This has been a beautiful first week of the playoffs. Tonight we have three games and all of them will break 1-1 ties. Every single one of these games could be pivotal (although Game 5’s tend to be bigger). Let’s take a look at the three games we have to look forward to.
(1) Washington Capitals vs. (8) Montreal Canadiens7:00 PM EDT (TSN, CSN Mid-Atlantic)
Game 2 was, by my estimation, insane. Scott Gomez fought Tom Poti. The Canadiens began the game 4-1 only for the Capitals to tie it up by going 4-1 right back at them (then Backstrom scored the OT GWG, obviously). Both Andrei Kostitsyn and Nicklas Backstrom scored a hat trick and Jose Theodore went 0-for-2. Just a weird, weird game. If the switch to Montreal can maintain the oddness, it could be an awful lot of fun.
(3) Buffalo Sabres vs. (6) Boston Bruins7:00 PM EDT (Versus, CBC, MSG, NESN)
Perhaps the Boston Bruins transmitted their injury bug to the Buffalo Sabres. Buffalo will be without their best goal scorer, Thomas Vanek, for at least tonight’s game. Drew Stafford’s return might soothe the pain (slightly), but they need Vanek back. The one bit of good news: the Bruins aren’t very good at home with a 18-17-6 record in Boston. Should be interesting to watch.
(3) Vancouver Canucks vs. (6) Los Angeles Kings10:00 PM EDT (Versus, CBC, FS West)
The Kings haven’t hosted a playoff game since 2001-02 so … yeah, this should be a pretty big deal. The best part of it for Los Angeles fans is that their team has at least a reasonable chance; after all, they were able to come back from an 0-2 deficit to take Game 2. Will the Kings do well in their “Back in Black” Gretzky-era knock-offs? We’ll have to wait and see.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger