Well, here we are. The last day the NHL has to pretend they are not playing playoff games. Time to find out who will be back.
Here’s what’s on tap for today’s games. We’ll use this as an open thread for today’s games.
Scotiabank Arena, Toronto
Time: 12:00 pm ET
TV: , NBCSN, NHL.TV, SN, TVAS, NBCSWA, NESN
Boston came into the restart with the best record in the league before the shutdown and in two games back have looked like they might not have actually returned yet. In two games they have scored only three goals while giving up seven. Their opponents today, the Washington Capitals, have been only slightly better by only giving up six goals while scoring three of their own. Neither team can finish higher than third in the qualifier but with this being the last game before the “real” playoffs begin they both need to figure out how to regain their scoring form (both were in the Top ten in goals scored before the stop).
Rogers Place, Edmonton
Time: 3:00 pm ET
TV: , NBC, SN360, SN-1
Another battle of two teams who have stumbled a bit out of the gate of the restart. St. Louis played well in their first game with Colorado but Nazem Kadri’s super late game heroics hurt and it seemed to roll over to their next game against Vegas where they did not quite look like the defending Cup Champions. Dallas on the other hand took a 3-1 lead going into the third period of their opener with Vegas then proceeded to give up four goals in their third to Vegas and another four to Colorado in their next game, losing 4-0. That is eight straight goals and with Dallas scoring all three of their goals in the second period of the game with Vegas they have been kept off the score sheet in five of the six periods of hockey they have played since the restart.
Scotiabank Arena, Toronto
Best of 5: Series tied 2-2
Time: 8:00 pm ET
TV: NBCSN,SN, TVAS, FS-O
This is series has been extremely fun and interesting and there is no reason to believe tonight’s game will not be more of the same. There has been blown leads, fluky goals, blown calls…pretty much everything anyone expects from an NHL playoff series. Toronto somehow found a way to be anti-Toronto last game as it was finally their turn to overcome a three goal third period deficit to stave off elimination and force a deciding game five. That would be a devastating thing to rebound from (as the Maple Leafs know all to well) but if anyone can get their team to shake off a loss like that it is John Tortorella. Grab your popcorn and your preferred beverage, this one should be everything we have come to expect from playoff hockey.