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Playoff Puck Previews: NHL postseason begins; Sacco’s new deal; Ruff, Regier safe in Buffalo

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.

Spiffy new "Because It's The Cup" ad that debuts Wednesday night.

Game 1 Preview: Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7:30 p.m. ET. Forward Danny Briere and defenseman Nicklas Grossmann are back for the Flyers as this epic battle begins. Philly is using that Mac Miller song heard during 24/7 as their battle cry, saying it'll take 16 "Knock Knocks" to win the Cup.

Game 1 Preview: Detroit Red Wings at Nashville Predators, 8 p.m. ET. Darren Helm is back for the Red Wings, while Hal Gill was a game-time decision for the Preds. This is fun: A downloadable Pekka Rinne mask to wear to the arena.

Game 1 Preview: Los Angeles Kings at Vancouver Canucks, 10:30 p.m. ET. The loss of Daniel Sedin for Game 1 probably means Mason Raymond plays up with Henrik and Alex Burrows. Meanwhile, Jeff Carter looks good to go for the Kings even if his ankle isn't 100 percent.

Check out previews and updated scores for all of Wednesday's games on the Y! Sports NHL scores and scheds page. For Wednesday night's starting goalies, check out Left Wing Lock.

Evening Reading

• Wednesday's Marek vs. Wyshynski podcast.

• Darcy Regier and coach Lindy Ruff will be back next season for the Buffalo Sabres. [AP]

• Joe Sacco gets a two-year contract extension with the Colorado Avalanche. Said GM Greg Sherman: "Joe has earned the opportunity to lead this young team. Our club made significant strides this season and we look forward to continuing that next season." [Avs]

• NBC has a channel finder so you can find which channel you need to watch hockey. [NBC Sports]

• Finally, via Tony in Columbus, here's James Wisniewski using Jody Shelley's Shake Weight. Let's all be happy he didn't give it the Avery treatment.

Puck Daddy Reader Comment of the Day: From Peen on the Blue Jackets losing the lottery:

Well... at least Steve Mason's pads are smaller?

Bold Prediction: Luongo shuts out the Kings.

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