Ryan Carpenter and the Chicago Blackhawks open their Best-of-Five Qualifying Series on Saturday against hub-host Edmonton. Carpenter has tallied three goals and recorded 12 assists in 69 games for Chicago this season. Elsewhere, Jake Guentzel, Adam Johnson and the Pittsburgh Penguins take on Montreal in Toronto. Guentzel racked up 20 goals and 23 assists in 39 games before suffering a shoulder injury in December. Johnson had a goal and an assist in seven games with Pittsburgh this season.
Saturday’s nightcap sees Neal Pionk and the Winnipeg Jets battling Calgary in Edmonton. Pionk has totaled 45 points, including a team-high 39 assists, in 71 games this season. Olympic All-Star Eeli Tolvanen’s Nashville Predators kick off Sunday’s slate of games against Arizona. Tolvanen has not appeared in an NHL game this season but did record 36 goals and 21 assists with AHL Milwaukee.
Sunday night features a prime time match-up between two former Musketeers as Columbus takes on Toronto. Matiss Kivlenieks, the 2017 USHL Goaltender and Player of the Year, has appeared in six games for the Blue Jackets this year, compiling a 1-1-2 record with a 2.95 goals against average and a .898 save percentage. On the other side, former Musketeer head coach Dave Hakstol serves as an assistant on Sheldon Keefe’s Maple Leafs coaching staff.
Max Pacioretty and the Vegas Golden Knights will have to wait until Monday to restart their season when they take on Joel L’Esperance and the Dallas Stars in the first of three round robin games to determine the Western Conference’s top four teams. Pacioretty led Vegas with 32 goals and 66 points but his status for the playoffs is unclear after suffering an injury during training camp. L’Esperance scored a goal in three games this season for Dallas.