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WATCH LIVE: Game 4 for Habs-Rangers, Penguins-Blue Jackets, Oilers-Sharks

Who would have thought that only three teams would finish 2016-17 with more points than the Columbus Blue Jackets?

Even considering the might of the Pittsburgh Penguins, did many expect them to have a shot at sweeping the Blue Jackets after such a strong season?

The playoffs are exhilarating and fun, but they can also be cruel. We’ll see if there are any new swerves on Tuesday, as the Blue Jackets fight elimination while two other series either end up tied at 2-2 or with 3-1 advantages.

Here’s everything you need to know to watch:

Montreal Canadiens vs. New York Rangers

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET

Network: NBCSN (Stream online here)

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

Network: CNBC (Stream online here)

Edmonton Oilers vs. San Jose Sharks

Time: 10:00 p.m. ET

Network: NBCSN (Stream online here)

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    Kassian wins it for Oilers, who shut out Sharks again

    4 Comments

    The venue changed, but the larger points stayed the same between the Sharks and Oilers from Game 2 to Game 3 … shockingly so.

    To start, Cam Talbot shut out San Jose for the second straight game, making 23 saves as Edmonton won 1-0, taking a 2-1 series lead on Sunday. Considering that Talbot only needed 16 stops for a shutout in Game 2, it’s obvious that offense has been halted in this series (even with Joe Thornton back for the Sharks).

    Wait … allow a correction: offense is drying up for everyone not named Zack Kassian.

    Stream Sharks vs. Oilers on NBC Sports

    The former first-rounder and former reclamation project now has two consecutive game-winning goals. He was a regular threat against the Sharks, too, creating turnovers and applying his mixture of size and skill in impressive (rarely seen) ways.

    He’s already inspiring comparisons to the Oilers’ “most recent” unlikely hero before him: Fernando Pisani (yet, it’s been a while for Edmonton):

    More than a few people griped that Kassian beat Jones five-hole (“again!”).

    Of course, that goal would be far less regrettable if the Sharks had been able to score since the overtime-winner from Game 1.

    It’s been an extremely tight couple of games between the two teams, so coming out on top twice in a row has to be really heartening for an Oilers team that came into the playoffs with legitimate questions about their defense.

    Now the Sharks must push through their bumps and bruises to find a way to create more offense.

    … And, dare we say, find a way to contain that Kassian kid?

    Video: Alex Radulov’s one-handed goal was just rich

    7 Comments

    As silly as many of the Alex Radulov criticisms seem, it will be especially difficult to take any talk of being “soft” seriously after some of his ridiculous displays against the New York Rangers.

    Radulov provided a truly spectacular display in Game 3, drawing worthy Peter Forsberg comparisons as he bulled through Rangers and scored a one-handed goal to put Montreal up 3-0 in an eventual 3-1 win.

    (Watch in awe in the video above.)

    He also made the sort of play that drew references to “witchcraft” on the play that set the table for Shea Weber‘s game-winner.

    Speaking of decisive tallies, Radulov also made a great play to set up the goal that sent Game 2 to overtime and then out-willed opponents to collect the overtime game-winner in that contest.

    Radulov turns 31 in July. One can understand why the Canadiens might struggle to decide what kind of term they can stomach with a player not that far removed from the KHL.

    Still, the way things are going, he’ll get paid (and likely enjoy plenty of term) whether it’s with the Habs or not.

    Zach Werenski shares battle scars in selfie, gains Tortorella’s (colorful) praise

    via Werenski's Twitter feed
    8 Comments

    Zach Werenski‘s horrifying wound might just unseat Taylor Hall‘s grotesque injury and Logan Couture‘s damaged mouth as the grossest hockey wound in recent memory.

    If nothing else, Werenski gets the edge over Hall because that wounded moment came in the playoffs.

    Werenski returned briefly (following a scary, bloody moment) during the Columbus Blue Jackets’ eventual 5-4 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but couldn’t return during OT. The reason why? He basically couldn’t see out of his right eye, as NHL.com’s Nick Cotsonika and others report.

    Stream Penguins vs. Blue Jackets on NBC Sports

    We already saw some in-game evidence of the gore when he was able to come back but Werenski himself posted evidence that it (gag) got a lot worse.

    As a comparison, here’s before the swelling got out of control:

    To little surprise, Werenski’s willingness to battle through the injury as much as possible gained the respect of his Columbus Blue Jackets teammates:

    To even less surprise, John Tortorella provided the money quote:

    Oh, Torts. Never change. (Note: he might not even change the way he flatters … brave people.)

    As a reminder, there’s still some debate surrounding the goal counting after Werenski was injured.

    You’re unlikely to hear any quibbling about the rookie defenseman’s toughness, however … especially in the Blue Jackets’ locker room.

    Jumbo Joe is good to go: Sharks get Thornton back for Game 3

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    The San Jose Sharks managed to split the first two games in Edmonton, but there’s no doubt that they’re elated to have Joe Thornton back for Game 3 against the Oilers.

    “Jumbo Joe” has been sidelined since April 2 with a knee/lower-body issue. He’s back tonight as the series shifts to the Shark Tank for a pivotal contest.

    Interestingly, the Sharks are placing Thornton back into the lineup in place of speedy (but hot-and-cold) winger Mikkel Boedker.

    So, the Sharks get bigger, more bearded and more experienced … though the speed disparity, at times, could be quite glaring when a (possibly hobbled) Thornton is out there with Connor McDavid.

    Stream Sharks vs. Oilers on NBC Sports

    The Oilers have good injury news of their own, too, as Oscar Klefbom is good to go.