Here are your Evening Puck Headlines and Previews: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.
Keys for the Capitals: It's do or die for both teams tonight. The first period might be full of some nerves, but in the end, someone's going home tonight.
The Capitals last three playoff series have now gone seven games. They've already staved off elimination four times this post-season. Is one more out of the realm of possibility?
Marc-Andre Fleury(notes) has a reputation of being shaky when handling the puck and that was evident in Game Six. Forcing him to come out of his net to play pucks might be an option as it won't be long before Fleury gets burned big time.
Alexander Semin(notes) woke up in Game Six and if Washington expects to advance, he'll need to show up tonight to give Alex Ovechkin some help. The Capitals secondary scorers need to give the Penguins fits tonight.
Stopping Sidney Crosby(notes) would be well-advised for Washington. The Pittsburgh captain has been on a tear this post-season and his all-around game has led the Penguins in this series. By winning face-offs and preventing Crosby from making plays in their defensive zone, the Capitals can't afford to be caught watching.
Keys for the Penguins: If Sergei Gonchar(notes) makes a Willie Reed-esque comeback tonight, that should give a boost to the Penguins, who would be wise to quickly forget about Steckel's overtime goal.
Marc-Andre Fleury has yet to steal a game in this series like he did in Game Four against the Philadelphia Flyers. Goaltenders will be in the spotlight tonight and Fleury will have to out duel the rookie on the other end.
Evgeni Malkin(notes) needs to get involved. His goal in Game Three has been his only real highlight so far, other than the lucky bounce he was afforded in Game Five. If the Penguins are flying Mr. and Mrs. Malkin to Washington D.C. today, it's almost a given that he'll be on the score sheet.
Verizon Center will be rocking the red tonight and the sooner that Pittsburgh can take the fans out of the game, the better off they'll be.
-As I Tweeted earlier, if "Badger" Bob Johnson were still around, he'd definitely be saying that today is a great day for hockey, followed by another one tomorrow night.
-If we're talking about experience in Game Seven's: Capitals > Penguins [Empty Netters]
-Tonight is Marc-Andre Fleury's chance to erase some shaky performances in this series. [Tribune-Review]
Meanwhile, in the rest of creation ...
-Stu Hackel takes a look back at some memorable Game Seven's. [Slap Shots]
-Some good news out of Buffalo: the team is reporting a 94% renewal rate on season tickets. [Sabres]
-"As for the rest of the Toronto region, however, claiming they "deserve" another NHL franchise is akin to making a case as to why the Jonas Brothers are destined to become the next Beatles." [Sportsnet]
-Discussing the importance of the institution that is broadcasting between the benches. It's my Pang in a box! [Globe & Mail]
-The NHL Network, a godsend from the heavens, will be broadcasting the Memorial Cup again. [NHL]
-Buy all of your "Save the Coyotes" gear before they, well, disappear. [Save the Coyotes]
-Why no one cares about the 2009 edition of the NHL playoffs. [Winging it in Motown]
-Pretend you're NBC for a minute. Which conference finals match-up do you think would garner the highest rating? And no, Law and Order: SVU isn't an option. [Puck the Media]
-Raw Charge tosses in his two cents on the Toronto's trade rumors from a Lightning perspective.
Finally, your obligatory Pens-Caps Game 7 video preview:
Be sure to join us during the live blog tonight at 7PM ET and of course, we can't finish here without getting your predictions on Caps-Pens in the comments.
- the Penguins