The Presidents’ Trophy winners could be in trouble if they can’t find a way to battle back in this one. The Caps responded to a Game Two loss with a big win on home ice in Game Three. Florida needs to do a lot of things better, including their penalty kill, which is getting clowned by the Caps so far. Their best players haven’t been their best in this series, and if that doesn’t change, they’re gonna be out early.
The Louis Domingue story is great, but Sidney Crosby has been the real deal in this one so far, with a goal and five assists in the first three games. Igor Shesterkin is gonna have to steal one here, and get a ton of help from his defence because the Rangers look like they’re in trouble against a team with AHL goaltending.
Unlike the Penguins, the Predators are going to need more than AHL goaltending, and it’s quite likely the Avalanche will be moving on tonight unless something drastic happens. It’s not confirmed that Darcy Kuemper will be able to go tonight after that frightening incident Saturday where Ryan Johansen’s stick accidentally went through Kuemper’s cage, poking him in the eye. If the swelling doesn’t go down, Pavel Francouz will get the start, and that could be the opening the Preds need to avoid elimination.
The Flames and their tough team persona that is the hallmark of the Darryl Sutter experience could be their downfall, as a constant stream to the penalty box is keeping the Flames from rolling out their best players as much as they need. Dallas is only too happy to trade off third and fourth liners for Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau, and if the Flames can’t find something resembling restraint and composure, another favorite to go all the way could be in danger.