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Playoff Preview and Live Thread - April 27

Only 2 games on the docket today, but the stakes are higher than ever.

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning at Detroit Red Wings, Game 6

Red Wings Lead 3-2

7:00 PM ET - CNBC

Probably no goalie in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs has had a bigger impact on his team's success than Petr Mrazek.  The backup netminder has been the difference in the series for the Red Wings.  In the Red Wings three wins, he's stopped 94 of 96 shots and delivered two shutouts.  In the Wings' two losses Mrazek has a .701 SV% and allowed 7 goals.  Given the above, I'd say that "How well does Mrazek play" is probably the key to the game.  On the other side of the ice, sleeping offensive giant Steven Stamkos has just 2 points and 0 goals in the 5 game sries so far.

Root for the Red Wings: If you want to see thousands of Maple Leaf fans disappointed (again) when Babcock stays with Detroit.

Root for the Lightning: Because come on... It's the Red Wings and you hate them.

New York Islanders at Washington Capitals, Game 7

Series Tied 3-3

7:30 PM ET - NBCSN

The first, and maybe only Game 7 of round one is finally here.  These two teams have put everything on the line so far in what has arguably been the best, most even, most grueling first round matchup of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.  On Saturday the Islanders fought tooth and nail to keep Nassau Coliseum's doors open for another round, delivering a performance Islanders fans will never forget, but they need to finish the job in Washington.  Even though there's not much history between these two teams specifically, there are some extra compelling reasons to watch this one.  Superstars John Tavares and Nicklas Backstrom lead their respective teams with 6 points each in the playoffs.  Alex Ovechkin has 4 points in the series, but he has a history of turning invisible in Capitals Game 7's.  Also there's some history of Jaro Halak absolutely dominating the Washington Capitals in Game 7... this one is gonna be fun.

Islanders fan perspective: I asked AJ for his thoughts on this game, and he refused to acknowledge its existence. So there you have it.

Root for the: Either you're team John or team Alex.  Who's it gonna be?