Here are the morning papers for the Eastern Conference playoff match ups:
Montreal versus Boston:
- You can expect to see rookie defenseman Ryan O’Byrne dressed for the Canadiens tonight, writes Pat Hickey. If the Habs want to take control of this series tonight, they are going to have to improve upon their struggling power play. The Bruins love having Milan Lucic on their side, writes Hickey. Amazingly, the last person on the Canadiens who is going to panic is rookie netminder Carey Price.
- The Bruins’ penalty killing has been terrific, writes Fluto Shinwaza. “He’s been their best player by a long shot,” said Habs coach Guy Carbonneau about Bruins rookie Milan Lucic. It appears unlikely that Patrice Bergeron will be able to get into a game if the Bruins do not advance past the first round.
Pittsburgh versus Ottawa:
- The Penguins did not panic at all last night, and it helped them as they cruised to a 4-1 victory over the Senators. Marc-Andre Fleury has matured since last year’s playoffs and that has been and will be an important part of the Penguins’ success. The Senators pulled out all the stops last night and it still wasn’t enough to avoid being in a 3-0 hole in the series, writes Chuck Finder. To their credit, the Penguins have not made a big deal of a picture of their team shaking hands with the Senators from last year’s playoffs that happens to be right outside their locker room.
- “We’ve got to keep our head up. Teams have done it. Nobody has any faith us in any way. We all believe we can still do it,” said Cristoph Schubert after his team went down 3-0 to the Penguins last night in their playoff series. Daniel Alfredsson’s return to the line up just was not enough last night, writes Chris Stevenson. You cannot question Alfredsson’s character.
Washington versus Philadelphia:
- Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau expects Alexander Oveckin to have a bounce back game against the Flyers in Game 3. Corey Masisak tells readers how important Mike Richards is to the Philadelphia cause. “We are looking for a big response here in Game 3, and hopefully we can get it,” said Capitals forward Brooks Laich.
- Flyers winger Scott Hartnell knows his job is to go to the net and he does that well, writes Sam Donnellon. Flyers GM Paul Holmgren has been happy to see his old roommate Bruce Boudreau succeed in his NHL pursuits. Meanwhile, the Flyers who remain from the 2006 squad want to make amends for their awful home showing that season.
New Jersey versus New York Rangers:
- The fact of the matter is, Brent Sutter loves John Madden, writes Colin Stephenson. The Devils need not worry about Sean Avery pulling off his Game 3 in front of their net anymore, now that the NHL has amended its rules to hand out penalties for such behavior.
- Jay Greenberg of the NY Post has been awfully impressed with the play of rookie defenseman Marc Staal. The Rangers need to cut down on their penalties, writes John Dellapina. It is safe to say that Sean Avery sure didn’t make any friends with his antics on Sunday.
The morning papers for the Western Conference playoff match ups are soon to follow…
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.
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