Stanley Cup Playoffs: Day Four Predictions

Chris BouthillierSenior Analyst IApril 18, 2009

DETROIT - APRIL 16:  Steve Mason #1 of the Columbus Blue Jackets is beat for a third period goal by Johan Franzen #93 of the Detroit Red Wings as Jan Hejda #8 of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Dan Cleary #11 of the Detroit Red Wings close in during Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 16, 2009 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan.(Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Saturday's action will begin with an afternoon grudge match, as the Washington Capitals look to rebound from a tough loss in Game One against the New York Rangers.

Last night, I went one for three on my predictions, with my two losses coming in overtime.

Chris' record after Day Three: 5-6

Eastern Conference

New York (7) @ Washington (2)—NYR leads 1-0

Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin fired 13 shots and laid out eight hits during the first game of the series. Still, it was not enough to lead his team to a Game One victory. Now they'll be looking to tighten up defensively, as they look to earn a split on home ice.

Henrik Lundqvist stole the spotlight on opening night, and will be looking to stymie Ovechkin and the Caps once again. At the other end of the ice, Jose Theodore will be on a tight leash after he struggled in Game One, allowing four goals on 21 shots.

If Theodore lets in an early marker, don't be surprised to see rookie Simeon Varlamon get the tap to replace the Washington starter.

The Rangers offense was very opportunistic on Wednesday evening, converting on only eight registered scoring chances and not a single rebound. Chris Drury is expected to get back into the lineup after missing the first game with an undisclosed lower-body injury.

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Game Two Winner: Washington

Montreal (8) @ Boston (1)—BOS leads 1-0

If the end of Game One was a sign of things to come this series will explode on Saturday night.

The Bruins built momentum by beating the Habs 4-2 after giving up a two-goal lead late in the second period. It would be hard to bet against Boston, but after seeing the resiliency of the Canadiens they are proving that they won't be pushed over.

Game Two Winner: Boston

Western Conference

Columbus (7) @ Detroit (2)—DET leads 1-0

For the first half of Thursday's game the Columbus Blue Jackets held their own against the reigning Stanley Cup champions. As the game went on the Jackets found out how good the Red Wings can play some playoff time.

Wings netminded Chris Osgood was outstanding after turning aside a barage of shots in the first ten minutes of the game. After Columbus weathered the storm goaltender Steve Mason was beat on two point shots that were actually deflected off of his own teammates.

The Blue Jackets—who played their first playoff game in franchise history in Game One—will know what to expect coming out of the game. Look to Rick Nash to spark the Jackets offense. Their defensive play will also have to step up in order to tie the series with their Central Division rivals.

Chris Osgood will have to be 'as-good' as he was in the opener to prove he can be consistent.

Game Two Winner: Detroit

Calgary (5) @ Chicago (4)—CHI leads 1-0

The Flames are hot over Martin Havlat's overtime marker in Game One. It appeared that Hawks forward Andrew Ladd interfiered with Havlat's wrister at 0:12 seconds into the extra session.

Havlat—who also potted the game-tying goal—took a vicious shot from Mike Cammalleri earlier in the game.

Flames head coach Mike Keenan was less than pleased with the amount of contact goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff received from the Blackhawks' skaters. He publicly called out the officiating crew after the first game.

Jarome Iginla will be playing on a line with Craig Conroy and Curtis Glencross to start the game. But if things don't improve things could change quickly.

As for the Blackhawks they have to remain focused on the task at hand. Captain Jonathan Toews was remarkable in the faceoff circle and his own end in Game One. His play thus far is proving critics that he is able to play beyond his years and continues to impress every game.

Game Two Winner: Chicago


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