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NHL Playoff Game Matchup Comparisons
We could see our first team eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs tonight if the Washington Capitals can sweep the Philadelphia Flyers. Elsewhere, the Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings and Minnesota Wild will seek to pull even at 2-2 in their series.
NHL Game Previews & Betting Lines Analysis
By Bob Duff
Washington Capitals (-165) at Philadelphia Flyers (+149)
Down 3-0, it's now or never for the Flyers. The Flyers were last swept by the Boston Bruins in the 2011 Eastern Conference semifinals. Will the Flyers stay with Steve Mason in goal, or switch to Michal Neuvirth, who's played one game in the last month?
Philly will be without Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, suspended one game by the NHL for his check from behind on Washington defenseman Dmitry Orlov in Game 3. Orlov will play, but Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik, crashed into the boards earlier in the game by Philly's Ryan White, will not. Either Mike Weber or Tyler Chorney will draw in.
The Capitals have never swept a playoff series.
Pick: The Capitals (-165)
Florida Panthers (-105) at New York Islanders (-105)
The Panthers blew a 2-0 lead in Game 3 to fall behind 2-1 to the Isles. Florida forward Jaromir has gone 34 playoff games without a goal. Panthers forward Reilly Smith has 4-4-8 numbers through three games. Panthes defenseman Steven Kampfer (ankle) was declared healthy but it's not certain whether he will play. Forward Vincent Trocheck (ankle), a 25-goal scorer during the regular season, is out. Slow starts haven't hurt the Islanders, who've allowed a goal in the first five minutes in each game of the series. The Isles will go with the same lineup that won Game 3.
Pick: The Panthers (-105)
Dallas Stars (-115) at Minnesota Wild (+104)
Blowing a 2-0 lead they fashioned in the game's first four minutes, the Stars dropped the first playoff game the team had played in the state since the former Minnesota North Stars left for Dallas in 1993. There's speculation that the Stars, who've alternated goalies all season long, may make the move from Kari Lehtonen to Antti Niemi for Game 4.
Stars captain Jamie Benn didn't skate Tuesday but the team called it a maintenance day. Defenseman Kris Russell, who missed Game 3 due to illness, is questionable. Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk ended a six-game losing streak with his Game 3 triumph.
Wild coach John Torchetti dropped veteran forwards Jarret Stoll and Ryan Carter for Game 3 in favor of rookies Zac Dalpe and Kurtis Gabriel, but was still weighing which way he'd go for Game 4. Forwards Zach Parise (back) and Thomas Vanek (upper body) remain out.
Pick: The Wild (+104)
Los Angeles Kings (+105) at San Jose Sharks (-115)
The Sharks, who dropped a 2014 opening-round series to the Kings after taking a 3-0 series lead, fell for the first time in this series in Game 3, leaving people to wonder if it's going to be a case of here we go again. The home team has yet to win in this series and the Sharks were a disappointing 18-20-3 at home this season.
San Jose's fourth line of Tommy Wingels, Nick Spaling and Chris Tierney took six penalties in Game 3 and coach Peter DeBoer was contemplating a shake up of that unit.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter juggled his lines for Game 3, putting Dwight King on the top line with Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik, inserting Kyle Clifford on the fourth line and moving Trevor Lewis to center with that group.
Pick: The Kings (+105)
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