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Stanley Cup Playoff Storylines: May 12, 2022

Four teams are looking to advance to the next round, while another four are hoping it's not the end of the road. Thursday is going to be a wild day in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

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Four teams are looking to advance to the next round, while another four are hoping it's not the end of the road. Thursday is going to be a wild day in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Boston Bruins

The Bruins' penalty troubles have killed their flow

Like a few others in the playoffs, Boston's inability to stay out of the box -- 27 penalties in five games -- has hurt the team's ability to garner momentum. 

Luckily, the Bruins have only allowed four goals while down a man, but you're asking a lot out of your group to stay focused and competitive when you're forced to play down a player so often. The refs have been calling a tighter series, and the Hurricanes -- while struggling to really hit it off on the power play -- won't give you many chances to make up for mistakes. Boston needs to clean things up, plain and simple.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Will Tampa's bounce-back streak continue?

The Tampa Bay Lightning haven't lost consecutive games in the post-season since getting swept in 2019 by Columbus. They'll need that streak to continue if they're going to force a Game 7 back in Toronto.

Elimination is slightly unfamiliar territory for this Lightning team, that only had to face it once in two Stanley Cup runs. Toronto? They've got a well-documented streak of failing in the first round, but taking Tampa Bay to the brink of elimination is giving the team some real hope, especially after winning in a comeback effort in Game 5.

Tampa is the best team in the league at regrouping. But they don't have time to let Toronto back in the series. Andrei Vasilevskiy needs to be perfect, and Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos need to take their games to a higher level if they're going to beat the Leafs.

Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues

What Marc-Andre Fleury will the Wild get?

Fleury has had a couple of shaky games for the Wild, highlighted by five goals against in Game 5. St. Louis' Jordan Binnington, on the other hand, has looked good since taking over for Ville Husso, putting Minnesota in a tough spot.

The Wild acquired Fleury to boost the team's playoff hopes, but it's now do or die for a team that hasn't had a ton of playoff success to begin with. With a goals saved above average of minus-0.57, Fleury needs to have his best game of the season tonight.

Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angeles Kings

How will the Oilers respond?

A team with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl shouldn't have this difficult of a time winning playoff series', but here we are. The Oilers had to play catch-up in Game 5 and managed to force overtime on the heels of three special teams goals from the team's top two stars.

The Oilers have got most of their scoring from Draisaitl, McDavid, Evander Kane and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. More players -- such as Jesse Puljujarvi and Kailer Yamamoto -- need to step up, especially in absence of the team's top defenseman, Darnell Nurse. Oh, and limiting Duncan Keith's ice time might go a long way, too. 

There's a lot on the line here, and Edmonton is too good to get knocked out this early.

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