After Saturday’s action, each first-round series has played two games and the Washington Capitals are the only favorite yet to suffer a loss. The Caps survived another tight battle with the Carolina Hurricanes yesterday afternoon with an overtime win. Meanwhile, the New York Islanders have shown why the higher seed should always be favored, taking the first two games against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but face a tougher task on the road today. Two other 2-0 series will continue later tonight, as the Nikita Kucherov-less Tampa Bay Lightning look to avoid a third straight stunning loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, while the St. Louis Blues can put the nail in the coffin of the Winnipeg Jets with a home win after taking the first two games on the road. As some teams prepare to play today and other plan ahead for tomorrow, keep an eye out for some minor tweaks to several rosters:
- The Capitals have swapped third-string goalies, as is common during the playoffs. Vitek Vanecek is on his way to Washington to be the emergency option for Game Three, while Ilya Samsonov returns to AHL Hershey after serving in that role for Game Two yesterday. The Bears are also playoff-bound, so this will be a balancing act for Washington moving forward.
- The Lightning are dealing with injury concerns for both Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman, so it is not much of a surprise that they have recalled another depth option on the blue line. Cameron Gaunce has joined the team on the road in Columbus and while he looks like insurance only right now, that could change, especially if another Tampa defenseman goes down.
- According to the AHL transactions page, the Calgary Flames have returned Dillon Dube to the Stockton Heat in the AHL. It’s likely that Dube will suit up for Stockton’s final regular season game and then will likely be recalled to serve on Calgary’s taxi-squad for the rest of the season.
- The Boston Bruins announced they have recalled defenseman Jakub Zboril from the Providence Bruins of the AHL as a precaution, especially with the status of defenseman Torey Krug up in the air. A 2015 first-rounder, Zboril scored four goals and 19 points in Providence over 56 games and has appeared in two games for Boston.