We could be well on our way to a rematch of last year’s Stanley Cup finals if the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins continue to rack up impressive performances, but there is plenty of second-round action to worry about before then.
In fact, given the multiple Game 7s and overtime thrillers we saw in Round 1, it’s worth just sitting back and enjoying the developments. With that in mind, here is a look at all of the pertinent broadcast and schedule information for the second round:
|2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Second-Round Schedule|
|1||Canadiens 4, Bruins 3||May 1||7:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|2||Canadiens 3, Bruins 5||May 3||12:30 p.m.||NBC|
|3||Bruins at Canadiens||May 6||7 p.m.||NBCSN|
|4||Bruins at Canadiens||May 8||7:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|5||Canadiens at Bruins||May 10||7 p.m.||NBCSN|
|6*||Bruins at Canadiens||May 12||TBD||TBD|
|7*||Canadiens at Bruins||May 14||TBD||TBD|
|1||Rangers 3, Penguins 2||May 2||7 p.m.||NBCSN|
|2||Rangers 0, Penguins 3||May 4||7:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|3||Penguins 2, Rangers 0||May 5||7:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|4||Penguins at Rangers||May 7||7:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|5||Rangers at Penguins||May 9||7 p.m.||NBCSN|
|6*||Penguins at Rangers||May 11||TBD||TBD|
|7*||Rangers at Penguins||May 13||TBD||TBD|
|1||Wild 2, Blackhawks 5||May 2||9:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|2||Wild 1, Blackhawks 4||May 4||3 p.m.||NBC|
|3||Blackhawks at Wild||May 6||9 p.m.||CNBC|
|4||Blackhawks at Wild||May 9||9:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|5*||Wild at Blackhawks||May 11||TBD||TBD|
|6*||Blackhawks at Wild||May 13||TBD||TBD|
|7*||Wild at Blackhawks||May 15||TBD||TBD|
|1||Kings 3, Ducks 2||May 3||8 p.m.||NBCSN|
|2||Kings 3, Ducks 1||May 5||10 p.m.||NBCSN|
|3||Ducks at Kings||May 8||10 p.m.||NBCSN|
|4||Ducks at Kings||May 10||9:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|5*||Kings at Ducks||May 12||TBD||TBD|
|6*||Ducks at Kings||May 14||TBD||TBD|
|7*||Kings at Ducks||May 16||TBD||TBD|
An updated bracket for both conferences can be found here.
Tuesday’s Game of the Day: Chicago Blackhawks at Minnesota Wild, Game 3
Tuesday’s clash between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Minnesota Wild will go a long way toward determining whether fans are going to be treated to a competitive series or not.
The Blackhawks have a 2-0 lead, but the Wild found themselves staring at the same hole in the first round against the Colorado Avalanche. All Minnesota did was come back home for the third and fourth games, win two in a row and eventually win the series in a thrilling seventh game. So don’t write Minnesota off just yet.
Ironically enough, Chicago was down 2-0 in the first round as well, to the St. Louis Blues. Much like the Wild, it seized momentum and launched a comeback by winning the third game at home.
Minnesota right winger Charlie Coyle talked about what his team has to do heading into Tuesday’s clash, according to the Associated Press, via ESPN.com: "We definitely haven't shown what we're capable of. We haven't been on our game. We haven't had that grittiness that we brought last series. I think being at home right now is good for us and usually brings out the best in us, being here and playing here."
Although it will surely help the Wild being at home, the Blackhawks, who have won six in a row, simply have their postseason number right now. Chicago eliminated Minnesota in five games last season and is yet to give up a power-play goal to the Wild in the past two playoff series.
One area of concern for Chicago is the health of Andrew Shaw, as the team’s official Twitter page pointed out:
Even with Shaw out, the Blackhawks have received excellent play and multiple goals apiece from the likes of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Bryan Bickell, Marian Hossa and Brandon Saad throughout the postseason. Throw in the fact that Matt Moulson and Jason Pominville have struggled to find the back of the net for Minnesota, and the outlook doesn’t look great for the Wild.
Look for the Blackhawks to pick up right where they left off in Game 2 and jump out to an early lead Tuesday.
In fact, Chicago has scored the first goal in all six of their consecutive wins, and will do so again against the Wild. The Blackhawks defense has been particularly strong in front of goalie Corey Crawford, so scoring the first goal sets them up in an ideal position.
Chicago will suffocate the energy from the building with its stifling defense, and it will continue to turn away the Minnesota power-play efforts. It will be yet another step toward defending the Stanley Cup for the league’s hottest team.
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