May 6, 2013, 7:59 AM EST
We have some critical games for you today. Three of these teams could end up just one game away from elimination before this night is done.
Please remember that in addition to the channels listed below, you can watch the Capitals-Rangers, Red Wings-Ducks, and Blues-Kings games online.
Game 3: Toronto Maple Leafs host Boston Bruins (7:00 p.m. ET)
Series tied at 1-1
For the first time since 2004, an NHL playoff hockey game will be played at the Air Canada Centre.
The Boston Bruins have an edge in experience, but the Toronto Maple Leafs made a statement in their 4-2 win on Saturday. The Leafs are capable of rising to the occasion in the playoffs, especially goaltender James Reimer, who stopped 39 shots.
This hasn’t been the most physical of the series, but there have been some controversial hits. Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference is eligible to return after serving a one-game suspension for his hit on Mikhail Grabovski. Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf will also be available after the decision was made not to punish him for his hit on Paille.
Game 3: New York Rangers host Washington Capitals (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN)
Capitals lead series 2-0
The Capitals have dominated the special teams battle through two games, but it’s hard to put too much emphasis on that when the Rangers have scored just one goal overall. The Rangers quite simply need to figure out goaltender Braden Holtby and the Capitals’ defense soon, or they will be eliminated.
With that in mind, Rangers forward Rick Nash will be an interesting player to watch tonight. He has no points despite 11 shots on goal in this series and, at the age of 28, the superstar is still looking for his first playoff win.
Game 4: Detroit Red Wings host Anaheim Ducks (8:00 p.m. ET, CNBC)
Ducks lead series 2-1
The Ducks put the pressure on the Red Wings with their commanding 4-0 victory in Game 2.
“We feel we can be better,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said in a Detroit News report. “The whole thing with (playoff) series is about mental toughness, they’re battles of will.”
The Red Wings have lost a number of key veterans over the last couple of years and that might have taken its toll on them in that regard.
One player to watch is Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg. He played a huge role in Detroit’s final push for a playoff spot, but has just one assist in three playoff games.
Game 4: Los Angeles Kings host St. Louis Blues (10:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN)
Blues lead series 2-1
The defending Stanley Cup champion Kings put themselves back in this series with a 1-0 victory on Saturday.
These have been goaltending and defensive battles, with the two teams combining for just seven goals over three games. All of the contests in this series have been decided by just one goal.
“I don’t think either team has had much momentum in this series,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter told LA Kings Insider. He added, “The players are confident on both teams, so you just kind of go shift-to-shift.”
It’s worth noting that in this defensive series, the Kings top goal scorer and points leaders, Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar respectively, have combined for just one point — an assist — through three playoff games.
Dec 5, 2013, 10:35 PM EST
They can thank their goalie for two points.
Dec 5, 2013, 10:14 PM EST
Tough night for defensemen across NHL.
Dec 5, 2013, 9:50 PM EST
Pascal Dupuis had only two shifts in second period before leaving the game.
Dec 5, 2013, 9:25 PM EST
Tampa Bay already has a full sickbay.
Dec 5, 2013, 8:51 PM EST
He won’t return tonight.
Dec 5, 2013, 8:29 PM EST
He ranks second on the team in shorthanded minutes.
Dec 5, 2013, 7:57 PM EST
Marek Mazanec has done a fine job in his absence.
Dec 5, 2013, 7:22 PM EST
Their reinforcements are at very different stages in their careers.
Dec 5, 2013, 6:42 PM EST
He’ll make life a little easier for Curtis McElhinney while he fills in for Sergei Bobrovsky.
Dec 5, 2013, 6:11 PM EST
The Stars will play against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Dec 5, 2013, 5:19 PM EST
Dec 5, 2013, 5:10 PM EST
“They’re 7-0-1 in their last eight games, and now they’re a point behind us.”
Dec 5, 2013, 4:38 PM EST
Was King Henrik’s deal a good one for the Rangers?
Dec 5, 2013, 4:36 PM EST
“Absolutely,” said Mike Gillis.
Dec 5, 2013, 4:05 PM EST
“All of the other guys, I think, have better to give.”
Dec 5, 2013, 3:08 PM EST
Still unclear what ails the 27-year-old defenseman.
Dec 5, 2013, 2:44 PM EST
“Here we are now and it’s a chance for us to grow as a team and work on some things that need fixing and turn in a good effort,” Blues d-man Kevin Shattenkirk said.
Dec 5, 2013, 2:35 PM EST
Which led to Montreal’s game-tying goal against New Jersey.
Dec 5, 2013, 2:03 PM EST
News and notes from the crease…
Dec 5, 2013, 1:42 PM EST
Dallas Eakins sends the pair of d-men to the press box.
- Boychuk boarded by Pacioretty, taken off on stretcher (Update: has movement in extremities) 28
- Seguin (concussion) cleared to play tonight 0
- Bylsma: Sharks are NHL’s best, ‘with all due respect to Chicago’ 86
- Will the Rangers use a compliance buyout on Richards? 9
- Malkin (lower body) to miss tonight’s game versus Sharks 20
- Flyers’ Couturier: ‘We’re starting to believe in ourselves’ 59
- Columbus puts Bobrovsky (groin) on IR, out 4-5 weeks 3
- The Chip ‘n’ Chase: Olympic odds, Russia’s defense, King Henrik’s new deal, Fire Cappy? and more 28
- With Lundqvist deal done, Sather faces tough questions 11
- King of New York: Rangers sign Lundqvist to seven-year, $59.5 million extension 42
- Bylsma: Sharks are NHL’s best, ‘with all due respect to Chicago’ (86)
- Flyers’ Couturier: ‘We’re starting to believe in ourselves’ (59)
- Lehtonen shines, Roussel agitates as Stars beat ‘Hawks (53)
- Video: Canucks’ Bieksa fights Rangers’ Boyle, then kicks Boyle’s helmet (52)
- King of New York: Rangers sign Lundqvist to seven-year, $59.5 million extension (42)