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Playoffs Preview and Live Thread - May 6

The Lightning look to take a stranglehold on their series with the Canadiens while the Capitals and Rangers continue their heavyweight bout.

Just hug it out Brandon, it will all be over soon...
Just hug it out Brandon, it will all be over soon...
Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Montreal Canadiens at Tampa Bay Lightning, Game 3

Tampa Bay leads series 2-0

7:00 PM EST on USA

The Tampa Bay Lightning have absolutely dominated the Canadiens in this series so far.  Game one may have been a double overtime thriller, but the Lightning would have won the game in regulation if not for a bizarrely soft goal allowed by Ben Bishop late in the third period.  From there the Lightning responded by chasing the Canadiens out of their own building to the tune of a 6-2 thumping.  Steven Stamkos finally broke the slump with his first goal of the playoffs on a beautiful breakaway move.  Meanwhile, the rest of the Lightning dominated an undisciplined Canadiens to the tune of 4 power play goals while the Canadiens racked up 53 minutes in penalties.  Most of those penalty minutes came from Brandon Prust and the big tantrum he threw after inexplicably hitting Ben Bishop the the bazillionth time this season.  Observe:

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Root for the Lightning: If you want to see Brandon Prust throw an even bigger tantrum when his team is eliminated.  Throwing elbow pads? How about throwing helmets? Sticks? Skates?

Root for the Canadiens: If Brad Watson is a big fat bully who's out to get you, and you only!

New York Rangers at Washington Capitals, Game 4

Capitals lead the series 2-1

7:30 PM EST on NBCSN

The Rangers and Capitals battle their way to a third 1-goal game on Monday night.  Jay Beagle scored 7:00 into the second period from behind the capitals net with a shot that deflected in off Keith Yandle's skate, and that's all she wrote.  Henrik Lundqvist and Brayden Holtby were both sensational in net, making 21 and 30 saves respectively, with Holtby earning the shutout.  The Capitals look to double up their lead before heading back to New York while the Rangers need a win to regain their home-ice advantage.

Root for the Capitals: If you want to see Mike Green get the biggest NHL contract in Edmonton Oilers history this summer.

Root for the Rangers: If you want that Capitals fan in Verizon Center to stop the incessant horn honking