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A quick look at five games worth watching this week in the NHL


Calgary Flames at Colorado Avalanche: This might be the last gasp for the surging Avalanche. Colorado has won five of six but still trails the Flames by eight points for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference entering the week. Surely, they must win the second-last head-to-head meeting of the season to keep their post-season dreams alive.


New York Islanders at Ottawa Senators: The Islanders are an interesting team to keep an eye on. New York wasn't happy with the season-long suspension handed to Chris Simon, but from the outside that doesn't appear as though it should be a major blow. Still, they have to guard against any disruption of chemistry because the Isles have a very slim cushion and are being chased by a few hungry teams in the East.


Carolina Hurricanes at New Jersey Devils: The back end of a home-and-home for two potentially playoff-bound teams. While New Jersey vies for the top of the conference, Carolina is simply trying to get invited to the dance. Last year's Stanley Cup champions won't face a much tougher test than two in a row against Devils goalie Martin Brodeur. And make no mistake - two losses could be crippling.


Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens: The second-last meeting between the old rivals this season is all about one thing - two points. Toronto and Montreal enter the week right on the fringe of the playoff picture and both will be desperate for a victory at the Bell Centre on this night. They've split their meetings to date - each team has won three games.


Buffalo Sabres at Atlanta Thrashers: Two teams that don't lack for scoring. Atlanta enters the week having won five of six since acquiring Keith Tkachuk at the trade deadline and continues its bid for a first ever post-season berth. The Sabres don't have to worry about that, but are still after wins to ensure home-ice advantage all the way to the Stanley Cup final. After all, that's the destination Buffalo has in mind this spring.


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