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Bruins, Ducks, Kings look to advance; Ilya Kovalchuk roughs up Janne Pesonen (Puck Previews)

Sean Leahy
Puck Daddy

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.

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Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins, 7 p.m. ET. (Bruins lead series 3-1) Matt Bartkowski is in and Wade Redden is out as the Bruins get their first crack at eliminating the Maple Leafs. History is not on the Leafs' side tonight. Toronto has won just 3 of their last 15 games at TD Garden. Subbing in for the injured Mark Fraser on the Leafs blueline will be John-Michael Liles, who has not played since Game 1.

Preview: New York Rangers at Washington Capitals, 7:30 p.m. ET (Series tied 2-2) One lineup change entering Game 5 tonight: Martin Erat will be scratched with an upper-body injury. Enter rookie Tom Wilson for the Capitals. Rangers defenseman Marc Staal said Friday morning that he will not play tonight, and could possibly be out for the rest of the series as he recovers from an eye injury. Steve Eminger will once again take his place.

Preview: Anaheim Ducks at Detroit Red Wings, 8 p.m. ET (Ducks lead series 3-2) Since their 22-season playoff streak began way back in 1990, the Red Wings have been knocked out in the first round in consecutive years only once: 1993 and 1994. They'll need to force seven games to ensure that doesn't happen after getting bounced in the opening round last season by the Nashville Predators. Carlo Colaiacovo will replace Brian Lashoff on the Detroit blueline.

Preview: St. Louis Blues at Los Angeles Kings, 10 p.m. ET (Kings lead series 3-2) As the Kings go for their fourth straight win to close out the Blues, here's Darryl Sutter on Robyn Regehr's broken nose: “Yeah, he got hit in the nose again. It was broke, so he can’t re-broke it.”

Evening Reading

• A bid to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes has been submitted to the NHL, says Fox Sports Arizona's Craig Morgan. "According to sources, the bid is believed to include the highest purchase price currently offered for the team, though exact figures were unknown." [FSN Arizona]

• Lokomotiv has taken their off-season training to a small town in Pennsylvania. [Broad Street Hockey]

• Finally, Russia lost to Finland today at the World Championships. At the end of their 3-2 defeat, Ilya Kovalchuk (No. 71) took out his anger on poor Janne Pesonen, earning a five minute major for roughing and a game misconduct. Pesonen somehow received the same punishment:

Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: "German Titov" (random Penguin) on the changes in Colorado:

"So, they are keeping the worst GM in hockey and adding the owner's son and a guy whose only qualifications are that he was a great player and....and...uhmm. OK. Good luck with that, Denver.

My guess is Joe Sakic will make Joe Nieuwendyk look like Ray Shero. Too bad, the Avs are a good GM away from being real contenders."

Bold Prediction: Red Wings and Blues force Game 7s with overtime victories.

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