May 8, 2013, 8:04 AM EDT
We got another night full of first-round action ahead of us, including two big Game 5s against teams that have split their series so far.
Please keep in mind that you can watch all these games online in addition to the channels listed below:
Game 4: Toronto Maple Leafs host Boston Bruins (7:00 p.m. ET, CNBC)
Boston leads series 2-1
The Toronto Maple Leafs’ first home playoff game since 2004 was spoiled by the Boston Bruins on Monday. Now the Leafs have to refocus on at least claiming one game at the Air Canada Centre so that the series is tied when they go back to Boston.
One thing the Bruins have done exceedingly well so far is to keep the pressure on 25-year-old goaltender James Reimer. He’s faced a minimum of 37 shots in each game this series and the Bruins consequently lead the league in shots per game in the playoffs.
Reimer has allowed four goals on two separate occasions as a result of that onslaught and the Maple Leafs lost both of those games.
Game 4: New York Rangers host Washington Capitals (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN)
Washington leads series 2-1
The New York Rangers got defenseman Marc Staal back from his scary eye injury on Monday and their offense finally woke up en route to a 4-3 victory over Washington. Although Staal didn’t do anything special from a purely statistic perspective in his 2013 postseason debut, his return shouldn’t be overlooked.
“It’s huge. He makes the D-core calm,” Rangers forward Derek Stepan, who netted the game-winning goal, told the New York Post. “He’s got a presence about him that he can just control a game. He did a great job tonight.”
We’ll see if that win marked a turning point in this series or if the Capitals will bounce back and find a way to contain the Rangers’ forwards once more.
Game 5: St. Louis Blues host Los Angeles Kings (9:00 p.m. ET, CNBC)
Series tied at 2-2
The Blues’ two-game lead has been squandered, but the news isn’t all bad for St. Louis.
First off, all four games have been won by the home team and St. Louis has the edge in that department as the fourth seed. Additionally, all four games have been decided by just one goal, so just as they couldn’t claim too much momentum after taking a 2-0 lead, the Kings can’t suggest they have a lot now even after evening the series.
“I don’t think our confidence is shaken here,” Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “If anything, we’re just disappointed with what happened because we know we could have done better.”
It’s also worth noting that Kings forward Jeff Carter got his first goal of the series in Game 4 and he typically scored in bunches during the regular season. If that trend holds true in the playoffs, then Carter might be the difference in this series.
Game 5: Anaheim Ducks host Detroit Red Wings (10:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN)
Series tied at 2-2
There have been two overtime games in this series and Detroit has taken both of them. You might think that’s a sign of their immense playoff experience, and it probably has helped, but the people actually scoring the OT winners have been 23-year-old Gustav Nyquist and rookie Damien Brunner.
A number of Detroit’s younger players have been given sizable roles in this series as the team tries to both simultaneously rebuild and compete after losing several key veterans over the last couple of years.
On the other end, keep an eye on Anaheim’s Corey Perry, who has no goals and just one assist through four games. Perry has been a very effective forward in previous playoff runs and the Red Wings will have a hard time containing him for the remainder of the series.
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