Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:05 AM

In the Crease - Week 23

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Streaky Teams
Wins and Losses Streak Over/Under Streak
Carolina 2-6-2 past 10 games overall Columbus Over 4-1 past five games overall
Nashville 9-0-0 past nine games overall St. Louis Under 5-1-1 past seven games overall
St. Louis 1-6-2 past nine games overall Tampa Bay Over 14-2-1 past 17 games overall
Tampa Bay 7-0-1 past eight games overall Toronto Over 5-1 past six games overall
Winnipeg 8-2-0 past 10 games overall Winnipeg Over 9-3-1 past 13 games overall

Catch a Predator
For the longest time, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Vegas Golden Knights were the talk of the league, with the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins and defending Western Conference champ Nashville Predators on the back burner. The Pens are sitting at 80 points, second place in the Metropolitan Division, but well back of the overall leaders. However, the Nashville Predators have streaked their way to the top of the Western Conference, leading the Winnipeg Jets by six points in the Central Division with 16 left to play. The Preds are on a nine-game winning streak and showing no signs of slowing down.

Tropical Depression
The Carolina Hurricanes are now under new ownership, but the story remains the same. The Canes are on the outside looking in after a 6-2 drumming from their former captain Eric Staal and the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night. Carolina heads into Wednesday's action down four points to the Columbus Blue Jackets, who hold the No. 8 spot in the East. The Florida Panthers are also right in the mix with 71 points, and they have three games in hand on Carolina. In fact, there are four teams within seven points of the Jackets, so the Hurricanes have plenty of company and can ill-afford any losses. They're 2-6-2 and losing their grip on a wild-card spot, which will not sit well with an increasingly angry fan base in the Raleigh/Durham area.

Looking Ahead

Wednesday, March 7
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers do battle for Keystone State supremacy. A few weeks ago, this didn't look like a terribly attractive matchup. But the Flyers have been on fire, winning 10 of their past 14 games to vault to within two points of the Metro Division lead. So this will be a super important game, as the winner will come away with sole possession of second place, and perhaps a share or outright lead. The Penguins have held serve, winning eight of their past 11 overall, while going 11-5 in their past 16 against teams with a winning record. The 'over' is 5-1 in the past six meetings in this series, while the Pens have come away with seven of the past 10 meetings.

Thursday, March 8
The Ducks and the Predators meet for the third time this season. Anaheim has been hot lately, including a 4-0 win against Washington on Tuesday, completing a 3-0-1 homestand. Nashville has been hot, too, however, as they'll go for their 10th consecutive victory on Thursday night. The Predators have also won each of the first two meetings in this series, taking a 3-2 shootout victory on Dec. 2 in the most recent matchup, while besting the Ducks 5-3 in Anaheim back on Nov. 3. The Ducks are playing much better hockey these days, however, and this is likely to be a playoff preview.

As mentioned, the Capitals were whitewashed in Anaheim on Tuesday in the first stop of their West Coast road trip. The Caps have won three in a row at home, but they have dropped three stragiht on the road while averaging just 1.0 goals per game. They're allowing 4.0 GPG across the past three outings away from home. Los Angeles posted a 5-2 victory in D.C. back on Nov. 30, as Braden Holtby got the best of Jonathan Quick. Holtby was pulled after allowing three quick goals on Tuesday, so Philipp Grubauer might get the nod in L.A. based on his solid play as a stand-in.

Friday, March 9
The Wild and Canucks will tangle in the Pacific Northwest. It is the third meeting between these teams, and while the Canucks have won each of the first two battles, both contests remained in one-goal results. Vancouver won 3-2 in overtime in the most recent meeting on Jan. 14 in St. Paul, and Anders Nilsson and the Canucks blanked the Wild 1-0 on Oct. 24. In the past five meetings, the Wild have managed to pick up just one victory, which is amazing considering the disparity in the standings between these two clubs over the past couple of seasons.

Saturday, March 10
It's an Original Six battle on Saturday afternoon in Beantown, and we have two clubs going in completely opposite directions. The Blackhawks are normally at or near the top of the Western Conference standings and contending, but it's been a trying season with a turnstile in the crease since Corey Crawford went down. The Bruins won 6-5 on Tuesday night to stay hot, winning their fourth consecutive game. Three of those contests resulted in overtime, and 16 of their games have resulted in overtime or a shootout this season. Boston has won seven of the past eight at home, while Chicago has won consecutive games just twice since Jan. 10. They haven't won three in a row since cobbling together a season-best five-game winning streak from Dec. 8-17.

The New York Rangers and Florida Panthers battle in Sunrise on Saturday night, and these are two of a handful of teams jockeying for the No. 7 or 8 playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. This is the third meeting this season, and both games have resulted in 5-4 scores. The Panthers won 5-4 in regulation at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 28, while the Rangers won on the Panthers home ice on Nov. 4 in overtime. The road team has won five in a row in this series, with the home team last winning when the Rangers took a 4-2 decision at MSG back on March 21, 2016.

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