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Western Conference scoreboard watch - March 23, 2011

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Scoreboard Watch
Scoreboard Watch

There are four games on the NHL schedule tonight, and all of them will have an impact on the Western Conference playoff picture, so settle in for a big evening. While you wait for the games to start, there's a ton of hockey conversation filling the Nashville airwaves - at 3:25, Darren Elliot from Versus joins the Thom Abraham Show, at 6:00 you have both Blackstone Hockey Night on 104.5 with Wade Belak and player guest Cody Franson, and SlapShot Radio which features guests Bill Clement and E.J. Hradek. Finally, at 7:00, you have the WNSR Player Show with Jonathon Blum and another player TBD. Both SlapShot Radio and the WNSR Player Show are broadcast live from the Flying Saucer.

Tonight's Games

Vancouver Canucks vs Detroit Red Wings (6:30 p.m. Central on VERSUS)
The Red Wings haven't quite locked up the Central Division just yet, so let's see how Detroit fares as they hobble down the stretch with an injury-riddled lineup.

Anaheim Ducks vs Dallas Stars (7:30 p.m. Central)
A classic "just finish in regulation" matchup, these two teams are coming up next on the Preds' schedule. Anaheim comes in here tomorrow night, so let's hope they get beaten down a bit.

Florida Panthers vs Chicago Blackhawks (7:30 p.m. Central)
The Blackhawks have been playing well of late, so dare we hope that the 14th-place Panthers can slow them down at the United Center?

Calgary Flames vs San Jose Sharks (9:00 p.m. Central)
The Flames are running out of time, as they've played more games than the rest of the competitors for these final playoff spots.

News & Notes

Tennessee hockey to play in inaugural I-40 Faceoff - Knoxville Sports |
Club teams from Tennessee & Vanderbilt will play at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday at 1:00 p.m., before the Preds' game against Dallas that evening. Pretty cool stuff!

Which goalie should win the Vezina? - The Globe and Mail
I'm starting to wonder if the Eastern Conference GM's might end up splitting their vote between Tim Thomas and Carey Price, allowing Pekka Rinne a shot at winning the Vezina because of his relative dominance in the West. - Player Of The Week
Hats off to Blake Geoffrion, who is featured this week on the Players Association's website.

Prominent hockey supporter dies at 73 - Winnipeg Free Press
Dr. Gerry Wilson, an important figure in the development of European players in North American hockey (and also the grandfather of Colin Wilson), passed away yesterday. Thanks to the tip from JR on Twitter, and Hockey Hillbilly via FanShot.

Predators Foundation Wine Festival & Tasting - Nashville Predators
The Preds' annual wine tasting is set for April 1, with proceeds going to the Predators Foundation. Have a look and register for one of the team's biggest annual charity events.

Poile, Fenton Named to Team USA Management Team - Nashville Predators
No surprise here, as the Preds' brain trust signs up again to help lead Team USA at the World Championships this spring in Slovakia.