Back by popular demand, here are your Puck Previews: Spotlighting the key games in NHL action, news and views as well as general frivolity. Make sure to stop back here for the nightly Three Stars when the games are finished.
• I think Erik Gustafsson just summoned some kind of animal spirit.
The Rangers have won four straight, but they've also lost four straight at home to the Ottawa Senators. One of these streaks end tonight. No doubt the Rangers are hoping it's the one where they keep winning; the Senators hope for the opposite. Why can't they just agree? I can't handle this animosity. Brad Richards returns to the lineup after missing two games just to make Patrick Kaleta look bad for no reason.
The Panthers must be giddy they're playing today, because they have a quick opportunity to put Thursday night's brutal loss to the Capitals behind them. The Jets must be giddy to be playing the Panthers today, especially after seeing how the Capitals handed it to them.
Can the Avalanche end the Blackhawks' streak? I could probably end this preview there. That's all anyone cares about. I'm going to say no, simply because the Avalanche are not playing good hockey right now. They're 1-2-3 in their last six. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks are 21-0-3 in their last 24, which is way better, in my opinion.
• Islanders assistant coach Brent Thompson has been suspended for two games as a result of being assessed a Game Misconduct for "inappropriate and abusive comments" he made to the officials following Thursday's game versus the New York Rangers. I bet he called someone a doo-doo head.
• David Booth gets a bum rap in Vancouver. The problem is expectations. [PITB]
• Lesson: don't sucker punch the ref. He won't like it. [NESN]
• Stat fight! Are shots more important than goals? Ooooh this is gonna get ugly. [Hockey Analysis]
Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: Top Gear Zamboni on Ryan Getzlaf's new deal:
Why exactly did we have that lockout? So he didn't get 10 years? Great...
Bold prediction: The Blackhawks don't lose in regulation. Although that's not that bad considering they've done it 24 straight times. I'm really just playing the odds.