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2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Game Recaps, Previews, How to Watch, Schedule and Day 23 Open Thread

The Blues bid farewell, the Oilers win a laugher, and can the Capitals somehow avoid the same fate again?

St Louis Blues v Nashville Predators - Game Six 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.

Sunday’s Recaps

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

Nashville Predators 3, St. Louis Blues 1 (NSH wins 4-2)

For the first time in franchise history, the Nashville Predators will play for a spot in the Stanley Cup Final. They clinched their first appearance in the Western Conference Final with their third home victory of the series in a 3-1 defeat of the St. Louis Blues on Sunday afternoon.

The Predators were once again led by outstanding goaltending, as Pekka Rinne stopped 23 of the 24 shots sent his way. For the series Rinne posted a sparkling .932 save percentage, and never yielded more than three goals in any one game.

In Game 6, the Blues were able to get off to the start that they needed to give themselves a chance, scoring the first goal with a put-back from Paul Stastny just over two minutes into the game. The Predators answered early in the 2nd period, again from their blue line. Roman Josi slipped down low and ripped home a shot following an assist from Mattias Ekholm. In the 3rd period with the score knotted at 1, Ryan Johansen streaked down the middle and received a tremendous soft and leading feed from Viktor Arvidsson to come in clear on Blues netminder Jake Allen. Johansen made his move and slipped the puck past Allen for what would prove to be the series clincher.

The Predators remain perfect at home in the postseason, and they now await the winner of the Oilers and Ducks who are headed to a Game 7 on Wednesday. -Andy House

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

Edmonton Oilers 7, Anaheim Ducks 1 (Series tied 3-3)

Once again, the momentum in this series has shifted. The Edmonton Oilers scored early and often en route to a 7-1 blowout victory on home ice over the Anaheim Ducks to force Game 7. The Oilers were up 5-0 at the first intermission, scoring five times on 16 shots in the first twenty minutes.

Leon Draisaitl was the story of the game, netting a hat trick and five total points on Sunday. Mark Letestu also netted a pair of goals for the Oilers and had four points. The Oilers were up 6-0 before Rickard Rakell salvaged a modicum of pride in the second period, but by then the outcome was a foregone conclusion.

Cam Talbot's 34-save outing is easy to overlook, but he was big in net for Edmonton. The goaltending for the Ducks, however, was less than stellar. John Gibson allowed three goals on six shots before getting pulled in the first period for Jonathan Bernier, who performed admirably given the situation, stopping 25 of 29 shots.

Game 7, the first for these playoffs, is slated for Wednesday night back in Anaheim. The start time is yet to be determined and will be announced after the result of tonight’s game between the Penguins and Capitals. -Brett Finger

Monday’s Preview

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins (PIT leads 3-2)
7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN

  1. Sixes or Sevens? The Penguins missed one chance to close out the series, and it's a hard bet to say they'll fail to cash in on another before a potential Game 7. Going into Game 6 in Pittsburgh with a chance to win the series is about as ideal a scenario as any, and the added benefit of giving Sidney Crosby an extra day or two to get fully healthy is an added bonus for the Pens. On the flip side, the Capitals have confidence, and have won in PPG Paints Arena already in this series. Coming off of several emotional highs and lows in Bame 5, Washington could finally have their focus set enough to force a seventh game in this series.
  2. Home Ice (Dis)Advantage: The outset of this series saw the teams trade road victories until Game 4, when the Penguins outlasted the Caps to take a 3-1 lead at the time. With the series now 3-2, each team has won on home ice, but also has either the same number of road wins (WSH) or even more road wins than home wins (PIT). The probabilities based on the series so far marginally dictates a likely Caps win, but with the last two games being won by the home side, a new trend could continue with a Pens win. Either way, the very split nature of "who has won where and under what circumstances" has been an intriguing storyline.
  3. Keeping the Rhythm: We would not have a Game 6 if not for some true heroics from the Capitals' top-tier players in the third period of Game 5. Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Braden Holtby, and Evgeny Kuznetsov were all part of a group indirectly called out by Head Coach Barry Trotz after a disappointing Game 4 performance from his stars. They responded with by potting a few rapid-fire goals and making some phenomenal saves to keep their side ahead. Now the question is how they do it again in Game 6. We know what they're capable of, but which Caps team will show up? -Peter Dewar