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Western Canadian teams are getting their lone chance 
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Western Canadian teams are getting their lone chance to see how they stack up on their home ice against the NHL’s top team this weekend.On Thursday Patrice Bergeron Jersey , it’s the Calgary Flames‘ turn to test the Tampa Bay Lightning. For the Lightning, it’s a chance to face one of the Western Conference’s top squads.The Lightning had an eight-point advantage over four teams including the Flames entering play Wednesday night. Tampa Bay is coming off a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks in a testy affair on Tuesday while the Flames were blanked 2-0 by the Stars in Dallas the same night.Article continues below ...The Lightning dropped the opener of their Western road trip 6-5 in overtime Winnipeg on X and wrap it up Saturday night in Edmonton against the Oilers in a game that will be shown nationally in Canada. They are 9-0-1 in their past 10 games.The player to watch for Tampa Bay in Calgary surprisingly is fourth-line winger Danick Martel, who replaced Ryan Callahan in the lineup in Vancouver after Callahan was scratched following warmups. Martel picked up an assist for his first point in six NHL games, but his second period hit that injured Canucks defenseman Troy Stecher made him a target for the remainder of the night.I think pretty much everyone thought I would have a bad game and just play two, three minutes, maybe one, two shifts and just feel it around and cover some shifts,” Martel told reports.“But I wanted to make a difference. I don’t have a lot of opportunities at the start of the year, so when I have some, I have to get ready. I said the same thing the first game. I’m playing my role. I played a decent game again today for the warmup I had Matt Read Jersey Womens , so I’m proud of it.”The Lightning were tight-lipped on Callahan’s injury other than to say it was in the upper body area and that he wasn’t sure when exactly it occurred.“We hope (it’s minor),” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.Calgary’s vaunted offence will give the Lightning a test as well. Tampa gave up 40 shots in Winnipeg and 38 in Vancouver. Tampa goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy will be trying to stop a Flames offence that has four players with 17-plus goals each – Sean Monahan (20), Elias Lindholm (17) and Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk 15 each after 35 games of the regular season.The Flames went 2-1 on their road trip but were left to bemoan an off night in Dallas that they know they can’t repeat on Thursday.“It’s a good test,” Flames captain Mark Giordano said.“We haven’t seen them yet but we know what they’ve been doing – pretty much winning every game. They are up top by five or six points. They’re a team that is one of the best if not the best in the league right now so it’s a real test. We’ve got to clean some stuff up.”David Rittich is expected to get the start in goal for Calgary. He drew praise for his efforts in Dallas. CHICAGO — As well as the Pittsburgh Penguins have played of late, they have been anything but perfect.But still, the wins have come as Pittsburgh has tallied a 6-2-2 record in their past 10 games. As they prepare to face the slumping Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday, however, the Penguins’ latest victory may have provided more than just points in the standings.Despite again being less than flawless on Monday in a 2-1 victory over the New York Islanders, the Penguins will carry some momentum into Wednesday’s road test.Article continues below ...“I think it should be a boost of confidence for us,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan told reporters after Monday’s victory Matt Hendricks Jersey Womens , according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “You look at this core group of players, they’re a battle-tested group. They’ve been in a lot of high-stake games. They’ve been in a lot of close games on this stage.“But I think sometimes when you win games like this, especially the way the early part of the season has gone for us, I think it’s evidence that if we play the game a certain way, we can have success. And it’s evidence that we have to play the game a certain way, with a commitment level that’s high, from everybody on the bench in order to win.”Pittsburgh struggled in several facets of the game Monday against the Islanders, which forced Sullivan to make some in-game adjustments. The Penguins won for just the third time in 23 games when they scored three or fewer goals. Although there are concerns moving forward — both from Sullivan and his players — the fact the Penguins are finding ways to win has made some of the shortcomings a bit more tolerable.Still, Sullivan’s team knows it needs to clean things up as they focus on the bigger picture.“We just have to be patient and make sure we don’t beat ourselves,” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said Womens Torey Krug Jersey , according to the Post-Gazette.The Blackhawks enter Wednesday’s game on short rest after suffering a 6-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday. Chicago, which has now fallen behind in 11 straight games, has lost eight straight games and have won only four games since Oct. 25.In their latest setback, the Blackhawks allowed three first-period goals as the Jets barraged Chicago goalie Cam Ward with 15 shots in the opening 20 minutes. The Blackhawks played without forward Artem Anisimov, who did not travel with the team to Winnipeg after he entered the NHL’s concussion protocol Sunday night.According to the Chicago Tribune, Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton did not speculate how long Anisimov, who has tallied 15 points this season, could be out.Chicago has struggled throughout the season in its all-around game but its penalty-killing unit surrendered three goals in Tuesday’s loss, which added to the Blackhawks, who will turn around and play Wednesday before hosting the Jets again on Friday as they look to finally snap their extended losing streak.The first period Tuukka Rask Jersey , which Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane characterized as “embarrassing,” served as a reminder that one way or another, Chicago can’t keep putting itself in a hole as it has of late.Colliton told reporters that the habit that has become a trend that has to change if the Blackhawks have any chance of reversing course.“When bad stuff happens to us, we tend to stop playing for a little bit,” Colliton said, according to The Athletic. “And then the hole gets a little deeper.”

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