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.
After Game 1, Dale Hunter's directive to his troops was to play a smarter, more disciplined game, a lesson he hammered home by skating Alex Semin on the fourth line at Capitals' practice Sunday. Will the Russian sniper still be there come puck drop? On the Rangers' end, Brandon Dubinsky will miss his second consecutive game with a lower-body injury. It sounds like Brian Boyle will be back, however, after he took the morning skate.
Will Alex Pietrangelo play? This is the major question heading into Game 2, as the Blues blueliner might miss Monday's action after being checked into the boards by Dwight King. He's a game-time decision; Ian Cole is lined up as a replacement if he can't go. Thing to watch: the battle for the middle of the ice. Both teams actively work to keep their opponents to the outside, and in Game 1, both teams felt the Kings won the game by winning that battle.
• Carolina Hurricanes GM' Jim Rutherford has identified Zach Parise as a player the team will be going after. I am shocked -- shocked I say -- that the team might find Parise desirable. [News Observer]
• Was Kevin Dineen snubbed as a coach of the year candidate? [Sun Sentinel]
• It's starting to feel like a hockey town in Phoenix, which is bad news if you liked vacationing there for the cheap hockey tickets. [Arizona Sports]
• The Predators and the City of Nashville have extended their deadline to complete an agreement on the Bridgestone Arena lease. It's almost like the Predators are preoccupied with something... [Nashville Post]
• Investigating Mike Gillis's journey from GM of the year to "moron" in one short season. [PITB]
• How the defensive pairings matched up in Philadelphia/New Jersey Game 1. [Broad Street Hockey]
Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: Archbishop Krejci knows what we need:
We definitely need a photoshop of Howling Yotes fan admiring the Paulina Gretzky pictures.
And then another one of him looking at any random issue of Maxim, which is effectively the same thing.
Bold prediction: Andy McDonald scores the lone goal at Scottrade Centre.