PITTSBURGH @ PHILADELPHIA - 3:00 EDT/ 12:00 PDT (CBC) (Series tied at 1-1)
After the Game 1 debacle, some questioned the wisdom of putting Brian Elliott back in net. While I won’t go so far as to call Dave Hakstol a genius, it was definitely the right call, as the Flyers responded with a solid effort in shutting down Sidney Crosby and sending the series to Philly back on even terms. One guy who needs to make his presence known today is Claude Giroux. Philly’s top scorer has been silent so far.
WINNIPEG @ MINNESOTA - 7:00 EDT/ 4:00 PDT (SN) (Jets lead series 2-0)
Minnesota are hoping that they can pick up some momentum from the strong way they finished Game 2 on Friday night. Oh, wait. They didn’t actually finish strong but went out and had their 4th liners go and start fights to “send a message”. I presume that message is you can take the asshole coach out of Anaheim, but you can’t take the, well... you get the picture. They’re going to find out that gooning it up isn’t going to derail this Winnipeg squad, but if I were Paul Maurice I would make sure my players had their heads on a swivel today. Miku Koivu is low key dirty and they might try to find a way to even things up by going after guys like Patrik Laine or Mark Scheifele.
COLUMBUS @ WASHINGTON - 7:30 EDT/ 4:30 PDT (SN360) (Blue Jackets lead series 1-0)
The scheduling in this one is odd to say the least, but after 2 days off the Jackets and Capitals are back at it. CBJ have an opportunity to head home with a 2-0 lead, and after a come from behind victory that led to an OT winner from Artemi Panarin. Sonny Milano will step into the lineup to take the place of Alexander Wennberg, injured by a not so clean hit from (wait for it...) Tom Wilson. The line shuffling will see Nick Foligno moved to the top line with Boone Jenner and Thomas Vanek. Yes, Top Line Tommy Gun is a thing. Jay Beagle will return to the Caps lineup after missing 4 games with an injury, and TJ Oshie will play despite not skating this weekend.
VEGAS @ LOS ANGELES - 10:30 EDT/ 7:30 PDT (CBC) (Golden Knights lead series 2-0)
This game is the first true test of the Vegas Golden Knights: How will they react to holding a 2-0 lead in their first road playoff game. As we’ve seen in playoffs past, a 2-0 series lead is not a guarantee by any stretch, and even good teams have gone back home tied up after leaving with that lead. And with the Kings getting both Drew Doughty (suspension) and Jake Muzzin (injury) back in the lineup, they’re going to be a tougher matchup defensively for the Knights. The Kings haven’t been bad per se, but they’re going to need a little bit of puck luck to help them even things out.