A quick look at what games will be on what channels in today’s Stanley Cup playoff action…
Capitals at Islanders, 12 p.m. ET on NBC
Goaltender Braden Holtby is expected to get the startt after missing Game 2 due to an illness. The Capitals will look to build on a 4-3 win on Friday night and take their first lead of the series this afternoon. The Islanders will once again be without defenseman Travis Hamonic due to an undisclosed injury. Doc Emrick, Eddie Olczyk and Pierre McGuire have the call.
Predators at Blackhawks, 3 p.m. ET on NBC
The Blackhawks will also have a different Game 3 starter when their series with the Predators moves to Chicago’s Untied Center this afternoon. Head coach Joel Quenneville announced Scott Darling will make his first career Stanley Cup playoff start today. Darling made 42 saves in relief of Corey Crawford in Game 1. Meanwhile the Preds will be without captain Shea Weber for both Games 3 and 4 due to a lower body injury. Weber left Game 2 midway through the second period and did not return. Kenny Albert, Brian Engblom and Joe Micheletti will be on the call.
Canadiens at Senators, 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN
The Senators have questions in goal heading into Game 3 tonight in Ottawa. After a nearly perfect 20-1-2 record and 1.79 G.A.A. in the final months of the regular season, Andrew Hammond has lost the first two games of the series with Montreal and there’s some thought head coach Dave Cameron may go with veteran Craig Anderson in goal tonight. The 33-year-old had a 1.80 G.A.A. in the Sens 4-1 series win over the Habs during the 2013 playoffs. Chris Cuthbert and Bret Hedican have the call tonight.
Canucks at Flames, 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN
Friday night’s Game 2 featured six fighting majors, seven game misconducts and three 10-minute misconducts – much of which occurred in the final two minutes of the Canucks 4-1 win over the Flames. Calgary’s head coach Bob Hartley was fined $50,000 as a result of the melee. The series now moves to Calgary where the Flames will host a playoff game for the first time since losing in Game 6 of the first round in 2009. Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson and Scott Oake have the call of Game 3.
Alex Galchenyuk was turned away on some nice chances earlier in Game 2, giving the sense that he might have been due. If so, his efforts paid off in overtime, as he scored the 3-2 OT winner to give the Montreal Canadiens a 2-0 series lead against the Ottawa Senators.
One could say that the true turning point was the second period, and not just because Montreal turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead.
The Habs hogged the puck in the middle frame, generating a 14-3 shot advantage while claiming that lead. The biggest highlight came on P.K. Subban’s emphatic goal.
Montreal had to bite its nails a bit thanks to some sloppy moments in the third period, however. That included some rare mental lapses by Carey Price & Co., including on Patrick Wiercioch’s tying tally.
Fair or not, one cannot help but wonder if the Senators will switch to Craig Anderson over Andrew Hammond in Game 3. “The Hamburglar” has been an out-of-nowhere success, yet goalie nods can be fickle, especially when postseason survival is on the line.
Again, Hammond might not be to blame:
The Canadiens shrugged that setback off and won it in overtime, putting the Senators’ magical season in serious danger. That said, Ottawa has been at its best when the odds have been against them, so Montreal would be wise not to take things lightly as the locale shifts to the Canadian Tire Centre.
Is Max Pacioretty really 100 percent in Game 2? One could probably argue that few players are truly “healthy” at this point in the year, but either way, the Montreal Canadiens winger made an impact tonight.
Maybe it’s a goal that Ottawa Senators sensation Andrew Hammond would like back, but either way, Pacioretty found the net to tie things up 1-1 (for now):
Update: The bigger Habs highlight came when P.K. Subban scored this impressive slap-shot goal:
The Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators aren’t lacking in hatred for each other, but that doesn’t mean that all those hard feelings are overwhelming all displays of skill.
In fact, both teams had some skill to flaunt on this display, as Mika Zibanejad showed some serious talent in even getting a shot off on Carey Price, who was game to the challenge:
Yep, that’s pretty impressive. It looked like the two teams would go into the first intermission with a 0-0, but Clarke MacArthur beat Price in the waning moments of the period. Mark Stone managed to grab an assist on that goal, too.
It looked shaky, but the Ottawa Senators will have Mark Stone in the lineup against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 2 tonight.
The Senators were concerned that a micro-fracture injury suffered from P.K. Subban’s infamous slash might have sidelined him for the entire series, but he instead will gut it out. The potential Calder candidate didn’t look great in warm-ups, as multiple reporters observed, including ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:
Stone isn’t the only possibly banged-up sniper in this one, as Max Pacioretty is making his 2015 postseason debut for the Habs tonight.
If either player can contribute anywhere near their normal level, it could very well be a difference-maker in this series or at least in Game 2. Then again, there’s also the threat of re-injury, particularly in a series that’s already very testy:
It’s remarkable how far Stone has come for Ottawa, isn’t it?