2010 NHL playoffs: Previews for tonight's games

We have two big games tonight and – barring an overtime in the Penguins-Canadiens Game 7 that would surely give me a heart attack – hockey fans should be able to watch all of one and a chunk of the other. Let’s take a look at the two big games, starting with the penultimate Pens game.

Montreal Canadiens at Pittsburgh Penguins – 7:00 PM ET (Versus, CBC, FS Pittsburgh)

Series tied 3-3

Hal Gill certainly has come a long way since the days when he was referred to as “a pylon.” At least in the playoffs. Gill is expected to play tonight, which will make this high-pressure tilt even more difficult for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Can Jaroslav Halak and the Montreal Canadiens go a stunning 5-0 in elimination games this playoffs or will the Penguins’ sizable attack zone and depth advantages finally catch up to the scrappy Habs? It should be an intriguing contest, for sure. It seems unfair to put too much pressure on Sidney Crosby, but he must feel eager to add another bullet point in his favor against his media appointed rival Alex Ovechkin.

Boston Bruins at Philadelphia Flyers – 8:00 PM ET (Versus joined in progress, NESN, CSN Philadelphia)

Bruins lead series 3-2

One must wonder if the Flyers might attract some peripheral New York Yankees fans if they keep it up. As you may remember, the Red Sox came back from a 3-0 deficit before scorching their way to a long awaited World Series title. Could the Flyers help fans of that area get a sniff of revenge? It’s not quite the same situation, though, because the Bruins are bruised and battered. Really, each team is holding on for dear life. Could we see another Game 7 in the East or will the Bruins finally close out those pesky Flyers?

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    Jarred Tinordi becomes the latest youngster to be sent to the AHL for ‘conditioning’

    Jarred Tinordi, Brendan Gallagher
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    Like Frank Corrado (see here), Tomas Jurco (see here), Stanislav Galiev (see here), and Patrik Nemeth (see here) before him, Canadiens defenseman Jarred Tinordi is off to the AHL for a conditioning stint.

    Tinordi, 23, has yet to play a single game for the Habs this season; however, because he’s no longer exempt from waivers, the former first-round pick has remained on Montreal’s roster.

    It’s an issue that’s received a good deal of attention lately. Some believe the league should do something about it, lest more young players get “stuck” in the NHL.

    Tinordi will only be allowed to spend two weeks in St. John’s, as per the rules of his conditioning loan.

    Safe to say, if you’re an NHL general manager who thinks Tinordi still has potential, Marc Bergevin would welcome your best offer.

    Stars place Lehtonen on IR, call up Campbell and Nemeth

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    Kari Lehtonen will miss at least a few games with the upper-body injury he suffered the other night against Ottawa. The Dallas Stars announced today that they’ve placed the 32-year-old goalie on injured reserve, retroactive to Tuesday.

    With Lehtonen out, Jack Campbell has been called up from AHL Texas to be Antti Niemi‘s backup. The Stars host Vancouver Friday, with a game at Minnesota Saturday.

    Campbell, the 11th overall pick in the 2010 draft, has struggled in the AHL this season, going 3-3-0 with an .873 save percentage.

    The Stars have also recalled defenseman Patrik Nemeth after the 23-year-old completed his 14-day conditioning assignment.

    Related: Campbell credits ECHL stint for turning his game around

    Gleason ends tryout with ‘Canes

    Tim Gleason, David Desharnais
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    Tim Gleason has likely played his last NHL game. The 32-year-old defenseman has informed the Carolina Hurricanes that he no longer wishes to continue his professional tryout.

    “Tim informed us today he wasn’t going to continue to pursue his tryout,” said GM Ron Francis, per the club’s website. “He looked and felt good physically, but didn’t feel up to the grind of the NHL mentally.”

    Gleason started last season with Carolina before he was traded to Washington in February.

    In his career, he’s played 727 NHL games, plus 32 more in the playoffs.

    Isles call Strome back up

    Ryan Strome, Johnny Boychuk

    Ryan Strome has been called back to the New York Islanders, the club announced this morning.

    The 22-year-old returns to the NHL after eight games with AHL Bridgeport Sound. He had been sent there three weeks ago, after a tough start to the season.

    Strome had two goals and two assists during his stint with the Tigers.

    The Isles’ next game is Friday at Florida.