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NHL Game Day Preview: Will Game 4 be the last in Phoenix?

The Hockey News

The Hockey News


Game 1: 2-1 Capitals (OT)

Game 2: 2-0 Capitals

Game 3: 3-2 Rangers

Game 4: 7:00 Wednesday

Notes: The Rangers never trailed in Game 3, but Brandon Dubinsky scored the game-winner with 1:39 left in the third… This series is the closest in faceoff winning percentage, with the Rangers holding the edge (50.7 percent)… Washington has six goals to New York’s four, making this the lowest scoring series so far… Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau has said he believes the Rangers are targeting the head of Mike Green, who missed 20 games with a concussion this season… The two teams have combined for 44 minutes in penalties, the lowest total of any series… Five teams in the post-season have more than 44 penalty minutes…The Rangers got 35 shots on net in Game 3 after getting 47 in Games 1 and 2 combined… Wojtek Wolski is the only Ranger with more than one point… Derek Stepan is a series-worst minus-3… Brian Boyle has the most shots in the series (15).

Quote worthy: “They were a desperate hockey team and we didn’t match their work ethic and their enthusiasm. There’s really no excuse for it, but it was one game. It’s not like we played a bad game, we just didn’t play as well as well as we needed to. We’ll be ready for Wednesday.” – Washington’s Matt Bradley on Game 3’s loss.

THN’s STARS OF THE SERIES (our total game night star points in parenthesis)

1. Brandon Dubinsky (3)

2. Brooks Laich (3)

3. Alex Semin/Alex Ovechkin (3)

What they’re saying in New York: Larry Brooks of the New York Post writes the Rangers are ignoring Washington coach Bruce Boudreau’s whining.

What they’re saying in Washington: Tracee Hamilton of the Washington Post writes the Caps must avoid a seven-game series at all costs because they’ve had little success there recently.

Poll:Who will win Game 4?


Game 1: 1-0 Sabres

Game 2: 5-4 Flyers

Game 3: 4-2 Flyers

Game 4: 7:30 Wednesday

Notes: Marc-Andre Gragnani played the last six regular season games with Buffalo (and nine all season), but leads the team with four playoff points… Brad Boyes and Tyler Ennis are the only Buffalo forwards without a point… Drew Stafford’s 15 shots are the most in the series, but he only has one goal… Nikolay Zherdev played only 8:14 in Game 3, but scored the game-winner, his first point in an NHL playoff game… The Flyers have four minus players; Dany Syvret is the only one at minus-2… At the end of the first and start of the second in Game 3, the Sabres went on a run that saw them rack up 14 shots unanswered.

Quote worthy: "I thought Marc really, really played well. I'm delighted. I guess you could say I'm surprised, but he's really shown a lot of composure and done a lot of nice things on the ice, and shown no lack of composure." – Sabres coach Lindy Ruff on Marc-Andre Gragnani.


1. Brian Boucher (5)

2. Claude Giroux (3)

3. Ryan Miller (3)

What they’re saying in Buffalo: Bob DiCesare of the Buffalo News writes the Sabres are in a familiar position trailing this series.

What they’re saying in Philadelphia: Sam Donnellon of writes the Flyers have been keeping their retaliatory ways in check.

Poll:Who will win Game 4?


Game 1: 3-0 Penguins

Game 2: 5-1 Lightning

Game 3: 3-2 Penguins

Game 4: 7:30 Wednesday

Notes: Pittsburgh’s Chris Kunitz and Tampa Bay’s Steve Downie are suspended for illegal hits thrown in Game 3… The Penguins had the best penalty-killing unit in the regular season, but their 63.6 percent rate in this series is second-worst to Chicago… After falling behind 2-0 in the first seven minutes of Game 3, the Lightning tied it with 17:48 to go in the third only to surrender the game-winner 31 seconds later… Tampa Bay’s top three scorers are a combined minus-4; Pittsburgh’s top three scorers are plus-8… Pittsburgh’s only minus player is 2010 Selke nominee Jordan Staal… Eric Tangradi is expected to play for the Penguins.

Quote worthy: “As players, it can be tough because you want to play hard and make a difference every single shift. You have to weigh the risk versus the reward, and (ask), ‘Is a big hit worth it?’ ” - Tampa Bay’s Adam Hall on the borderline hits so far these playoffs.


1. Marc-Andre Fleury (6)

2. Martin St-Louis (4)

3. Eric Brewer (3)

What they’re saying in Pittsburgh: Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune writes the Lightning have been taking advantage of Penguins penalties.

What they’re saying in Tampa Bay: Gary Shelton of the St. Petersburg Times writes Martin St-Louis always comes through in the clutch – and right now, a strong performance would be clutch.

Poll:Who will win Game 4?


Game 1: 4-1 Predators

Game 2: 5-3 Ducks

Game 3: 4-3 Predators

Game 4: 8:30 Wednesday

Notes: This series was pushed back a day because of a Lady Gaga concert in Nashville… There have been 114 penalty minutes this series, 50 of which game came in the third period of Game 1… Anaheim has the fewest shots per game in the first round; Nashville has the third-most… Nashville and Anaheim rank 14th and 15th out of the 16 playoff teams in hits… Pekka Rinne’s save percentage is 43 points lower than it was in the regular season… Jonas Hiller was sent back to Anaheim to recover from vertigo and Igor Bobkov was brought to Nashville… Teemu Selanne’s four goals are tied with Daniel Sedin for the league lead… Mike Fisher and Corey Perry’s five points are in a tie for second behind Sedin’s six… Selanne, Bobby Ryan and Cam Fowler are Anaheim’s only plus players; Jerred Smithson, Shane O’Brien and Nick Spaling are Nashville’s only minus players.

Quote worthy: “How do you hook a guy in this game and fall forward? The penalty is a hook and the guy falls forward. When you get hooked, you don't fall forward. You go back. It's just ridiculous. But our guys are going to start doing it. That's what I'm telling them. It's working.” – Anaheim GM Bob Murray, who accused the Predators of diving.


1. Shea Weber (4)

2. Mike Fisher (3)

3. Ryan Getzlaf (3)

What they’re saying in Nashville:
Bryan Mullen of The Tennessean writes defenseman Shane O’Brien brings a great physical presence to the Predators, but he has to be careful not to cross the line in an important game.

What they’re saying in Anaheim: Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register writes the Ducks have to find their A-game now.

Poll:Who will win Game 4?


Game 1: 4-2 Red Wings

Game 2: 4-3 Red Wings

Game 3: 4-2 Red Wings

Game 4: 10:30 Wednesday

Notes: If this is in fact the last series for the Coyotes three players involved share something in common: Shane Doan was a member of the Winnipeg Jets and Kris Draper and Nikclas Lidstrom were members of the Red Wings in Winnipeg’s final game… Ilya Bryzgalov’s 4.11 GAA is second-worst to only Dan Ellis… In his past two playoff appearances, Bryzgalov’s GAA has been more than a goal higher than his regular season mark… Phoenix has goals from five different players this series; Detroit had goals from four different players in Game 3… Brad Stuart is the only Wings defenseman without a point… Detroit has no minus players, while Phoenix has no plus players… Jimmy Howard’s .923 SP and 2.33 GAA is the best of all Western Conference goalies who have played at least one full game in the playoffs.

Quote worthy: "It will be the ultimate test of our mindset and how we're going to deal with it. We talk about using it as a motivating factor, not as something that's poor us. That's been our mandate from Day 1 and that won't change.” – Phoenix coach Dave Tippett on talk of the team moving to Winnipeg at the end of the season.


1. Pavel Datsyuk (6)

2. Jimmy Howard (6)

3. Shane Doan/Niklas Kronwall (2)

What they’re saying in Detroit: Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News writes how Jimmy Howard is earning respect this post-season.

What they’re saying in Phoenix: Mark Faller of the Arizona Republic writes Matthew Hulsizer needs to show up at Arena for Game 4.

Poll:Who will win Game 4?


PRODUCER: Ted Cooper

The NHL Game Day Preview will appear each day throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs to prepare you for the action ahead.


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