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Puck Previews: Lightning visit Caps; Mike Richards talks instigator

Sean Leahy
Puck Daddy

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Caps/Lightning - AP

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

Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals, 7 p.m. ET. Like anyone trying to get a cell phone signal in Verizon Center, that building has been a house of horrors of late for the Lightning. Losers of 10 of their last 12 in Washington, Tampa looks to snap a five-game skid. The Capitals moved into a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a 1-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins Wednesday night, improving their record under head coach Dale Hunter to 10-9-1.

Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs at Buffalo Sabres, 7:30 p.m. ET. The Leafs look for their fifth in a row as they finish a home-and-home with the Sabres. Whether you're one to use injuries as an excuse, this season has been nothing but a disappointment for Buffalo. Tonight will be the Sabres' last home game before they play their next seven on the road.

Preview: Anaheim Ducks at Edmonton Oilers, 9:30 p.m. ET. The Ducks have won three of their last four, while the Oilers have dropped four in a row in a battle of Western Conference cellar dwellers. The matchup will feature the return of Andrew Cogliano to Edmonton, where he spent the first four years of his career.

Check out previews and updated scores for all of today's games on the Y! Sports NHL scores and scheds page. For tonight's starting goalies, check out Left Wing Lock.

Evening Reading

• Mike Richards of the Los Angeles Kings on the instigator penalty after his tiff with Brenden Morrow of the Dallas Stars Thursday night: "I think Brian Burke said in, in an article last week, about how the smaller — I don't know the exact words he used — I think he said `rats,' but how the smaller guys are starting to take over the league. You make a hit like that — not that Morrow didn't defend himself, because he's a tough guy and probably got the better side of me on that — and then we're down four minutes at a key part of the game. If I get four minutes after that, and put the team down, you're probably going to think twice about it (next time). It's a touchy subject. It's something that I don't think us, as players, totally understand what they want. If you're going to give a guy a four-minute penalty for sticking up for teammates, I think that's the wrong way.'' [LA Kings Insider]

• From a Flames fan perspective, the good, bad and cynical about last night's Mike Cammalleri for Rene Bourque deal. [Flames Nation]

• "Will the Real Capitals Show up in Washington?" [The Hockey Writers]

Puck Daddy Reader Comment of the Day: "Wtmommy" is no fan of Steven Tyler's attendance at the Kings/Stars game last night:

"Please make Steven Tyler go far, far away. This guy looks unbearably creepy. WTH does he have to do with hockey? Doesn't he have some houses to haunt?"

Bold Prediction: All five road teams will be victorious.

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