I tried to come up with something to write about but I don't really have anything I feel like discussing, so here's just another run-of-the-mill preview with 13 games on the schedule.
First, Phoenix kicked off its holiday vacation by whipping Edmonton, 5-0 on Tuesday, behind 23 saves by Ilya Bryzgalov and two goals each by Martin Hanzal and Lee Stempniak. The Coyotes have moved into first place in the Pacific Division with a seven-game winning streak.
Washington (14-6-2) at Carolina (9-9-2), 7 p.m. ET
The Capitals have looked pretty shaky lately, losing three straight, two by scores of 5-0. Alex Ovechkin has been contained with only two goals in his last nine games, and pointless in three of his last four. Amazing. He should get back on track tonight though; Carolina is starting backup Justin Peters in goal, and Peters did not look like an NHL goalie in his previous outing against Pittsburgh. He battled the puck that entire game.
Washington 5, Carolina 2
Columbus (13-6-0) at Islanders (4-12-4), 7 p.m.
Rick Nash is en fuego. The Islanders? Well, their fans might want to literally set them on fire.
Columbus 4, New York 1
Detroit (13-3-2) at Atlanta (9-9-3), 7 p.m.
Jimmy Howard has started in goal each game this month (nine) for Detroit and he's given up some goals lately. Don't sleep on the Thrashers; Ondrej Pavelec is playing well and they thoroughly out-played Washington a few days ago.
Detroit 3, Atlanta 2
Pittsburgh (12-8-2) at Buffalo (8-11-3), 7 p.m.
Jhonas Enroth will start for Buffalo, which is unfortunate for me because the Penguins have had Ryan Miller's number lately. His backups, not so much.
Buffalo 4, Pittsburgh 2
Los Angeles (13-7-0) at Montreal (13-7-1), 7:30 p.m., RDS
Normally this might be the game of the night, but Jonathan Bernier is starting for LA, not Jonathan Quick. Of course, now that I jettisoned Bernier in a keeper league, he'll probably start pitching shutouts. Bank it.
Los Angeles 2, Montreal 1
Calgary (8-11-1) at New Jersey (6-13-2), 7:30 p.m., TSN
No way the Devils string two good games in a row, right?
Calgary 3, New Jersey 1
Dallas (10-8-1) at Ottawa (10-10-1), 7:30 p.m., TSN2
I'm sure there's some reason to watch this game, but I can't think of it.
Ottawa 4, Dallas 3
Rangers (12-9-1) at Tampa Bay (12-7-2), 7:30 p.m.
Two words: Steve. Downie. Er, Stamkos.
Tampa Bay 5, New York 3
Boston (11-6-2) at Florida (9-10-0), 7:30 p.m.
It's about time for a Tim Thomas shutout, isn't it?
Boston 2, Florida 0
St. Louis (11-5-3) at Nashville (9-7-3), 8 p.m., Versus
Goaltending on display, right? Certainly not offense.
St. Louis 5, Nashville 4
Philadelphia (14-6-2) at Minnesota (10-7-2), 8 p.m.
Please beat the Flyers. By the way, I know Brent Burns was real good a few years ago, and Mittens has shown a goal scoring touch in the past, but the Wild's three leading goal scorers are Cal Clutterbuck, Burns and Mittens. That qualifies as "ouch" doesn't it?
Philadelphia 4, Minnesota 2
Colorado (12-7-1) at Vancouver (10-7-3), 10 p.m.
The Avs have won four straight, the Canucks have lost four straight. That's why Colorado's in first. That kind of in-depth analysis is why you read this blog, I know.
Vancouver 3, Colorado 1
Chicago (11-10-2) at San Jose (9-6-4), 10:30 p.m.
If not for two certain 2010 Eastern Conference division winners, these two teams might qualify as the most disappointing in the league.
Chicago 4, San Jose 3