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.
Preview: San Jose Sharks at Anaheim Ducks, 10 p.m. ET. OK, so the winning streak is over. But the undefeated streak rolls on for the Sharks! Meanwhile, the Ducks are a none-too-shabby 5-1-1 in the season. Cam Fowler is out with an upper body injury. This could be a battle of the backups between Viktor Fasth and Thomas Greiss.
Preview: Carolina Hurricanes at Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. ET. Nick Cotsonika on Phil Kessel going eight games without a goal: “But that zero – as big and fat as it is – says less about Kessel as a player and how he is actually performing than it does about the market, the past and the state of the Leafs. Kessel is not the question (how do they get him going?). Nor is he likely to be the answer (trade him for so-and-so!). He is the object of obsession in Toronto because it's easy and building a winner is hard.”
Preview: Dallas Stars at Colorado Avalanche, 9 p.m. ET. Milan Hejduk will become the first Avs player to play 1,000 games with the organization. (Remember: Joe Sakic was a Nord.) The Stars put their lines in a blender with Ray Whitney out and Derek Roy back. Roy gets Loui Eriksson on his wing, while Brenden Morrow plays up with Jamie Benn and Jaromir Jagr.
Preview: Minnesota Wild at Phoenix Coyotes, 9 p.m. ET. Message sending time for Mike Yeo, as the Wild drop Devin Setoguchi and Mikael Granlund to Zenon Konopka’s line. His response? "Those guys won the lottery." The Coyotes have two shutouts in their last three home games.
Preview: Vancouver Canucks at Edmonton Oilers, 9:30 p.m. ET. Hey, remember when the Oilers shocked the world with a shootout win over Roberto Luongo earlier in the season, after only winning one of six games against them last season? He gets a chance at revenge with his fourth straight start for Vancouver.
• Today’s Marek vs. Wyshynski podcast, featuring John Davidson, president of the Columbus Blue Jackets. [Sportsnet]
• There’s a report that Donald Fehr might be asked to work his labor magic with the NBA players association. [CBS]
• NHL head of officiating Terry Gregson explains some of the interference calls we’ve seen this season, particularly with goalies. [Ottawa Citizen]
• Here’s Kerry Fraser on the matter. [TSN]
• Down Goes Brown on NHL goaltending controversies. [Grantland]
• Zack Kassian is a goofy looking fellow. [Backhand Shelf]
Puck Daddy Reader Comment of the Day: Steve D. on the Western Conference’s overtime fetish:
The solution is simple: stop handing out a "bonus" point for losing in OT (shootout or otherwise). It just creates an incentive for teams to play conservative in the 3rd period if they're tied so they can at least guarantee a point. The OT-loss point is equivalent to one of those blue participation ribbons you got in kindergarden.
Bold Prediction: Corey Perry scores a hat trick and the Sharks get their first regulation loss.