NHL Playoff Schedule 2013: When and Where to Catch Action on Thursday
There are two big NHL playoff games on the schedule on Thursday night for your viewing pleasure.
The first contest of the night pits the New York Rangers against the Boston Bruins in the first second-round game of the series at the TD Garden in Boston.
The late game features the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings—the second game of the series—at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
Here's what you need to know so you don't miss a minute of the intense playoff action.
Rangers vs. Bruins
When: 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: TD Garden in Boston, Mass.
Sharks vs. Kings
When: 10 p.m. ET
Where: STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif.
Rangers vs. Bruins
Both of these teams took their first-round series to seven games.
This means that they've already experienced a high degree of playoff competition, which is beneficial. Winning a seven-game series takes toughness and determination, but, on the negative side, it also drains a team in the long run.
The key for Boston will be scoring goals against Henrik Lundqvist, who is coming off of two brilliant shutouts against the Washington Capitals. In his last two contests, Lundqvist has stopped 62 attempts without allowing a single goal.
According to the Bruins' official Twitter page, head coach Claude Julien has a prescription for getting the job done:
So, how do you get pucks past NYR, who blocked league-high 161 shots in Round 1? "Keep your head up when shooting," Coach said pregame..^CS— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) May 16, 2013
Hot goalies win championships, and the way Lundqvist is rolling right now, he gives New York an excellent chance of moving into the next round.
Which team will win Game 1?
For New York, fixing an ailing power play is the biggest key to victory. In the team's series against the Capitals, New York only managed two goals in 28 power plays—a dismal conversion rate, by any measure.
This series will likely be full of low-scoring affairs and feature tough, physical play from both sides. Winning Game 1 will be important, but nobody should be surprised to see the Rangers and Bruins take it to Game 7.
Sharks vs. Kings
The biggest story of this series thus far was the brutal and illegal check by San Jose's Raffi Torres against Kings center Jarret Stoll in Game 1.
TSN's Bob McKenzie reported on Wednesday that the NHL has set up a disciplinary hearing for Torres, who is currently suspended until further notice:
SJ's Raffi Torres will have disciplinary hearing with NHL for hit on LA's Jarret Stoll. Sounds like request is for an in-person hearing.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) May 15, 2013
As for the upcoming contest, the Sharks have to figure out a way to get the puck past Jonathan Quick, who blanked them in Game 1. It was Quick's second shutout in five contests.
Which team will win Game 2?
It was Quick's hot play last season that was the catalyst for Los Angeles' title run, and he's looking sharp again in 2013.
For the Kings, an improved power play is needed to keep their five-game winning streak going. Los Angeles was only two for 15 on power plays against the St. Louis Blues and missed out on its only power play in Game 1 against the Sharks.
If San Jose fails to win on Thursday night and falls into an 0-2 hole, this series could be all but finished given the way the Kings have been playing the past five games.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78
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