Puck Daddy Viewing Guide: Battle of Alberta; Talbot starts again for Rangers

Puck Daddy

Here is the Puck Daddy Viewing Guide: Spotlighting five things to watch for during tonight's slate of games. Make sure to stop back here for the nightly Three Stars when the games are finished.

Create-a-Caption: "Finland's head coach Karri Kivi grimaces during the Group B preliminary round match Finland vs Norway at the IIHF World Junior Ice Hockey Championships in Malmoe, Sweden."

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Preview: Ottawa Senators at Boston Bruins, 7:00 p.m. ET

Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins at Carolina Hurricanes, 7:00 p.m. ET

Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets at New Jersey Devils, 7:00 p.m. ET

Preview: Buffalo Sabres at Toronto Maple Leafs, 7:00 p.m. ET

Preview: New York Rangers at Washington Capitals, 7:00 p.m. ET

Preview: Colorado Avalanche at Chicago Blackhawks, 8:00 p.m. ET

Preview: Minnesota Wild at Winnipeg Jets, 8:00 p.m. ET

Preview: Nashville Predators at Dallas Stars, 8:30 p.m. ET

Preview: Edmonton Oilers at Calgary Flames, 9:00 p.m. ET

Preview: San Jose Sharks at Phoenix Coyotes, 9:00 p.m. ET

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Five things to know about tonight's NHL games ...

1. Battle of Alberta. Sure, these teams aren't very good, but there's a lot on the line tonight in the cowboy province. Both the Flames and the Oilers won their last game before the Christmas break, which means somebody is coming away from this one with a two-game winning streak. Oh man. Oh man.

2. Goalie controversy in New York. Nobody wants to call it one, but when your starter -- whom you just inked to a massive extension -- is sitting so that your backup, Cam Talbot, can play his third straight game, that's what you have. Alain Vigneault cares not for your precious "optics".

3. Nothing's breezy without Parise. The Wild will be without Zach Parise yet again, as the forward is out with an undisclosed lower-body injury that's pretty obviously his foot. The club is struggling these days, especially on the road, where they're 1-7-1 since their last visit to Winnipeg. Also: Based on how he wants us pronouncing his name, my rhyme is perfect.

4. Sabres might be healthier tonight. Hey, remember the butt goal, credited to Mark Pysyk? Of course you do. But the only reason Pysyk was in the lineup is because the Sabres were crippled with illnesses in that game, reduced to just 16 skaters after losing Hodgson, Omark, Leino, Foligno and Sulzer to a virus. Hopefully they're healthy for the tilt with Toronto.

5. Bruins are Kevin McAllister. Which is to say that they're pretty great at defending their home. Boston has won eight straight at the TD Garden and picked up points in 15 straight. Good luck, Ottawa, and watch out for booby traps.

Bold Prediction: Sabres win in OT for the second straight game. But no butts are involved.

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