Here are your Evening Puck Headlines and Previews: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.
• Bubba has a breakdown of the stretch run for the lower half of the Eastern Conference playoff standings, as the Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Florida Panthers and Buffalo Sabres battle for their postseason lives. The Canadiens have what appears to be a manageable schedule ... but that's assuming the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs won't treat their four games against the Habs like Game 7 of the finals. [Canes Country]
The top sports headlines of the day
• What about the West? Alan Muir of Sports Illustrated breaks down the bubble teams, and offers a few of his trademark head-scratchers: Did you know the Dallas Stars have played with "an expansion-caliber roster much of the season?" Yeah ... so here's a real expansion-caliber roster. Norm Maciver was the leading scorer. Still believe the Stars have had one this season, sir? [SI]
Preview: Washington Capitals at Atlanta Thrashers (7 p.m. EST; TV: VS). Versus preempted "Hunt for Big Fish with Larry Dahlberg" for this? The Caps are battling through the flu, with Sergei Fedorov out and Mike Green questionable; it could be Brian Pothier's return tonight. They can move into second place in the East with a win. The Thrashers are trying to win their sixth in a row, for some odd reason.
• Alexander Ovechkin is looking for goal No. 50 tonight; NHL.com explains why he's the next Rocket Richard. That sound you just heard was Don Cherry collapsing, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. [NHL.com]
• Shelley Anderson of the Post Gazette thinks the Pittsburgh Penguins power play is "the final underachieving element that predates the coaching change." Moving Evgeni Malkin off the point will change that. [Post Gazette]
• From Puck Buddy Chris Downey: "Could you mention that Crosby took his visor off after chirping with Marc Savard? I think it was a show of honor taking his visor off, however Marc Savard didn't drop the gloves." And we just did. This story is making the rounds, for sure, but there's been no MSM coverage and it's just conjecture right now. The Sidney Crosby Show has the image; Bangin Panger spells out the full theory on the Sidney Crosby/Marc Savard situation in the Boston Bruins/Pittsburgh Penguins game.
• OK, so it's not some fancy all-time wins record. But Patrik Elias is trying to become the New Jersey Devils' all-time leading scorer. [Fire & Ice]
• Dan Rusanowsky offers a San Jose Sharks perspective on the alleged Evgeni Nabokov "kick" on Corey Perry, and wonders "what in the knick-knack-paddywack-give-a-dog-a-bone is going on around here?" Seriously, that's what he wrote. [Seagate]
• Sammy Pahlsson will get into the Chicago Blackhawks lineup on Wednesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. [Daily Herald]
• Your moment of hockey zen, from Tim Thomas and the AP.
Preview: Nashville Predators at Los Angeles Kings (10:30 p.m. EST; TV: FSS, FSPT). Interesting poll at Inside the Kings: Early on, most Kings fans say the season is already a success even if they miss the postseason. Pekka Rinne gets the nod for the Preds, coming off a shutout of the Coyotes and 12-3-1 since Feb. 1.
• Speaking of the Kings, Justin Williams could see his first action as early as Sunday. [Inside the Kings]
• Ak Bars Kazan has defeated Avangard Omsk, 3-2 in overtime, to end
Jaromir Jagr's KHL career before heading to Edmonton this fall advance to the semifinals of the KHL Gagarin Cup. Spector looks at the economic woes of the newbie Russian league and whether Alexander Radulov might be headed back to the Nashville Predators at some point. [Fox Sports]
• No suspension for Braydon Coburn? Slice. Of. Crap. [700 Level]
• Finally, who cares if the KHL doesn't have a Scrooge McDuck money bin of profits ... it has big hits that lead into fights. And jerseys with bears on them. (Some NSFW lyrics in song playing as background music.)