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.
via Senators Insider.
The Cory Conacher era begins in Ottawa as the diminutive forward debuts on an all-rookie line with Mika Zibanejad and Jakob Silfverberg. The Senators are looking to halt a two-game losing skid before it becomes a three-game losing streak. A date with the Sabres should help. Ottawa has won all three matches this season, and the Sabres had Jason Pominville for those.
The eighth-place Rangers have won two in a row and this is their game in hand over New Jersey. A win tonight would put them in the driver's seat for the eighth and final playoff spot. Normally, that would be a tall order against the Penguins and it may well be, but Pittsburgh has been outscored 10-2 in the two games since losing Sidney Crosby to a broken jaw. Thankfully, they won, like, a billion in a row before that, so it hasn't hurt them too much in the standings.
Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets at St. Louis Blues, 8 p.m. ET
Just one point separates Columbus from St. Louis, who sit 8th and 10th in the West, respectively, coming into this one. But the Blues have two games in hand, and if the Blue Jackets want to keep pace, a win tonight is crucial.
The Ducks are pretty much a lock to make the playoffs, but the Stars? Even despite selling off many of its assets at the deadline, Dallas still fancies itself a playoff team. But in order for the club to defy the odds and make the postseason, they're going to need some bigtime goaltending out of Kari Lehtonen, who's 0-4-0 with a 3.87 goals-against average over his last five starts.
• Mark Letestu began this season wearing number 17. He gave it up to Brandon Dubinsky for number 10, then he gave that up to Marian Gaborik. He's making a killing being so generous. “I’ve been told that the cost in baseball is $50,000,” Letestu joked. “So I’m up to $100,000 this year. Marian and I have talked. We’re going to negotiate.” [Blue Jackets Xtra]
• Roberto Luongo doesn't regret what he said. [Vancouver Sun]
• Pekka Rinne could start every one of the Predators' remaining games. Somewhere, Robeto Luongo sighs enviously. [Tennesseean]
• These authentic, old-time hockey sweaters are amazing. [Ebbet's]
• Kimmo Timonen could be back for the Flyers on Saturday. [PHT]
• Dave Feschuk on another scary injury for Joffrey Lupul. [Toronto Star]
• Peter DeBoer on the injured Ilya Kovalchuk's return: “I can’t put a number on that yet. I can tell you he’s making great strides and I’m optimistic he’ll be able to help us down the stretch. For me, that means more than the last couple games.” [Fire and Ice]
Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: Swift's Toole Box on Zach Redmond's gruesome scar:
He should get a tattoo of Jack Skelington that incorporates the scar into it
Bold Prediction: Both the Avalanche and Flames lose. Bold, I know.
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