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Puck Previews: Pens/Caps; Burke on ‘overrated’ Phaneuf

Sean Leahy
Puck Daddy

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AP - Dennis Wideman consoles James Neal

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: Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals, 7:30 p.m. ET. Who would've thought that on Jan. 11, the Pens and Caps would be 8th and 10th, respectively, in the Eastern Conference standings. Currently, the Penguins are in the midst of a 5-game losing streak. They haven't lost six in a row since the 2005-06 season. Washington lost both of their games in California over the weekend, but enter tonight's tilt with Pittsburgh 11-0-2 against the Penguins in their last 13 meetings during the regular season. But chin up, Pens fans. Sidney Crosby is going to skate this week.

Preview: New Jersey Devils at Edmonton Oilers, 9 p.m. ET. It's been three games since the Oilers lost Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to a shoulder injury and all three have been losses. Back home after a 7-game road trip, the Oilers are without another young star in Jordan Eberle, who suffered a knee injury on Saturday night. For the Devils, Martin Brodeur was pulled Tuesday night in Calgary after allowing two goals in the opening 7:32 in a 6-3 loss to the Flames and he'll watch from the bench tonight as Johan Hedberg gets the call.

Evening Reading

• Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke on the results of Sports Illustrated's players' poll on the most overrated NHer, which featured Dion Phaneuf No. 1 and Mike Komisarek No. 10: "They can all go defecate in their chapeaus. I am thrilled to have both players on my team." I'm going to bet Burke's tie was undone as he delivered that fantastic line. [The Star]

• Right this way for your NHL Central Scouting midterm rankings. [NHL.com]

• Former Los Angeles Kings head coach Terry Murray didn't go all Barry Melrose on his former club in an interview today. [LA Kings Insider]

• Montreal Canadiens captain Brian Gionta will be out indefinitely after undergoing bicep surgery to repair a tear suffered last night against the St. Louis Blues. [Canadiens]

Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: "Michael" on Brad Richards' breakup with Olivia Munn:

If Olivia Munn now dates Sean Avery, is that "irony"?

Bold prediction: Both games end 3-2 and are decided in the shootout. Winners: Capitals and Devils.

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