PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS NEW YORK ISLANDERS- 12:00PM EDT/9:00AM PDT (New York leads series 2-0)
The Pittsburgh Penguins certainly didn’t envision themselves coming home with a 2 game deficit in this series, but I don’t think there’s a sense of panic. That’s gonna change if this game starts going south on them today. Even with a couple of the NHL’s biggest stars in their lineup, they don’t really have an answer for Robin Lehner and the Islanders, but they better figure it out quickly. There were fireworks at the end of Game 2, but I am not sure Pittsburgh wants to try and physically intimidate the Isles, because they’d be more than happy to go into the gutter and battle them.
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS VS TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING- 7:00PM EDT/4:00PM PDT- (Columbus leads series 2-0)
You’re going to see a lot of people mention Columbus blowing a 2-0 series lead to the eventual champion Washington Capitals last year. You’re going to want to take that with a grain of salt, because it completely ignores an inconvenient fact. Yes friends, let’s travel back to the trading deadline, where Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen went all in, making a number of deals that left them damn near pickless in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft in June. It seemed at the time, something relatively close to crazy. It’s starting to look like maybe Kekalainen was crazy alright. Crazy like a fox. Columbus had to battle pretty much from February on just to stay in a Wild Card slot, and it’s being conveniently overlooked that they came into the playoffs as one of the hottest in the NHL. It’s not going to be a shock if Tampa wins this one, but you shouldn’t be too surprised if they don’t, especially missing Nikita Kucherov, who will sit his one game suspension tonight.
ST LOUIS BLUES VS WINNIPEG JETS- 7:30PM EDT/4:30PM PDT- (St Louis leads series 2-0)
Here’s another team that didn’t see themselves down 2-0 heading into game 3 on the road. The games were close on the scoreboard, but St Louis is full value for those wins. The important thing for the Jets to do is just focus on getting traffic in front of Jordan Binnington, trying to capitalize on power plays and not let the past creep into their heads. They’re pretty evenly matched against this Blues squad and both games have been close. They may need a bounce or two, but bounces come to those who work for them. I don’t think they’re done just yet.
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS VS SAN JOSE SHARKS- 10:00PM EDT/7:00PM PDT- (Series tied 1-1)
Vegas hasn’t looked as dominant as some anticipated, but played well enough to get the win on Friday night. San Jose is hanging in there, but goaltending is going to make or break them. Jones was pulled Friday after giving up 3 goals on 7 shots. The Sharks battled back to tie before the end of the period, but lost the game 5-3. Pete De Boer says Jones will start Game 3, but you can expect he’s on a short leash.