Puck Previews: Caps, Jets clash in Southeast battle; Tuukka Rask as a leprechaun

Puck Daddy

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.

• Tuukka Rask is keeping busy while he recovers from a lower-body injury by spending time dressing up as a leprechaun and visiting patients at a local children's hospital. [NESN]

Preview: Washington Capitals at Winnipeg Jets, 8:30 p.m. ET. We're not going to have a Southeast Division winner until the final day of the season the way things are going. The Capitals have won 7 of 10, but enter MTS Centre where visiting teams have won 14 times in 36 games this season. Mike Green returns tonight from suspension and both teams will meet one week from today in D.C., where likely nothing will be close to being settled in the Southeast.

Preview: Chicago Blackhawks at Dallas Stars, 8:30 p.m. ET. Tonight will be game No. 12 without Jonathan Toews, but the Blackhawks have won five of their last seven in the absence of their captain to keep their playoff hopes alive in the Western Conference. Dallas was beaten by Winnipeg on Wednesday after taking 10 of their previous 11 games to move into control of the Pacific Division lead. Kari Lehtonen, who's won his last four starts against Chicago, will be in net for the Stars.

Preview: Los Angeles Kings at Anaheim Ducks, 10 p.m. ET. The Freeway Faceoff resumes with the Kings' playoff hopes hanging by a thread, while the Ducks have watched their postseason chances slip away of late. Los Angeles sits three points behind the No. 8 seed with 12 games to go, while Anaheim is 10 out. We're right on the cusp of the "Will Teemu Return?" stories really amping up.

Evening Reading

• The Game On art exhibit opened in Saskatoon earlier this month and gives visitors plenty of ideas with what to do with old hockey equipment, like these hockey stick mobiles for your newborn nursery. OK, it's "art", but still ... [Toronto Star]

• Mike Halmo, whose hit last weekend knocked out top prospect Nail Yakupov for the rest of the Ontario Hockey League regular season, was handed a 10-game suspension on Friday. [Buzzing the Net]

• Good news / Bad news for the Detroit Red Wings. The good: Pavel Datsyuk will be back in the lineup on Saturday night against San Jose. The bad: Johan Franzen left practice this morning with back spasms. [MLive]

• The 10 finalists for the 2012 Hobey Baker Memorial Award have been announced. [INCH]

• Finally, via our pals at Kingscast and The Royal Half comes the latest Apple/Siri commercial with a Los Angeles Kings twist:

Bold prediction: The Jets keep the heat on in the Southeast with a 3-1 win over the Capitals. No equipment will make its way into the MTS Centre crowd.

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