Puck Previews: Halak goes for five; Caps/Jackets trade

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: Montreal Canadiens at Ottawa Senators, 7:30 p.m. EST. NHL "First Star of the Week", Jaroslav Halak(notes), will make his fifth straight start in goal for the Habs. Montreal may get a boost to its lineup as Brian Gionta(notes) and Roman Hamrlik(notes) are expected to return. Ottawa will keep the same lineup they had on Saturday night during a 3-2 win in Buffalo.

Preview: Calgary Flames at Edmonton Oilers, 9 p.m. EST. Flames captain Jarome Iginla(notes) on last night's loss to Vancouver: "We always get asked about losses . . . that was one of the worst of the year. We were pretty excited about that game . . . and turning our game around, and we come out and play like that? That’s the toughest one, in my mind, so far this year." Now they head into tonight's "Battle of Alberta" that will feature two teams mired in losing streaks.

Preview: Minnesota Wild at Los Angeles Kings, 10:30 p.m. EST. The Wild received some bad news today when they learned Chuck Kobasew(notes) will miss the next 4-6 weeks with a sprained MCL. Los Angeles was a dealt a blow over the weekend when they lost Justin Williams(notes) with a broken leg. The first of two matchups between these two this week, Los Angeles is looking to get back on track as they enter tonight's game losers of three of their last four. Watch this game on Y! Sports

Check out previews and updated scores for all of today's games (like the ones in progress) on the Y! Sports NHL scores and scheds page.

Evening Reading:

-TRADE ALERT! After rumors were brewing all morning, the Capitals dealt Milan Jurcina(notes) and captain Chris Clark(notes) to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Jason Chimera(notes). With the deal, Washington saves $2.4 million in cap room. Does this pave the way for Alex Ovechkin(notes) to take over captain duties? Someone's got to plan the New Year's blowout, right? [Caps Insider]

-Discussing bloggers, rumors and credibility. [Hockey Independent]

-The early piling up of points at this year's World Junior Championships means that Peter Forsberg's(notes) record of 31 points in seven games may be threatened. [IIHF]

-In case you missed it on Hockey Night in Canada Saturday, here's CBC's moments of the decade:

Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: Louis XVI finds a way to put a smile on the face of this sad New York Giants fan:

"I believe that the leg stretch that Justin Williams suffered has been given a name sometimes in the 80's, they use to call this 'Pulling a Joe Theisman'."

Bold Prediction: The Coyotes go into San Jose and beat the Sharks on the back of Ilya Bryzgalov(notes).

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