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NHL weekend preview: Trade deadline looms

Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals have two big games this weekend.
Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals have two big games this weekend.
(Getty Images)

This is the first weekend of NHL action in a little while. Saturday is the first day of March, and this is also the last weekend of action before the trade deadline. Will anything be made or broken this weekend? Probably not, but maybe. You never know what a wacky NHL team is going to do. This weekend is a major matinee game weekend. It is also more evenly dispersed, as there are 10 games on Saturday and eight on Sunday. Here are the most interesting ones.

There are seven games starting at 4:00 Eastern or earlier on Saturday. That's the perfect chance to kick back and relax to begin the month. The day begins with Washington against Boston, which is a good game, and the Caps are fighting for a playoff spot. Also, and perhaps even more importantly, the Rangers face the Flyers. Both teams are in the playoff battle. Both are fighting for the two seed in their division, which would mean home-ice advantage. On top of that, New York may be trading away key players. This is a very intriguing game.

Tampa and Dallas square off. The Lightning are pretty safely in the postseason, but the Stars very much are not. The last afternoon game is the Kings hosting the Canes. That's alright, I suppose, although Los Angeles' games tend not to be terribly high scoring.

The fun extends into the evening, however. Toronto plays Montreal, which is always good, especially when both are in the playoff race, and then Pittsburgh faces Chicago. That could be a preview of the Stanley Cup Final. I mean, this game doesn't "mean" much, but it is still two great teams.

Sunday kicks off with NHL on NBC, as Washington takes on Philly. If you missed them on Saturday, you can see them nationally on Sunday. There are three more afternoon games. San Jose visiting New Jersey is... OK. Ottawa against Vancouver is better, as both teams need to start winning to make the postseason.

In a bit of partner swapping, the Bruins face the Rangers in addition to that aforementioned Caps-Flyers game. Tampa and Colorado did not seem terribly exciting before the season, but it looks good now. Also, St. Louis faces Phoenix, which is fine. The Blues are very good.

There are a lot of good games this weekend. That's quite exciting. Some players may be donning their current uniform for the last time this weekend. Hopefully March comes in with a bang. Enjoy the games.