Saturday, April 23, 2016

Noon Player Notes in the Playoffs (Apr 23)

The first boot of the day could come early, as there is a 1pm MT faceoff between the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Rangers were not very good in Game 4 and that's one of the primary reasons why they are behind the 8-ball today and they might be hooked too, as they play at the Igloo, where the Penguins have home-ice advantage.

Is there any reason for us to think that it won't be Henrik Lundqvist against Matt Murray in net this afternoon?  All signs point to no.  I don't believe we can expect either Dan Girardi to dress for the Rangers or Justin Schultz for the Penguins, an injury and scratch, respectively.

In the series where the home team can't seem to buy a win, the Ducks welcome the Predators to their humble abode in a late afternoon start, 4pm MT, and they'll try to offer up some hostile hospitality for the first time in this series.

There isn't too much more to offer than what we already know, unless you wanted to peel away some needless stats, just to fill copy.  The Predators need to duplicate what they did in Games 1 & 2, while the Ducks look to carry momentum from 3 & 4... and that's about it.

Frederik Andersen won the last two games, so you have to believe he's getting the call and the Predators will live and die by the side of Pekka Rinne, which should make your Game 5 starting goalie match-up tonight.

There's no question that this is a much different Blues team that we have seen in recent years, they're stronger and have been fairly reliable already in the clutch situations.  They're up 3-2 on the defending champs, but now their resolve really gets put to the test in the second elimination game of the day.

If there was a shadow of doubt to be cast over a series lead, it could very well be this one, since the Blackhawks core knows what it takes to win and they have suffered losses to get there.  Can they break the hearts of the Blues one more time?

Chicago will get Andrew Shaw back from his inflammatory suspension and we'll likely see Brian Elliott and Corey Crawford do battle for the sixth time in this series.  Neither goalie has been to blame in the losses, so they continue to roll forward.

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