Puck Previews: Leafs invade Buffalo; Avs/Sharks showdown

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: Toronto Maple Leafs at Buffalo Sabres, 7:30 p.m. EST. Oh, Bleacher Report: "Jiri Tlusty Set To Tear Up NHL For Leafs on The Way To The Cup." There was some scuttlebutt that Phil Kessel(notes) might lace'em up for the Leafs in this game, but no dice. Ryan Miller(notes) gets to audition for Team USA Coach Ron Wilson and make one last pitch to be October's player of the month in the NHL. Dude's 7-0-1 with a 1.60 GAA and a .944 save percentage. Raise your hand if you knew that and don't own a Mogilny jersey.

Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins at Columbus Blue Jackets, 7:30 p.m. EST. Life without Geno (for the next 2-3 weeks) begins for the Penguins, who are 5-0-0 on the road. Brent Johnson(notes), 9-2-2 with a 2.03 GAA against the Blue Jackets in his career, gets the call to give Marc-Andre Fleury(notes) some rest. Watch The Game Live on Hockey Night on Y!

Preview: Colorado Avalanche at San Jose Sharks, 10:30 p.m. EST. Early statement game for both teams, with Colorado already owning a win over the Sharks this season. Craig Anderson(notes) gets start No. 14 in a row for the Avs. Adrian Dater reports that T.J. Galiardi(notes) is out 4-6 weeks with his ankle injury, while defenseman John Liles returns. Ryane Clowe(notes) is expected to play up with Joe Thornton(notes) and Dany Heatley(notes) again in an effort to get his offense going. Hopefully it works, because he's being outscored by Jed Ortmeyer(notes) right now. Watch The Game Live on Hockey Night on Y!

Check out previews for the other five games tonight on the Scores and Schedules page.

Evening Reading

• Allan Muir on the Detroit Red Wings: "Can the Red Wings get it together? Sure...but this feels like more than just an early hiccup. They're carrying nine bodies that weren't wearing the winged wheel when last season started, so there's no denying this is a different team. And while chemistry is an issue, it's not the biggest one." [SI]

• Good stuff from Biz of Hockey on something we blogged about earlier this month: Whether the mega-merger between Comcast and NBC could produce a suitable rival for ESPN. [Biz of Hockey]

• Christopher Botta writes 713 words about why no one cares about the NHLPA fiasco. [FanHouse]

• We noticed this two last night: After the Rob Scuderi(notes) fine, Drew Doughty(notes) had a couple of beautiful hip checks for the Los Angeles Kings against the Canucks. Rich Hammond investigates. [LA Kings Insider]

• Mirtle blogs about the contenders for the Canadian Olympic team, and who is making the strongest cases. [From The Rink]

• No Jason Spezza(notes) for the Ottawa Senators this Saturday. [Sun Media]

• Wonderful stuff from Stu Hackel on Jacques Plante and the 50th anniversary of the goalie mask. [New York Times]

Marty Turco(notes): Flu-like symptoms, as Alex Auld(notes) gets the call against the Florida Panthers. Officials wait for appearance of curly tail, snout. [Y! Sports]

Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: From Anna, on the female hockey jerseys story from this morning, when asked why she needs a female-cut jersey:

Because I have boobs and a smaller men's jersey just didn't fit right for me :)

Well, no argument there.

Bold Prediction: The New York Islanders skate out of Washington with a win.

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