This week's top 5 in-demand NHL matchups

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NHL action is in full swing as the month of December begins. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
NHL action is in full swing as the month of December begins. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

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Chicago at Boston

Thursday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. ET

This rivalry matchup sees two Original Six teams headed in opposite directions. The Chicago Blackhawks (10-11-5, 25 points) sit at the bottom of the Atlantic Division while the Boston Bruins (19-3-5, 43 points) have won seven straight games and lead the Atlantic. The Blackhawks are 1-4-1 in their last six games and were outscored 12-5 in a home-and-home against the Colorado Avalanche to close out November.

Montreal at New York

Friday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. ET

This is another Original Six matchup with two teams in different places. The Montreal Canadiens (11-10-6, 28 points) and New York Rangers (13-9-3, 29 points) are a point apart in the standings, but the Canadiens have dropped eight straight while the Rangers are 4-0-1 in their past five games and have snuck into playoff contention in the East. Veteran goaltender Carey Price has struggled mightily in net for the Canadiens.

Colorado at Boston

Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. ET

After playing the Blackhawks, the Boston Bruins will host the Colorado Avalanche (16-8-2, 34 points) in a more evenly matched affair on paper. Colorado has won seven of its past 10, maintaining its form despite injuries riddling the Avalanche since their hot start. The speedy Nathan MacKinnon will look to slow down the Bruins at TD Garden.

Pittsburgh at Detroit

Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. ET

The Pittsburgh Penguins (14-9-4, 32 points) have been plagued by health issues this season and just lost defenseman Brian Dumoulin to an ankle injury. Barely hanging onto a Wild Card spot in the East by a thread, the Penguins will travel to take on the Detroit Red Wings (7-19-3, 17 points), the NHL’s worst team.

Toronto at Vancouver

Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 10 p.m. ET

This Canadian-rivalry match pits two teams in the thick of the playoff race against each other. The Toronto Maple Leafs (13-11-4, 30 points) have won four of five since firing head coach Mike Babcock, which has perhaps stirred a fire under an underperforming team. They will play the Vancouver Canucks (13-11-4, 30 points), who are holding down the second wild-card spot in the West.

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