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Puck Previews: Caps, Pens; NHL/PA announce '10-11 card licenses

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: Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals, 7 p.m. EST. Crosby! Ovechkin! Those other guys! And so the third meeting between these rivals is here with Washington holding a 2-0 series lead. The Caps will be without Brooks Laich(notes) and Evgeni Malkin(notes) will miss the game for the Penguins. Good discussion on Twitter and here today about whether it's just another game, as Alex Ovechkin and Brooks Laich put it, or it's more than that, like say, a battle for "hockey supremacy". Bottom line is that the Capitals have the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed wrapped up, while Pittsburgh is fighting for the Atlantic Division title and the No. 2 or 3 seed. It's nothing more than two points for the teams involved.

Preview: New York Islanders at New York Rangers, 7 p.m. EST. Sadly, like Blueshirt Banter used for a headline today, "Yes, this really used to be a rivalry". Now, this game is only receiving hype because of the opportunity to watch something that used to be great in 3-D. Watch the Game Live Via Hockey Night on Y! Sports in 2-D!

Preview: Los Angeles Kings at Colorado Avalanche, 9 p.m. EST. Big Western Conference match up with these teams separated by just two points. Mile High Hockey sees this game for more than the two-points and playoff implications: "I don't think is really a must win for the Avs as far as making the playoffs, but it is an indicator of the character this team has. I am interested who will stand up and show leadership in a vitally important game like this."

Check out previews and updated scores for all of today's games on the Y! Sports NHL scores and scheds page.

Evening Reading

• The NCAA hockey tournament kicks off Friday and if you haven't entered the Puck Daddy / Northland Films pick'em contest, get to it!

• As part of their bus route to Fort Wayne, Indiana for the opening round of the NCAA tournament, the Miami University hockey team will stop along U.S. 35 at the spot where team manager Brendan Burke was killed to pay their respects. [Dayton Daily News]

• Tracking the various failures of the St. Louis Blues this season. [St. Louis Gametime]

• Panini and Upper Deck will be the only hockey card manufacturers for the 2010-11 season and possibly longer after a joint announcement today from the NHL and NHLPA. [Beckett]

Hey Nashville, you just passed the 14,000 average attendance mark and have won $10 million! [Tennessean]

Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: Richman takes issue with The Hockey News' mascot list and gives us reason to put Nashville's furry one on top:

"Gnash rappels from the rafters every game! He's even done it with Green Berets from Fort Campbell. That's got to count for something. Oh, he also lives in a cave on top of the Arena as well."

Winner.

Bold Prediction: Either Henrik Sedin(notes) or Alex Ovechkin(notes) will hit the 100-point mark tonight.

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