The 22-year-old took a brief twirl during this morning’s skate before exiting. If Stone doesn’t play, it’s possible that veteran tough guy Chris Neil will draw into the lineup as the extra forward — but even if Stone does play, Neil could still get on the lineup card as well, with another forward getting dropped.
Referees will undoubtedly be on high alert this evening. In that light, it’s unsurprising the NHL assigned a pair of veteran officials in Gord Dwyer and Eric Furlatt. Both have worked over 550 career games.
The Islanders secured a 4-1 victory over Washington in Game 1 with Josh Bailey, Ryan Strome, and Brock Nelson leading the charge. If John Tavares gets hot in Game 2, then New York might find itself in a commanding position by the end of the night, although we might end up seeing Alex Ovechkin respond instead. Meanwhile goaltender Jaroslav Halak now has a 2.23 GAA and .941 save percentage in seven career playoff games against Washington.
Blackhawks at Predators, 9:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN
It took 87:49 minutes to settle Game 1, but in the end Chicago completed its comeback from a 3-0 deficit. Along the way Patrick Kane recorded two power-play assists in his return from a broken clavicle. Chicago struggled to convert on its power-play chances after the All-Star break, but the return on Kane might have ended that issue, which is yet another thing Nashville has to worry about.
Flames at Canucks, 10:00 p.m. ET on CNBC
Down 1-0 going into the second intermission, the Flames rallied in the final frame and Kris Russell scored the winner with just 30 seconds remaining in Game 1 on Wednesday. The Flames were one of the best teams in the league when it came to battling back from a deficit in the third period over the course of the regular season, but they obviously don’t want to make a habit of it in the playoffs. The Flames might not be so fortunate this time around if they fall behind again.
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The big controversy from the first day of the playoffs was Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban’s slash to the wrist of Senators forward Mark Stone. Subban was booted from the game as a result while Stone has a microfracture that might result in him missing playing time.
Regardless of whether Subban should have been suspended or not (the NHL takes injuries into account when determining supplemental discipline), the Sens absolutely need to regroup and get in control of their emotions, which is exactly what their coach, Dave Cameron, was preaching this morning:
"One of our keys is discipline over retaliation. Best way to get even is to win the hockey game." – Dave Cameron #Habs#Sens