NEW JERSEY @ TAMPA BAY- 7:30 PM EDT/ 4:30 PDT (SN) (Lightning lead series 2-0)
Our old pal Cory Schneider didn’t start the series, but by gawd, he’ll finish it. Whether that ends up with a happy ending or not depends a lot on whether the Devils can shutdown the relentless Lightning offense. They also need to get some offensive production of their own going, and will get a boost to the lineup with the return of Marcus Johansson, who had been out with concussion symptoms since getting gooned by Brad Marchand in January. The Devils have had more scoring chances so far, but have struggled to solve Andrei Vasilevskiy.
COLORADO @ NASHVILLE- 10:00 EDT/ 7:00 PDT (SN) (Predators lead series 2-0)
This series is a hell of a lot closer than the 2-0 series tally would indicate, as the Avs have pushed Nashville hard, and it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that this one heads back to Music City knotted at 2 games a piece. One thing they’ve been doing right is getting good starts in both games. The Avs opened the scoring in both contests, and will need to continue this trend tonight if they want to get back in it. It’s not a giant disappointment if the Avs lose, even if they get swept. They finished last in the previous season, so Joe Sakic, Jared Bednar and crew deserve a huge amount of credit. But we may just see the Preds have to work a little harder to get to round 2 before it’s all said and done.
The Colorado Avalanche will be without young defender Samuel Girard for a second straight game Monday night. Head coach Jared Bednar says Girard (upper body) is day-to-day and is hopeful for his return in Game 4 Wednesday. The Avs trail Nashville 2-0 in their first-round series.— Scott Burnside (@OvertimeScottB) April 16, 2018
TORONTO @ BOSTON- 7:00 EDT/ 4:00 PDT (CBC) (Bruins lead series 2-0)
The first two games of this series were an unmitigated disaster for the Leafs, and they’re going to have to find a way to not just shut down Boston’s top line, but also get their best players playing better. They will be without Leo Komorov for tonight’s contest, so they’re slotting Dominic Moore in on the 4th Line, while Tomas Plekanec will move up to Line 2. Plekanec’s line will take on Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, a job he did well with in Montreal this season, limiting them to just one goal against him. Riley Nash will return to the Bruins lineup tonight, as will Nick Holden. Tommy Wingels. Ryan Donato and Matt Grzelcyk will sit.
SAN JOSE @ ANAHEIM- 10:30 EDT/ 7:30 PDT (SN1) (Sharks lead series 2-0)
The Sharks can take a stranglehold on this series with a win tonight, but you know that this team will forever have to acknowledge the 2014 collapse, when they coughed up a 3-0 lead to the LA Kings and lost. That being said, this Ducks team definitely isn’t the 2014 Kings, and it’s a fairly safe bet that you can expect a San Jose/Vegas 2nd round series. Unless Vegas blows it. Or maybe they both do. This is why we watch the games, folks. The Ducks D look awful, missing Cam Fowler, and the losses of Shea Theodore to the expansion Vegas squad and Sami Vatanen, who was shipped off to New Jersey for Adam Henrique are glaring right now. Old pal Kevin Bieksa looks like he’s hit the end of the road as a useful NHL defenceman, and to a man the Ducks are struggling to contain the speed of the Sharks.