New York Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins (NBC): Both teams should be extremely proud of where their organizations are at now, poised for the future with young talented goaltenders and a plethora of skilled scorers. The Rangers have Avery, Drury, Shanahan, Jagr, Gomez and Straka and one of the best goalies around in Lundqvist (2.36 GAA playoffs). The Penguins have Fleury (1.26) in net and gunners Crosby, Staal, Sykora and Malkin and can match any team in the NHL offensively.
Pittsburgh dominated against Ottawa, allowing the Eastern Conference champions just five goals in four games. The crowd in Pittsburgh is also starting to believe again as the memories of the Lemieux-Jagr days resurface and expectations of a championship with this young team are justified. Lean with the city that brought us Iron City beer in this one.
Dallas Stars at San Jose Sharks (Versus TV): To make the West finals, the Sharks must get toothy quick against the upstart Stars who now believe they can hang with anyone. San Jose (24-5-2 L31) has been as hot as Death Valley in 2008 but still has one big thing left on its’ master checklist.
Modano, Ribeiro, Richards, Barnes and Lehtinen are threats for Dallas but Nabokov will be ready in the Shark Tank knowing this series heads to the Lone Star State after tonight. Sharks don’t know the meaning of fear. The two teams split the regular season series, 4-4. SHARKS.