Puck Playoffs by Kevin Stott for Thur., April 17, 2008

April 17, 2008 8:13 PM
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Washington Capitals at Philadelphia Flyers (Versus TV): Philadelphia really got into Washington’s head Sunday when they blanketed Caps’ star Ovechkin and shut out the home team, 2-0 as Martin Biron notched a shutout in his second postseason start ever.

Although the home team in this series is only 1-5 this season so far (heading into Tuesday), Washington expended an awful lot of energy and emotion just to make the playoffs and then pushed the tank to "E" with its 6-5 comeback win in the opener.

Washington is a wonderful story in the NHL this year, but the Broad Street Bullies take pride in playing a very physical game and now have so many options on offense that they have to be the team to take in this series. Biron’s play in net is also a small advantage over Huet and with the game being played in the City of Brotherly Love tonight, let’s take the home team at a fair price before a raucous crowd. FLYERS.

Boston Bruins at Montreal Canadiens: The Bruins suddenly woke up after losing 13 straight to Montreal but the expectations of a Canadiens team whose fans and country is rabid about hockey compared to a Bruins franchise just happy to be there means that it just matters so much more to the team from north of the border. With teams winning Games 1 and 2 winning the series 87 percent of the time and the Bruins eeking out an overtime win in Game 3 Sunday, expect form to hold and the Canadiens to protect the home ice in this game. Boston has been playing better in this series, but may have made the mistake of waking a sleeping giant with its win in Game 3. CANADIENS.

Calgary Flames at San Jose Sharks (Versus): A fantastic series to just sit back and watch, this matchup was certainly one the mighty Sharks feared after losing the season series to Calgary, 3-1. And after losing two of the first three skates – and blowing a very early 3-0 lead Sunday night – San Jose knows it has its work cut out for them and may again be a victim of an early exit in the postseason despite the phenomenal regular season. Expect a top-notch effort from the Sharks in this one, but don’t underestimate this Calgary team with Iginla, Kiprusoff & Co. This selection is a half-play compared to the above two picks as SJ’s level of desperation may hurt their play on the ice. SHARKS.