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.
Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs at Tampa Bay Lightning, 7 p.m. ET. The Lightning attempt to stop a 6-game losing streak as the Maple Leafs play out their final three games with eyes on moving up from their current No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Preview: Los Angeles Kings at Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. ET. While the Red Wings wait for Todd Bertuzzi to re-join the lineup on Thursday, they host the Kings as they battle for one of the final Western Conference playoff spots. Currently one point behind Columbus for eighth, Detroit has a game in-hand on them with their 21-season playoff streak hanging in the balance.
Preview: Chicago Blackhawks at Edmonton Oilers, 9:30 p.m. ET. With a victory, the Blackhawks will wrap up the second Presidents' Trophy in franchise history and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. The Oilers are looking to stop a five-game slide at Rexall Place. Patrick Sharp will be back in the lineup and 2013 Hobey Baker Award winner Drew LeBlanc will make his NHL debut.
Preview: San Jose Sharks at Phoenix Coyotes, 10 p.m. ET. The math says they're still in it, but the Coyotes sit five points out of a playoff spot with three games to go. They'll need lots of help to find a way in. Meanwhile, the Sharks clinched a berth Tuesday night against Dallas and now look to move past the Kings and gain home-ice in the first round.
• Here's today's #MvsW podcast featuring the great Billy Jaffe. [Marek Vs. Wyshynski]
• Russia named former NHLer Alexei Kasatonov as GM of their 2014 Olympic squad. He held the same position at Nagano '98. [R Sport]
• Mike Colligan on what comes first: the system or the player [The Hockey Writers]
Puck Daddy Reader Comment of the Day: Maryanne on the Stars' struggles:
You have to understand whats going on in Dallas sports right now. The Cowboys didnt make the playoffs, then the Mavericks, looks like the Stars didnt want to be Alone Star team...
And Texas people, the next time any of you sees Jerry Jones, (aka Mr. Joan Rivers)..kindly advise him that the next time he goes for a facelift, please bring your team..This 8-8 isnt that Great slogan is wearing thin.
As a New York Giants fan, please continue doing what you're doing, Mr. Jones.
Bold Prediction: Chicago wraps up the Presidents' Trophy, but not before having to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win 4-3. Bold enough?
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