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Leafs host 1st playoff game since 2004; must-wins for Rangers, Kings, Wings? (Puck Previews)

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

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.

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Via ESPN and d’oh. [@TomUrtzJr]

The Battaglia Bros., winners of the Amazing Race, and Louis Jean on today's MvsW [Marek Vs. Wyshynski]

Preview: Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. ET (Tied 1-1). The first home playoff game in Toronto since May 4, 2004. Mayor Rob Ford has declared this day “Blue and White Day”. Andrew Ference returns from his suspension, which means Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg are back together as a shutdown pair.

Preview: Washington Capitals at New York Rangers, 7:30 p.m. ET (Caps lead 2-0). The Rangers were looking for the return of Ryane Clowe or Marc Staal or both for a critical Game 3. The Capitals are going with the same lineup that won them Games 1 and 2.

Preview: Anaheim Ducks at Detroit Red Wings, 8 p.m. ET (Ducks lead 2-1). Justin Abdelkader begins his two-game suspension for the Wings, but the Ducks are worried about how long Toni Lydman but be out of the lineup. Mikael Sanuelsson moves up with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg in AfroGator’s absence.

Preview: St. Louis Blues at Los Angeles Kings, 10 p.m. ET (Blues lead 2-1). The series you either love or hate, depending on how you feel about close games with brutal hitting vs. high scoring affairs. That said, the Blues might get an offensive boost: Rookie Vladimir Tarasenko gets into the lineup, albeit on the fourth line. Faceoffs are a concern for the Kings, according to LA Kings Insider: “The Blues have been very successful at the faceoff dot in this playoff series, limiting the Kings to a 42.9% success rate – one that was bolstered by a 28-for-57 (49%) performance in Game 3, which represented Los Angeles’ best rate in the first three games.”

Check out previews and updated scores for all of today's games on the Y! Sports NHL scores and scheds page. For tonight's starting goalies, check out Goalie Post.

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