Ovechkin encourages Kessel; Sharks, Blackhawks battle atop West (Puck Previews) (Puck Daddy)

Back by popular demand, 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. I made this. I'm not sure why. Preview: New York Rangers at New Jersey Devils, 7 p.m. ET The last time the Rangers were in New Jersey, they were eliminated from the Eastern Conference Final by Adam Henrique's overtime tally. Think they remember that? Well, yes, since it was brought up quite a bit in the leadup to this match. "The last time we played them was a special, special series," said Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist and Martin Brodeur draw back into the creases after getting last weekend off in favour of their backups. Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Islanders, 7 p.m ET The Penguins have won 3 straight since their defeat at the hands of the Islanders a week ago, largely on the strength of their offence. They scored 14 goals in that trio of contests, so it would appear that they're beginning to round into form. I that's the case, they'll pose a larger challenge for the Islanders than the last time around. The Islanders will be helped by Evgeni Nabokov, who's had some impressive success against Pittsburgh: he's 10-2-0 with a 1.70 GAA and two shutouts versus the Penguins in his career. If he allows 2 or fewer in this contest, it will be the 10th straight time he's done so.

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