For hockey fans who were worried that the conference finals round of the NHL playoffs may not be competitive, the St. Louis Blues have quelled that concern.
On Monday night, the Blues bounced back with a 4-2 win to even the Western Conference finals against the San Jose Sharks at 1-1. St. Louis improved to 6-2 on the road this postseason and has a chance to take control of this series at home in Games 3 and 4.
The Eastern Conference finals resume Tuesday as the Carolina Hurricanes look to avoid falling behind 3-0 to the Boston Bruins.
Conference Finals Schedule
*If necessary. All times ET.
Tuesday, May 14
Game 3: Boston at Carolina, 8 p.m., NBC Sports Network
Wednesday, May 15
Game 3: San Jose at St. Louis, 8 p.m., NBC Sports Network
Thursday, May 16
Game 4: Boston at Carolina, 8 p.m., NBC Sports Network
Friday, May 17
Game 4: San Jose at St. Louis, 8 p.m., NBC Sports Network
Saturday, May 18
Game 5: Carolina at Boston, 7:15 p.m., NBC*
Sunday, May 19
Game 5: St. Louis at San Jose, 3 p.m., NBC
Monday, May 20
Game 6: Boston at Carolina, 8 p.m., NBC Sports Network*
Tuesday, May 21
Game 6: San Jose at St. Louis, 8 p.m., NBC Sports Network*
Wednesday, May 22
Game 7: Carolina at Boston, 8 p.m., NBC Sports Network*
Thursday, May 23
Game 7: St. Louis at San Jose, 9 p.m., NBC Sports Network*
Game 3 Predictions
Carolina over Boston
The Hurricanes had a strong start to the playoffs, but not so much in the Eastern Conference finals.
The Bruins have scored 11 goals over two home wins to open the series against Carolina.
"It looked like we were really tired," Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said, according to NHL.com's Dan Rosen. "We have only played two games in 10 days, but I think the mental fatigue got to us. There's been a real strong push by our guys for about four months and it just felt like we didn't have that extra gear you need at this time of year."
What can help Carolina reach that? A return to its home ice, where it is 5-0 this postseason, with three wins against the Washington Capitals and two over the New York Islanders.
It's going to be tough for the Hurricanes to win this series, especially if the Bruins continue to score goals at this prolific rate. However, they're going to make it close, beginning with a Game 3 win on Tuesday night.
St. Louis over San Jose
The Blues may be playing better on the road, but it's always nice for a team to return to their home ice in front of their fans. Plus, the last time St. Louis played there, it won Game 7 over the Dallas Stars in the second round.
It was huge for the Blues to avoid a 0-2 deficit by winning Game 2 in San Jose. Now, they're going to build momentum as they continue to rely on a balanced scoring attack and goalie Jordan Binnington.
"We're not going away," Blues center Brayden Schenn said, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jim Thomas. "It's playoff hockey. It's gonna be ups and downs, momentum shifts."
Binnington bounced back from a tough Game 1 showing to allow only two goals and make 24 saves in St. Louis' Game 2 victory. Expect another strong performance from the goaltender to power the Blues to another win.