A quick look at which games will be on which channels in tonight’s Stanley Cup playoff action …
Capitals at Rangers, 7:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN
Could the 2015 Presidents’ Trophy winners end up seeing their season end tonight? The New York Rangers hope to ward off elimination against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden on Friday.
On the bright side for Rangers fans, they’ve fought back from a 3-1 series deficit with Alain Vigneault behind the bench before. The makeup of the team is already a bit different in this postseason, yet considering how close this series has been despite the 3-1 Caps’ advantage, the Rangers seem likely to put up a significant fight.
Ducks at Flames, 9:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN
The already fairly well-rested Ducks (they did sweep the Jets, after all) got an extra breather between Games 3 and tonight’s Game 4, which presented enough time to see the Blackhawks advance to the conference finals. It’s up to Anaheim to justify its West top seed status by trying to close out the Flames this weekend.
That may not be easy, as the spunky underdogs get another game in Calgary with a possible series tie dangling as a golden opportunity. While Anaheim should be pretty close to 100 percent, the Flames probably needed this gap between games quite a bit more. They have the opportunity to make a long series out of this one with a win tonight.
PHT Morning Skate: Jimmy Fallon tabs Alex Ovechkin as a Bond villain
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Jacob Markstrom was one of the most notable players involved in the sixth-longest game in AHL history. (Puck Daddy)
Ten amazing rookie playoff performances from the past 10 years, or “Cam Ward gets to be on a flattering list.” (The Hockey News)
Get to know high-end 2016 NHL Draft prospect Auston Matthews. (Sportsnet)
P.K. Subban isn’t ready to golf just yet.
“The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” took a lengthy look at the second round of the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs with a superlatives segment, which amounts to a lot of NHL player mugshot jokes. We shall now refer to Brian Boyle as “The Disney Prince.”
The Alex Ovechkin – Bond villain comparison seems oddly familiar, though, doesn’t it?
Burakovsky scored his first two playoff goals in this game … and each one was artful.
Holtby’s highlight-reel moment won’t get buried too much, however, as his penalty-shot save on Carl Hagelin ranks as another masterpiece:
The Rangers and Capitals played another tight, close game, with New York carrying the first period, Washington turning it up a notch in the second and the third being pretty even.
Ultimately, the difference in this series has been a handful of Capitals forwards making huge plays (Alex Ovechkin’s beautiful goals, Burakovsky’s big night) and Holtby pulling off the rare feat of upstaging goaltending superstar Henrik Lundqvist.
To some, it might not seem fair that this series is 3-1, but the bottom line is that Washington managed that lead. The Rangers are just one loss from seeing their Presidents’ Trophy-winning season go down in flames against an all-too-familiar foe by an agonizingly small difference in bounces, breaks and big plays.
For a playoff overview and all tonight’s biggest stories, click here.
Stamkos on Johnson’s winner: ‘Like pulling a rabbit out of your hat’
Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby has been the star of a series against Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers so far, but Game 4 featured maybe his most brilliant moment.
Mike Green was forced to obstruct speedy Rangers winger Carl Hagelin, setting the stage for an almost-cinematic situation. The Rangers were down 2-1 in the third period, but Hagelin could tie it up on a penalty shot.
The result was dramatic, yet Holtby came through with a beautiful glove save:
Keep that one in mind. Chances are, Holtby’s agent will cue that clip up during his looming contract negotiatons …