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Preview: Lightning at Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens can put a stranglehold on their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 on Sunday night. The third-seeded Canadiens won both games in Tampa Bay and can push the second-seeded Lightning to the brink of elimination in the best-of-seven series with a win on their home ice. "We are playing as a unit right now," said Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, who came within 1:59 of a shutout in Game 2. "We are living in the moment."

Preview: Canadiens at Lightning

The lights appeared a bit too bright for the youthful Tampa Bay Lightning in their playoff opener, but they look to rebound when they host the Montreal Canadiens in Friday's Game 2 of the Eastern Conference first-round series. The Lightning were badly outplayed, generating few shots and giving up too many solid scoring chances, but still managed to push the game into overtime before losing 5-4. "Bad news is, we lost the game. Good news is, one game doesn't win the series," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. "We get to come back and regroup."

Preview: Canadiens at Lightning

The Montreal Canadiens attempt to erase the stinging memory of last season's Eastern Conference first-round playoff ouster when they visit the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night in the opener of a best-of-seven series. Unlike a year ago when Montreal was a prohibitive favorite over Ottawa, the Canadiens and Tampa Bay finished one point apart in the standings. Montreal needs to find a way to generate some offense against the Lightning after scoring once in each of their four meetings.

Preview: Canadiens at Lightning

The Montreal Canadiens attempt to erase the stinging memory of last season's Eastern Conference first-round playoff ouster when they visit the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night in the opener of a best-of-seven series. Unlike a year ago when Montreal was a prohibitive favorite over Ottawa, the Canadiens and Tampa Bay finished one point apart in the standings. Montreal needs to find a way to generate some offense against the Lightning after scoring once in each of their four meetings.

Preview: Lightning at Capitals

Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper joked after his team’s victory on Friday that he did his postgame speech in the trainer’s room. It’s uncertain who will be healthy enough to go for the Lightning when they end the regular season at the Washington Capitals on Sunday afternoon. With four other key performers already sitting out with injuries or illness, top defenseman Victor Hedman and Calder Trophy candidate Ondrej Palat were hurt in Friday’s contest.

Preview: Capitals at Hurricanes

With the Washington Capitals eliminated from the playoffs for the first time since 2006-07, there's widespread speculation that the team's most valuable commodity could be traded in the offseason. If true, captain Alex Ovechkin could be staring at his final three games in a Washington uniform, starting with Thursday night's visit to the Carolina Hurricanes. The reigning Hart Trophy winner notched his league-leading 50th goal in Tuesday's win at St. Louis, becoming only the 11th player to score 50 on five occasions.

Preview: Capitals at Devils

Two teams in quest of a postseason berth in the Eastern Conference lock horns Friday as the Washington Capitals visit the Metropolitan Division-rival New Jersey Devils. Both clubs enter the matchup out of a playoff spot, with Washington four points behind Columbus for the second wild card in the East and New Jersey trailing the Blue Jackets by five. The teams also respectively sit six and seven points back of Philadelphia for third place in the division.

Lightning clinch playoff spot with Montreal win

(Reuters) - The Tampa Bay Lightning ended a two-season playoff drought with a 3-1 win over Montreal on Tuesday that clinched their berth. Rookie Tyler Johnson broke a 1-1 tie with a shorthanded goal at 12:41 in the third period to help lift the Lightning. Alex Killorn added a late score for Tampa Bay (42-25-9) who tied Montreal (43-27-7) for second in the Atlantic Division. Ben Bishop stopped 25 shots in the triumph. (Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

Preview: Stars at Capitals

Two teams in similar positions in the playoff picture face off Tuesday, when the Dallas Stars visit the Washington Capitals. Both clubs are one point out of the second wild-card spot in their respective conferences, with Dallas trailing Phoenix in the West and Washington behind Columbus in the East. The Stars have a game in hand on the Coyotes, while the Capitals have played one more contest than the Blue Jackets.

Preview: Stars at Capitals

Two teams in similar positions in the playoff picture face off Tuesday, when the Dallas Stars visit the Washington Capitals. Both clubs are one point out of the second wild-card spot in their respective conferences, with Dallas trailing Phoenix in the West and Washington behind Columbus in the East. The Stars have a game in hand on the Coyotes, while the Capitals have played one more contest than the Blue Jackets.
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