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NHL Playoffs Continue

The Washington Capitals have a chance to sweep the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 4 of the first round of the playoffs tonight. The Capitals lead a series 3-0. The Capitals scored four in the third period to cruise to a 6-1 win in Game 3. The Flyers decide to change goalies and start Michal Niuvirth who would most likely have been a starter in the playoffs if not for an injury. The Capitals will remain with Braden Holtby at goaltender although Holtby ran into a health scare when he collided with a teammate in Tuesday’s practice and then exited favoring his left leg. He has allowed only two goals in the series. Philadelphia Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol said the team was not able to recover from the third goal they gave up in Game 3. To add to the disappointment, Flyers forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare is suspended one game for hitting Capitals Defenseman Dimitry Orlov in Game 3.  Washington coach Barry Trotz emphasized that they can’t slow down and they’ll be ready for Game 4.The puck will drop at 7 and can be seen on the NBC Sports Network.

 

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The Florida Panthers will look to even the series with the New York Islanders at two games apiece tonight. The Panthers deep and talented line up seemed like it would be too much for the Islanders, but the Islanders’ perseverance and persistence seems to be doing the job. The Islanders outlasted the Panthers in a 4-3 overtime thriller in Game 3. Thomas Hickey scored the game winning goal in overtime. Hickey said he shot the puck as quickly as he could once Brock Nelson passed it to him. Islanders coach Jack Capuano said Florida defenseman Aaron Ekblad’s goal being overturned was the turning point to the game. If the Panthers fall to 1-3, then capturing their first series win in 23 years will be in serious doubt. The game will be on USA Network starting at 8:00.

The Minnesota Wild look to tie the series at 2 when they face the Dallas Stars. The Wild snapped a six game playoff losing streak after they beat the Stars in a 5-3 comeback win. Minnesota’s Chris Porter said the team did a good job not turning the puck over and putting pressure on the Stars’ defense. The Stars were 11-2-0 over the last month and did not allow three goals or more prior to Game 3.  Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen was playing really well before Game 3; even with allowing four goals in Game 3, he is 7-2-0 with a .932 save percentage over the last month. On the other side, Devan Dubnyk snapped a six game losing streak at goalie; he is 1-6-0 over his last eight games. This game can be seen on NBC Sports Network at 9:30.

 

The Los Angeles Kings will head to San Jose to try to even the series at two. In Game 3, both teams scored a goal in the first period and the score remained the same until Tanner Pearson scored the game winning goal in overtime for LA as the Kings won the game 2-1. Tanner Pearson said the Kings executed well down the stretch. The Sharks look to defend home ice as San Jose looks to grab a commanding 3-1 series lead.

 

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