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: Jack Johnson #7 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates up to the face off circle during the first period of the NHL game at against the Phoenix Coyotes Jobing.com Arena
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Preview: Chicago Blackhawks at New Jersey Devils, 7:00 p.m. ET
Preview: New York Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7:00 p.m. ET
Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning at Calgary Flames, 9:00 p.m. ET
Preview: Edmonton Oilers at Anaheim Ducks, 10:00 p.m. ET
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Five things to know about tonight’s NHL games …
1. Irony be dammed! In Thursday night’s game against the New York Islanders, the Chicago Blackhawks came from behind twice to tie the score. The game went to OT where Kyle Okposo – left off Team USA’s roster for Sochi – scored the game winner for the Isle. Perhaps the young forward was empowered by the lack of invite? Luckily for Chicago, they won’t be facing another perceived Team USA snub, goaltender Cory Schneider, as 800 year-old netminder Martin Brodeur gets the start.
2. Well this is awkward. On his day off, Taylor Pyatt was waived by the New York Rangers and then plucked off the wire by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Not necessarily a bad thing to join the No. 1 team in the East except his first game as a member of the Penguins comes against his old team, the Rangers.
3. Ben Bishop sends his regards, Mr. Burke. President of Hockey Operations and interim-GM for the Calgary Flames just so happens to be Team USA’s mean girl VP of Player Personnel, Brian Burke. Burke is under-fire for recent comments he made … yadda, yadda, yadda. Add Ben Bishop to the list of alleged Sochi snubs. The Lightning goalie has won six of his last seven games and carries a 1.24 GAA over that period.
4. An Oil-spill and a dead duck named Becky: a metaphor. In a very special episode of Saved by the Bell entitled “Pipe Dreams”, the gang finds oil in a pond near the high school. Long story short, an oil company comes in promising hopes and dreams and later spills oil into a pond and kills a beloved duck named Becky. Rename the duck ‘Dallas’ and you’ve got your Edmonton Oilers season summed up in an episode. Edmonton was shelled by the Sharks 5-1 on Thursday and the Ducks probably aren’t going end up dead at the end of this one.
5. Trade Hiller?! Are you drunk?! Jonas Hiller is starting in net for the Ducks on the quest for his 10th consecutive win. Hiller, assumed to be trade-bait at the beginning of the season because of his expiring contract, is playing too good for the Ducks to let go of now. The netminder is a big reason why Anaheim is 15-0-2 at home. By the way, the Ducks play about 60% of their remaining schedule at home.
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