May 6, 2013, 7:59 AM EDT
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.
Aug 20, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT
It’s not as good to be the worst anymore.
Aug 20, 2014, 2:54 PM EDT
No real surprise here.
Aug 20, 2014, 1:55 PM EDT
How will he handle the weight of expectation?
Aug 20, 2014, 1:28 PM EDT
Another dramatic development.
Aug 20, 2014, 12:23 PM EDT
“I’m confident in myself and confident I can get back to where I used to be.”
Aug 20, 2014, 11:18 AM EDT
He’ll be reunited with former Boston College teammate Chris Kreider in New York.
Aug 20, 2014, 11:05 AM EDT
The college star could push to make Philly’s blue line right away.
Aug 20, 2014, 10:01 AM EDT
And assigned to a U.S. District Judge in Minnesota.
Aug 20, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
It’s OK Alex, Claude Noel is gone now.
Aug 20, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
They hope to improve on their first round loss to the Rangers.
Aug 19, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT
It’s been a good summer in Dallas.
Aug 19, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT
Yeah, we don’t get it either.
Aug 19, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT
He’s not going out of his way for it, however.
Aug 19, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT
You earn a lot of votes winning a Stanley Cup.
Aug 19, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT
He had a down season and worse playoffs last year.
Aug 19, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT
Will the Rangers reap the benefits?
Aug 19, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT
Can the former 15th overall pick establish himself as a full-time NHLer?
Aug 19, 2014, 4:44 PM EDT
He was second on the team in goals last season.
Aug 19, 2014, 3:40 PM EDT
Capology and Corsi gone wild in Toronto.
Aug 19, 2014, 2:37 PM EDT
It’s 105 games long and — perhaps most importantly — starts in just 33 days.
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