NHL Playoffs 2013: Breaking Down Monday's Postseason Action

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NHL Playoffs 2013: Breaking Down Monday's Postseason Action
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The first round of the 2013 NHL playoffs is in high gear, and Monday’s action—four games scheduled—is setting up to be some of the best hockey of the postseason.

The excitement over this much quality NHL in one night has hockey fans across the world ready to pull up their favorite chairs and enjoy the hard-hitting drama.

With two games from both the Eastern and Western Conferences, anyone that is a fan of the NHL will have a horse in these races. Don’t miss a second of this wild action.

 

Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs: 7 p.m. ET on NHL Network

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Game 3, Series Tied 1-1

After what was a tough first two games for both teams, the Boston Bruins will travel to Toronto and take on the Maple Leafs in a pivotal Game 3 that will set the tone for the rest of the series. 

Boston looked unbeatable in the first game of this series (won 4-1), but Game 2 was all about the Maple Leafs (won 4-2) and the success the entire team was having against the Bruins’ defenders and goaltending.

Monday’s action will be evenly matched, as both teams now know what the other has to offer at both ends of the ice. With the test of traveling to Toronto, the Bruins will show their Stanley Cup caliber by beating the Maple Leafs in front of their own crowd.

Prediction: Bruins 4, Maple Leafs 3

 

Washington Capitals at New York Rangers: 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network

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Game 3, Capitals Lead 2-0

The New York Rangers have a roster full of big-time names in the sport of hockey, but after two games against the Washington Capitals, the Blueshirts are down, 2-0, in their first-round playoff series.

Luckily enough for the Rangers, the next game is in New York City, and that home-ice advantage should be enough to help star goalie Henrik Lundqvist regain his elite form and carry the team to a Game 3 victory.

New York needs its exorbitantly paid offensive stars to step up now, but the primary concern will be the Rangers’ ability to stop the Alex Ovechkin-led Capitals’ offensive onslaught using the stellar play of the defenders in front of Lundqvist.

Prediction: Rangers 3, Capitals 1

 

Anaheim Ducks at Detroit Red Wings: 8 p.m. ET on CNBC

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Game 4, Ducks Lead 2-1

After being shut out in Game 3, the Detroit Red Wings must come out playing as hard as they have all season and force the Anaheim Ducks off balance with a combination of tough defense and fast-paced offensive arsenal.

Detroit has no choice but to win Game 4 or this series will be over in five games.

Anaheim is getting the offensive play the team needed to advance past a tough, defensive-minded team like Detroit, but it’s the outstanding talents of goalie Jonas Hiller and his defenders that have put the Ducks in the driver’s seat.

With the Red Wings fighting for their playoff lives, Detroit will make this series very interesting.

Prediction: Red Wings 3, Ducks 2

 

St. Louis Blues at Los Angeles Kings: 10 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network

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Game 4, Blues Lead 2-1

The St. Louis Blues have taken the 2-1 series lead over the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, and despite the visit to L.A., the Blues will look to take the definitive series advantage in Game 4.

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Led by the stellar goaltending of Brian Elliott (allowed just one goal in each game), the Blues have matched Los Angeles’ defensive prowess in this series—something few teams in the NHL can say—but St. Louis has managed to find more timely scoring from each of its lines.

While the Kings have all the talent to be a serious Stanley Cup contender once again, the Blues are too strong defensively for the inconsistent scoring of Los Angeles to become a real threat now.

St. Louis will dominate the game and the rest of this series.

Prediction: Blues 4, Kings 1

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