EDMONTON 1 SAN JOSE 0 (Oilers lead 2-1)
Zack Kassian's late 3rd period goal off a giveaway snapped a scoreless tie and gave the Oilers the win and series lead. Cam Talbot has now shutout the Sharks in two straight games, and even the return of Joe Thornton to the Sharks lineup couldn't get their offense, or their once vaunted PP going. Behind Talbot's stellar play and some timely goals from Kassian, the Oilers are doing just enough to get by, and despite getting outplayed in stretches of that game now can make Game 5 in Edmonton and elimination match unless the Sharks get their act together.
MONTREAL 3 NEW YORK 1 (Canadiens lead 2-1)
Alexander Radulov set up Shea Weber for what would be the winner, then gave us the goal of the playoffs so far as insurance, leading the Habs to a 3-1 victory at MSG yesterday. Radulov's goal was downright Forsbergian, as he makes the defender on the play look foolish.
Henrik Lundqvist was probably seeing that in his nightmares last night. The Habs will look to put a 3-1 stranglehold on the series Tuesday night in New York City.
ST LOUIS 3 MINNESOTA 1 (Blues lead 3-0)
Bruce Beaudreau's Minnesota Wild are in big trouble now, down 3-0 to the St Louis Blues, and are gonna be one of the first teams out of the playoffs barring a total collapse by Jake Allen, or some type of injury. The Wild are not getting good enough goaltending from the guy who was supposed to make a difference for them in Devan Dubnyk, and can't seem to generate decent chances against the Blues' stifling defense. And even when they do, Allen has been stellar.
PITTSBURGH 5 COLUMBUS 4 (Penguins lead 3-0)
They thought home ice might help, and for a while it did, even garnering a 2 goal lead after another strong period that finally saw them rewarded. Bryan Rust scored 2 3rd period goals for the Penguins to tie it, and then Jake Guentzel notched his 2nd of the game to give them the lead in the 3rd. Brandon Dubinsky tied it late in the 3rd with his first of the playoffs, but another jaw dropper of a shift from Sidney Crosby set up Guentzel for his hat trick goal and the OT winner to move them within one win of advancing to the 2nd round.
Guentzel leads the playoff goal scoring race, and is one point behind Evgeni Malkin for the overall scoring lead.
The Senators head to Boston, looking to build on a thrilling come from behind OT win over the Bruins on Saturday. The Bruins meanwhile will continue to try and maintain home ice with their patchwork defense. They may get Colin Miller back tonight, but could be without Brandon Carlo. If Miller can't go, they'll need to call someone up from Providence, and that means another big minute game from Zdeno Chara, who is showing his age these days.
The ACC will be rockin' tonight, and not just because Dart Guy will be in the house. After that double OT win in Washington Saturday night, the Leafs will look to get the series lead at home. There will be some changes in the lineup for the Leafs, as they lost Roman Polak for the rest of the playoffs with that ugly leg injury. It looks like Nikita Zaitsev will return from an upper body injury to play tonight, and that will be a big boost for the Leafs back end.
The Caps will be shuffling lines to try and get back after the loss Saturday. What you could see is separation of Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, to try and get at least one of them away from the checking line led by Nazem Kadri.
While it's likely premature to count the Hawks out of this one yet, if you're a fan you have to be concerned about the team's inability to score against the Preds. Peter Laviollette's team is playing some pretty smart hockey, and taking full advantage of Chicago miscues.
That being said, we here in Canuckland know that a 2-0 deficit means nothing to the Hawks, and will likely come out firing in front of what should be a raucous crowd in Nashville tonight.
The Flames are in tough right now and are hoping that home ice will help turn the tide for them and get them back into this series against the Ducks. While they feel they've been getting a raw deal from officiating (the 2015 Canucks would like to say hello), the Flames need to take advantage of a banged-up Ducks D core and get back to the things that worked for them this season. The question is, can they walk that fine line of speed and aggressive forechecking without letting emotion carry them over it?
They'll also need guys like Johnny Gaudreau to check in, and will likely need to get Brian Elliott to steal a game if they don't want to be facing elimination on Wednesday night. And it could get tougher, as Sami Vatanen could be a game time decision for Anaheim.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
While this may be a little on the heavy side for a lot of you, this 360 video from Suffocation is pretty awesome. Their new album '...Of The Dark Light' is out in June on Nuclear Blast Records.