Apr 21, 2014, 8:15 AM EDT
Four series head into Game 3 tonight and three of those see teams looking to take a 3-0 series lead.
The St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche, and Anaheim Ducks all hit the road looking to put a stranglehold on their respective series but with the Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, and Dallas Stars playing at home, they’ll have the opportunity to get back into the thick of things with wins of their own.
The night gets started in Columbus where the Blue Jackets host the Pittsburgh Penguins after earning a 4-3 double-overtime win in Game 2 to even up that series. Expect a raucous crowd at Nationwide Arena where there hasn’t been a playoff game played there in five years.
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Game 3: Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Penguins [series tied 1-1] (7:00 p.m. ET — NBCSN)
The Blue Jackets’ Game 2 victory helped make this series look a bit more accurate in the standings when you consider how evenly played it’s been. Columbus has hung tough with the Penguins through both games and have made life miserable for Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Brandon Dubinsky‘s work to pester them has paid off and Columbus’ role players have stayed strong.
Now the question is how the Penguins will respond to playing on the road after a tough loss. The playoffs can be about facing adversity and the Jackets are giving the Pens a fair amount of that. With Matt Calvert and Jack Johnson providing the offense, if nothing else, this series is providing a spotlight for both teams’ supporting casts.
Game 3: Minnesota Wild vs. Colorado Avalanche [Colorado leads series 2-0] (7:00 p.m. ET — NHL Network)
The Wild have their hands full in dealing with the Avalanche. After blowing a two-goal lead in Game 1, the Wild were thoroughly outplayed in Game 2 and they had no answers for how to contain the Avs’ top line. That has to change with the series now in St. Paul and it’s time for the Wild’s top line to get a piece of their own action.
While Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise have two assists through two games, they’re getting blown away by Paul Stastny and Nathan MacKinnon who have seven points a piece. The Wild could also stand to see Ilya Bryzgalov play a lot better in goal as he has a .822 save percentage through two games.
Game 3: Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues [St. Louis leads series 2-0] (8:30 p.m. ET — CNBC)
The defending champs haven’t had to face this sort of adversity in the postseason in a while. In both games the Blues have tied the game with a late third period goal and gone on to win in overtime. The Blackhawks are close with the Blues, but St. Louis is finding ways to claw out victories.
Chicago will have to make do without Brent Seabrook for the next three games because of his hit on David Backes. Meanwhile, Backes’ status is still unknown for Game 3. The Blues have gotten support on all their lines as Alex Steen, Vladimir Tarasenko, Chris Porter, and Adam Cracknell have played key roles in scoring. Going without Backes will hurt, but for how they’ve played as a team, it’s (large) bump in the road.
The Blackhawks have to find better ways to resist the Blues onslaught when they get rolling. We’ve seen the ‘Hawks look like the usual band of world beaters at times, but the Blues ability to push back has been stronger. That has to change in Chicago if the ‘Hawks are going to get back in this series.
Game 3: Dallas Stars vs. Anaheim Ducks [Anaheim leads series 2-0] (9:30 p.m. ET — NBCSN)
If there’s something the Stars can take pride in after dropping the first two games against the Ducks, it’s that they’ve gotten progressively better as the series has progressed. The timing of that could work great now that the series moves to Dallas. The Stars have lost two one-goal games and while Anaheim looked dominant in Game 1, the Stars made things a lot more interesting in Game 2.
The Stars will have to find ways to wrangle the Ducks’ top line, however, as they have run rampant over Dallas through two games. Ryan Getzlaf leads the way with two goals and two assists and Matt Beleskey and Corey Perry each have a goal and an assist. If Dallas can’t find a way to slow them down, they could be in for more disappointment.
Jun 1, 2015, 9:00 PM EDT
Both defensemen are set to become unrestricted free agents next month.
Jun 1, 2015, 8:00 PM EDT
New Jersey has a press conference scheduled for noon on Tuesday.
Jun 1, 2015, 7:15 PM EDT
He spent the 2014-15 season in the Swedish Hockey League.
Jun 1, 2015, 6:45 PM EDT
Tampa initially got the pick in the Martin St. Louis deal last year.
Jun 1, 2015, 5:45 PM EDT
The power of perception.
Jun 1, 2015, 4:52 PM EDT
Two had fractured bones and the others were dealing with strains.
Jun 1, 2015, 4:14 PM EDT
They’ll do so at their draft day viewing party.
Jun 1, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT
They also inked 2014 third round pick Blake Siebenaler.
Jun 1, 2015, 2:32 PM EDT
The league has become more competitive and great teams are forced to make hard choices.
Jun 1, 2015, 1:59 PM EDT
Sure, there are challenges ahead, but also great opportunities.
Jun 1, 2015, 1:59 PM EDT
That’s back-to-back finals for McCauley and O’Halloran.
Jun 1, 2015, 1:24 PM EDT
Yet doctors say he will be able to return next season.
Jun 1, 2015, 1:02 PM EDT
Patrick Kane is high on the list too.
Jun 1, 2015, 12:49 PM EDT
This after Vancouver previously interviewed Ted Nolan.
Jun 1, 2015, 12:18 PM EDT
He also worked for Team USA in the 2012 London Olympics.
Jun 1, 2015, 11:50 AM EDT
“We need him to be a bigger and better part of our team.”
Jun 1, 2015, 11:02 AM EDT
The scar stays in Switzerland.
Jun 1, 2015, 10:38 AM EDT
The 2011 fourth-rounder will become a free agent.
Jun 1, 2015, 9:55 AM EDT
A conditional fourth-round pick jumps because of Chicago’s SCF run.
Jun 1, 2015, 9:08 AM EDT
The reigning “best goalie not in the NHL” does it again.
- Report: John Hynes to be named head coach of the Devils 4
- Ex-Leafs goalie Pogge eyeing North American return 1
- Poll: Should the Ducks fire Boudreau? 41
- Zuccarello (brain contusion, skull fracture) was unable to speak after injury 26
- Overtime format highlights competition committee meeting agenda 16
- Report: Changes coming to compensation for executives 23
- Here’s your 2015 Stanley Cup Final schedule 33
- ‘Hawks rise to occasion in Game 7, head to SCF for third time in six years 95
- WATCH LIVE: Blackhawks at Ducks, Western Conference Final Game 7 5
- After prepping for three years, Franson excited to test free agency 9
- ‘Hawks rise to occasion in Game 7, head to SCF for third time in six years (95)
- Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers (76)
- Duchene slams Russian players for storming off after Canada’s 2015 WHC win (65)
- Despite getting further than ever before, big game letdowns continue to haunt Boudreau (64)
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue (56)