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Sean Leahy

Puck Previews: Blues look to end streak; Gonchar practices

Sean Leahy
Puck Daddy

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.

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Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs at Philadelphia Flyers, 7 p.m. EST. Tim Panaccio reports that barring a setback, Ray Emery(notes) will return to the Flyers on Saturday night. In the meantime, Michael Leighton(notes) will likely make his seventh straight start tonight against the Leaf. Philadelphia will be sporting their Winter Classic jerseys as they try to end a four-game home losing streak. Watch this game on Y! Sports along the NYI-COL game at 9 p.m. EST

Preview: Calgary Flames at Minnesota Wild, 8 p.m. EST. Calgary aims for their sixth straight victory against a Wild team that is looking to end a four-game slide. It might be a slow start as both teams played on the road last night. No word yet if Miikka Kiprusoff(notes) will start, but according to the Flames he's has "allowed one goal or fewer in 11 of his last 17 starts; he's surrendered exactly one in each of the last four." That doesn't bode well for a Minnesota team that's struggling for goals.

Preview: St. Louis Blues at San Jose Sharks, 10:30 p.m. EST. Currently on a five-game losing streak and on their first road trip with their new coach, the Blues are looking to continue their success away from home (11-4-3). According to Jeremy Rutherford, St. Louis will again be without Paul Kariya(notes) who hasn't played since December 27th against Buffalo.

Check out previews and updated scores for all of today's games (like the ones in progress) on the Y! Sports NHL scores and scheds page.

Evening Reading

-Hey now! NHL Network will re-broadcast last night's Canada-USA game tonight at 6 p.m. EST and Sunday at 3:30 p.m. EST. [NHL]

-Jaromir Jagr(notes) says that Russia and Canada will have the best teams at the upcoming Olympics and that he's quitting international competition with the Czech Republic after the Vancouver Games. [Russia Today via Kukla]

-According to TSN's Darren Dreger, Rick DiPietro(notes) will backup Dwayne Roloson(notes) tonight as the Islanders face off with Colorado. [@DarrenDreger]

-Eric Duhatschek on Ken Hitchcock's "coaching death watch". [Globe & Mail]

-David Rutherford of the Shreveport Mudbugs of the Central Hockey League performed "The Michigan" last night during a 4-3 shootout loss to the Missouri Mavericks. [CHL TV] Thanks to Puck Buddy Daniel for sending that in

-Hoping to boost my fledgling fantasy hockey team, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar(notes) practice today and hopes to play tomorrow night against Philadelphia. He's been injured since blocking a shot against the New Jersey Devils on December 30th. [Penguins]

-Pierre LeBrun's gives out his midseason awards. Sidney Crosby(notes) for Hart and Dan Boyle(notes) for Norris are just a few of his choices [ESPN]

Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: The Minnesota Wild released Brent Burns(notes) bobbleheads today prompting Star-Tribune beat writer Michael Russo to Tweet:

"Brent Burns Bobblehead Night. Seems in bad taste."

Bold Prediction: Matt Duchene(notes) and John Tavares(notes) each score, but the Avs best the Isles in a shootout.

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