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Stanley Cup Playoff Storylines: May 13, 2022

Can New York, Dallas and Washington stave off elimination and force Game 7? Will injuries be a factor for the Pittsburgh Penguins? Friday's games will be heated, and it's time to look at the day ahead.
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Can New York, Dallas and Washington stave off elimination and force Game 7? Will injuries be a factor for the Pittsburgh Penguins? Friday's games will be heated, and it's time to look at the day ahead:

New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Can the Penguins close out the series without Crosby?

Sidney Crosby has been instrumental in giving Pittsburgh a series lead. But an upper-body injury could keep him out of Game 6, and the Pens need everything they have to prevent Game 7 back at Madison Square Garden.

If Crosby cant play, the onus reverts to Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin to get the Penguins ahead. The veterans need to pick up the slack they tend to always do when Crosby is out. It also means Louis Domingue will need to be nearly perfect against a Rangers team that's playing do-or-die, nothing-else-matters hockey right now.

Part of the reason the Pens even got to this point is how well they've managed to play without at least one high-quality player in the lineup nearly all season long. But losing Crosby at a pivotal time hurts, and they need to figure this out quickly.

Or, Crosby ends up playing and it's all a moot point anyway.

Florida Panthers vs. Washington Capitals

Capitals need a reset, and quick

For most of the series, the focus has been on the underwhelming play of the Presidents' Trophy-winning Panthers. But the Caps are the ones finding themselves on the outside looking in with elimination looming.

The Capitals have blown leads in the past two games, putting them in a spot where they can't make any mistakes. Since winning the Cup in 2018, the Caps haven't managed to make it out of the first round, and it's not like the Caps have played bad hockey in this series. They just keep giving the Panthers chances to find their way back.

This is where playoff experience has to come into play. Much of Washington's core has been through this type of situation before over the past 10ish years, but time's ticking down for them to do it again.

Calgary Flames vs. Dallas Stars

Dallas needs more goal support

The MVP of this series has definitely been Jake Oettinger, who has put up some of the best goaltending numbers in the first round. 

But Dallas' offense has seemingly dried up with just two goals in the past two games, and only eight in five games. As Calgary's offense has finally started to click, Dallas can't afford another low-scoring affair by their side.

Joe Pavelski (three) is the only player on the team with more than just one goal on the lineup, while Jamie Benn, Alex Radulov and Denis Guryanov have nothing to show for. 

Want to extend this series and potentially upset a Stanley Cup favorite? Give your goalie some support. A lot of it.

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