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 3, St. Louis Blues 1 (NSH leads 2-1)
The Nashville Predators returned home for Game 3, and continued their playoff home dominance, now 3-0 at Bridgestone Arena after a 3-1 win that gave them a 2-1 series lead over the St. Louis Blues.
The Predators once again started well, and for the third consecutive game placed the Blues in an early hole. The Predators never trailed on their way to the win, receiving two goals from their blue line, book-ending the scoring with tallies from Ryan Ellis and Roman Josi surrounding a game-winner from Cody McLeod in the second period. Defensively, the Preds continued to suppress the St. Louis offense, outshooting the Blues 34-23 in Game 3.
As the series turns to Game 4 on Tuesday, the Predators and Blues will face a pivotal turning point. A Nashville win would put the Blues on the brink of elimination heading home for Game 5, but a Blues win would swing the series back to even, with two remaining home games in St. Louis for the Blues.
Through three games, the Blues have yet to scratch out the first goal in a game. Playing catch-up clearly isn't working, so starting faster is imperative moving forward for the Blues. Game 4 will take place in Nashville on Tuesday night at 9:30 p.m. ET. -Andy House
Anaheim Ducks 6, Edmonton Oilers 3 (EDM leads 2-1)
A pattern seems to be developing for Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot: a few great games to start a series, followed by a clunker when the series shifts venues. Instead of Game 4 as it was in the first round, this time Talbot had his issues in Game 3, a 6-3 seesaw loss to the Ducks that saw the Oilers come back but falter late.
Determined to not allow Talbot to steal the show the way he did in Anaheim in Game 2, the Ducks’ Rickard Rakell scored on Anaheim’s first shift just 25 seconds into the game. By the 12:00 mark of the first period, it was already a three-goal lead with Jakob Silfverberg and captain Ryan Getzlaf tallying.
Edmonton then took control. Playing with momentum after a Patrick Maroon goal with 40 seconds left in the first period, goals by Anton Slepyshev and Connor McDavid tied the game at 3. And if you haven’t seen McDavid’s goal, check out the ankle-breaking move he put on poor Sami Vatanen:
Despite the highlight show, that scoreline lasted less than a minute, before Chris Wagner’s first career playoff goal put the Ducks on top for good. Silfverberg’s second goal of the game, challenged for offside but upheld, and Ryan Kesler’s goal in the third period iced the game for the Ducks, who improved to 3-0 on the road during the playoffs. Game 4 is Wednesday night in Edmonton as the Ducks look to tie the series and wrest home-ice advantage back from the Oilers. -Brian LeBlanc
Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins (PIT leads 2-0)
7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN
- Lessons Learned: The Washington Capitals have done themselves no favors by losing the first two games on home ice, and you can bet the Pittsburgh Penguins will be looking to put the Caps on the brink of elimination. And with all the Caps' playoff woes coming to the forefront, it will be hard to buck the trend. But as we saw last night in the Ducks/Oilers game 3, a team can drop both home games and respond on the road. Could the Caps learn from Anaheim and step their game up, or will Pittsburgh keep their foot on the gas?
- The Weird Guys in the Blue Paint: Who would have guessed that Marc-Andre Fleury would be outplaying Braden Holtby through two games in Washington? And while MAF deserves his accolades, the bigger (and more shocking) story is the inability of Holtby to step up so far. For the Capitals to get anything going, their star goalie must be better. Game 3 presents a clean slate for the Caps' #70, while a return home could see Fleury take yet another step towards a potential Conn Smythe trophy (yeah, yeah, it's only the second round, but still).
- Shattenpik: So, remember the trade deadline when the Capitals got the big fish in Kevin Shattenkirk? He was meant to shore up their back end against mistakes that have plagued the team in the past. Instead, he and his partner, Brooks Orpik, have been the root of their problems. Turnovers, poor positioning, you name it - neither player has played to his potential. The key for Washington's defense going forward is playing simple and minimizing mistakes; if they focus on the things in their control and keep risky plays to a minimum, they have a chance. -Peter Dewar