Sunday, May 01, 2016

Noon Player Notes in the Playoffs (May 1)

The second game in the St. Louis/Dallas series certainly has some appeal to it and the 1pm MT start should give it a different readiness to the game, which will certainly make things interesting. It will certainly be a race to see which team can get their legs moving fastest, as the Blues will want to punish the Stars physically, while the Stars will want to skate circles around their opponents and the team that comes out sluggish, likely won't be in this one for very long.

With the Dallas win in Game 1, we can certainly expect Kari Lehtonen in the net for the Stars this afternoon, while it should be Brian Elliott in the St. Louis net, since his side wasn't blown out of the water in that opening game loss.

In the late game tonight, a 6pm MT start, the Nashville Predators will have to find an adequate response for being trounced in the 3rd period of Game 1, by giving the San Jose Sharks a dollop of what got the Predators there, more of a 60-minute effort from top to bottom in this lineup.  The Sharks showed off some real bite on Friday night and they will carry a lot of momentum from the home win, something they won't want to relinquish in Game 2, trying to make full use of their home-ice advantage tonight.

Predators forward Craig Smith missed Game 1 due to a lower-body injury, but it is unclear whether or not he will be cleared for a return on Sunday night.  His status is currently listed as day-to-day, which should come as no surprise.  His presence would be clutch for Nashville, if they want to split this series, heading home.

Although Pekka Rinne didn't quite finish Game 1, he is expected to be the starter for the Predators in Game 2, although there are some whispering doubts about the whole thing.  Stay tuned.  Of course, in the Sharks goal, we'll see Martin Jones tonight, who has been great in these playoffs, so far.

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