The Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers haven’t played each other since the Habs won Game 3 in overtime, and that extra day off has been glaring. Clearly, these two teams are anxious to get back on the ice as the war of words just keeps building and building.
Through all the blustery behavior, the importance of Game 4 is clear: the Rangers can take a commanding* 3-1 series lead with a win while the Canadiens can tie things up 2-2 if they come out on top. You can watch the game on NBC and/or via the livestream link below:
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With Derek Stepan sidelined thanks to a broken jaw, Derick Brassard’s return is just that much more important. Even if the Habs won’t take it easy on him.
The good news is that the action on the ice has been just as compelling as the surprisingly snippy discussions have been off the ice, so Game 4 should be appointment viewing for hockey fans.
* – Though not clinching, of course, since the Rangers came back from a 3-1 deficit in round two.
Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.
Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.
The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.
Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.
Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.
Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.
The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.
The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.