2010 NHL playoffs: Previews for tonight's games

Tonight’s two games are only a half-hour apart, so I thought it would be prudent to discuss them together here. Let’s take a look at what’s at stake in each match.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Montreal Canadiens 7:00 PM ET (Versus, CBC)

Series tied 1-1

When Sidney Crosby was an awkward little Nova Scotia native, his favorite team was the Montreal Canadiens. Surely adulthood and bushels of cash will numb most of the emotions sports writers want to superimpose on him in this game, but that doesn’t change the fact that the atmosphere will be electric tonight. Game 3’s and 5’s can often be pivotal in a playoff series, so expect a good one. Can Jaroslav Halak stand tall once again? Will he need to?

San Jose Sharks at Detroit Red Wings 7:30 PM ET (TSN, CSN California, FS Detroit)

Sharks lead series 2-0

The Sharks must be satisfied after defending their home ice, but they’ve coughed up a 2-0 series lead before. Someone, somewhere is just waiting to write some kind of “The two Joes turn into average Joes at The Joe”-type headline. Bank on it.

It’ll be interesting to see if the wave of complaints (many justified) about officiating will play a role in this game. Will the whistles go the Red Wings way with all of that criticism and home ice advantage on their side? Should be an interesting one to watch, as Detroit needs to get back in this series.

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