Puck Previews: Sabres look to inch closer to NE title; NCAA upset

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: Ottawa Senators at Buffalo Sabres, 7:30 p.m. EST. It's obvious the Sabres are sick of talking about the Senators' dominance over them. Since the 2005-06 season, Ottawa has a 24-6-4 record against Buffalo, something Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff is tired of hearing too: "You guys keep bringing it up, but it's there. We know we're going to have to deal with it. The only way of getting rid of it is go out and win a game." The incentive of winner, other than their poor record against Ottawa since the lockout, is that it would put the same nine points ahead of the Senators and pretty much wrap up the Northeast Division title.

Preview: Minnesota Wild at Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. EST. The Red Wings will have a healthy lineup tonight as they continue moving up the Western Conference standings after teasing with a possible playoff absence for most of the season. Cam Barker(notes) will be out for the Wild. Mike Russo of the Star Tribune has a good story from last night's game against Philadelphia. As Wild rookie Casey Wellman(notes) was picking up his gear after a scrum with Daniel Carcillo(notes), Flyers captain skated by and told Wellman to keep his head up and "You're going to get killed going in there like that." Watch this game live on Y! Sports

Preview: Anaheim Ducks at Edmonton Oilers, 9 p.m. EST. Ryan Whitney(notes) and Lubomir Visnovsky(notes) make their first appearance in Edmonton since being dealt on March 3rd, while Ducks' goaltender will earn his first 30-win season if he can beat the Oilers tonight. Sam Gagner(notes) is out for the game, but Edmonton will get Patrick O'Sullivan(notes) back after he missed seven games with an injured finger.

Check out previews and updated scores for all of today's games on the Y! Sports NHL scores and scheds page.

Evening Reading

• Pat Burns on having an arena in Quebec named in his honor: "I know my life is nearing the end and I accept that. I probably won't be here when (the arena) is finished, but I'll be looking down on it." Get well, Pat. [CP via TSN]

• George Johnson sticks the fork in the Calgary Flames. [Calgary Herald]

• On the verge of falling out of the playoff picture, do the Flyers have enough to stay in? [Broad Street Bulletin]

• For the first time in eight years, the Coyotes will have the chance to clinch a playoff berth tomorrow night at home against Colorado. [NHL.com]

• Game One of Day One of the NCAA hockey tournament sees a No. 1 seed go down. The University of Denver was upset by RIT 2-1 in the East Regional in Albany, New York. RIT will now face the winner of tonight's Cornell/New Hampshire match up. [Roc News]

Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: Mike G. echoes the sentiments of many at this point in the season:

"Detroit would be the scariest 8 seed ever....Thing is looks like they could end up all the way at #5. People who don't follow the team probably don't realize that post-olympics is the first time they've really had their full lineup all season, and they are finally clicking. No line in the NHL is playing better than Zetterberg-Filpulla-Bertuzzi right now, with Z and Filp both putting up 8 points over the last 5 games, and the line combining for every single goal in the 4-2 win over St Louis...with the entire line as the game's 3 stars. Zetterberg particulary is a man possesed, I don't know that I've seen a better individual effort than the job he did on Sidney Crosby(notes)."

Bold Prediction: Buffalo extends their divisional lead over Ottawa with a 5-3 win. Tim Connolly(notes) scores twice.

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