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Puck Previews: Oil vs. Avs for division lead; Coyotes get O’Reilly

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

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Back by popular demand, 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.

• "Waldo attends the New York Rangers home opener at Madison Square Garden on October 27, 2011 in New York City." Yeah we have no idea either. But it's nice to see Michael Phelps getting work.

Preview: Edmonton Oilers at Colorado Avalanche, 9 p.m. Devan Dubnyk gets the call against Semyon Varlamov in this battle of surprising teams of the West — this is for first place in the Northwest (!). The Avs have yet to win on home ice. Matt Duchene is typically a slow starter — just not usually this slow (1-3-4). Ryan Nugent-Hopkins faces Gabriel Landeskog in a battle of players who likely be wearing tuxes at the NHL Awards next summer.

Preview: Chicago Blackhawks at Carolina Hurricanes, 7 p.m. Have Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa turned Dan Carcillo into — gasp — a player who no longer feels the need to get over 200 penalty minutes? He's gone six games without a fight, and tells the Sun-Times: "When it's needed, then I'll definitely be there and try and get one. When you finish your hits and play the way I do, fights are going to come.'' History is on Carolina's side, as Chicago hasn't won in North Carolina since 1998. Corey Crawford vs. Cam Ward.

Preview: San Jose Sharks at Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. The Wings have lost two in a row (without Jimmy Howard, who's back tonight) and the Sharks have won three in a row. Hence, this is the right team at the right time according to Mike Babcock: "So here's a team that we've played two years in a row in the playoffs. We know real well that they're a high-end team. To me, I think it's perfect. We've got to find out if we're willing to compete at that level."

Preview: St. Louis Blues at Calgary Flames, 9 p.m. The one for all the marbles. Matt Harrison faces Chris Carpenter after St. Louis's dramatic 11th-inning comeback victory, with the World Series championship on the … oh, the Blues? They're in Calgary. Brian Elliott's starting. Now, back to baseball …

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

Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have acquired center Cal O'Reilly from the Nashville Predators in exchange for a fourth round selection in the 2012 Entry Draft. The trade is pending O'Reilly passing a physical examination. Said Don Maloney on the Kyle Turris situation: "I'm not overly optimistic that Kyle (Turris) will sign with us this season. … However, the door is always open for him to return."

• Drew Doughty is expected back for the Los Angeles Kings against the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday. [LA Kings Insider]

• Marek traces the Atlanta Thrashers' transactions that have turned the Winnipeg Jets into an also-ran in the Eastern Conference. [Sportsnet]

• The Washington Capitals are waiting on Mike Green's injury status for their big game against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. [CSN Washington]

• The problem with mandatory visors. [THW]

Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: NJaD9 on that parrot who played air hockey in Puck Headlines —

"That parrot is just like Dustin Byfuglien! After each time he does something good, he runs to the coach to demand a snack reward."

We appreciate your restraint on poop jokes.

Bold Prediction: Landeskog outscores Nugent-Hopkins.

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