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NHL 07/01-08/01/22: Carolina Hurricanes and Calgary Flames meet, Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning collide

The action, as you might expect, has been fast and furious in the NHL. There have been a cluster of games postponed due to COVID-19, but there’s plenty of games this weekend to get your teeth stuck into. We will cast our eye on three big games, including the Carolina Hurricanes v Calgary Flames, and Tampa Bay Lightning v Boston Bruins.

Carolina Hurricanes on the tail of New York Rangers after recent purple patch

The Hurricanes have hit a purple patch in the past few weeks. They have been in free-scoring mode in their past four matches, as they have netted 21 times. As things stand, they are third in the Metropolitan Division with a 23-7-1 record, and they have 47 points to their name.

Just a point separates them and Rangers, who have a near 71% win record this season. The way they are going, the Hurricanes looks like they will be serious Stanley Cup contenders. And they have a fully fit squad, which of course, will be key in the second half of the season.

Frederik Andersen and the Carolina Hurricanes have a charmed relationship

Frederik Andersen’s initial separation from the Hurricanes was acrimonious, but after returning to the franchise, it seems to be a charmed relationship. And after coming back, Andersen has started 11 of the Canes’ first 12 games. He also became only the third NHL goaltender to record a victory in each of his first eight appearances with the side.

Calgary Flames looking to keep the heat on the Anaheim Ducks

As things stand, the Flames are third in the Pacific Division. They are five points adrift of table-toppers Vegas Golden Knights, and their record is currently 17-8-6. Although what is more disconcerting is that there are seven players whose contracts will be expiring at the end of the season, so it remains to be seen who the Flames will replace them with.

Johnny Gaudreau tearing things up for the Flames

The Hurricanes’ clash with the Flames will make for must-watch viewing. And Johnny Gaudreau could make the difference for the Flames. So far this season, he has already hit a career-high in goals (37), notching up 98 points, and he has taken his performances to another level.

St Louis Blues on the rebound after Pittsburgh Penguins reverse

While the Blues will have few complaints, as they are currently second in the Central Division, they will be disappointed about the manner of their 5-3 reverse to the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier this week. The Penguins pulled off Casey Smith, and that seemed to shake things up in the game.

Four straight goals saw the Penguins pick up the win, and the Blues failed to make the most of the power plays during the game. Of course, the Washington Capitals will represent a stiff test for the Blues, and they will be eager to bounce back.

The Capitals are travelling along nicely in the Metropolitan division, as they are second, with a 20-6-8 record to boot at the time of writing. But they will want to shore things up at the back, as they have conceded 89 times, more than any other franchise in the top four.

Tampa Bay Lightning continue to lead the way

Being the reigning Stanley Cup champions has some pressure attached. However, someone ought to tell the Lightning that! At the time of writing, the Lightning lead the way in the Atlantic Division with a 22-8-5 record. However, after two defeats on the spin against the Rangers, the Lightning haven’t started 2022 in the way they would have hoped.

Nevertheless, they will hope to get their first win of the year when they take on the Boston Bruins on Saturday evening. The Bruins are fourth in the Atlantic division, with a 17-10-2 record to date. And while the Bruins will give things a right go, the Lightning should steal the win.

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