We begin in the aforementioned Detroit where the Wings host the Blues. This is your NBC Doc & EdZo special. These two are 7th and 8th in the west, and the Blues have 2 games in hand. Both of these teams need a win to stay in the playoff picture. Expect this to be a tough game. Overall I think when it comes down to it, I think the Blues are the stronger team defensively, but the Wings are going to be on a warpath remembering what happened to them the last time they were on national TV last Sunday in their own building. Detroit wins the early bird special.
Jess: I missed this one when it was one, but I would have picked the Blues.
St. Louis Blues @ Detroit Red Wings: 12:30 PM ET - NBC, NHL Network (Canada)
Next we're headed west for an afternoon matinee at the Shark Tank. The Sharks play host to the Stars. Dallas is giving up all hope this year it seems, and suddenly San Jose is back in the playoff picture, and fairly solidly too, 6 points ahead of 9th place and riding a 7-game win streak. I'm gonna take the Sharks for the win on home ice. This is also on NHL Network for your viewing pleasure.
Jess: haha do you even need to ask?
Dallas Stars @ San Jose Sharks: 4:00 PM ET - NHL Network (US), FSN Southwest, CSN California+
Next we're headed all the way back to the other coast where the Panthers play the second of back-to-back home games and host the Sens. They rallied last night but came up short against the Caps. I expect the same end result tonight. Sens win.
Ottawa Senators @ Florida Panthers: 6:00 PM ET - SportsNet East, TVA, FSN Florida
At the same time another game begins at the same time in Columbus as the Jackets play host to the Wild. Columbus is only 3 points out of that final playoff spot, and they're 9-0-3 in their last 12 home games. The Wild meanwhile have a losing record away from home. This one could be pretty exciting though. I am taking Columbus to keep this home ice streak going strong!
Jess: Uhm, Eenie Meenie Miney CBJ
Minnesota Wild @ Columbus Blue Jackets: 6:00 PM ET - FSN North, FSN Wisconsin, FSN Ohio
Next we're off to our Nation's Capital, where the Caps host the Bolts in what I believe shouldn't be very close. Tampa Bay is a complete mess and it's time to realize they're not a playoff team. They're merely trying to play the role of spoiler now. I don't see it happening tonight though, Caps should win this one fairly easily.
Jess: I like the Caps at home
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Washington Capitals: 7:00 PM ET - RDS, SUN, CSN Washington, CSN Washington+
Also at 7:00 is the second half of a home and home between the Preds and Blackhawks. Okay, this is the third time these two have played each other this week, are they sick of each other yet? This time it's at the United Center, and while the Preds want to make a statement after yesterday's shutout loss on home ice, I unfortunately don't see it happening. Hawks win.
Jess: I think the Blackhawks win this one too
Nashville Predators @ Chicago Blackhawks: 7:00 PM ET - FSN Tennessee, CSN Chicago
Next we're off to Niagara Falls, where the Sabres play host to the Devils. The Sabres have been playing better lately. You'd think the Devils should win this, but it looks to me that if any Eastern team can play spoiler, it's Buffalo. I'm calling this for my upset of the night, and it's on
Jess: I know the Devils are struggling and the Sabres seem to be doing better but I think Devils win here.
New Jersey Devils @ Buffalo Sabres: 7:30 PM ET - NBC Sports Network
Finally we head back out to California for the battle of SoCal. This one is easily my pick for game of the night. This is a home game for the Ducks, and I think that's going to be the difference. They're excellent at home while the Kings are slightly below average away from Staples. This will be an exciting game and might come down to the wire, but ultimately I'm taking the Ducks to win the night cap! This is also on NHL Network in Canada for Debi and all of our Canadian fans.
Jess: Aw man I hate going up against the Kings. I kinda have a soft spot for them, plus they scare me. Of course I *want* my team to win and I never pick my own games but it should be a fun one to watch.
Los Angeles Kings @ Anaheim Ducks: 9:00 PM ET - NHL Network (Canada), FSN West, Prime Ticket
This is your official live thread to talk (or bitch) about the game(s) you're watching this afternoon and into the night. Let's get this party started!