The Stanley Cup Playoffs are heating up as three key games on tap for Tuesday night.
Caps Looking for First Win
Two overtime losses leaves Washington sitting at a 2-0 deficit to begin its first round matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets
The Capitals have not faced potentially falling behind 3-0 in the first round since dropping the first two games of their opening round series against the 7th-seed New York Rangers in the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) April 17, 2018
“It’s not over yet. It’s just the beginning of a great series,” Alexander Ovechkin said.
Columbus fought through multiple two-goal deficits to earn the 2-0 series advantage. They entered the playoffs averaging almost four goals per game over their final 20 games heading into the postseason.
Columbus winger Matt Calvert called Game 2 a roller coaster and the series shifts to Ohio for Games 3 and 4.
They will look to keep that going as Washington is suffering from an identity crisis at goaltender. Phillipp Grubauer started Games 1 and 2 but was pulled for Braden Holtby after surrending four goals on 22 shots. Holtby will get the start for Game 3.
Minnesota Eyes Evening Up Series
Down 2-1 to the Winnipeg Jets, the Wild will look to build off their six-goal performance in Game 3 for Tuesday’s Game 4 in Saint Paul.
“It’s just as important a game for them as it is for us,” said Wild forward Nino Niederreiter. “I think we need to focus on us, make sure that we do all of the little things right and play with passion, play with emotion and do everything we can to get the win tonight.”
Center Eric Staal said the Wild needs to respond even more following its Game 3 victory.
Nino Niederreiter, Devan Dubnyk, Jonas Brodin and Bruce Boudreau drop some wisdom going into Game 4. pic.twitter.com/ao7ewVhm77
— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) April 17, 2018
But, Winnipeg believes its leadership, preparation and team depth allow the team to effectively rebound from losses. The Jets were 18-7-3 following a loss during the regular season.
Even goaltender Connor Hellebuyck responds well following losses. He went 12-2-3 with a save percentage of 93 percent in games he’s started in goal following a loss.
Las Vegas Shooting for Sweep
The fledgling Golden Knights are in position to bust out the brooms and sweep the Wild Card Kings in the Staples Center Tuesday night.
With a win, Las Vegas would become the first team to ever sweep a Stanley Cup Playoff series in its inaugural season.
But, the win is not guaranteed. Each of the first three games in the series have been decided by one goal.
Only four teams in NHL history have ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series. Vegas coach Ryan Carpenter does not want to let the Los Angeles Kings be the fifth.
“We know it’s going to be tough to close out the Kings; it’s going to be the toughest part,” Carpenter said. “Like we have all year, we’re just going to focus on one game at a time.”