Critical games for Wild, Stars; Eastern Conference clinching night (Puck Previews)

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.

Oh noes, NBC Sports Network. Poor #Lumbus. (s/t Drootin Heacock)

Preview: Los Angeles Kings at Minnesota Wild, 8 p.m. ET. The Wild are tied with the Blue Jackets with a game in-hand, and just one point up on the Red Wings. They’ve lost five in a row at home. Time for a line shuffle! Cal Clutterbuck will join Matt Cullen and Devin Setoguchi on the Wild's second line.

Preview: Dallas Stars at San Jose Sharks, 10 p.m. ET. The Sharks can clinch a playoff berth if they earn at least one point against the Stars. Can Dallas still make the dance? They still control their own destiny.

Preview: Winnipeg Jets at Washington Capitals, 7 p.m. ET. The Capitals can clinch the Southeast with a victory. They also have outscored the Jets 13-1 in their last three meetings, all in the ‘Peg.

Preview: New York Islanders at Carolina Hurricanes, 7 p.m. ET. The Islanders are 11-1-2 in their last 14 games, which is insane. New York can clinch a playoff berth if they defeat the Carolina Hurricanes in any fashion and the Capitals defeat the Jets in any fashion.

Preview: Montreal Canadiens at New Jersey Devils, 7 p.m. ET. The Habs have lost four of five and have given up 25 goals in those games. Adam Henrique is a healthy scratch for the Devils.

Preview: Boston Bruins at Philadelphia Flyers, 7:30 p.m. ET. The Bruins try to remain atop the Northeast Division. Said Milan Lucic, on what he hopes to accomplish in the playoffs after a below average regular season: “You want to be a contributor for this hockey club and I've shown that I can be a big part of this hockey club, so as of right now you're just trying to find something to build off to kind of get you going.”

Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins at Buffalo Sabres, 7:30 p.m. ET. The Pens get Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang back and remain three points in back of Chicago for the President’s Trophy with three to play.

Preview: New York Rangers at Florida Panthers, 7:30 p.m. ET. The Rangers can clinch a playoff berth if they defeat the Florida Panthers in any fashion and the Capitals defeat the Jets in regulation.

Preview: Calgary Flames at Nashville Predators, 8 p.m. ET. We can confirm this is a game that is happening.

Preview: Colorado Avalanche at St. Louis Blues, 8 p.m. ET. The Blues can clinch a playoff berth if they earn at least one point against the Avs. So when does David Backes enter beast mode?

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 Goalie Post.

Lots of great journalism, Matt Cooke and Red Wings talk on today's podcast. [Marek Vs. Wyshynski]

Puck Daddy Reader Comment of the Day: Silent Cal on Duncan Keith and sexism:

So let me get this right. He was rough with a reporter and people are crying sexism? What, can't female reporters handle an insult? Do you the big strong man need to protect the small weak female reporter?

Who is the sexist in this equation again? The player who treated her the way he would treat a man, or the sports media running to defend the female reporter like she's some helpless little girl?

Bold Prediction: The Wild fall. The Stars shine.

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