When March rolls in, it means that there are but a few weeks left in the NHL season and teams that have been coasting at the top of their divisions start to wind it back up again to get into playoff mode. Some of these late season games are a great way for teams to leave a little message of what can be expected once the real season starts.
Friday night has two of the titans of the Eastern Conference facing off with Pittsburgh playing at New Jersey. Both teams are trying to make a run at Washington to get the number one seed, but they are going to have to get through this battle first. New Jersey will have to be excited to have Crosby coming to town to lay down a little patriot justice. Considering the fact that his own fans let him have it during his first game after the Olympics, the Jersey fans should have something nice in store for him.
Saturday has a great physical game on deck with the Chicago Blackhawks coming into Philadelphia for a game against the Flyers. It has been an up and down year for the Flyers as they are playing far below expectations and have seen plenty of front office drama during the course of the season. They picked it up nicely before the break for the Olympics and hope to get that momentum going again to get a decent seed in the playoffs. Chicago has 43 wins on the season and is going to provide a great test for them.
The game of the weekend is on Sunday afternoon, as Chicago has to turn around right after a physical game against Philadelphia and play against Washington. They are going to have home ice in this matchup, but it may not make much of a difference. Washington will have the benefit of not playing the night before and will be well rested for this game. It will probably be a close contest, but Washington has every right to believe that they can sneak out of town with a win here.
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