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NHL Playoffs Open Thread for Wednesday, April 18

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Three teams step into the Coliseum today to continue their methods of mayhem. Tonight we've got potential sweeps on the line for two pre-playoff favorites while another series could either become as close as a premeditated one-way beatdown or end up with one team feeling like they've been elbowed in the head going down 3-1.

New York Rangers (1) at Ottawa Senators (8) - 7:30 CNBC: The Rangers lead this series two games to one after going into Ottawa and imposing their will in what was no doubt a thrilling 1-0 victory topped off by a Brian Boyle goal that probably felt like several gloved rabbit-punches to the head of the Ottawa crowd. Can Ottawa pull even or will they dominate the first two periods only to implode in the third and face going back to the home team's barn for a do-or-die game 5?

Pittsburgh Penguins (4) at Philadelphia Flyers (5) - 7:30 NBCSN: The Penguins face elimination already after dropping the first three games and just about all of their dignity in Philly on Sunday. Will the Penguins have enough firepower without guys like Arron Asham, Craig Adams, and James Neal all sidelined with suspensions for this one? Will the Flyers have anybody who doesn't suffer prolonged headaches and dizziness by the time this series is over? Eh, who cares? I'm more interested to see if Marc-Andre Fleury can stop a single shot.

Vancouver Canucks (1) at Los Angeles Kings (8) - 10:00 NBCSN: Roberto Luongo has lost his starting job and the Canucks will have to win four straight to advance to the 2nd round over the eight-seeded Kings. The good news for Vancouver is that Daniel Sedin says he expects to play tonight. The bad news is that Ryan Kesler's persistent inner ear problems don't seem to be going away any time soon.