Here are your Puck Previews: Spotlighting the key games in NHL action, news and views as well as general frivolity. Make sure to stop back here for the nightly Three Stars when the games are finished.
• A momentous occasion like this calls for some custom toilet paper, I guess? [Reddit]
The Senators get their first chance to close out the Montreal Canadiens, and they have to like their chances. Carey Price is done for the series. Brian Gionta is done for the year. Brandon Prust and Ryan White are out. Still, the Senators are "fearful", according to Paul MacLean. Maybe it's because they kept winning every time they lost a core guy this year, and they're afraid it will happen to Montreal too?
Tomas Vokoun gets the start for the Penguins after another shaky outing from Marc-Andre Fleury. Will it be enough to quell the Islanders' sudden momentum? Vokoun has great stats versus the Islanders this season, and he's 3-0. But his playoff record is just 3-8. Can he add a fourth win to both categories? If he can't, the Penguins will head back to Long Island in unthinkable trouble.
Chicago can close out their first-round series with a Game 5 win at home, and you have to like their chances, especially with the possibility that Josh Harding is too hurt to start and Darcy Kuemper will play in his stead. Another thing that would help Chicago: getting their powerplay going. It's 1-for-11 in the series.
• The Battle of Ontario is dead. All hail the new Northeast Division rivalries. [Grantland]
• In the end, the Ducks and the Red Wings are both losers, because the travel schedule is terrible. [MLive]
• It's time decide about Dion Phaneuf's future. Why now? He made a mistake last night. Decide right now. [CBC]
• Pekka Rinne has undergone hip surgery. Recovery time is expected to be four months. [Tennesseean]
Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: Urpo, on France's big win at the Worlds:
France won because they didn't have losers/whiners like CROSBY on their team.
I... don't think that's it.
Bold Prediction: Islanders pull off the stunning upset to put the Penguins on the edge.
- Ice Hockey
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- Montreal Canadiens
- Ottawa Senators
- New York Islanders