clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Game Recaps, Previews, How to Watch, Schedule and Day 18 Open Thread

Don’t look now, but the Predators are nine wins from the Stanley Cup, and the Caps and Pens resume their soap opera tonight.

St Louis Blues v Nashville Predators - Game Four Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Every day during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Canes Country recaps the night before, previews the games for that night, and gives you game times and broadcast information.

Tuesday’s Recaps

Ottawa Senators v New York Rangers - Game Three Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

New York Rangers 4, Ottawa Senators 1 (OTT leads 2-1)

The Rangers came into Tuesday night's Game 3 against the Senators in a must-win situation, and they delivered in a big way with their most impressive performance of the playoffs so far.

In their 4-1 win, contributions came from all over the roster as Mats Zuccarello, Michael Grabner, Rick Nash, and Oscar Lindberg scored to get them out to a commanding 4-0 lead that there was never a chance they'd relinquish.

With Brady Skjei and Brendan Smith getting an increase in ice time and Henrik Lundqvist turning aside 26 of 27 shots, suddenly the Rangers didn't seem so easy to score on.

It was a complete effort that they hadn't been able to really come up with in these playoffs, and it serves as a good sign for them moving forward.

A late second-period goal from the red-hot Jean-Gabriel Pageau made things a little bit interesting, but he wasn't going to single-handedly will his team to victory on this night. Lundqvist shut the door on ten Senators shots in the third period to earn the win, and suddenly the Rangers are right back in the series with Game 4 looming on Thursday at MSG. -Kyle Morton

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-St. Louis Blues at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Nashville Predators 2, St. Louis Blues 1 (NSH leads 3-1)

The Predators were able to once again win a grinding, tough game on their series versus the St. Louis Blues, and after a 2-1 win on Tuesday they now take a commanding 3-1 series lead back to St. Louis where they will seek to eliminate the Blues.

Again, the Predators were the first team to jump out on top, but it was not an early lead this time around. The game was scoreless until 5:09 of the third period, when the Preds grabbed a lead on a Ryan Ellis power-play goal, the fifth of 11 in this series scored by Predators defensemen.

The Preds extended their lead with an unassisted James Neal goal at 13:03 of the 3rd, and held on to another one goal victory after the Blues clawed back with a Joel Edmundson marker with just under four minutes remaining.

As was expected with two hot goalies, there did come a time in this series when each goalie carried their team. Unfortunately for the Blues, Pekka Rinne was just a bit better, and with his help the Predators have now forced the Blues to the brink of elimination. Game 5 is slated for Friday night in St. Louis at 8 p.m. ET. -Andy House

Wednesday’s Previews

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins (PIT leads 2-1)
7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN

  1. Both Teams' Response: After seeing their captain knocked out with another concussion, Pittsburgh's remaining players find themselves at a crossroads. From here, they can choose the "fighting fire with fire" method and start headhunting, or they can return to their style of play from games 1 and 2. Meanwhile, the Capitals have to find ways to build on their successes from Game 3. All opinions on Matt Niskanen's hit on Sidney Crosby aside, Washington's physicality, particularly on the forecheck, was a large part of their victory. Will Game 4 become a slugfest, or will the teams trade goals instead of hits?
  2. Holtby's Continued Resurgence: One of the catalysts of Washington's Game 3 victory was the play of their goaltender. Braden Holtby put up a .933% save percentage and was perfect in 5v5 play, including more than a couple miraculous stops with the help of his defense. Of course, the last two minutes of the game were sub-par, to say the least, but overall his bounce-back effort after two uncharacteristically bad outings in games 1 and 2 was admirable. He'll need to be at his best again to steal a second-straight road win and tie the series.
  3. Must-Win for Pittsburgh? I know, preposterous, right? They're still up in the series and still technically hold home-ice advantage having won both in Washington. But think of what happens if they drop game 4; the series is now tied, Pittsburgh still doesn't have Sidney Crosby or Conor Sheary (in all likelihood), and now the Caps have home-ice again and all of the momentum for the first time in the series. Two home losses would cancel out the hot start the Pens earned in Washington and would see them facing a steep uphill battle to regain momentum in Game 5. -Peter Dewar

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Anaheim Ducks at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Anaheim Ducks at Edmonton Oilers (EDM leads 2-1)
10:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN

  1. Ducks Look to Even the Series: After falling behind in the series 2-0 on home ice, the Ducks responded in a big way, taking down the Oilers by a 6-3 margin in Monday's Game 3. Anaheim started strong and finished strong, going up 3-0 in the first period and scoring the final three goals of the game to break a second-period 3-3 tie and run away with a must-win game. Tonight is just as important for the Ducks. If Edmonton can sneak out a win on home ice to take a two-game lead, it turns into a life or death situation for the higher ranked Ducks. Of course, the goal for Anaheim is to take an even series back to California, which seemed unlikely after games 1 and 2.
  2. Getzlaf vs. The Nuge: An interesting matchup in this series has been Ryan Getzlaf's line vs. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins' line. The Getzlaf line, composed of Rickard Rakell, Getzlaf and Patrick Eaves, was incredibly dangerous in round one against the Flames, and the Nuge line has been assigned the task of trying to contain them. Getzlaf and Rakell both found the back of the net in Game 2, and they've been the only two real consistent sources of offense outside of Jakob Silfverberg. Outside of a game three scoring fest, the Getzlaf line has largely been kept in check and off the scoresheet. When Nugent-Hopkins was drafted with the first overall pick in 2011, he was expected to be a dynamic offensive player, and although that hasn't necessarily happened, he has proven his worth as a defensive center in the post season.
  3. The Scoring or the Goalie? Games 1 and 3 of this series were decided by one team just outscoring the other, which is what most expected this series to be, but game two was decided by a great goalie duel with Cam Talbot outlasting John Gibson with a 39-save performance. Will Game 4 be a scoring frenzy or a goalie duel? Smart money says a scoring frenzy, but a big performance from either Gibson or Talbot would be a huge advantage for their respective team. -Brett Finger