo Philadelphia NBCSN BUF 6-1
  Arizona Vegas NBCSN VGK 4-2
Tues., Jan. 19 Washington Pittsburgh NBCSN PIT 5-4
Wed., Jan. 20 Edmonton Toronto NBCSN EDM 3-1
Minnesota Anaheim NBCSN MIN 3-2
Thur., Jan. 21 Tampa Bay Columbus NBCSN TB 3-2 (OT)
Montreal Vancouver NBCSN MTL 7-3
Sun., Jan. 24 Detroit Chicago NBC CHI 6-2
Tues., Jan. 26 N.Y. Islanders Washington NBCSN WSH 3-2
Wed., Jan. 27 Chicago Nashville NBCSN NSH 2-1 (SO)
Mon., Feb. 1 Pittsburgh N.Y. Rangers NBCSN NYR 3-1
Tues., Feb. 2 Buffalo N.Y. Islanders NBCSN PPD
Minnesota Colorado NBCSN COL 2-1
Wed., Feb. 3 Detroit Tampa Bay NBCSN TBL 5-1
Boston Philadelphia NBCSN BOS 4-3 (OT)
Sun., Feb. 7 Philadelphia Washington NBC PHI 7-4
Mon., Feb. 8 N.Y. Islanders N.Y. Rangers NBCSN NYI 2-0
Tues., Feb. 9 Philadelphia Washington NBCSN PPD
Tampa Bay Nashville NBCSN TB 6-1
Wed., Feb. 10 Boston N.Y. Rangers NBCSN BOS 3-2 (OT)
Sun., Feb. 14 Washington Pittsburgh NBC PIT 6-3
Colorado Vegas NBCSN VGK 1-0
Mon., Feb. 15 N.Y. Islanders Buffalo NBCSN NYI 3-1
Tues., Feb. 16 Washington Pittsburgh NBCSN WSH 3-1
Wed., Feb. 17 Chicago Detroit NBCSN CHI 2-0
Winnipeg Edmonton NBCSN EDM 3-2
Sat., Feb. 20 Vegas Colorado NBCSN COL 3-2
Sun., Feb. 21 Philadelphia Boston NBCSN BOS 7-3
New Jersey Washington NBC WSH 4-3
Tues., Feb. 23 Pittsburgh Washington NBCSN PIT 3-2 (OT)
Wed., Feb. 24 N.Y. Rangers Philadelphia NBCSN PHI 4-3
Los Angeles St. Louis NBCSN LA 2-1
Sun., Feb. 28 Boston N.Y. Rangers NBC BOS 4-1
Detroit Chicago NBCSN CHI 7-2
Tues., March 2 Philadelphia Pittsburgh NBCSN PIT 5-2
Wed., March 3 Washington Boston NBCSN WSH 2-1 (SO)
St. Louis Anaheim NBCSN STL 3-2
Sun., March 7 Buffalo N.Y. Islanders NBC NYI 5-2
Tampa Bay Chicago NBCSN TBL 6-3
  New Jersey Boston NBCSN NJ 1-0
N.Y. Rangers Pittsburgh NBCSN PIT 5-1
Tues., March 9 N.Y. Rangers Pittsburgh NBCSN PIT 4-2
Chicago Dallas NBCSN DAL 6-1
Wed., March 10 Vegas Minnesota NBCSN MIN 4-3
Los Angeles Anaheim NBCSN LAK 5-1
Sun., March 14 Los Angeles Colorado NBCSN COL 4-1
Mon., March 15 Philadelphia N.Y. Rangers NBCSN PHI 5-4 (OT)
Tues., March 16 Boston Pittsburgh NBCSN BOS 2-1
Wed., March 17 Philadelphia N.Y. Rangers NBCSN NYR 9-0
  Edmonton Calgary NBCSN EDM 7-3
Sun., March 21 Vegas Los Angeles NBCSN LAK 3-1
Mon., March 22 Anaheim Minnesota NBCSN MIN 2-1
Tues., March 23 New Jersey Philadelphia NBCSN NJD 4-3
Wed., March 24 Anaheim Minnesota NBCSN MIN 3-2
  Buffalo Pittsburgh NBCSN PIT 5-2
Los Angeles San Jose NBCSN SJ 4-2
Sun., March 28 N.Y. Rangers Washington NBC WSH 5-4
Columbus Detroit NBCSN DET 4-1
New Jersey Boston NBCSN NJ 1-0
  Nashville Chicago NBCSN NSH 3-2
Mon., March 29 N.Y. Islanders Pittsburgh NBCSN PIT 2-1
Tues., March 30 Carolina Chicago NBCSN CHI 2-1
Wed., March 31 Philadelphia Buffalo NBCSN BUF 6-1
Los Angeles Vegas NBCSN LAK 4-2
Thurs., April 1 Carolina Chicago NBCSN CAR 4-3
Minnesota Vegas NBCSN MIN 3-2 (SO)
Sun., April 4 Detroit Tampa Bay NBC DET 5-1
Dallas Carolina NBCSN CAR 1-0
Tues., April 6 Pittsburgh N.Y. Rangers NBCSN NYR 8-4
Wed., April 7 Edmonton Ottawa NBCSN EDM 4-2
Montreal Toronto NBCSN TOR 3-2
Tues., April 13 Philadelphia Washington NBCSN WSH 6-1
Wed., April 14 Colorado St. Louis NBCSN COL 4-3
Vegas Los Angeles NBCSN VGK 6-2
Thurs., April 15 Florida Tampa NBCSN TB 3-2 (OT)
Sat., April 17 Pittsburgh Buffalo NBC PIT 3-2
Sun., April 18 Washington Boston NBC BOS 6-3
  N.Y. Islanders Philadelphia NBCSN NYI 1-0 (OT)
Los Angeles Colorado NBCSN PPD
Mon., April 19 Detroit Dallas NBCSN DAL 3-2 (SO)
Tues., April 20 Buffalo Boston NBCSN BOS 2-0
Colorado St. Louis NBCSN PPD
Wed., April 21 Nashville Chicago NBCSN 7 p.m.
  San Jose Vegas NBCSN 9:30 p.m.
Sat., April 24 Colorado St. Louis NBC 3 p.m.
Sun., April 25 Boston Pittsburgh NBC 3 p.m.
  Columbus Tampa Bay NBCSN 7 p.m.
Mon., April 26 Carolina Dallas NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Tues., April 27 N.Y. Islanders Washington NBCSN 7 p.m.
Wed., April 28 St. Louis Minnesota NBCSN 7 p.m.
  Colorado Vegas NBCSN 9:30 p.m.
Thurs., April 29 Florida Chicago NBCSN 8 p.m.
  Calgary Edmonton NBCSN 9:30 p.m. (JIP)
Sun., May 2 Tampa Bay Detroit NBC 3 p.m.
Mon., May 3 TBD TBD NBCSN TBD
Tues., May 4 TBD TBD NBCSN TBD
Wed., May 5 Washington N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 7 p.m.
Thur., May 6 TBD TBD NBCSN TBD
Sat., May 8 TBD TBD NBC 3 p.m.
  TBD TBD NBCSN TBD

*subject to change

*Some games will be blacked out in local markets and televised in those markets by a regional carrier.

Bruins-Sabres stream: Tuesday’s NHL on NBCSN matchup

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2020-21 NHL season continues with Tuesday’s matchup between the Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres. Bruins-Sabres stream coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

The Bruins remained hot on Sunday with a 6-3 decision in a wild game against first-place Washington. Boston currently occupies the fourth and final playoff spot in the East Division, leading the fifth-place Rangers by four points. The Bruins have won four straight entering Tuesday’s game, outscoring their opponents 15-6. Buffalo will miss the postseason for a 10th consecutive season, but have played better of late, earning points in eight of their last 11 games (6-3-2 record).

Boston’s vaunted “Perfection Line” of David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and team captain Patrice Bergeron combined for four goals and six assists in Sunday’s win. The Bruins also continue to receive significant production from an emerging second line of David Krejčí, Taylor Hall and Craig Smith, which tallied two goals and three assists. Krejčí had his first multi-goal effort since Jan. 13, 2020.

The NHL announced that Buffalo goalie Dustin Tokarski has been named First Star of the Week. Over the past week, Tokarski had a record of 2-1-1, while stopping 128 of 137 shots (for a save percentage of .934). His 27-save outing against Washington on Thursday marked his first NHL victory since Dec. 12, 2015. He pointed skyward after the final horn sounded, a nod to his late father.

[COVERAGE BEGINS AT 6 P.M. ET – NBCSN]

WHAT: Boston Bruins at Buffalo Sabres
WHERE: KeyBank Center
WHEN: Tuesday, April 20, 6 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN (^Blacked out in local market: Boston)
ON THE CALL: John Walton, AJ Mleczko
LIVE STREAM: 
You can watch the Bruins-Sabres stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

BRUINS
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Taylor Hall – David Krejčí – Craig Smith
Nick RitchieCharlie CoyleJake DeBrusk
Sean KuralyCurtis LazarChris Wagner

Matt GrzelcykCharlie McAvoy
Mike ReillyConnor Clifton
Jeremy LauzonJakub Zboril

Starting goalie: Tuukka Rask

SABRES
Jeff SkinnerSam ReinhartVictor Olofsson
Rasmus AsplundCasey MittelstadtTage Thompson
Anders BjorkDylan Cozens – Arttu Ruotsalainen
Tobias RiederRiley Sheahan – Drake Cagguila

Mattias Samuelsson – Rasmus Ristolainen
Rasmus DahlinHenri Jokiharju
Jacob BrysonColin Miller

Starting goalie: Dustin Tokarski

Canadiens’ Carey Price placed in concussion protocol, out at least a week

Canadiens goaltender Carey Price will miss at least the next week after being placed in concussion protocol, according to interim head coach Dominique Ducharme

Price was injured in the first period of Montreal’s 4-1 defeat to the Oilers Monday night. He collided with Oilers’ forward Alex Chiasson and did not return for the start of the second.

“Sometimes symptoms can come a little bit after,” Ducharme said Tuesday. “So I cannot tell you exactly when he started to feel bad. I’m sure if it would have been, he would have told us. I think when he got off the ice [Monday] and sat down in the locker room and then he had to go see the therapist and started to feel bad, then they came to see me.”

Price had just returned to the Canadiens’ lineup on Saturday after missing six games due to a lower-body injury.

“Obviously unintentional,” Chiasson said afterward. “To be honest, I kinda read the play wrong a little bit. I apologized to him afterwards. He kinda realized it wasn’t my intention. I hope he’s alright.”

Montreal and Edmonton play again Wednesday night. The Canadiens finish up a five-game road trip with three against the Flames. Jake Allen will take over No. 1 duties in Price’s absence with Cayden Primeau backing up.

————

Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

NHL Horoscopes Week 15: Taurus season a welcome calm

It’s Taurus season, and you know what that means.

A lot of calm. Nearly the exact opposite of Aries’ chaos energy. The Taurus season is all about comforts, which doesn’t always fit the NHL description. Should make for an interesting month.

Stat Leaders

Connor McDavid: 74 points, 50 assists (Capricorn)
Auston Matthews: 33 goals (Virgo)
Mathieu Olivier: 68 PIM (Aquarius)
Andrei Vasilevskiy: .930 Save % (Cancer)

EAST DIVISION

• Boston Bruins: Highest concentration in Taurus

Cancer Mike Reilly is off to a great start.

Horoscope: The Bruins have been playing well for a while, but perhaps the Taurus season will ground them even more.

Do: Mike Reilly Don’t: Too much for the young guys

• Buffalo Sabres: Highest concentration in Sagittarius

The season inches towards a merciful end.

Horoscope: The Sabres were the first team to be mathematically eliminated this week.

Do: Best foot forward Don’t: Let Don Granato go

• Washington Capitals: Highest concentration in Taurus/Virgo

Virgo Anthony Mantha has been a welcome addition.

Horoscope: Mantha has been a welcome addition. These Taurus Capitals need to think about goaltending, though.

Do: Toe the line Don’t: Neglect goaltending x3

[NHL Power Rankings: Hurricanes’ surprising strength; Rangers on the rise]

• New York Rangers: Highest concentration in Aquarius

Imagine if they had played like this like a month earlier.

Horoscope: Actually maybe the most Aquarius thing is suddenly improving and performing well way after it’s most likely too late.

Do: Finish strong Don’t: Drama

• New York Islanders: Highest concentration in Aquarius

The Isles still need more offense

Horoscope: Once Aquarius season ended the offensive-challenged Islanders totally forgot how to score entirely.

Do: Scoring Don’t: Late season slump

• New Jersey Devils: Highest concentration in Scorpio/Sagittarius

Taurus Jack Hughes has slowed down significantly.

Horoscope: The Devils are looking towards the future at this point, which means it’s time to focus on the young guys.

Do: Blackwood Don’t: Bad finish

• Philadelphia Flyers: Highest concentration in Taurus

The Flyers need this Sun season to go well.

Horoscope: The Flyers need all the help they can get. Perhaps the Taurus season is what they need.

Do: Carter Hart hot streak Don’t: Horrible finish

• Pittsburgh Penguins: Highest concentration in Leo/Taurus

Perhaps quietly, Leo Sidney Crosby is putting together an excellent campaign.

Horoscope: How can’t you love the way the Penguins are playing? It’s time to finish strong.

Do: Win some road games Don’t: Fall back

Flyers
Getty Images

CENTRAL DIVISION

• Detroit Red Wings: Highest concentration in Aquarius

Seems like a good opportunity for Aquarius Richard Panik to get on track.

Horoscope: The Red Wings have to feel good about how they’re building after the trade deadline. Keep the positive vibes.

Do: Scoring Don’t: Forgot the power play

[Your 2020-21 NHL on NBC TV schedule]

• Tampa Bay Lightning: Highest concentration in Gemini

Perhaps Gemini Nikita Kucherov will give the Lightning a spark.

Horoscope: Losing Aquarius Steven Stamkos to injury is tough luck. Don’t let it get in your head.

Do: Karma Don’t: Overthink

• Florida Panthers: Highest concentration in Virgo

Losing Leo Carter Verhaeghe is tough luck.

Horoscope: The Panthers keep surging. Maybe, just maybe they are for real after all.

Do: Defensive chemistry Don’t: Overthink Spencer Knight

Carolina Hurricanes: Highest concentration in Cancer/Aries

Quietly, the Hurricanes goalie tandem has been one of the best in the league.

Horoscope: The Hurricanes should be on your radar as one of the scariest teams in the league if they aren’t already.

Do: Defense and goalies Don’t: Overextend

• Nashville Predators: Highest concentration in Gemini

Maybe the return of Capricorn Matt Duchene will be a spark.

Horoscope: The Gemini Predators keep pushing for more. Going 6-0 against Chicago can only help.

Do: Beat good teams Don’t: Lose bad games

• Dallas Stars: Highest concentration in Gemini and Cancer

Cancer rookie Jason Robertson has led a playoff push.

Horoscope: Dallas has a clear path to the postseason, but it’s all in their hands now. Don’t overthink, just do.

Do: Rookies Don’t: Injuries

• Chicago Blackhawks: Heaviest concentration in Aries

The schedule might make it so Chicago can’t make that final playoff push.

Horoscope: Losing six games to the playoff team ahead of you isn’t going to help no matter what sign the sun is in.

Do: Consistency Don’t: Lose to the same team a bunch

• Columbus Blue Jackets: Heaviest concentration in Cancer

Aries Patrik Laine has not been a good fit.

Horoscope: Is anyone playing worse than the Blue Jackets right now? What a rough limp to the finish line this has been.

Do: Finish ahead of Detroit Don’t: Oof

Getty Images

WEST DIVISION

• Minnesota Wild: Highest concentration in Virgo and Cancer

Taurus Kirill Kaprizov continues his Calder push.

Horoscope: The Wild seem rather locked into that third playoff spot in the West no matter what happens.

Do: Call up Matt Boldy Don’t: Look back

• St. Louis Blues: Highest concentration in Cancer and Aries

The Blues could sure use Cancer Jaden Schwartz getting hot.

Horoscope: They’re 3-6-1 in their last 10 and have been pushed from a playoff spot by a team not playing its best either.

Do: Any scoring Don’t: Whatever this has been

• Arizona Coyotes: Highest concentration in Leo

Certainly not the time to lose five games in a row.

Horoscope: The Leo Coyotes keep losing games and yet they are in a playoff position. Imagine if they went on a run.

Do: Score Don’t: Throw away a playoff chance

• San Jose Sharks: Highest concentration in Aries

Virgo Patrick Marleau broke the NHL regular season games played record this week.

Horoscope: If the Sharks really wanted a playoff seed they could make a push, but they don’t seem capable of that.

Do: Celebrate Marleau Don’t: Be weird about Marleau’s record

• Vegas Golden Knights: Highest concentration in Leo

The Golden Knights could use more scoring from Capricorn Jonathan Marchessault.

Horoscope: The Knights have won seven in a row. This Taurus season should be good for the fixed sign Golden Knights.

Do: Goaltending Don’t: Let the Avs catch up

• Anaheim Ducks: Heaviest concentration in Aquarius

Adding Cancer Haydn Fleury feels like it was a smart move.

Horoscope: The West has been so weird it’s not impossible mathematically for the Ducks to make a run, not like that’s happening.

Do: Play the kids Don’t: Offensive woes

• Los Angeles Kings: Highest concentration in Libra

The Kings could make a playoff push.

Horoscope: The Kings are just seven points out of a playoff spot with three games in hand, never say never?

Do: Goaltending Don’t: Bad finish

• Colorado Avalanche: Highest concentration in Scorpio 

Taurus Devan Dubnyk is going to be heavily relied on for a bit.

Horoscope: Colorado has won nine of its last 10. Maybe only the Golden Knights can slow them down.

Do: Goalies Don’t: Squander games in hand

Getty Images

NORTH DIVISION

• Vancouver Canucks: Heaviest concentration in Cancer and Libra

In their first game back, the Canucks beat the Maple Leafs.

Horoscope: The Canucks won their first game after dealing with a huge Covid outbreak. Thoughts with everyone still recovering.

Do: Be safe Don’t: Pressure, they literally just all had Covid

• Calgary Flames: Heaviest concentration in Pisces

Doesn’t seem like this is going anywhere.

Horoscope: They are Flaming out, so to speak.

Do: Figure out next season Don’t: Lose 13 road games

Edmonton Oilers: Heaviest concentration in Cancer and Libra

Aries goalie Mike Smith has been surprisingly good.

Horoscope: The Oilers have fallen behind the surging Jets, but have room to win some games and move back into second. Use the calmness of the Taurus season.

Do: McDavid highlight goals Don’t: Collapse

• Winnipeg Jets: Heaviest concentration in Aries

Perhaps Cancer Pierre-Luc Dubois has a run in him.

Horoscope: The Jets have a big opportunity in front of them with two games against the Maple Leafs this week. The end of Aries season will perhaps give some stability.

Do: Big week Don’t: Defensive woes

• Ottawa Senators: Heaviest concentration in Pisces

Gemini goalie Matt Murray seems to be taking a step forward.

Horoscope: Ottawa has actually won two in a row and hasn’t looked too bad. There’s more hope going into next season.

Do: Take the good vibes Don’t: Let Taurus Mercury make for a lax plan

• Montreal Canadiens: Heaviest concentration in Leo and Taurus

If Leo goalie Carey Price gets hot, the Habs might have a chance.

Horoscope: If Price is out that’ll hurt the Habs, who could use a strong Taurus season to close things out.

Do: Call up Cole Caufield x2 Don’t: Late collapse

• Toronto Maple Leafs: Heaviest concentration in Gemini

A two-game set with Winnipeg this week will be interesting.

Horoscope: All things considered the Leafs are really good, but we won’t know how Gemini they truly are until they sink or swim outside of the North.

Do: Beat the teams chasing you Don’t: External pressure

Marisa Ingemi is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop her a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Ingemi.

Jeremy Swayman making strong case as Bruins goalie of the future

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2020-21 NHL season continues with Tuesday’s matchup between the Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres. Bruins-Sabres stream coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

The Bruins didn’t miss a beat when both of their goalies were out. Jeremy Swayman is why.

Tuukka Rask is since back and unquestionably their No. 1 goalie heading into the postseason, but the rookie out of Maine made a strong case to be the guy in the future.

In just his first pro season, Swayman has showed unflappable poise in net. He was previously the Hockey East goalie of the year, and made his professional debut with AHL Providence earlier this year.

He impressed. Called into duty in Boston earlier than expected, the young goalie was hardly fazed.

No, that doesn’t mean it’s time to sit the Vezina-winning, Stanley Cup-leading Rask. There’s no need to overreact to a rookie playing well. But it is worth thinking about how he’s going to fit in in the future, especially when he’s off to such a strong start.

The 22-year-old Swayman has won four of his first five outings with the Bruins, including a 25-save shutout of the Islanders. In Boston, the fanbase has been thrilled enough to have “Swayman for President” signs in the crowd during warmups.

“That’s just the best,” Swayman said. “I know I was a fan once when I was a little kid and I’d be so excited when a player acknowledged me. So, I just wanted to give back, and I know how much it means to other kids. And that was a pretty good sign. They put a lot of effort into that. Kudos to them. That was a pretty cool moment.”

His personality has captured the hearts of fans already. Quips about not being a “weird goalie” and loving shootouts have certainly been a deviation of the norm.

[BRUINS-SABRES COVERAGE BEGINS AT 6 P.M. ET – NBCSN]

Swayman’s NHL career has tested him, too; of goalies with at least 200 minutes played, his .893 save percentage on high-danger shots is the best in the league. His poise has shown in the states as well. According to InStat, he’s allowed just four shots on goal off a rebound.

Swayman’s shots seen in the NHL, via InStat

It’s easy to get too excited about young players with an early flash of success, especially goalies. Traditionally, netminders take a bit longer to develop and be ready for a full time role. Carter Hart, a 22-year-old who was the top goalie prospect in the league, has struggled in his second full season.

“Very composed,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said of Swayman. “He does have some of that Tuukka (in him). That technically sound, composed guy that never looks out of control. It’s good to see, good for him. He’s a good kid, he works hard. Both our young goaltenders have really stepped up when we needed them.”

Rask and Jaroslav Halak, the Bruins backup who has been on Covid protocol, are unrestricted free agents at the end of the season. The Bruins are in unknown territory where, it looks like Swayman is ready for a role, but they don’t want to bite off more than they can chew so early.

“You’ve gotta be careful with these young guys, especially at this position,” Cassidy said. “But having said that, this is five games where I don’t believe he has allowed a bad goal.”

The Bruins went 9-6-3 without Rask, led primarily by Swayman and fellow rookie goalie Dan Vladar, who also stepped up while Halak went out as well. This has also been during a stretch where the Bruins have been without Brandon Carlo and Matt Grzelcyk, and Charlie McAvoy and Kevan Miller missed time.

Rask’s return is a welcome one; he’s still an elite goalie at 34 years old, and they historically play better with him than without, overreactions to be ignored.

The Bruins already had some choices to make this offseason. There’s an expansion draft, there’s a flat cap, and their two veteran goalies are free agents. Speculation always follows Rask, who can’t seem to catch a break from the spotlight no matter what it is he’s dealing with.

Whether Swayman has made that choice easier or more difficult remains to be seen. It’s still just five games, and perhaps that’ll be all it is for some time. Or, maybe, fans should get used to seeing No. 1 in the crease.

And if that is the case sooner than they projected, they’d be smart to look to recent examples of why pacing a young goalie is so important.

Marisa Ingemi is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop her a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Ingemi.

Push for the Playoffs: Hurricanes could get boost with Teräväinen return

Push for the Playoffs will run every morning through the end of the 2020-21 NHL season. We’ll highlight the current playoff picture in both conferences, take a look at what the first-round matchups might look like, see who’s leading the race for the best odds in the draft lottery and more.

Teuvo Teräväinen is inching closer to a return to the Hurricanes’ lineup as he recovers from a concussion that he’s been dealing with for two months.

Teräväinen has played once since Feb. 19, but joined the team for practice on Friday — an encouraging sign that a comeback is in the offing. Carolina opened a six-game road trip Monday with an overtime loss to the Lightning. Head coach Rod Brind’Amour is hoping that Teravainen could return while they’re away from PNC Arena.

“Not sure. I hope so,” he said. “Just waiting on him to say, ‘Book me in,’ and then he’ll go in. Positive side is that he’s at least practicing with us so he’s part of the group now. Hopefully he’ll get the bug and feel good and he’ll get in there.”

Teräväinen opened the season by testing positive for COVID-19, then took a hit from Blackhawks defenseman Nikita Zadorov on Feb. 19 causing him to miss seven games. He last played March 4.

Since Teräväinen has been skating now for a few weeks, whether he’s back playing will be up to him and how he feels at this point. He’s played 13 of Carolina’s 44 games this season and if he recovers 100% could be a key addition as the Hurricanes battle with the Lightning and Panthers for the top spot in the Central Division.

Entering play on Tuesday, Carolina and Florida are tied atop the division with 63 points with Tampa right behind them with 62. The Hurricanes currently have the edge via points percentage (.716) as they have 12 games to play.

[Your 2020-21 NHL on NBC TV schedule]

IF PLAYOFFS STARTED TODAY (matchups by total points)

EAST DIVISION
1. Capitals vs. 4. Bruins
2. Islanders vs. 3. Penguins

NORTH DIVISION
1. Maple Leafs vs. 4. Canadiens
2. Jets vs. 3. Oilers

WEST DIVISION
1. Golden Knights vs. 4. Coyotes
2. Avalanche vs. 3. Wild

(NOTE: St. Louis currently holds a better points percentage than Arizona — .512 to .489.)

CENTRAL DIVISION
1. Hurricanes vs. 4. Predators
2. Panthers vs. 3. Lightning

(NOTE: Dallas currently holds a better points percentage than Nashville — .545 to .543.)

TODAY’S KEY GAMES
Rangers vs. Islanders, 7 p.m. ET
Hurricanes vs. Lightning, 7 p.m. ET
Maple Leafs vs. Canucks, 9 p.m. ET

TUESDAY’S CLINCHING SCENARIO
The Golden Knights can become the first NHL team to clinch a playoff spot if the Ducks top the Kings in regulation.

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via MoneyPuck)

Capitals – 98.4%
Penguins – 97%
Islanders – 92.9%
Bruins – 90%
Rangers – 21.3%
Flyers – 0.4%
Devils – 0%
Sabres – eliminated

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via MoneyPuck)

Maple Leafs – 100%
Jets – 99.93%
Oilers – 99.7%
Canadiens – 81.6%
Flames – 13%
Canucks – 5.7%
Senators – 0%

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via MoneyPuck)

Hurricanes – 100%
Lightning – 99.99%
Panthers – 99.99%
Stars – 49.6%
Predators – 44.3%
Blackhawks – 6.1%
Blue Jackets – 0%
Red Wings – 0%

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via MoneyPuck)

Avalanche – 100%
Golden Knights – 100%
Wild – 100%
Blues – 42.7%
Coyotes – 34.4%
Kings – 12.5%
Sharks – 10.4%
Ducks – 0%

draft lottery
Getty Images

DRAFT LOTTERY PICTURE (via MoneyPuck)

Sabres – 17.2%
Ducks – 11.4%
Devils – 9.9%
Senators – 9.8%
Blue Jackets – 9.3%
Red Wings – 9%
Kings – 5.3%
Sharks – 5.2%
Canucks – 5%
Flames – 3.3%
Coyotes – 2.9%
Blackhawks – 2.9%
Blues – 2.5%
Flyers – 2.5%
Predators – 1.1%

ART ROSS TROPHY RACE
Connor McDavid, Oilers – 74 points
Leon Draisaitl, Oilers – 63
Patrick Kane, Blackhawks – 57
Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs – 54
Mitch Marner, Maple Leafs – 54
Brad Marchand, Bruins – 54

ROCKET RICHARD RACE
Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs – 33 goals
Mikko Rantanen, Avalanche – 26
Alex Ovechkin, Capitals – 24
Connor McDavid, Oilers – 24
Brad Marchand, Bruins – 23
Alex DeBrincat, Blackhawks – 23

————

Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

PHT Morning Skate: Ranking top pending UFAs; Canucks’ playoff race

Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from the NHL and around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit for the PHT Morning Skate? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.

Dougie Hamilton, Tuukka Rask, Jaden Schwartz. Ranking the top pending 2021 NHL unrestricted free agents. [NBC Sports Edge]

• They have a grind in front of them, but Sunday’s win for the Canucks could catapult them in the North Division playoff race. [The Hockey News]

• A good look at the NHL teams that are getting plenty of offense from their defense. [JFresh]

• Why this summer could see plenty of change for the Flames. [Spector’s Hockey]

• Should he pick up his game, Jason Zucker could play an impactful role for the Penguins down the stretch. [Pensburgh]

• Why Florida-born Jakub Chychrun has eyes on playing on Canada’s blue line in the 2022 Olympics. [ESPN]

Conor Sheary has become a productive staple in the Capitals’ lineup. [Japers’ Rink]

• The Devils have signed 2020 first-rounder Alexander Holtz to an entry-level deal. He’ll join AHL Binghamton after quarantine and his NHL contract will begin with the 2021-22 season. [All About the Jersey]

• Barry Trotz is hoping to get more from Noah Dobson as the Islanders eye a playoff berth. [NY Hockey Now]

Nick Foligno could exit quarantine and be ready to play for the Maple Leafs by Thursday. [NHL.com]

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy

Red Wings-Stars stream: Monday’s NHL on NBCSN matchup

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2020-21 NHL season continues with Monday’s matchup between the Detroit Red Wings and Dallas Stars. Red Wings-Stars stream coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

This is the first of four consecutive meetings between these clubs over the course of six days. The first two games take place in Dallas, with the final two coming in Detroit. The Stars have taken three of the first-four clashes in this series, including 3-0 shutout on March 20.

Dallas completed a two-game sweep of Columbus with a convincing 5-1 victory on Saturday. Dallas is peaking at the right time, earning points in six consecutive games with a 4-0-2 record, outscoring their opponents, 22-9.

Stars rookie Jason Robertson is one of the reasons Dallas remains alive for a playoff spot. The 21-year-old California native has eight points (4G-4A) during the Stars’ current six-game point streak. While Minnesota’s Kirill Kaprizov is the clear favorite to win this season’s Calder Trophy (-500 according to PointsBet), Robertson has been the more productive rookie this spring. Since March 1, Robertson leads all rookies in assists (16) and points (26).

On Saturday, Detroit had its season-high win streak halted at three games with a 4-0 loss at home against Chicago. Red Wings goalie Jonathan Bernier stopped 23 of 26 shots in a losing effort. Detroit begins its final 10-game stretch of the regular season with four consecutive meetings with Dallas.

[COVERAGE BEGINS AT 7 P.M. ET – NBCSN]

WHAT: Detroit Red Wings at Dallas Stars
WHERE: American Airlines Center
WHEN: Monday, April 19, 7 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN
ON THE CALL: Kenny Albert, Joe Micheletti
LIVE STREAM: 
You can watch the Red Wings-Stars stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

RED WINGS
Jakub VranaDylan LarkinFilip Zadina
Richard Panik – Michael RasmussenValtteri Filppula
Darren Helm – Luke Glendening  – Adam Erne
Frans NielsenVladislav NamestnikovSam Gagner

Dennis CholowskiFilip Hronek
Marc StaalTroy Stecher
Danny DeKeyser – Gustav Lindstrom

Starting goalie: Thomas Greiss

STARS
Jason Robertson – Roope HintzJoe Pavelski
Jason DickinsonJamie BennDenis Gurianov
Andrew CoglianoRadek FaksaBlake Comeau
Rhett GardnerTanner Kero – Nicholas Caamano

Esa LindellJohn Klingberg
Jamie OleksiakMiro Heiskanen
Andrej SekeraSami Vatanen

Starting goalie: Anton Khudobin

Contender or pretender: The player who will make or break Panthers’ chances

As we get closer to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 2020-21 season we are taking a closer at some teams that are right on the line between being a Stanley Cup contender or a Stanley Cup pretender. Today we examine the Florida Panthers. 

The Florida Panthers have been in existence for 27 years and have mostly known just one thing in that time.

Losing.

They have just six playoff appearances in franchise history and have only won three playoff series, all of them coming during one miracle run during the 1995-96 season when they reached the Stanley Cup Final in their third year of existence. They have won just seven playoff games (total!) since then The next lowest total during that stretch is the 15 playoff wins that belong to the Atlanta Thrasheers/Winnipeg Jets, an organization that did not come into existence until 1999.

But this season looks different. They have a Hall of Fame coach, they have much improved depth around their two All-Stars (Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau), and they have been really good defensively. There is reason for optimism here, and reason to believe they might finally be able to do something significant in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The best Panthers team ever?

For most organizations that sort of statement after 45 games might be a bit of an overreaction or some wild exaggeration. But it might really apply here. It also might not be even really be close.

The only Panthers team that had any sort of postseason success was a third-year expansion team that had haphazardly thrown together roster that rode hot goaltending and clutch-and-grab hockey on a miracle run. It was not a particularly strong team. At the moment their .678 points percentage this season is by far the highest mark in the history of the franchise. It would be a 111-point pace over 82 games. Before this season the best finish in franchise history was a 103-point season in 2015-16, which was the only time the team ever finished with a points percentage over .600 (they finished at .628 for the season). They have only had three other seasons over .570.

Based on that alone, this Panthers team is having way more success. It may be happening in a shortened season with an unbalanced schedule, but they have beaten the teams they are supposed to beat and mostly held their own against the top teams.

The two stars have some support

The Panthers have had what should have been an enormous advantage for the past few years in the duo of Barkov and Huberdeau.

Not only are both players outstanding and among the most productive forwards in the league, they are also signed to incredibly team-friendly contracts under the salary cap that give them more flexibility than most contending teams. If you have players this good and have them signed as cheaply as the Panthers do, it opens all sorts of possibilities.

Florida was very active again this offseason, and finally seem to have found the right mix of complementary pieces to go along with their two-headed monster at the top.

Patric Hornqvist has found the fountain of youth after coming over in a trade from Pittsburgh, while Carter Verhaeghe has been one of the best free agent signings of the year. Add in under-the-radar pieces like Anthony Duclair, Alexander Wennberg, and a vastly improved team-wide defensive performance and they finally have a team worthy of their two stars.

But there is just one key aspect that could make-or-break what happens with this team come playoff time.

Goaltending

Specifically, Sergei Bobrovsky.

Goaltending is the most important position come playoff time because of the way it can completely flip a series, both positively and negatively, for a team.

Bobrovsky is going to be the player in that spotlight for Florida. He is in the second year of a massive seven-year, $70 million contract that he signed a year ago to be the solution in net. It has not really worked out as anybody planned. In his first 75 games with the team over the past two seasons he has managed only a .902 save percentage, a mark that places him 38th out of the 47 goalies that have appeared in at least 40 games during that stretch.

It is a small sampling, yes, but he has been badly outplayed by Chris Driedger (.938 in 32 games) during that same stretch.

The Panthers have used what is basically a 55-45 split this season in terms of playing time, with Bobrovsky getting the slight edge. He is clearly the player they want to lean on. While he has played better over the past month-and-a-half, it is still not quite at a $10 million per year level.

Bobrovsky has played at that level throughout his career, but we have not seen it for three years now. Can he get back to that level through the playoffs? And how long of a leash will the Panthers give in the playoffs if he can not?

It is telling that the Panthers held on to Driedger, an unrestricted free agent after this season, at the trade deadline given their financial commitment to Bobrovsky and the presence of top prospect Spencer Knight. He may not be a long-term option for the franchise beyond this season, but they clearly see value in him in the short-term and have given him more playing time over the past couple of weeks.

Contender or Pretender

There are a lot of reasons to want to believe in this team.

They have the star power at the top that every contending team needs. They do a really good job limiting chances and shot attempts during 5-on-5 play, indicating that they can defend the most important areas.

But they need the goaltending to come through. Bobrovsky has not yet shown them he can be the player to do that, while Driedger is still a small sample size goalie at this point that has not been asked to carry a team through a Stanley Cup playoff run. That, combined with the fact they would probably have to get through Carolina and Tampa Bay (teams they are 4-5-3 against this season) might leave them just barely on the pretender side of the question.

That can change if the goaltending comes through.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

NHL Power Rankings: Hurricanes’ surprising strength; Rangers on the rise

In this week’s edition of the NHL Power Rankings we look at one team that is a legit Stanley Cup contender, and another that could be one in very short order. Maybe as soon as a year or two from now.

In Carolina, the Hurricanes remain a top-five team  thanks to a great core of young talent, an exceptional defense, and a surprising strength in goal. For years the biggest question mark with them was always whether they could get enough goaltending. Right now, they boast one of the best goaltending performances in the league with the trio of Petr Mrazek, Alex Nedeljkovic, and James Reimer combining for a .915 all situations save percentage (per Natural Stat Trick). That is one of the best marks in hockey, and combined with their defense makes them one of the toughest teams to score against in the league.

That can take you a long way.

Meanwhile, the Rangers are starting to see their pieces all come together for an impressive 13-4-3 stretch over their past 20 games. They are not only winning, but they have been one of the NHL’s most exciting teams. They are top-10 in goals per game and goals against per game; have the fifth-best goal differential, and a core of talent that is rapidly improving. It may not be enough to get them in the playoffs this season, but they are not far away. They are closing in on the top-10 this week.

Where does your team sit in this week’s NHL Power Rankings?

To this week’s NHL Power Rankings!

1. Colorado Avalanche. They have not played in a while and are on pause for the next couple of days, but they have the NHL’s best points percentage, an insane plus-53 goal differential in 43 games (also best in the league) and are 17-1-2 in their past 20 games. The best team in hockey.

2. Vegas Golden Knights. No weakness here. Right there with Colorado among the league’s top teams. They could meet in the Second Round.

3. Carolina Hurricanes. Their goaltending has been insanely good this season. Third-best team save percentage in hockey, behind only Vegas and the Islanders. Scary team.

4. Washington Capitals. Anthony Mantha has been an incredible fit so far with four goals in his first four games.

5. Tampa Bay Lightning. They have been a little off for a couple of weeks now, but that is not a huge concern. It happens to even the best teams at some point in a season.

[MORE: Steven Stamkos placed on LTIR by Lightning, out until May]

6. Florida Panthers. Carter Verhaeghe has been one of the best stories in the NHL, so his injury is tough to see.

7. Pittsburgh Penguins. Sidney Crosby just keeps rolling along with 50 points in 44 games and another top-10 year in the scoring race.

8. Boston Bruins. Do not count them out in the East. They could still win it. With the way they are playing right now and their remaining schedule, they might.

9. Toronto Maple Leafs. When this team is playing well it looks unbeatable. But it also has stretches where it looks very beatable. Little bit of a concern for the playoffs.

10. New York Islanders. Just 13 goals in the past eight games is not ideal. They have won two games during that stretch by a 1-0 score. That might be Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz’s dream situation, but you are going to need more than that in the playoffs

11. New York Rangers. You can see the potential in this group. It is scary. Also one of the most exciting teams in the NHL right now. They jump from No. 17 in last week’s NHL Power Rankings.

12. Minnesota Wild. Their reward for a strong season that has seen them take a big leap forward is going to be a First Round matchup with Vegas. Congratulations!

13. Winnipeg Jets. With those forwards and that goaltending you do not want to count them out. The right ingredients in the right division in the right season to maybe surprise you.

[Your 2020-21 NHL On NBC TV Schedule]

14. Edmonton Oilers. Mike Smith has been great this season. Can he maintain that? It seems like the Oilers are banking quite a lot on his ability to do just that.

15. Dallas Stars. They are not going away quietly. A couple of rookies (Jason Robertson and Jake Oettinger) are helping to lead their playoff push.

16. Nashville Predators. They have four head-to-head matchups with Chicago (three) and Dallas (one) the rest of the way. Winning at least three of them would do wonders for their playoff chances.

17. Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks probably have the toughest remaining schedule of the three teams fighting for that fourth playoff spot in the Central. If they get in, they will have definitely earned it.

18. Montreal Canadiens. Given their record before and after the coaching change it seems that this is just a middle of the pack team.

19. Calgary Flames. That little three-game winning streak this past week was way too little, way too late. Very disappointing season here.

20. St. Louis Blues. That loss to Arizona this past week could loom large. They play the top-three teams in the division in nine of their remaining 12 games.

21. Arizona Coyotes. Beating St. Louis in regulation to snap a five-game losing streak was massive. While the Blues finish the season playing Vegas, Minnesota, and Colorado in most of their games, the Coyotes finish while playing the Sharks and Kings.

22. Philadelphia Flyers. A Carter Hart bounce back next season would produce a Flyers bounce back.

23. Vancouver Canucks. Credit to them for coming back and beating Toronto. It still seems like it was too soon for them to be back on the ice.

24. Buffalo Sabres. Credit to them for not mailing in the rest of the season. They look like a wildly different team under Don Granato. Not really a particularly good team, but definitely better. Also no longer a pushover.

[Related: Coaching change helping Sabres finish strong]

25. Detroit Red Wings. Like the Sabres, the Red Wings have also been surprisingly competitive down the stretch. I want to see what Jakub Vrana can do with an increased role.

26. Los Angeles Kings. Keep your eyes on the future, Kings fans. It is bright.

27. San Jose Sharks. They played their way back into the playoff race and then lost six out of seven, including four losses to Anaheim and LA. You just can not let that happen.

28. Ottawa Senators. Hopefully that shutout against Montreal is something Matt Murray can build on. He needed a positive game. The Senators need him to be good.

29. Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks seem further away from seriously contending than any almost other team in the league.

30. New Jersey Devils. It has been a struggle lately, but there is some very good young talent here.

31. Columbus Blue Jackets. They may not be the worst team in the league, but nobody is playing worse than them right now. Only two regulation wins since March 5, and they’re tied for the lowest total in the league. The team they are tied with, Vancouver, has only played 11 games during that stretch. Columbus has played 21 games. Overall the Blue Jackets have lost eight of their past 10 games and looked bad while doing so.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.