Every day during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Canes Country recaps the night before, previews the games for that night, and gives you times and broadcast information.
Nashville Predators 4, St. Louis Blues 3 (NSH leads 1-0)
The severe injury to Kevin Fiala certainly put a damper on the excitement in the victorious Nashville Predators locker room post-game, as the Predators prevailed 4-3 in what was described as the "toughest game of the season" by star defenseman P.K. Subban.
After the Blues knotted the score at 3-3 following third period goals from Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Sobotka, the Predators responded with a nifty goal from Vernon Fiddler at 14:55 of the third to provided the winning tally. The Predators had chipped the puck into the zone along the boards, and Austin Watson nudged the puck softly towards Jake Allen in net. Fiddler chased it down and poked at the puck, putting it past Allen for the eventual game-winner.
From there, the Predators hung on with Pekka Rinne holding strong in net and just like that, the Predators had stolen home ice advantage away from the Blues. The offensive star for the Predators was Subban, who notched 3 points on 1 goal and 2 assists. Rinne stopped 27 of the 30 shots he faced.
Game 2 is set for Friday night at 8:00 pm EDT in St. Louis as the Predators will look to continue their 5-game playoff winning streak. -Andy House
Edmonton Oilers 5, Anaheim Ducks 3 (EDM leads 1-0)
Game 1 between the Oilers and Ducks lived up to all the expectations. A firework-filled third period resulted in a 5-3 win for Edmonton on the road.
A 1-1 game through two periods, it looked like this one would stay low scoring, but things broke open in the final period. The Oilers took a 3-1 lead nine minutes into the frame thanks to goals from Mark Letestu, his second of the game, and Adam Larsson.
Under three minutes after the Oilers extended their lead to two goals, the Ducks stormed back and tied things up again.
With just over five minutes to go, Larsson fired home his second of the period to give the road team the lead, and Leon Draisaitl iced the game with an empty-netter. Draisaitl had four points in Game 1 of the series.
It was a huge offensive third period in game one of the series, and the fast-paced Oilers came out on the right side of it. The late flurry of offense, paired with a good bit of rough stuff down the stretch, should set up for another great game on Friday night when the two clubs meet again for Game 2 in Anaheim at 10:30 p.m. ET. -Brett Finger
Thursday’s Series Previews
(M2) Pittsburgh Penguins at (M1) Washington Capitals
7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN
- The Showdown (tm): Another year, another Sid/Ovi matchup. You'd think it would get boring at some point, but it's hard to shake a stick at yet a third playoff meeting between two of the brightest stars in League history. Sidney Crosby has taken each of the first two rounds, despite last year seeming like Alexander Ovechkin's best shot at the Stanley Cup. With a still-stacked roster and a Penguins lineup missing Kris Letang and Matt Murray, could it finally be time for Ovechkin to get an elusive playoff win over Crosby?
- Skip the Subtleties: Probably the most unique aspect to this series is how familiar these two teams will be.It's a safe bet that there won't be any "feeling out" period between the Pens and Caps. Neither team made any sweeping changes after last season's meeting, and the players have become well-acquainted with one another by now. Instead, expect a game four-like environment from the get-go.
- Unexpected Heroes: With Ovechkin and Crosby soaking up most of the spotlight and thus much of the opposition's focus, someone else - perhaps multiple someones - will more than likely have to unexpectedly step in to produce a clutch goal or game-saving play. Pittsburgh has had fantastic production from Jake Guentzel on Crosby's wing thus far, and continue to ride players like Nick Bonino and Bryan Rust for their secondary scoring. Meanwhile, the Capitals' Marcus Johansson put up two goals in their Game 6 victory over the Maple Leafs, and has long been a strong member of the supporting cast in Washington. Look for players like Lars Eller and abnormally-quiet Andre Burakovsky to step into larger roles as the series carries on. -Peter Dewar
(WC1) New York Rangers at (A2) Ottawa Senators
7:00 p.m. ET, CNBC
- Karlsson's Foot: Ottawa's star defenseman Erik Karlsson played in his team's first round matchup against the Bruins with multiple fractures in his foot. Despite that, he was outstanding. His six assists (some of them mind-bogglingly fantastic) led his team to a six game series victory over Boston. Now that his injury is public knowledge, look for the Rangers to give him some attention down there, but if Karlsson is able to power through this injury, Ottawa has a half-decent shot at winning this series.
- Can Lundqvist keep it up? By far the biggest difference between the Rangers in the regular season and the Rangers in their first round matchup with Montreal was the performance of veteran goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist's save percentage in the regular season was just .910, but he stepped it up to a .947 against Montreal. If he comes anywhere near replicating that number, the Rangers should cruise to a series win.
- Who is the Head Ranger? In six games against the Canadiens, only one Ranger, Mika Zibanejad, had more than three points. The Rangers have been an offense-by-committee team all season, but recent history suggests that to go far in the playoffs, a true contender is going to need one guy to step up and by the go-to man for his team. Will that be Zibanejad against his former team? Mats Zuccarello? Rick Nash? Whoever it is, it needs to be someone. -Kyle Morton