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Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview and Live Thread - May 1

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Our other two series get underway tonight!

"I have to shoot on Carey Price now?"
"I have to shoot on Carey Price now?"
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Hope everyone is getting settled in with two games a night instead of four. Here's your options tonight.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Montreal Canadiens

7:00 Eastern, CBC, NBC Sports

Montreal got up to a fast 3-0 lead in their first round series against the Senators, dropped a couple to Craig Anderson, and then Carey Price reminded us who the real overpowered goalie in that series was, backstopping the Habs to a 4-2 series win. It started off physical, contentious, and filled with crybaby antics, but that seemed to calm down as the series got serious.

Tampa, thanks to some stunning goaltending, both for the better (Mrazek?????????) and worse (Bishop), had to win two elimination games against Detroit to make it, but, for the greater good (the greater good) they were able to make it happen in seven.

Montreal have had slightly more time off, which is good for their physical durability, but Tampa have played more recently, which means they may be in more of a "groove."

Root for Montreal if you think not-real-great possession hockey, an amazing goalie, and bloobloobloo is the path to victory.

Root for Tampa Bay if you want to see Steven Stamkos score even a single goal this postseason.

Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks

9:30 Eastern, NBC Sports, Sportsnet

Minnesota opened the playoffs by ruining a lot of brackets, eliminating the favored St. Louis Blues in six games. It's cliche as hell but the team went as its goaltending went. Either Dubnyk stopped everything, or he stopped nothing.

Chicago started their run with some of the longest games of the first round, including a 101-minute bonanza, eliminating the Predators in six games. Surprising almost no hockey fans outside Chicago, Corey Crawford has not been a world-beater this postseason. But naturally we all saw this Darling run coming too, right guys?

Guys?

Root for Chicago if you believe in functioning knees, freedom to skate, and hockey in general.

Root for Minnesota if you want me to ban you. Exceptions know who you are.