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2018 NHL Playoffs Round 1- Game 4 Open Thread Apr 17/18

Columbus gets home ice advantage up 2-0 on the Caps, the Wild look to tie the Jets 2-2 and will Vegas be first through to Round 2?

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Vegas Golden Knights at Los Angeles Kings Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

WASHINGTON @COLUMBUS - 7:30 EDT/ 4:30 PDT (SN360) (Blue Jackets lead series 2-0)

The Washington Capitals turn to Braden Holtby to try and avoid going down 3 games to none against the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight. Washington had 2 goal leads in both games, but were unable to keep John Tortorella’s crew from coming back to win. Now, with the series shifting to Ohio, the Caps will have to try and stay disciplined, as the Jackets’ PP is currently clicking along at a 50% success rate. They’ll also be without Andrei Burakovsky, who was injured on a hit by Boone Jenner in Game 2. As far as the Jackets, they are in uncharted waters. Their fans have never seen their team win a playoff game til this season, so you can bet the Nationwide Center will be jacked up for their team to skate onto the ice with a 2-0 series lead. Columbus needs to stay focused and do the things that got them to this point.

WINNIPEG @ MINNESOTA - 8:00 EDT/ 5:00 PDT (SN) (Jets lead series 2-1)

Minnesota was full credit for their big win Sunday against the Jets, but it didn’t come without a price. Zach Parise suffered a fractured sternum in Game 3, and after missing the first half of the season recovering from back surgery, this is a massive loss for the Wild. The Jets will likely be without a significant piece as well, with Tyler Myers being doubtful for tonight. Myers is tied with Patrik Laine for the team goal scoring lead, so it would hurt the Jets to not have him back tonight. One key for Winnipeg tonight is for Connor Hellebuyck to forget about his bad performance Sunday and stay dialed in like he was in the 2 games at home.

VEGAS @ LOS ANGELES - 10:30 EDT/ 7:30 PDT (CBC) (Golden Knights lead series 3-0)

I don’t even know what to say anymore about this team and this series. LA is up against it, and will come out hard as they look to avoid getting swept. They have come back from a 3-0 deficit before, but this isn’t the same Kings squad and they’re not playing that San Jose Sharks team. Despite the impending sweep, this series hasn’t been a blowout. Each game has been decided by one goal, and as long as Jonathan Quick continues to play strong they have a chance to get back into this series. From there it’s up to the rest of the Kings, especially their more experienced vets, to lead the way. Vegas has said that Luca Sbisa has begun skating with the team and may return to the lineup soon, so all is not lost for the Kings if they can hang on tonight.