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.
Ottawa Senators 6, New York Rangers 5 (2OT) (OTT leads 2-0)
The New York Rangers and the Ottawa Senators played a wild contest in Kanata on Saturday afternoon, with the Senators claiming a 6-5 victory in double overtime.
If Game 1 was an entertaining goalie duel, this...um, wasn't.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau was the star in the game, as his four goal effort was wrapped up with a natural hat trick that brought the Senators from two goals down in the dying minutes of the third period to claiming a huge 2-0 series lead after sweeping the first two games on home ice. The third of his goals tied the game with 1:02 remaining and Craig Anderson on the bench for the extra attacker.
Defenseman Brady Skjei was great for the Rangers, with two goals and several great defensive plays, and one where he did both on the same shift:
Derek Stepan, Michael Grabner, and Chris Kreider also scored in the losing effort for the Rangers. Mark Stone and Marc Methot, who had no goals in the regular season, tallied for the Senators in addition to Pageau’s four goals.
Game 3 at MSG is on Tuesday night, as Henrik Lundqvist will look to re-capture his good form and get the Blueshirts back in the series after allowing six Ottawa goals on just 34 shots on Sunday. -Kyle Morton
Pittsburgh Penguins 6, Washington Capitals 2 (PIT leads 2-0)
As I'm sure we all expected, the Washington Capitals have a bit of a goaltending controversy; that is to say, they need goaltending. Another loss at Verizon Center puts them down 0-2 in the series against the Pittsburgh Penguins as the series shifts to the Keystone State, and things look bleak.
The Vezina-nominated Braden Holtby and very serviceable backup Philipp Grubauer allowed a combined five goals between them in Game 2, most of which were stoppable shots. And their offense just can't seem to find their scoring touch, despite heavily outplaying the Pens for long stretches of time.
One such stretch of domination came in the first period, as they outshot Pittsburgh 16-5, earned two power plays, and won over 70% of the face-offs. The problem? They still didn't beat Marc-Andre Fleury, who continued his 2009 MAF performance into Game 2 and faced down all 16 shots in the opening 20 minutes.
As they often do, the Penguins then decided to ruin Washington's fun with a shorthanded tally early into the second. On that same Caps power play, Matt Niskanen found a way to tie the game and keep Washington in it. But the rest of the period was all Pittsburgh, as Sidney Crosby assisted in true Crosby fashion on goals from Phil Kessel and Jake Guentzel.
The third period saw Washington coach Barry Trotz go to Grubauer in net in an effort to spur his team on, but it was Kessel scoring again to increase the lead to to 4-1. Nicklas Backstrom put another one up for the Caps and brought a bit of life back into the building, but a back-breaking goal from Evgeni Malkin and a Guentzel empty-netter would seal the 6-2 win for the visitors.
Fleury stopped 34 of 36 shots, while Holtby went 11 for 14 and Grubauer steered away seven of nine. Game 3 will take place on Monday night at PPG Paints Arena. -Peter Dewar
St. Louis Blues at Nashville Predators (Series tied 1-1)
3:00 p.m. ET, NBC
- An Early Start: Today's Game 3 in Nashville is a 3 p.m. EDT start - 2:00 p.m. local - on NBC. The Predators will look to protect home ice again, as they have not lost at home in regulation since March 4th. Meanwhile, the Blues seek to remain Road Warriors as they put their 3-0 road playoff record to the test in Nashville. Will the early start to the game throw either team off their rhythm, and could the other team take advantage?
- Who will get out in front? Through the first two games, the Preds have been the quicker starting team. Nashville has jumped to early leads, but in each case have surrendered those leads in the 3rd period, and in turn split the first two games in St. Louis. Will we see more of the same in Nashville, with the Preds starting on time yet again, or will the Blues finally be able to get out in front and truly play the heavy, controlling style of game they so desire to play?
- Which Goalie Breaks Out? Both Jake Allen and Pekka Rinne have been phenomenal in the playoffs, including being solid thus far in this series. Both netminders are capable of stealing a game with a tremendous performance. Who will be the man to provide that first show-stopping performance of the series which turns the outcome of a game? Whomever reaches that level first might turn the series for their team as both teams appear pretty well locked in for a tight series at this point. -Andy House
Anaheim Ducks at Edmonton Oilers (EDM leads 2-0)
7:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN
- A Must-Win for the Ducks: After consecutive losses on home ice, the Anaheim Ducks have been pushed into a corner entering Game 3. They'll be tasked with trying to dig out of this 2-0 hole and they'll need to do it in a hostile environment up in Alberta. This could easily be the deciding game in this series. If the Ducks fall down 3-0, it's pretty much game, set, match.
- The Masked Men: I said earlier in the series that the goalie matchup would be huge, and of course it always is in the playoffs, but Cam Talbot had a fantastic effort in Game 2 and stole a win for his team in the process, stopping 39 of 40 shots. John Gibson needs to have a strong game for the Ducks. Their lifespan in this series will depend on his ability to steal a game or two.
- A Complete Team: If we have learned one thing about the Oilers since the start of the playoffs, it's that they are much, much more than just a team carried by Connor McDavid. The likes of Leon Draisaitl, Mark Letestu, and Adam Larsson have all been big time performers and they've produced at crucial times. McDavid will always be the guy for the Oilers, but his supporting cast has shown up in the playoffs and they have been a big handful for the Ducks. Anaheim's young defensive core will need to continue to tighten up and keep tabs on everyone, not just Connor. -Brett Finger