In yet another thrilling addition of the NHL playoffs, the second round has already produced two Game 7s, and we have a third series that may go the distance with the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings playing a Game 6 on Wednesday.
The Chicago Blackhawks beat the Minnesota Wild 4-2 to advance to the Western Conference Final. On the other side of the bracket, the New York Rangers won their series with the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3.
Both teams are waiting to see who their opponent will be. You can view a full bracket for the postseason on NHL.com.
Have a look at the remaining schedule and TV information, and then I'll offer up my predictions for the two remaining series.
|Wednesday, May 14||7 p.m.||Montreal at Boston||CBC, RDS|
|Wednesday, May 14||9:30 p.m.||Anaheim at Los Angeles||TSN|
|Thursday, May 15||TBD||Minnesota at Chicago||TSN|
|*Friday, May 16||TBD||Los Angeles at Anaheim||TSN|
NHL.com (*if necessary)
Ducks vs. Kings
The Kings are on the brink of elimination after their comeback in Game 6 came up short. The Kings lost the game 4-3 and now trail in the series 3-2.
This isn't going to scare the Kings. Game 6 will be their fifth elimination game already this postseason. The Kings own home-ice advantage for Wednesday's contest, but playing at Staples Center hasn't been much of an advantage for L.A.; the Kings are 0-2 at home in this series.
Rookie goalie John Gibson has been key for the Ducks. He got a shutout in his playoff debut in Game 4 and he made 39 saves last game. In all, he's stopped 67 of 70 shots in his two games.
Of course, this points toward the Ducks taking Game 6, but I'm not betting against the resilient Kings. Los Angeles has struggled against Gibson, but it gained some confidence after netting a goal in each period of Game 6.
Although all the hype on goalies surrounds Gibson, the Kings still have Jonathan Quick in goal. As the quote from Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau in the tweet from TSN's Mark Masters reminds us, Quick isn't too shabby himself:
Boudreau on Jonathan Quick: "Still think he’s the world’s greatest goalie."— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) May 13, 2014
The battle-tested Quick will come up with a huge game, and the Kings will once again avoid elimination.
Prediction: Kings 3, Ducks 0
Bruins vs. Canadiens
This has been an intense series, and it's only fitting that it would go to Game 7. The Bruins had a chance to end the series in Montreal in Game 6, but the Canadiens weren't having it. Montreal skated to an easy 4-0 win.
Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban, who has been booed viciously by the Boston crowd, does a great job of setting the atmosphere for Game 7 with this quote from an Associated Press article on ESPN: "I hope their crowd is louder. ... I hope it gets nasty, I hope it gets dirty."
This will be the eighth time these two have met in a Game 7. Montreal has won five of those meetings. Not that that stat will have any bearing on this contest, but I expect the Canadiens to improve their mark.
This figures to be a tight contest. In the end, Montreal's momentum will outweigh the Bruins' home-ice advantage.
Loui Eriksson and Brad Marchand have been scuffling in a slumping Bruins offense, and Canadiens goalie Carey Price is carrying a hot hand.
This will be enough to carry Montreal to victory.
Prediction: Montreal 2, Boston 1