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Puck Daddy Viewing Guide: Coyotes soldier on without Smith; Red Wings vs Blue Jackets

Harrison Mooney
Puck Daddy

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.

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Create-a-caption: "Canadiens captain and former Boston College star Brian Gionta is interviewed by Pierre McGuire before the start of the game."

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Preview: New York Islanders at Carolina Hurricanes, 7 p.m. EST

Preview: Phoenix Coyotes at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7 p.m. EST

Preview: St. Louis Blues at Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. EST

Preview: Los Angeles Kings at Washington Capitals, 7 p.m. EST

Preview: Buffalo Sabres at Montreal Canadiens, 7:30 p.m. EST

Preview: Ottawa Senators at Florida Panthers, 7:30 p.m. EST

Preview: Detroit Red Wings at Columbus Blue Jackets, 7:30 p.m. EST

Preview: Dallas Stars at Chicago Blackhawks, 8 p.m. EST

Preview: Colorado Avalanche at Nashville Predators, 8 p.m. EST

Preview: San Jose Sharks at Edmonton Oilers, 9:30 p.m. EST

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Five things to know about tonight's NHL games ...

1) Wild Card showdown. What do the Red Wings and the Blue Jackets have in common, besides team nicknames that include spaces? They're battling it out for a Wild Card spot in the East. This game could go a long way for either team. The Red Wings are currently seventh in the conference. A loss tonight and they'll surrender the spot to Columbus.

2) Coyotes, Penguins missing key guys. This game means a lot to the Coyotes, who are battling for the last Wild Card spot in the West. and they'll have to win it without Mike Smith, who's out with a lower-body injury. Fortunately, backup Thomas Greiss won't have to face high-volume shooter Evgeni Malkin, who's out hurt too.

3) Leafs desperate to end skid. Toronto has dropped five straight and are in danger of missing the playoffs. Probably not an ideal time to be visited by St. Louis, the league's second-best team. Will Jonathan Bernier get the start, and if so, will that help turn Toronto's fortunes around?

4) It's Teuvo time. The highly-anticipated Chicago prospects makes his debut versus the desperate Dallas Stars, who are battling the Coyotes for the Wild Card spot and need wins.

5) No Scrivens encore. The last time the Sharks and Oilers met, Ben Scrivens secured a surprise victory for the basement-dwelling Oilers with a 59-save shutout. He doesn't expect that to happen again: "I look at it as a bit of an outlier, an anomaly. The guys played well but by no means is that repeatable."

Bold prediction: Teuvo scores in his debut, and the excitement level goes up several notches.

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