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Predators scoreboard watch - Blues vs. Avs a key Western battle

This afternoon has already gotten off to a good start for Nashville Predators fans, as the 11th-place Dallas Stars lost 6-3 to Pittsburgh at Mellon Arena.

As for tonight's games we need to keep an eye on in the Western Conference?

Anaheim @ Phoenix, 7:00 p.m.: The Ducks aren't out if it, despite their 13th-place position in the West. They are just 5 points out of 8th spot, with a game in hand on Detroit, but face the surprisingly tough Phoenix Coyotes, who have geared up for a playoff run.

St. Louis @ Colorado, 8:00 p.m.: The 10th-place Blues are still hanging around as well, thanks to a 5-game win streak. The Avalanche are just 3 points ahead of Nashville in 6th, so who do we pull for here? Either way, this is one game we don't want to go to overtime.

Montreal @ Los Angeles, 9:00 p.m.: The Kings are five points ahead of the Preds, and we certainly don't want to see them pull away.

Columbus @ San Jose, 9:30 p.m.: Yeah, the Blue Jackets are out of it and the Sharks are flying high, but Preds fans really don't like either team. Can't they both lose?

Remember, there's a free preview of NHL Center Ice still running (through Monday), so if you check around you can probably catch these games on your cable/satellite package.