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Predators scoreboard watch: Keeping the Kings close

It's a relatively slow night in the NHL, but both games tonight hold playoff implications for the Nashville Predators so keep an eye on the following (tonight is the final night of the NHL Center Ice free preview, so enjoy it while it lasts):

Dallas at Washington, 6:00 p.m. Central: The Stars are hanging around the perimeter of the Western Conference playoff chase, 6 points out of 8th spot but with a game in hand. Tonight in Washington, however, they face the NHL's elite offensive force just as the Dallas team defense appears to be imploding. This could get ugly...

Columbus at Los Angeles, 9:30 p.m. Central: Predators fans can unabashedly cheer on the Blue Jackets tonight as they battle the Kings. In the West, the #4-6 spots (which avoid a first round matchup with San Jose or Chicago) are still up for grabs, and we'd like to see the Kings held back within the pack of contenders. After all, is it possible they can still choke the whole season away?