The Buffalo Sabres are back and other talking points on a busy NHL Monday

Dylan Cozens #24 of the Buffalo Sabres. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)
Dylan Cozens #24 of the Buffalo Sabres. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images) /
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Mark Pysyk (13)
Mark Pysyk #13 of the Dallas Star. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Can the Dallas Stars stop the slide?

It was such a promising start to the 2020-21 season for the Dallas Stars who didn’t seem to be impacted by having their start delayed due to a COVID-19 outbreak, instead winning their first four games. However, they are now 0-2-3 in their last five outings and, perhaps more worrying, is the fact that they seem to find different ways to lose games every single night.

The one piece of good news for the Stars is the fact that they will go up against the Nashville Predators tonight, a team they hold a 2-0-0 record against so far in 2020-21. So, can they improve to 3-0-0 and claim their first win since Feb. 2? They will hope so given that they are starting to lose ground in the Central Division, and they have the ideal opportunity to pick up a huge W given that the Predators have struggled all season, posting a 6-9-0 record and, once again, punching well below their weight.

John Gibson (36)
John Gibson #36 of the Anaheim Ducks. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Ducks getting it done on the PK

The rebuilding Anaheim Ducks are nice surprise story this season given that they currently sit fourth in the West Division behind the three heavyweights in the Vegas Golden Knights, the St. Louis Blues and the Colorado Avalanche, and a lot of their early success is down to their stellar play on special teams.

More specifically, their elite play on the penalty kill where they are ranked third in the National Hockey League, killing power plays at an impressive clip of 87.2 percent. Heading into tonight’s game against the 5-7-1 San Jose Sharks, the Anaheim Ducks have not allowed a single power play goal in their last five games, going 8-for-8 and that’s how you kill penalties.

Auston Matthews (34)
Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

North Division Thrills

We’re a month into the 2020-21 NHL season and the North Division – or the all-Canadian Division – has quickly established itself as the most entertaining division in the entire National Hockey League. That should continue to be the case tonight with a total of three games on tap, starting with the Ottawa Senators at the Toronto Maple Leafs where Auston Matthews will look to extend his nine-game point streak (9 G, 3 A, 12 P), and he could join the dynamic Edmonton Oilers duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl as the only players to have double-digit point streaks in the NHL this season.

Speaking of the Edmonton Oilers, they faceoff against the Winnipeg Jets at 9 p.m. ET, a matchup that has already combined for 17 goals in just two games this season, so expect fireworks between those two teams with the Jets center Mark Scheifele riding a six-game point streak (3 G, 5 A), while Connor McDavid leads the entire NHL in points with 28 points (9 G, 19 A) in just 16 games with Leon Draisaitl just behind him with 8 goals and 18 assists for 26 points.

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Then, finally, the Calgary Flames will take on the Vancouver Canucks in what is another huge game for these two strugglers in the North Division. The Canucks snapped a six-game losing streak on Saturday by beating the Flames 3-1, but they are still 7-11-0 on the year and, despite their Owner’s claims, big changes could be on the way soon if they can’t begin to turn things around and soon. For Calgary, they are 7-6-1 on the year and are 5-5-0 in their last 10 outings after losing to the Canucks, and they also need to start showing some consistency if they are to keep pace with the rest of the division, so expect a real hard-edged and hugely competitive showdown tonight in what is the final game of a three-game set.