Stanley Cup Playoffs: 4/21/17 Open Thread

For the first time since April 11th, there is less than three games of playoff hockey on tonight. With the Pittsburgh Penguins, Anaheim Ducks, and Nashville Predators already punching their tickets into the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the action is going to start to slow down on a nightly basis from here on out. But even despite that, four teams are set to duke it out in two pivotal Game 5’s tonight, and we could lose one more playoff team if the Boston Bruins lose for the fourth consecutive time. The matchups are as follows:

Toronto Maple Leafs at Washington Capitals Game 5(Series Tied 2-2) Puck is scheduled to drop at 7:00 PM EDT on NBCSN

Boston Bruins at Ottawa Senators Game 5 (OTT Leads 3-1) Puck is scheduled to drop at 7:30 PM EDT on USA

While there was once a glimmer of hope (along with a 2-1 series lead) in Toronto, that time has come and gone. The Maple Leafs face a daunting task tonight needing to go back into the Verizon Center in pull out another road win in order to not risk elimination in Game 6. Meanwhile, the Bruins have gone into a tailspin since winning the opening game of the series, dropping three consecutive games en route to a 3-1 series deficit. We could see another handshake line by the end of the night, and that’s exactly what Rangers fans should be hoping for, as Ottawa presents a much easier matchup than Boston if New York is able to win one of the next two games against Montreal.

Enjoy the games!