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.
The defenseman left Friday night’s 6-2 win in the second period with a lower body injury following a collision with Brandon Saad and did not return.
He had one assist and a plus-1 rating in 13:25 of ice time prior to leaving the game.
Weber was second among Preds blue liners in the regular season with an average ice time of 26:22 per game, and with 45 points. He played 38:13 in Nashville’s 4-3 double-overtime loss in Game 1 on Wednesday.
Kane on Weber: "Seemed like they played pretty well without him. [But] I’m sure deep down they’ll definitely miss him." #Blackhawks
For much of tonight’s contest between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Nashville Predators, it seemed like some controversial calls may loom large. Instead, the Predators outright bombarded the Blackhawks in the third period, ultimately winning 6-2.
Now the story is about Joel Quenneville starting Corey Crawford instead of Scott Darling, even if perhaps the focus should be on Nashville taking it to the established team from Chicago.
Nashville never trailed in Game 2. It seemed like it would be a nail-biter for a while … until that third period. The game went from a thriller to a blowout during an incredible finish by Nashville:
The #Preds have set a playoff franchise record for the fastest 3 goals…just scored 3 in 2:19. Also most goals in a playoff game with 6.
The series is now 1-1 as it shifts back to the United Center in Chicago.
Both teams have questions. Shea Weber left the game with a lower-body injury and did not return. The Blackhawks got blown out of the arena and face a goalie conundrum. They may also mull over some lineup tweaks, including the possible return of trade deadline find Antoine Vermette.
Either way, the Blackhawks and Predators look like they’ll put together the kind of series you’d expect from the excellent Central Division.
Video: Controversial Kane goal has Laviolette fuming
The Nashville Predators likely weren’t happy about some calls from their Game 1 loss against the Chicago Blackhawks, but Game 2 might just make head coach Peter Laviolette explode.
Patrick Kane scoring his first goal since breaking his collarbone is a great story … yet it becomes sour when it’s so clear that it (almost certainly?) should have been whistled dead with too many men on the ice:
Want another look at it? Here’s more proof and more Laviolette anger:
Yeah, the Predators probably have a beef:
With Shea Weber out hurt for the rest of this game, the Predators aren’t exactly getting a lot of luck tonight. They do, however, currently hold a 3-2 lead.
Huge loss for Preds as Weber (lower body) knocked out of Game 2
Another game, another important Nashville Predator lost to injury.
This time, it’s captain and All Star defenseman Shea Weber, who exited Game 2 versus Chicago midway through the second period and was later ruled out of the contest with a lower-body ailment.
In Wednesday’s Game 1 OT loss, the Preds lost the services of Mike Fisher, who left with a lower-body injury of his own and was held out of tonight’s contest.
It’s unclear how Weber got hurt or the severity of the injury; that said, there’s no denying the impact it’ll have on the Preds. The 29-year-old d-man averaged over 26 minute per night during the regular season and was a workhorse in Game 1, playing 38:13