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Puck Previews: Isles try to stay hot; Captain Langenbrunner?

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: Colorado Avalanche at Carolina Hurricanes, 7 p.m. EST. Hoping to continue their dominance over the Eastern Conference, the Avs head to Raleigh tonight looking to improve on their 8-3-1 interconference record and their 5-1-0-1 all-time record against the 'Canes. No lineup changes for Carolina after last night's loss to Nashville while Craig Anderson(notes) will get some rest and Peter Budaj(notes) will start in goal for Colorado. Watch this game live on Y! Sports

Preview: New York Islanders at Dallas Stars, 8:30 p.m. EST. Rick DiPietro(notes) makes his long-awaited return in goal for a red-hot Islander team that's 5-1-1 in their last seven. Mired in a three-game losing streak, the Stars offense will need to come together to help their production now that Mike Ribeiro(notes) will be out for the next 4-6 weeks. James Neal(notes) leads Dallas with 18 goals hasn't put one past a goaltender in six games.

Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets at Calgary Flames, 9 p.m. EST. Facing Columbus might be the tonic that the Flames need for an offense looking for a kick start after Wednesday's loss to Minnesota. Mike Commodore(notes) will be back in the lineup for the Blue Jackets and Mathieu Garon(notes) will start in goal. Watch this game live on Y! Sports

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

-For those college hockey puckheads, just a reminder that the Boston College-Boston University men's game at Fenway Park will be shown on NHL Network at 7:30 p.m. Ryan Lambert will be tweeting on-site and you can follow him at @twolinepass.

-Tom Gulitti reports that when Team USA names its captain next week, New Jersey Devils forward Jamie Langenbrunner(notes) will get the "C". Teammate Zach Parise(notes) and Chris Drury(notes) of the New York Rangers will be the alternates. [Fire & Ice]

-Before you go ordering your Team Canada Olympic jersey, check out the player numbers as announced by Hockey Canada today. Eighteen of the 23 players will wear their NHL numbers, but Ryan Getzlaf(notes), Corey Perry(notes), Patrick Marleau(notes), Eric Staal(notes), and Jonathan Toews(notes) will all have different looks. [HC]

-Andrei Kostitsyn(notes) will miss the next six weeks after undergoing surgery on his left knee. The injury will rule Kostitsyn out from representing Belarus at the upcoming Olympic Games. [Habs Inside/Out]

-The NHL tells coaches that if you want to curse during postgame presser's, you might pay for it. This totally kills any reason to watch John Tortorella speak to the media after a bad loss. [TSN]

-On Monday, NHL Network will broadcast a special 30-minute edition of On the Fly featuring Central Scouting's mid-season rankings. Expected top picks Taylor Hall and Cam Fowler will make appearances. [NHL]

-Boston will announce tomorrow the results of Marc Savard's(notes) MRI on his right knee. TSN reports that the Bruins forward will miss 2-3 weeks. [Boston Globe]

-In honor of Rob Schremp's(notes) baseball-swing goal on Wednesday night, here are the "Top 10 Batted-in Goals":

Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: Frequent commenter Guy F. would like Darryl Sutter to ignore Theo Fleury's(notes) advice:

"Fleury also suggested Flames GM Darryl Sutter "trade Robyn Regehr(notes) and finally get someone for Iggy to play with"

Well, as a Canucks fan, I am glad Sutter's not that smart.

Bold Prediction: DiPietro gets his first win since December 26, 2008, but it's ugly. Islanders win 6-4.

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