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Puck Previews: Devils, Panthers finally get under way; chocolate Stanley Cups; anniversary of Whalers’ last game

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.

94WIP

• New York City chocolatier Jacques Torres was commissioned by NBC to create 48-pound chocolate Stanley Cups to be sent around the country to various radio and television stations. Because it's the ... *drool* [Sports and Food]

Game 1 Preview: New Jersey Devils at Florida Panthers, 7 p.m. ET. April 20, 2000 was the last time there was playoff hockey in South Florida. It was Game 4 and the Devils finished their four-game sweep of the Panthers. June 1, 1996 was the last time the Panthers won a playoff game as they beat the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Eastern Conference crown. April 17, 1997 was the last Panthers playoff win. Tonight, Florida finally returns to the big dance. Check out Eric Adelson's piece for more on the Panthers' return to the postseason.

Game 2 Preview: Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7:30 p.m. ET (Philadelphia leads 1-0). The Penguins went 0-for-3 on the power play in Game 1 and used a couple of different looks this morning at practice, including breaking up Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Will Dan Bylsma go ahead with two big PP units in Game 2 instead of one? Also, bear costumes are running thin in Pittsburgh after Game 1.

Game 2 Preview: Detroit Red Wings at Nashville Predators 7:30 p.m. ET (Nashville leads 1-0). Hal Gill: out for Game 2. Gustav Nyquist: in for the injured Darren Helm. Shea Weber: not suspended. Will the Predators captain be the victim of a few extra face washes tonight?

Game 2 Preview: Los Angeles Kings at Vancouver Canucks, 10 p.m. ET (Los Angeles leads 1-0). Dustin Penner scored in Game 1, but that didn't impress head coach Darryl Sutter. Via Rich Hammond: "He can be a whole lot better for all three periods. You're talking about him because he scored one goal. If it's just about scoring, then I don't think we're going to beat this team 5-4 or 6-5. I highly doubt that. You have to be very good, 200 feet, everywhere on the ice.'' Andrei Loktionov will likely replace Kyle Clifford in Game 2. Daniel Sedin skated today, but will not play.

Check out previews and updated scores for all of Wednesday's games on the Y! Sports NHL scores and scheds page. For Wednesday night's starting goalies, check out Left Wing Lock.

Evening Reading

• The Hockey Hall of Fame has a couple of pretty funny ads out featuring failed hockey dreams. [YouTube]

• The ECHL's Orlando Solar Bears unveiled their new jerseys yesterday and they are real and spectacular. [Solar Bears]

• Avangard Omsk edged Dynamo Moscow 2-1 in the first game of the KHL's Gagarin Cup. [KHL]

• Finally, 15 years ago today the Hartford Whalers played their final NHL game, a 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Current Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen scored their final goal:

Puck Daddy Reader Comment of the Day: "TAZ" on the Bruins' new locker room chain-link necklace:

"Looks like the Mr T starter kit!"

Bold Prediction: The Florida playoff win drought is extended as New Jersey edges the Panthers 3-2.

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