Hockey games of the week

March 23, 2013
Montreal at Boston

Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Network

This classic Original Six rivalry — the most-played series in NHL history — has heated up again in recent years, reignited in 2011 when Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara nearly decapitated Habs forward Max Pacioretty with a hit along the boards, and the Canadiens faithful nearly lost their heads crying foul over the injustice. This season, Boston and Montreal are clearly two of the three best teams in the Eastern Conference, along with Pittsburgh. The teams’ two earlier meetings this year were both decided by one goal and weren’t exactly friendly.

Los Angeles at St. Louis

Thursday, 8 p.m. on NHL Network

The Kings are the defending Stanley Cup champions while the Blues were a popular pick after the lockout to win it all this year. It hasn’t exactly been smooth for either club so far, but they are both firmly in the playoff picture and should have no trouble getting in. You might not be able to name one player on the Blues — go ahead and try — but they are impressive to watch.

Anaheim at Chicago

Friday, 8:30 p.m. on NHL Network

Easily the game of the week, this matchup will pit two of the best regular season teams the NHL has had in years. Anaheim has already beaten Chicago twice this season, including in a shootout during the Blackhawks’ record-breaking run, and are actually in position to overtake Chicago for the league’s best record. If there is ever a Friday night where you should choose to stay at home and watch a hockey game, this one could be it.

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