Author: James O'Brien

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Video: Some skill, a lot of luck for Caps’ Holtby

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In “Any Given Sunday,” Al Pacino gives a speech about “a game of inches.” Sometimes that rings quite literally true, such as a moment in the second period between the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals.

Mikhail Grabovski was this close to scoring his first career postseason goal. Instead, it bounced harmlessly away, and Braden Holtby was able to freeze the puck shortly afterward:

Keep this moment in mind if Game 6 ends up being a one-goal game, especially if Washington manages to win. The contest remains 1-1 as the third period begins.

The second period also included an interesting moment, as Islanders defenseman Matt Donovan received a 10-minute misconduct during this exchange. Perhaps it was something he said?

Seabrook does it again: Blackhawks win in triple OT, take 3-1 series edge vs. Preds

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In the wee hours of the night, the Chicago Blackhawks took a 3-1 series lead by beating the Nashville Predators 3-2 in triple OT.

If that outcome feels familiar for a Blackhawks team that has won many of these battles, it will only seem that much more like deja vu when you consider the fact that Brent Seabrook scored the overtime-clincher.

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It was a great showcase between $7 million goalie Pekka Rinne and out-of-nowhere backup Scott Darling. Those performances really make a great argument for the wild unpredictability of the postseason: goalies matter, yet you don’t always know who will make the difference.

Seabrook ended up making the ultimate difference with the winning goal, joining the likes of Petr Nedved and Keith Primeau as players who have scored huge tallies when everyone has dead legs.

At this point, it’s all about waiting for different folk tale-like stories about weight loss and intermission pizza to trickle in.

Rinne really stood on his head at times, with this save maybe being the best highlight of the game beyond the clincher:

Ultimately, that last shot beat him, which is what most people will remember as the specifics fade.

Classic game or not, the two teams must face the reality of the aftermath. Despite pushing Chicago to double-OT in Game 1 and triple-OT in Game 4, Nashville now heads home down 3-1 in this series. As courageous as this Predators team has been with Mike Fisher and especially Shea Weber out of the lineup, most are counting them out after this loss.

The Predators have pushed the Blackhawks a lot more than the 3-1 series deficit may indicate, but it will take a lot of heart to push through this crushing loss.

Chicago, meanwhile, can get a much-needed breather if they wrap this one up in five games. If the previous four contests are any indication, it won’t be easy, though.

WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action

Washington Capitals v New York Islanders - Game Three
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The Anaheim Ducks and Winnipeg Jets set a high bar for entertainment with their action-packed overtime game on Monday. We’ll see if any of Tuesday’s four games may just throw down the gauntlet once more.

First things first, the last Game 3 of the first round takes place as the Tampa Bay Lightning visit Joe Louis Arena to take on the Detroit Red Wings in a series that is tied 1-1. You can watch on NBCSN and stream it via NBC Sports Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

The Washington Capitals aren’t shy about how big this game is for them, as they hope to tie their 2-1 series with the New York Islanders, who possess one of the better home-ice advantages of these playoffs. USA Network covers the action, but you may also watch online.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

The Blackhawks won the first game back in Chicago, so they now hold a 2-1 series lead against the Nashville Predators. Tonight’s Game 4 could go a long way to determining if this is a long, classic series or a competitive-but-short one. NBCSN has this game, stream it below:

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

The Calgary Flames try to do similar things against the Vancouver Canucks, as they upstart bunch currently holds a 2-1 series lead in the Pacific’s 2 vs. 3 matchup. USA Network carries this game, and as you may have guessed, there’s a streaming option too.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Video: OT becomes ‘The Pekka Rinne Show’ (complete with wardrobe malfunction)

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Pekka Rinne did everything you could ask for from a $7 million goalie in the first overtime of Game 4 between the Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators. Apparently that included some slapstick comedy.

For one thing, he’s been making some absolutely ludicrous saves, with the best stop being a battle between this OT stop:

And a desperation save that allowed overtime to happen in the first place:

All that heart-stopping action gave way to a light moment, as officials took a long time to find a puck that got stuck in Rinne’s equipment:

Twitter milked this situation for all it was worth, as you could probably guess.

Cratering Canucks put Miller in for Lack

Ryan Miller, Eddie Lack

Their first-round series against the Calgary Flames is really slipping away, so perhaps it’s time for the Vancouver Canucks to turn to Ryan Miller.

They’re doing it for at least part of Game 4, as they pulled Eddie Lack after allowing three goals on just seven shots. Here’s the final goal allowed:

Again, this may be one of those situations where a team makes a goalie change as much to wake up the team at large as it is to respond to a netminder’s performance.

This situation would get a lot more interesting if the Canucks can back into this one and make this more than a time-killing relief appearance for Miller, though.