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Tonight's games: post-deadline haze

Mar 3, 2010, 6:56 PM EDT

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The night after a trade deadline always feels a little strange; it’s not that different from cleaning up after a raucous party. You have to wonder if the players and coaches are affected by the early afternoon insanity. Not only do you have to deal with scratches but you also must share some awkward goodbyes (or, sometimes worse, realize that you’re stuck with these freaks for the rest of the season).

Still, we’re gamers at PHT so we soldier on. Let’s preview tonight’s six games.
Today’s Best

Washington Capitals (41-13-8, 90 pts) at Buffalo Sabres (33-19-9, 75 pts) – 7:00 PM ET

Will Ovechkin go into Zeus mode after a disappointing Olympics? Buffalo’s not exactly getting a chance to find their legs after the Olympics with back-to-back games against Pittsburgh and Washington.

Vancouver Canucks (38-22-2, 78 pts) at Detroit Red Wings ( 29-21-12, 70 pts) – 7:30 PM ET

Despite Kirk Maltby’s injury, a shockingly human Detroit squad is starting to get its wounded players back. They’re going to need all the help they can get because they have very little margin for error right now.

Rest of the games after the jump


Philadelphia Flyers (33-25-3, 69 pts) at Florida Panthers (24-28-10, 58 pts) – 7:30 PM ET


Don’t blame the Flyers and Panthers if they feel compelled go for the throat in this one. After all, both teams have plenty to prove after doing very little during the deadline.
Edmonton Oilers (19-37-6, 44 pts) at Chicago Blackhawks (41-16-5, 87 pts) – 8:30 PM ET

Yesterday I might have jinxed the Blackhawks against the Islanders, but they really need to win this considering that the Oilers basically transformed from a bad team to an AHL team today.
Minnesota Wild (30-27-4, 64 pts) at Calgary Flames (30-23-9, 69 pts) – 10:00 PM ET

Calgary is one point behind Detroit for the last playoff spot; Minnesota is actually in better position than it might seem because they’ve only played 61 games. The lesson? Just about every team in the West has a chance to make the playoffs aside from Edmonton. (Sorry again Oilers fans)
Colorado Avalanche (35-21-6, 76 pts) at Anaheim Ducks (30-25-7, 67 pts) – 10:00 PM ET

Some might look at this as a game between a band of plucky overachievers (Colorado) and a huge disappointment (Anaheim). Such a statement won’t bother Ducks fans though because they’re still probably celebrating the Visnovsky-Whitney deal.

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