NHL Game Day: Road-weary Rangers return home to face Panthers; Sabres take on Caps; and Leafs host Kings

The NHL docket for Monday, November 8 is on the light side. However, three key matchups are on tap.

First, the road-weary Rangers will host the best team in the NHL. Florida has yet to lose in regulation so this will be a huge test for the Blueshirts. Next up, the Capitals will look to get on track while the Leafs look to keep rolling.

Let’s dive in.

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NHL Game Day: Rangers vs Panthers (7 PM ET)

The Florida Panthers will look to extend their point streak and remain unbeaten in regulation Monday night, when they are slated to visit the Rangers in the first game between the teams in almost exactly two years.

Both teams were off Sunday after playing Saturday, when the host Panthers ended the Carolina Hurricanes’ nine-game winning streak with a 5-2 win and the Rangers absorbed a 6-0 loss to the Calgary Flames.

The loss was the third straight for the Rangers, who opened the four-game road trip by beating the Seattle Kraken 3-1 on Halloween night but were outscored 15-7 in losing to the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Flames.

With the NHL-leading Panthers awaiting, the Rangers lamented their inability to knock off the Oilers and Flames, who entered play Sunday ranked first and second in the Western Conference in points.

“We’ve talked about it, we haven’t beaten the Edmontons or the Calgarys of the world yet,” Rangers left winger Chris Kreider said Saturday. “We gave ourselves a chance the other night against Edmonton, got away from our game. I don’t know if we got bored with doing the simple things.”

Sabres vs Capitals (7 PM ET)

Nov 9, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) talks with Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov (92) against the Vegas Golden Knights in the second period at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

After solid starts to the season in October, November has been a different story so far for the Buffalo Sabres and Washington Capitals. Both will try to get back on track when the teams meet in Washington, D.C., on Monday.

The Sabres lost their fourth straight on Saturday, falling in overtime to the Detroit Red Wings after holding a two-goal lead in the third period. It was the third time in the past five games in which Buffalo has held a multi-goal lead, only to have it erased. They are 1-1-1 in those games.

The Capitals dropped their third straight, falling 2-1 to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

“We seemed sleepy in the first and outworked in the second (on Saturday),” Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said. “So the third I thought we had some game going on and we were pushing trying to get a win. But it’s difficult to try and win hockey games relying on coming from behind by two goals in the third period to have to win a game. We need to be better earlier.”

Alex Ovechkin was held off the scoresheet Saturday and remains one goal behind Brett Hull (741) for fourth place in NHL history.

Washington is 1-2-2 in its past five games.

Kings vs Maple Leafs (7:30 PM ET)

One streak will come to an end Monday night when the Los Angeles Kings, winners of four in a row, visit the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have five straight victories.

Los Angeles will be opening a four-game road trip after completing a 4-1 homestand Friday night with a 3-2 overtime victory over the New Jersey Devils.

Toronto will be completing a five-game homestand Monday that includes a 5-2 win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday.

The Kings’ surge follows a stretch of six losses in a row.

The Maple Leafs have extended their streak by defeating two difficult opponents. Before defeating Boston, they came back to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in overtime on Thursday.

–Field Level Media