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 Rangers: Henrik Lundqvist, who's been pulled the past two games, needs to get his groove back otherwise this game will be over before American Idol starts...New York has never won a Game 7 on the road (0-4)...Since penalty-killer Blair Betts is out, John Tortorella will make a game-time decision on whether not to dress rookie Artem Anisimov or tough guy Colton Orr...
Keys for the Capitals: Alexander Ovechkin has woken up (a goal in the past three games) and that's a scary thing if you're the New York Rangers...Captain Chris Clark will likely take the place of the suspended Donald Brashear...Getting an early goal past Lundqvist could be enough to plant seeds of lost hope in the Rangers, or at least getting into the head of Tortorella again
If you're into that kind of thing, Wysh will be Tweet-ing from Verizon Center tonight.
Keys for the Hurricanes: Like Bubba points out, Zach Parise has been quiet the past three games, but Eric Staal has been on fire and that needs to continue...Sergei Samsonov's return has allowed Paul Maurice to roll four, fresh lines which is always important in a deciding Game 7...Maybe some crease crashing on Martin Brodeur to knock him off his game, perhaps?
Keys for the Devils: Bryce Salvador is out; Andy Greene is in...New Jersey has a ton of experience sprinkled throughout its lineup and Brodeur will be between the pipes for his ninth Game 7...It's key to use that experience wisely in a game that can be full of nerves...Carolina has over 40 shots on goal two of the last three games (as well as 37 in Game 6), the Devils defense needs to do a better job of stopping pucks getting through...And if all else fails, do it for Shanny!
-Hurricanes captain Rod "The Bod" Brind'Amour says his team will be "at full throttle" tonight. Last time I saw something "full throttle", I wished they had never made a Charlie's Angels sequel. [News Observer]
-Blueshirt Banter holding out hope that the Rangers can wake up ‘We should also believe in this team because they have not lost three games in a row in regulation all season. That's right; some OT losses, some shootout losses, but not a single three-game regulation losing streak. Does this mean we will see OT tomorrow? No, but it's possible that after two losses the boys kick each other in the butts and say let's get it going." Easy enough.
-Is there a giant magnet problem at the RBC Center that contributed to the Hurricanes 4-0 win on Sunday night? Where was Lou Lamoriello's letter to Gary Bettman? [2 Man Advantage]
Meanwhile, outside of the east coast...
-Part 466,282 in the Canadian media's obsession with bringing southern NHL franchises to the great white north. [Globe & Mail]
-In case you missed it yesterday, ESPN.com was hacked with the Cornify code and if you typed in the famous NES Contra code (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a, enter), you could pretty up their homepage with unicorns. It was likely the same image in the head of the phone operator who believed a reporter from the Washington Post was giving them a Mike Green suspension scoop. [Kotaku]
-Jim Matheson reports that the Oilers have asked the New York Rangers permission to speak with departed head coach Tom Renney. Edmonton GM and Renney worked together in the mid-90's while both were with Vancouver. [Edmonton Journal]
-Comedian Whoopi Goldberg is a Devils and Rangers fan. So, that must be fun. "The players are like modern-day gladiators. They are dressed in full gear, plus they have to backward, forward, sideways on skates performing moves you might expect from Ginger Rogers in one her movies co-starring with Fred Astaire." I never pictured Maximus Decimus Meridius dancing in the rain. [NHL]
-Ryan Gardner celebrates his goal for Switzerland during his team's 4-2 loss to Russia, which unfortunately, didn't win him the car in the background. Nick Papagiorgio he ain't. [Getty]
-Mark Messier headlines the 2009 Canada Sports Hall of Fame inductees, just because it's been a while since we've had the opportunity to see him cry. [TSN]
Finally, if you haven't seen Kyle Okposo squandering an open-net opportunity for Team USA at the World Championships, here it is: