Here is the Puck Daddy Viewing Guide: Spotlighting five things to watch for during tonight's slate of games. Make sure to stop back here for the nightly Three Stars when the games are finished.
Create-a-Caption: "Matt Beleskey #39 of the Anaheim Ducks slides into the goal during the game against the Minnesota Wild on December 11, 2013."
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Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets at New York Rangers, 7 p.m. ET
Preview: Montreal Canadiens at Philadelphia Flyers, 7 p.m. ET
Preview: Buffalo Sabres at Ottawa Senators, 7 p.m. ET
Preview: Detroit Red Wings at Tampa Bay Lightning, 7:30 p.m. ET
Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs at St. Louis Blues, 8 p.m. ET
Preview: Dallas Stars at Nashville Predators, 8 p.m. ET
Preview: Colorado Avalanche at Winnipeg Jets, 8 p.m. ET
Preview: Carolina Hurricanes at Calgary Flames, 9 p.m. ET
Preview: New York Islanders at Phoenix Coyotes, 9 p.m. ET
Preview: Boston Bruins at Edmonton Oilers, 9:30 p.m. ET
Preview: Minnesota Wild at San Jose Sharks, 9:30 p.m. ET
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Five things to know about tonight's NHL games ...
1. Rick Nash faces Columbus. Hey, did you know Nash used to play for Columbus? Thursday night marks the first the greatest Blue Jacket ever will face his former club.
2. Avs out of the top eight? A loss to the Winnipeg Jets tonight, coupled with a Phoenix Coyotes win versus the Islanders, would leave the Avalanche 9th in the Western Conference at the end of the evening. Amazing how quickly things can change in the NHL. Keep an eye on Patrick Roy tonight if this happens. He was hot after the Avs dropped their last game to the Coyotes. He could be fuming if tonight goes poorly.
3. The Brian Burke era begins. Sure, he's only the "interim" GM, but Brian Burke's running the ship right now in Calgary. His first move was sending Sven Baertschi down to the AHL. Will that little shot across the bow light a fire under the rest of the Flames versus Carolina?
4. Someone is losing three straight. The Red Wings and Lightning have both lost two in a row coming into Thursday night's contest.
5. Sharks face fifth straight loss. Tough to imagine the team that stormed out of the game dropping five in a row, but that's the number the losing skid will hit if the Sharks can't come out ahead of the Minnesota Wild. Working in their favour: they're 11-1-1 against the Wild at home, and that's where this one is.
Bold Prediction: I picked the Islanders to lose their eleventh straight and then they came back and beat the Sharks. My confidence is shot. So I'm going to make a safer bet this time around and predict a shootout in the Senators game. They've ended three straight with one of those.
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