Puck Previews: Red Wings go for 24 straight at home; Jeff Carter to Kings tonight?

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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.

• The first step in an east coast/west coast mascot war equivalent to Biggie versus Tupac. [Getty]

Preview: San Jose Sharks at Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. ET. The Sharks are currently fighting for their playoff lives as they sit tied with the Phoenix Coyotes at 69 points atop the Pacific Division and enter tonight's game against the Leafs losers of their last four and nine of 11 on the road. Toronto is in a similar battle but are clinging to eighth in the Eastern Conference with four teams behind them within six points.

Preview: Vancouver Canucks at Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. ET. Next up to attempt to snap Detroit's 24-game win streak at Joe Louis Arena are the team sitting right behind the Red Wings for No. 1 overall in the NHL. Vancouver holds the most road wins (20) in the league and have a game in hand behind the Western Conference-leading Wings.

Preview: St. Louis Blues at Nashville Predators, 8 p.m. ET. A night after St. Louis' 22-game home point streak ended, their opponents look to extend one of their own. The Predators have picked up at least a point in their last nine games at Bridgestone Arena and with a regulation win will move to within a point of the Blues for fourth in the West.

Preview: Phoenix Coyotes at Calgary Flames, 9 p.m. ET. Despite the muck surrounding their future off the ice, on the ice the Coyotes are playing their best hockey of the season. Winners of eight of their last 10 and led by Radim Vrbata and his 30 goals, Phoenix has played themselves into the top-8 in the West and a win coupled with a San Jose loss would give them the Pacific Division lead. The Flames currently sit just outside the West playoff picture, but a win puts them into eighth ahead of the Los Angeles Kings.

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

• After today's blog post about a press conference room inside Nationwide Arena being expanded for what appeared to be preparation for something, Aaron Portzline reports that the Columbus Blue Jackets and Los Angeles Kings are deep in talks about a deal that may go down tonight involving Jeff Carter. Not involved? Jonathan Bernier. [@APortzline]

• Nick Cotsonika on why Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson should wait until the summer to deal Rick Nash. [Y!]

• Stephen Weiss will play in his franchise-record 614th game with the Florida Panthers. Here are some Stephen Weiss "facts", courtesy of fans. [Panthers]

• Vancouver Canucks forward David Booth returns to his hometown of Detroit tonight and he'll have plenty of friends and family in attendance at Joe Louis Arena, including his brother, who's supposedly going to dress up as one of the Green Men. [Vancouver Sun]

• Debating Alex Goligoski versus Matt Niskanen one year after the deal. [Defending Big D]

Puck Daddy Reader Comment of the Day: Galen on Jonathan Toews' car accident today:

"He was talking to Peggy from USA Prime Credit. Juke to the left, high glove side….Doh he hits the post."

Bold Prediction: Detroit wins again and Radim Vrbata scores again.

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