13 storylines to watch out for on a busy, busy night in the NHL

Alex Pietrangelo #7 of the Vegas Golden Knights. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Alex Pietrangelo #7 of the Vegas Golden Knights. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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We have 13 storylines for all 13 games in the NHL tonight.

It is the busiest night of the 2020-21 NHL season tonight with no less than 13 games taking place, and we’re all set for an absolute mouthwatering feast of wall-to-wall hockey with all 26 teams involved set to be on the ice simultaneously once the puck drops on the four 9 p.m. ET showdowns.

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Therefore, there’s going to be a lot of action and a lot to keep an eye on with so many compelling matchups taking place around the NHL throughout the league. From the continued Alexis Lafreniere watch as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft bids to record his first NHL point to Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo taking on his former team in the St. Louis Blues to the New York Islanders looking to keep their recent good run against the Washington Capitals going and a couple of heavyweight showdowns, there is so much to get excited about tonight.

With many of tonight’s games set to be repeated on Thursday in a 14-game schedule, this is the first time since 2005-06 that the NHL has featured two nights with at least 13 games in a 72-hour period by the way, it just adds more spice to what is going to a blockbuster night of hockey tonight.

We haven’t had a night like this in the National Hockey League so far this season, so it is absolutely sensational that we are now going to be treated to a plethora of intriguing games that will run back-to-back-to-back, and we at Puck Prose have you covered with 13 storylines ahead of tonight’s slate of games getting underway, with one talking point for each game. So, without further ado, let’s delve right in…

13 talking points for 13 games on a busy night in the NHL

Ryan Getzlaf (15)
Ryan Getzlaf #15 of the Anaheim Ducks. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

13. Anaheim Ducks @ Arizona Coyotes

This is a matchup between two teams who both need a win after a less than average start to the 2020-21 season, with the Arizona Coyotes bottom of the West Division with a 2-3-1 record while the Anaheim Ducks are 2-2-2 on the year. It is maybe surprising to some that the Coyotes prop up the division given that they were thought to have the best chance of making the postseason outside of the big four, and the story of this game will be whether the Ducks can get their offense going after scoring just 11 goals so far this season, ranked 30th in the NHL (1.83), although they will have a tough task against Darcy Kuemper who has a 2.79 Goals Against Average and a .906 Save Percentage this season.

Anze Kopitar (11)
Anze Kopitar #11 of the Los Angeles Kings. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

12. LA Kings @ Minnesota Wild

Can the immovable object take down the unstoppable force? And, just so we are clear, we are referring to the Minnesota Wild as the unstoppable force here. Yes, the Wild lost 5-3 to the San Jose Sharks on Sunday but they have enjoyed an impressive start to the 2020-21 season, spearheaded by rookie sensation Kirill Kaprizov who has six points (1 G, 5 A) in six games this year.

However, the Wild will be coming up against a proven veteran who refuses to go away in Anze Kopitar, with the LA Kings center currently leading the entire National Hockey League in points with 10 (1 G, 9 A) in six games. Kopitar has been a playmaking machine through the first couple of weeks of the season and if he can keep his hot start going tonight, then that could be key to the Kings beating the Wild later.

Jonathan Huberdeau (11)
Jonathan Huberdeau #11 of the Florida Panthers. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /

11. Florida Panthers @ Columbus Blue Jackets

Can the Florida Panthers make history tonight? Well, if the Panthers beat the Columbus Blue Jackets then they will start a season 3-0-0 for the first time in franchise history. And, while a very small sample size, Florida has looked mighty impressive to start the year and they rank second in the NHL in Goals For Per Game (5.00).

Obviously that current clip isn’t sustainable but it has been an encouraging start for the Panthers who were retooled during the offseason by new General Manager Bill Zito, and their offense has been spread out so far with offseason addition Patric Hornqvist leading the way with three goals and one assist for four points in two games. However, they will be coming up against a Blue Jackets team who looked like they had a weight lifted off their shoulders in their 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday in the wake of trading Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Winnipeg Jets for Patrik Laine. Also, veteran center Mikko Koivu is set to make his Columbus Blue Jackets debut tonight after signing a one-year, $1,750,000 contract in the offseason.