Skip to content

Playoffs tonight: Crosby’s back

May 3, 2013, 8:41 AM EDT

crosbygetty Getty Images

The playoff schedule is moving along swiftly and four more games come your way tonight including a pair of teams who faced off last night.

A pair of teams try to shake off tough losses while two more are looking to bounce back after lackluster games. Catch all the action on NBC Sports Live Extra.

Game 2: Pittsburgh Penguins host the New York Islanders up 1-0 (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN)

Big story, requires few words: Sidney Crosby is back.

Now, back to our regularly-scheduled previewing.

The Islanders are hoping for better things for themselves tonight. After getting drubbed 5-0 in Game 1, they’ve got some recuperating to do in Game 2. One thing coach Jack Capuano has to get figured out fast is how to free up his top line. John Tavares, Matt Moulson, and Brad Boyes combined for just four shots in Game 1. They rely too much on those guys for production to have them be held silent.

Pittsburgh, meanwhile, wants more of the same. Their physical play on the Islanders seemed to help their “deer in the headlights” way of playing. When you figure the Pens were able to dominate the way they did without Crosby or Brooks Orpik in the lineup, maybe those guys can just keep practicing until the second round starts.

Hot tip for the Isles: Fix the penalty kill. Pittsburgh was 2-4 on the power play in Game 1.

Game 2: Montreal Canadiens host the Ottawa Senators down 1-0 (7 p.m. ET, CNBC)

Last night’s Game 1 certainly wasn’t lacking in fireworks or controversy. We’ll know of Eric Gryba‘s fate after his crushing hit on Lars Eller later this afternoon. Montreal’s got bigger problems than worrying if a third-pair defenseman is going to be punished, however.

The Habs’ biggest issue: Figuring out Craig Anderson. The Ottawa goalie stopped 48 out of 50 shots in last night’s victory including 25 in the second period. If they can’t rattle Anderson and get the Montreal faithful roaring behind him, they’re in trouble. Speaking of trouble, there’s Carey Price.

Price has struggled late this season and those troubles carried over into Game 1 as he gave up three third period goals on the way to the 4-2 loss. He finished the night by blowing off the media after the game and making tonight’s Game 2 a true walking-on-eggshells kind of game. Playoff drama is the best.

Game 2: Chicago Blackhawks host the Minnesota Wild up 1-0 (9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN)

Chicago would like to make things a little easier on themselves in Game 2. After beating the Wild 2-1 in overtime on Tuesday, things haven’t changed up for either team. Dave Bolland and Ray Emery are still out for Chicago while Jason Pominville and Niklas Backstrom are out for Minnesota. That means both teams know just how to plan for Game 2.

For Chicago, finding a way to knock Josh Harding off his game would go a long way towards making this series a bit less stressful. Harding’s sudden start on Tuesday to replace the injured Backstrom showed a ton of guts making 35 saves in the losing effort. Minnesota’s offense could try to lend him a hand though.

The Wild mustered only 27 shots and went 0-4 on the power play. Finding a way to crack Chicago’s PK would do them a wonder of good. If they can get Zach Parise the room to do things, they’ll be in business. Easier said than done against the Presidents’ Trophy winners.

Game 2: Vancouver Canucks host the San Jose Sharks down 1-0 (10 p.m. ET, CNBC)

No matter what the playoffs seem to center around Roberto Luongo in Vancouver and his efforts in Game 1′s 3-1 loss were noted. The soap opera-like drama surrounding him and the rest of the Canucks has helped pique interest in this series, but he’s going to need his teammates to step up a little bit for him.

San Jose’s Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau were able to get things rolling for them. Given the grief Marleau gets in the playoffs, the Canucks could take that as a bad sign that he had a big hand in the win. We all know Jeremy Roenick will be watching him intently.

Worth paying attention to: How Ryan Kesler does on the wing. He’ll be with Derek Roy and Chris Higgins on the second line. Will playing wing help give him room to spark the offense?

Latest Posts
  1. Video: Bad blood continues to brew between Sharks and Kings

    Apr 21, 2014, 1:28 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game Two Getty Images

    This one could’ve gotten uglier than it did.

  2. Avalanche’s Duchene (knee) expected to skate Monday

    Apr 21, 2014, 12:20 AM EDT

    Matt Duchene Getty Images

    Patrick Roy: “We’re going to be very smart about when he’s going to come back.”

  3. Video: Mike Brown hit sends Kings’ Toffoli into Quick

    Apr 20, 2014, 10:52 PM EDT

    Jonathan Quick AP

    Just another game between these two California rivals.

  4. Shocking: Lightning coach isn’t happy about disallowed goal

    Apr 20, 2014, 10:34 PM EDT

    Jon Cooper, Tyler Johnson, Ryan Malone AP

    Jon Cooper straddles the line between snarky and careful.

  5. WATCH LIVE: Los Angeles Kings at San Jose Sharks (Game 2)

    Apr 20, 2014, 9:05 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One Getty Images

    Kings hope to avoid two straight years of 0-2 first-round deficits.

  6. Bad luck strikes twice: Lightning goal waved off, Stamkos takes knee to head

    Apr 20, 2014, 8:59 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

    Tampa Bay’s captain managed to return later in the game.

  7. Trotz says goodbye to Nashville with full-page ad in newspaper

    Apr 20, 2014, 8:27 PM EDT

    Barry Trotz Getty Images

    Classy gesture after 16 seasons with the Predators.

  8. Video: Habs take 1-0 lead in just 11 seconds

    Apr 20, 2014, 7:32 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

    Not exactly an ideal start for Anders Lindback.

  9. Emery states case to remain in Flyers’ net (if Mason can play in Game 3)

    Apr 20, 2014, 7:15 PM EDT

    Philadelphia Flyers v New York Rangers - Game Two Getty Images

    He stopped 31 out of 33 in Sunday’s win vs. the Rangers.

  10. Bruins handle Red Wings 4-1, tie series 1-1

    Apr 20, 2014, 5:54 PM EDT

    Justin Florek, Tomas Tatar AP

    Milan Lucic scored a goal a game after that spearing incident.

  11. Sibling rivalry: Reilly Smith scores, Brendan challenges Chara

    Apr 20, 2014, 4:58 PM EDT

    Smith Chara

    They are playing on opposite sides in the Detroit-Boston series.

  12. Lightning coach: Everyone’s written us off, so we have nothing to lose

    Apr 20, 2014, 4:03 PM EDT

    Jon Cooper AP

    They’re down 2-0 to Montreal going into Game 3 tonight.

Featured video

Detroit must exploit Boston's young D
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. T. Oshie (3882)
  2. M. Duchene (3297)
  3. B. Bishop (2680)
  4. D. Backes (2573)
  5. E. Malkin (2417)
  1. O. Palat (2390)
  2. R. Getzlaf (2353)
  3. S. Mason (2255)
  4. H. Zetterberg (2136)
  5. F. Andersen (1956)