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Puck Previews: Wings visit Pens; John Stevens era (for now) begins

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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Lokomotiv Yaroslavl players pose after their 5-1 debut victory yesterday in Russia's VHL.

Preview: Detroit Red Wings at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7 p.m. ET. No Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal and Evgeni Malkin are game-time decisions for the Penguins. Potentially down their top three centers, Pittsburgh will try to score against Jimmy Howard who's won nine of his last 10 starts. Tonight's game in Pittsburgh starts a stretch for Detroit of 11 of their next 14 games on the road. They're currently 6-7-0 away from Joe Louis Arena this season.

Preview: Los Angeles Kings at Boston Bruins, 7 p.m. ET. This could be John Stevens' only game behind the bench for the Kings on an interim basis or he'll get at least one more until GM Dean Lombardi is able to work things out with Darryl Sutter. Zdeno Chara and Gregory Campbell will be out of the lineup for the Bruins as Tuukka Rask gets the start in net.

Preview: Philadelphia Flyers at Washington Capitals, 7 p.m. ET. The Flyers have won five straight but enter Verizon Center tonight down their leading scorer in Claude Giroux after he was diagnosed with a concussion. Washington has won two straight and look for their first win under Dale Hunter against a non-Ontario based team. Per the AP, the Caps have not won three straight games since opening the season 7-0-0.

Preview: Minnesota Wild at Winnipeg Jets, 8:30 p.m. ET. Here it is Dec. 13 and the Wild are the best team in the NHL. They're also the only NHL team with 20 wins on the season. Heading into MTS Centre on a seven-game win streak, with five coming on the road, Minnesota faces a Jets team that's won seven of their last eight at home. Matt Cullen is out with the flu and Guillaume Latendresse will return to the Wild lineup after missing 15 games due to a concussion.

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

• Kings interim head coach John Stevens on the future: "We would like to see the team really dig in on the north side of the red line. That's something that we're really going to challenge the guys to do tonight. Again, I'm not going to use the term, `We can't score.' We're not scoring, and we need to. I think we all need to take responsibility for that, and I think we've got to dig in on the north side of the red light.'' [LA Kings Insider]

• Rory Boylen on embellishment in hockey: "If players are serious about this issue and are to make an honest effort to reduce head injuries, the "snap back" embellishments have to stop. Each time I see someone pull the stunt on a contact play, I jump out of my chair - how serious can you be about something if you mock it so? Tackling this issue - if you think it is an issue - starts on the ice. No rule can be made to curb these injuries if players are going to turn around and make a joke out of it. The players have to go back to their roots (this is where The Code comes in), play through frustrating contact and impediments with integrity, and not latch onto a sensitive issue to cheat their way to a two-minute power play." [THN]

• Down Goes Brown on this season's top rookies: "Roman Horak, Calgary - After spending the first two months of the season with the Flames, was recently promoted to the AHL." [DGB]

• "Hockey dad convicted of attacking parent on rival team". [National Post]

Puck Daddy Reader Comment of the Day: "Dan" on Shea Weber's crazy shot:

"Vesa Toskala would've let it in."

Sad, but true. Just ask Rob Davison.

Bold Prediction: Twelve games tonight. Not one questionable hit/play that leads to a supplemental discipline debate.

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