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.
• This is North Carolina dentist Robert Pappert. Please recall that he's the one who purchased a Henrik Zetterberg Winter Classic-used stick in a Wrigley Field men's room, before finding out that it had been stolen from 14-year-old Kalan Plew. He returned the stick to the kid, there was much joy and it was assumed that the autographed Zetterberg stick the Detroit Red Wings sent the youngster as a replacement would go to Pappert. Yeah, not so much: Plew and his father have decided to keep both sticks. Don't cry for Pappert: The Chicago Blackhawks have come through with an autographed Patrick Kane stick because he's actually a Hawks fan. So all's well that ends well ... kinda. [Freep]
• Eight games on the docket tonight, and we'll preview a few key ones here. For the rest of the pregame facts and figures, head over to the Yahoo! scores and scheds page.
Preview: Vancouver Canucks at San Jose Sharks (10:30 p.m. EST; TV: TSN, CSBA). Claude Lemieux is expected to make his debut on the fourth line for the Sharks tonight. Meanwhile, Roberto Luongo's sluggish return from injury has sparked some concern.
• Jeremy Roenick is guest-starring on the TNT show "Leverage" this evening: "I'm actually a half-witted security guard. I get duped by a beautiful woman while the thieves are upstairs doing their job. She gets me away from the monitors while they work upstairs. It's pretty realistic." [Working the Corners]
• Due to "post-surgical knee issues," the New York Islanders announced the inevitable today: Rick DiPietro, done for the third season of his 15. Our fantasy team sucked anyway. [TSN]
• The NHL on NBC is keeping pace with last year's ratings, as "The Rangers/Penguins game scored a 1.1/3 overnight, #2 in non-football programming that week (behind college hoops on ABC)." Must be that Pierre/Milbury magic. [Puck the Media]
Preview: Anaheim Ducks at New York Rangers (7:30 p.m. EST; TV: FSPT, MSG). An interesting game on several fronts; like, for example, seeing how the Rangers respond to being shut out against the Pittsburgh Penguins and then being knocked down to second place in the division behind the Devils. And how about Kelly Miller's cousin making his MSG debut for the Ducks?
• Columbus Blue Jackets Steve Mason has opted out of the NHL YoungStars game out of concern for his back ... [CBC Sports]
• ... which really, really needs to hold up now that Pascal Leclaire is done for the season with a bum ankle. [Dispatch]
Preview: Washington Capitals at Ottawa Senators (7:30 p.m. EST; TV: VS., TSN). A battle of capital cities on Inauguration Day in the U.S. Too cute. Jason Spezza is battling some back issues for the Sens. Something to watch for the Capitals: The burgeoning animosity between Michael Nylander and Coach Bruce Boudreau, who aren't even in the same library let alone on the same page.
• How about this field for the skills competition fastest skater event: Jeff Carter, Zach Parise, Brian Campbell and Jay Bouwmeester? Oh, and it's Zdeno Chara vs. Sheldon Souray in hardest shot. Good times. [NHL]
• Meanwhile, Bouwmeester opens up about the Florida Panthers and South Florida as a hockey market, as there's been no movement on a new contract before free agency. [On Frozen Pond]
• The Tampa Bay Lightning make a move on defense. Must be Tuesday. [Lightning Strikes]
• Finally, please get in the Sports Report Girl's Crease. Welcome to the puckhead world, m'lady: