The Stanley Cup playoffs are here. Here are tonight’s match-ups.
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Detroit Red Wings- 7 p.m.
Pittsburgh Penguins @ New York Rangers-7 p.m.
St. Louis Blues @ Chicago Blackhawks-9:30 p.m.
Anaheim Ducks @ Nashville Predators-9:30 p.m.
In the first match-up, the Lightning will face off against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena for Game 4. The Lightning are looking for a third win against the Red Wings, as the Lightning suffered their first loss of the series on Sunday. Tampa Bay wasn’t able to get on the board and lost 2-0. Although Tampa Bay was successful in the first two games against Detroit, they couldn’t get anything done on offense, they lost puck battles, and were forced to blank the Red Wings on several power-play attempts in the loss on Sunday. Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn have been the stars for the Lightning and took quite a bit of heat for their performance on Sunday. However, Lightning Center Brian Boyle says although they are the stand outs, they can’t do all the work. The Red Wings Goalie Petr Mrazek who replaced Jimmy Howard will be back in action for the Detroit in tonight’s game four. Looking forward, Valterri Filppulu (Vall-TARE-ee FILL-puh-luh), Tampa Bay Lightning center says the Red Wings are a good team and he isn’t expecting much different from them in the upcoming game.
The New York Rangers will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins in Madison Square Garden in Game 3 of the best-of-seven series. The series is tied as the Penguins got the victory (5-2) in game one, and the Rangers pulled out a (4-2) win on Saturday. Both teams have some uncertainty as they go into Tuesday night’s game. For the Penguins, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury will be out due to a concussion injury. They’ll be looking to rookie back-up Matthew Murray or possibly Jeff Zatkoff. As for the Rangers, captain Ryan McDonagh has not been ruled out of tonight’s game, but has not gotten the go ahead either. With just hours left till the puck hits the ice, it looks like it will be a game time decision, although McDonagh did skate and take slots on Tuesday morning. Head Coach Alain Vigneault says his team has to play their best if they want to beat the best.
The Chicago Blackhawks will look to tie the series in Game 4 tonight against the St. Louis Blues. However, the Blues will have to play as good if not better than the defending Stanley Cup Champions in order to give them the lead in the Western Conference first-round series. The Hawks had the chance to take the lead in the series on Sunday when they were up 2-1 in the third period, however they weren’t able to hold on. Captain David Backes for the Blues played a big role in both wins so far and says he’s happy with the group they’ve got. Not to take away from a team who has remained solid and worked hard throughout the series so far but St. Louis has had a few things go their way, including hitting several goals off deflection and getting lucky bounces. So far in this series the Hawks are shooting at 4.5 percent compared to 9.4 percent in the regular season. If that number doesn’t go up, the Blues could take the series.
The Anaheim Ducks are desperate for a win tonight. They will face the Nashville Predators in Game 3 at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators lead the series 2-0. Ducks goalie John Gibson has given up three goals in each of Anaheim’s losses, although he has played decent, he didn’t get the job done when his team most needed him. With that said, the Ducks will look to Frederik Andersen to step up to the plate in tonight’s game. While the Ducks will be counting on Andersen, the Predators will count on Pekka Rinne to continue saves on defense. Rinne has 27 saves in the first two games of the series, if he and his team keep up the good work they could enjoy their first postseason series win since 2012. Captain of the team for Nashville Shea Weber says his team has a lot of talent and are ready for competition.