Tonight in the NHL: Bruins look to bounce back

Tonight in the NHL: Bruins look to bounce back
May 6, 2013, 2:30 pm
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Another day, another spring evening filled with NHL playoff games – but not for the Flyers, of course.

Tim Panaccio took an in-depth look at the Flyers’ goaltending today (see story), but here’s a look at the teams actually in action tonight.

Bruins hope to bounce back vs. Leafs in Game 3

BOSTON -- The first-game jitters are gone. Their top players are scoring. And the Toronto Maple Leafs are home for the next two games.
Everything seems to be going their way.

But everything seemed to be going the Boston Bruins' way after a dominant 4-1 win in their playoff opener. Then the Maple Leafs took control with a hard-hitting first period and a 4-2 victory in Game 2.

So all the cheering on Monday night in the first playoff game in Toronto since 2004 won't help if the Bruins bounce back the way the Maple Leafs did.
"There's going to be a lot of, I guess, media coverage and a lot of things said and a lot of things done," Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said, "but we have to stay focused on what we can control and we have to prepare ourselves to play a better Boston hockey club." (See full preview).

Holtby, Caps look to build on lead over Rangers

NEW YORK -- In the first-round matchup between the New York Rangers and the Washington Capitals there is a Vezina Trophy-winning goalie who has taken his team to the Eastern Conference finals, and of course there is ... the other guy.

No, Washington's Braden Holtby doesn't have the awards, the accolades or the attention that New York counterpart Henrik Lundqvist has grown accustomed to.

What he and the Capitals do have is a big 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series that resumes with Game 3 at Madison Square Garden on Monday night.
Holtby yielded only one goal in the Capitals' victory in Game 1, outdueling Lundqvist on a night the star goalie felt at least one if not two of the three Washington goals should have been stopped.

Holtby and Lundqvist were both on top of their games Saturday and pitched regulation shutouts at each other. Mike Green managed to get a power-play shot past Lundqvist in overtime, and the Capitals held serve at home with a stirring 1-0 victory. (See full preview).

Red Wings look to even series with Ducks

DETROIT -- Less than 24 hours after his team was shut out in Game 3 of its first-round series against Anaheim, Detroit coach Mike Babcock wanted no part of any gloom and doom.

"You can make this as a reporter as bad as you want, or you can make it as good as you want. You've just got to choose your attitude," Babcock said Sunday.

"I'm going to choose mine and I'm going to say we were right there knocking on the door and we're going to win tomorrow and make it a best-of-three.

"That should have wrapped that up. We don't need any more questions, do we?"

Babcock was joking, since there were obviously going to be a few more minutes of questions.

When Babcock spoke to reporters Sunday, the Red Wings were facing the prospect of playing without Justin Abdelkader after the left wing was ejected from Saturday's game for his hit on Anaheim's Toni Lydman.

Sure enough, the NHL suspended Abdelkader for two games later Sunday. He'll miss Games 4 and 5 of this Western Conference playoff series, which the Ducks lead 2-1. (See full preview).

Blues, LA Kings playing tense playoff defense

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Three games into the Los Angeles Kings' tremendously tense playoff series with the St. Louis Blues, it's clear the scores are so low because the stakes are so high.

Two elite Western Conference teams have combined for just seven goals, and nobody has led by more than one goal at any point.

The highlight reels aren't getting filled up when these two sturdy defenses and standout goalies challenge each other, but the entertainment value has been tremendous for fans of tactical hockey and all-or-nothing playoff excitement.

With the Blues holding a 2-1 series lead heading to a pivotal Game 4 on Monday night at Staples Center, both teams are trying to break this defensive deadlock in time to save seasons that began with Stanley Cup aspirations.

"You've got to understand, it's playoffs," Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter said after a light practice Sunday at the Kings' training complex.
"It's one-goal games. All three of them are one-goal games. Everybody is trying to score a goal, but it's not that easy when you have the two best defensive teams in the conference." (See full preview).

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