NHL On Tap: Ovechkin tries to make more history when Capitals host Stars

Welcome to the NHL On Tap. Three NHL.com writers will share what they are most looking forward to on the schedule each day. Today, their choices from the six games Sunday.

Ovechkin tries to make more history

Alex Ovechkin can reach another milestone when the Washington Capitals (35-18-10) host the Dallas Stars (33-24-3) on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; SN, NBCSWA, BSSW, ESPN+, NHL LIVE). With one goal, the forward will have 40 on the season, the 12th time he would reach that mark, tying the NHL record held by Wayne Gretzky, who did his nine times with the Edmonton Oilers and three times with the Los Angeles Kings. Ovechkin had scored at least 32 goals in each of his 15 NHL seasons before scoring 24 in 45 games during a shortened and injury-ridden season in 2020-21. Ovechkin has scored 10 goals in 21 games against the Stars. — David Satriano, staff writer

Flyers start over without Giroux

After 15 seasons and 1,000 games with the Philadelphia Flyers, Claude Giroux was traded to the Florida Panthers on Saturday. The Flyers will begin their post-Giroux era when they host the New York Islanders (2 p.m. ET; TNT, TVAS, NHL LIVE). Giroux had been the Flyers captain since Jan. 15, 2013; his departure leaves a big hole and could be the start of big changes for the Flyers (19-31-11). General manager Chuck Fletcher called the trade “one of the most difficult decisions we have had to make for our team,” but now the task for the Flyers is to move on, to figure out their new path forward. That starts Sunday against the Islanders (26-24-9), who have also had a disappointing season but who’ve won two straight and are 5-0-1 in their past six. — Amalie Benjamin, staff writer

Rangers can tighten the Metro race

The New York Rangers can tighten the Metropolitan Division race when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes (6 p.m. ET; BSSO, MSG+, ESPN+, NHL LIVE). The Hurricanes (41-14-6) lead the Metro with 88 points. The Pittsburgh Penguins (38-16-9) are three points behind and idle Sunday. The Rangers (39-18-5) are two points behind the Penguins. If the Rangers defeat the Hurricanes in regulation, they’ll tie the Penguins in points, and the three teams will be within three points atop the division. — Nicholas J. Cotsonika, columnist

Sunday games

New York Islanders at Philadelphia Flyers (2 p.m. ET; TNT, TVAS, NHL LIVE)

The Islanders look to complete a four-game sweep of the season series against the Flyers. Anders Lee‘s six-game goal streak came to an end on Saturday in a 4-2 win against the Dallas Stars, but Brock Nelson scored a hat trick for New York. Owen Tippettis expected to make his Flyers debut after the forward was acquired from the Florida Panthers in the Claude Giroux trade Saturday.

Dallas Stars at Washington Capitals (5 p.m. ET; SN, NBCSWA, BSSW, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

Tyler Seguin is one goal from 300 in the NHL for the Stars, who have lost four of their past five games. Forward Evgeny Kuznetsov has scored 11 points (six goals, five assists) in an eight-game point streak for the Capitals, who seek their fifth straight win.

New York Rangers at Carolina Hurricanes (6 p.m. ET; BSSO, MSG+, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Rangers are 3-1-0 in their past four games after a 2-1 win at the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. The Hurricanes are 0-2-1 in their past three after a four-game winning streak. Carolina won 6-3 on Jan. 21 in the teams’ only meeting this season and is on a 14-game home point streak (12-0-2).

Arizona Coyotes at San Jose Sharks (7 p.m. ET; NBCSCA, BSAZX, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Coyotes (20-37-4) are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday but have won six of their past eight games. The Sharks (26-27-8) are 0-2-1 in their past three.

Winnipeg Jets at Chicago Blackhawks (7 p.m. ET; NBCSCH, TSN3, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

Kyle Connor comes in with a six-game point streak (five goals, six assists) and points in 11 of his past 12 games for the Jets (28-24-10), who are 6-3-1 in their past 10. The Blackhawks (22-31-9) lost 3-1 to the Minnesota Wild on Saturday and are 2-4-1 in their past seven.

Buffalo Sabers at Vancouver Canucks (10 p.m. ET; SNP, MSG-B, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Canucks (30-26-7) are 1-3-1 in their past five after a 5-2 loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday. The Sabers (21-33-8) are coming off a 1-0 overtime shutout win against the Flames on Friday and have won three of four.

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