<span class="vcard">Ryan Dadoun</span>

Minnesota Wild v Calgary Flames

Here’s your Stanley Cup playoff TV schedule for tonight


A quick look at what games will be on what channels in tonight’s Stanley Cup playoff action…

Lightning at Canadiens, 7:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Montreal swept Tampa Bay in the first round of the 2014 playoffs, but this year’s series might be different. Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov took big steps forward in 2014-15 to give the Lightning more offensive depth and goaltender Ben Bishop is healthy this time around. That being said, the player to watch tonight will be Lightning captain Steven Stamkos after he failed to score a goal in the first round.

Wild at Blackhawks, 9:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

This is the third year in a row Chicago will face Minnesota in the playoffs. The Blackhawks won the last two series, but as is the case with the Lightning, there are reasons for the Wild to think this year might be different. For Minnesota, the single biggest change is goaltender Devan Dubnyk. Since acquiring him on Jan. 14, Minnesota has been one of the best teams in the league. Dubnyk posted a 1.78 GAA and .936 save percentage in 39 regular season contests with the Wild. He allowed six goals against the Blues in Game 4, but was far more hit than miss in that series and can be credited as one of the reasons Minnesota advanced. Corey Crawford, who temporarily lost the starting gig to Scott Darling due to Crawford’s rough start to the first round, will play between the pipes in Game 1.

PHT Morning Skate: Canadiens flag raised at Ottawa’s City Hall


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.

As a result of Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson’s bet with Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, there is now a Canadiens flag raised at Ottawa’s City Hall (h/t MTL Blog):

John Tavares thinks the Islanders’ first round exit at the hands of the Washington Capitals is something he’ll carry forever. “It stings. It’s been a really hard last three days,” Tavares said. (Newsday)

A collection of hockey cards worth $200,000 that primarily featured Wayne Gretzky may have been stolen. (Postmedia Network)

Anaheim’s firefighters released a video in support of the Ducks’ efforts against the Calgary Flames:

There might be reasons coach Mike Babcock would consider joining the Edmonton Oilers beyond Connor McDavid. (Edmonton Journal)

Members of the old Winnipeg Jets reflect on the new version making the playoffs. (Winnipeg Sun)

Here are the highlights from Washington’s 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers:

Vladimir Sobotka might return to Blues from KHL

NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 21: Vladimir Sobotka #17 of the St. Louis Blues takes the puck in the first period against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on January 21, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

St. Louis was missing veteran forward in Vladimir Sobotka this season because he opted to to play in the KHL rather than accept a one-year, $2.7 million contract from the Blues. He might come back for the 2015-16 campaign though.

That $2.7 million contract — which he would have to accept in order to retun to the NHL as it matches the arbitrators ruling — might be looking more appealing now as Russia’s ruble has gone down in value since last summer.

“When he left, it was a business decision and I respected that,” Blues GM Doug Armstrong said. “I understood it. He had to do what he to do and we had to do what was right for the organization. I’d welcome him back with open arms. I think the ruble is going to make his decision maybe a little bit easier. … If he wants to come back, I’d love to have him. I love what he brought to our team, love his attitude. I’m a huge fan of the man and I respected the business decision. It was never a personal thing from my perspective.”

Sobotka’s agent, Petr Svoboda, said that his client was looking for a one-year, $3 million deal from St. Louis last year, but the Blues agree to it. Sobotka went on to score 10 goals and 38 points in 53 contests while playing for the KHL’s Omsk Avangard. In his last season with St. Louis, he had nine goals and 33 points in 61 games.

Here’s the second-round schedule

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers

Now that the Tampa Bay Lightning have beaten the Detroit Red Wings in seven games, the first round is over and the schedule for the next four series are locked.

There will be no break as Washington will play the Rangers tomorrow in the East while Calgary will take on Anaheim in the West. Here’s the complete schedule, courtesy of NHL.com (please note that all times are ET):

Lightning vs. Canadiens
Friday, May 1 – 7 p.m. – Tampa Bay at Montreal (NBCSN)
Sunday, May 3 – 6 p.m. – Tampa Bay at Montreal (NBCSN)
Wednesday, May 6 – 7 p.m. – Montreal at Tampa Bay (USA)
Thursday, May 7 – 7 p.m. – Montreal at Tampa Bay (NBCSN)
*Saturday, May 9 – TBD – Tampa Bay at Montreal
*Tuesday, May 12 – TBD – Montreal at Tampa Bay
*Thursday, May 14 – TBD – Tampa Bay at Montreal

Capitals vs. Rangers
Thursday, April 30 – 7:30 p.m. – Washington at NY Rangers (NBCSN)
Saturday, May 2 – 12:30 p.m. – Washington at NY Rangers (NBC)
Monday, May 4 – 7:30 p.m. – NY Rangers at Washington (NBCSN)
Wednesday, May 6 – 7:30 p.m. – NY Rangers at Washington (NBCSN)
*Friday, May 8 – 7 p.m. – Washington at NY Rangers (NBCSN)
*Sunday, May 10 – TBD – NY Rangers at Washington
*Wednesday, May 13 – TBD – Washington at NY Rangers

Wild vs. Blackhawks
Friday, May 1 – 9:30 p.m. – Minnesota at Chicago (NBCSN)
Sunday, May 3 – 8:30 p.m. – Minnesota at Chicago (NBCSN)
Tuesday, May 5 – 8 p.m. – Chicago at Minnesota (NBCSN)
Thursday, May 7 – 9:30 p.m. – Chicago at Minnesota (NBCSN)
*Saturday, May 9 – TBD – Minnesota at Chicago
*Monday, May 11 – TBD – Chicago at Minnesota
*Wednesday, May 13 – TBD – Minnesota at Chicago

Flames vs. Ducks
Thursday, April 30 – 10 p.m. – Calgary at Anaheim (NBCSN)
Sunday, May 3 – 10 p.m. – Calgary at Anaheim (CNBC)
Tuesday, May 5 – 9:30 p.m. – Anaheim at Calgary (USA)
Friday, May 8 – 9:30 p.m. – Anaheim at Calgary (NBCSN)
*Sunday, May 10 – TBD – Calgary at Anaheim
*Tuesday, May 12 – TBD – Anaheim at Calgary
*Thursday, May 14 – TBD – Calgary at Anaheim

Coach Cooper isn’t worried about Stamkos’ goal drought


The Tampa Bay Lightning were able to squeak by the Detroit Red Wings in the first round, but captain Steven Stamkos didn’t play a major role in the series. He did chip in three assists and had a plus-three rating, but the 25-year-old forward didn’t have a single goal in the seven-game series.

“I think the fact that Stammer hasn’t scored and we won the series probably bodes well,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper argued, per Bryan Burns of the Lightning’s website.

It certainly highlights the team’s depth, which has been a strong point this season thanks to the efforts of Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat. All three finished the regular season with at least 60 points to help the Lightning lead the league offensively.

Still, the Canadiens are a very strong team this season and were able to sweep Tampa Bay back in 2014. It would be very challenging for the Lightning to get by Montreal without significant contributions from Stamkos.

“Trust me, Stammer’s time to shine is coming up,” Cooper said, according to NHL.com’s Аrpon Basu.

The Lightning need to hope that’s the case.