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: Pittsburgh Penguins at Carolina Hurricanes, 7 p.m. ET
It's not the huge deal that Jordan Staal's first game back in Pittsburgh is, but this affair still marks his first game against his old club. Now, as he goes head-to-head with Sidney Crosby, we can finally answer the question of which one of them is better. It's been tough to say up until now.
Preview: Chicago Blackhawks at St. Louis Blues, 8 p.m. ET
The Blackhawks' run of regulation loss-free hockey has reached an absurd 19 games. Can they make it an even twenty? Only the Blues stand in the way. I'm not holding my breath on St. Louis ending the streak for two reasons: first, the Blues have lost three straight versus Chicago, and second, it's the Blues. This one's not ending in regulation.
Preview: Calgary Flames at Colorado Avalanche, 9 p.m. ET
At noon, this game didn't look all that interesting. Two Northwest division teams, neither of whom are the good Northwest division team. What's the story here? And then the Flames offer-sheeted Ryan O'Reilly. There's your story. Granted, the General Managers won't see the ice to fight it out, but it will still be worth watching to really get a handle on how desperately both of these teams could use a Ryan O'Reilly type right about now.
• Don Cherry has an issue with basketball fights. [Don Cherry]
• I imagine Jay Feaster read this article, and immediately slammed his laptop closed and offer-sheeted O'Reilly. [SI]
• Ilya Kovlachuk's not so into realignment. “For us I don’t think it makes any sense to change it,” Kovalchuk said. “We have a great division with good travel for all the teams in our division. A lot of rivalry games.” [Star-Ledger]
• This appears to be the play that ended Manny Malhotra's season. [Pass it to Bulis]
Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: Anhyzer on the NHL's playoff plans.
No,no play in games. There are already 82 of those.
Bold prediction: Lots of goals in Carolina. I'll say nine.