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2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Day 4 Previews and Open Thread

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10 hours of hockey to fill your Easter eve; here’s what to look for in each of tonight’s matchups.

Nashville Predators v Chicago Blackhawks - Game One Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Every night during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, we’ll give you Three Things To Track for each game that night.


Boston Bruins v Ottawa Senators - Game One Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images

Boston Bruins at Ottawa Senators (BOS leads 1-0)

3:00 p.m. ET, NBC

1. Will Tuukka Do All the Work? Tuukka Rask was outstanding in Game 1, stopping 26 of 27 shots and making a few outrageous pad saves to keep the final score 2-1. But with Colin Miller exiting Game 1 in the second period, the Bruins’ defense may struggle to help Rask in Game 2, with Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo already out. If the Bruins are going to win, replacement Joe Morrow and the Bruins defense will have to step up, or it’s going to have to be a Tuukka Rask show.

2. How Generous Will the Senators Be? The Senators seemed to help the Bruins’ cause more than they helped themselves on Thursday with 14 giveaways, giving 9 pucks away on the two shifts that scored in the third period for Boston. Ottawa is going to need to force Boston to take the puck away rather than errantly turn it over themselves.

3. Will the Bruins Offense Consistently Pressure the Net? Yes, they won, but that doesn’t mean they handled their offensive zone too well. Boston went 29 minutes without a shot on net. 29! That’s almost half the game, reaching a low-water mark with no shots on goal in the entire second period. In fact, if Ottawa didn’t have so many giveaways, Boston may not have had more than 20 shots on the night. The Bruins are going to need to find ways to create net pressure in each period to be successful. -Jake Crouse


Toronto Maple Leafs v Washington Capitals - Game One Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Toronto Maple Leafs at Washington Capitals (WAS leads 1-0)

7:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN

1. Mr. Playoffs: Justin Williams singlehandedly sent the Caps into overtime with two goals in game one, his fourth career two-goal playoff performance. Will he put on an encore tonight, or will the rest of the Caps’ offensive stars make an appearance?

2. Fast and Furious: The Maple Leafs’ speed gave the Caps fits in the first two periods of game two. Can they maintain that tempo for sixty minutes tonight? And if they can, will the older Caps wear down as the game goes on?

3. Stellar Goaltending: Braden Holtby has a career playoff .938 sv% in 48 games played, which is the best of any active goaltender. Holtby kept the Caps in Game 1 with multiple clutch saves, and they will need him to come up big again tonight to take Game 2. -Zeke Lukow


Nashville Predators v Chicago Blackhawks - Game One Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Nashville Predators at Chicago Blackhawks (NSH leads 1-0)

8:00 p.m. ET, NBC

1. Starting on time: Nashville nailed it in game 1 — the ever-elusive "fast start." The Predators controlled play for the first 20 minutes with ease, taking advantage of Chicago's nonchalance and converting one of several chances. The Blackhawks did take over for the remainder of the game, and had it not been for a steadfast Pekka Rinne, they likely would have won. Count on Joel Quenneville having his boys ready to get an early goal to build off of in game 2.

2. Can Rinne keep it going? With that said, Pekka Rinne deserves a free meal and the best seat on the team charter for his job in net in game 1. His 29-save shutout didn't break any records, but to come into United Center in the playoffs and put a goose egg up against the Blackhawks is no simple feat. His team had more than their share of breakdowns as game 1 progressed, but Rinne was stone cold. With his team likely playing better in front of him, a Rinne performance half as good as the one he put on in game 1 could see the Preds head home with a 2-0 lead.

3. JOFA: Speaking of keeping it going — with the anticipated offensive response from the likes of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Artemi Panarin, it will be imperative for Nashville to have their own guns firing once again. Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg, and Viktor Arvidsson had their wheels turning early in game 1, and it'll take another big showing to keep pace with a Hawks team ready to respond in game 2. -Peter Dewar


Calgary Flames v Anaheim Ducks - Game One Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Calgary Flames at Anaheim Ducks (ANA leads 1-0)

10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN

  1. Holding Serve. Anaheim head coach Randy Carlisle equated the two-game home stand to holding serve in tennis, and the Ducks had to battle back from a couple of break points to preserve their home ice advantage going into Game 2, thanks to a two-point night from captain Ryan Getzlaf and goals from Richard Rakell and Jakob Silfverberg.
  2. Cleanup on Aisle 9. The Flames were solid for much of Game 1, but when they made a mistake or got into penalty trouble (7 minor penalties including 3 committed by Dougie Hamilton), the Ducks jumped on the opportunity and capitalized from it. They’ll need to clean that up if they hope to get the split on the road.
  3. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Both teams are expecting to use the same lineups deployed in Game 1. John Gibson is confirmed in net for the Ducks. Chad Johnson remains out of the lineup for the Flames, but head coach Glen Gulutzen indicated he expected Johnson to be available to back up starter Brian Elliott later in the series. -Jamie Kellner