The Vancouver Canucks
haven't been as far as the conference finals since 1994. But they're just one win away this morning after beating the Predators 4-2 on Thursday night to sweep the two games in Nashville and take a 3-1 series lead in the Western Conference Semifinals. Ryan Kesler
, quiet through Vancouver's first nine playoff games, scored his third goal in two games to break a 2-2 tie.
Two teams are hoping to punch their tickets to the final four tonight. In Boston, the Bruins would like nothing more than to complete a sweep of the Philadelphia Flyers
-- something they couldn't do last year in what turned out to be a historic collapse. San Jose, the NHL's best overtime team in this year's playoffs, will try to eliminate Detroit by winning at Joe Louis Arena.
Here's your daily NHL.com Reading List for a set of quick links to some of the stories you won't want to miss:
Ehrhoff gives Canucks "O" from "D"
had a goal and a pair of assists in Vancouver's 4-2 win in Game 4, and as John Manasso reports
, Ehrhoff now leads all defensemen in postseason scoring.
Suter's loss of composure costs Preds
In a 2-2 game, you can't lose your composure -- Nashville's Ryan Suter
did, and the Predators paid a terrible price. John Manasso outlines
what caused Suter's costly penalty -- and the outcome.
Wings stay positive
It's hard not to be down when you're looking at a 3-0 series deficit -- especially against the team that knocked you out in five games last year. As Brian Hedger writes
from Detroit, coach Mike Babcock is refusing to let the Wings' plight drag them down.
Tough year for Modano
Michigan native Mike Modano
had hoped coming home would provide a last highlight or two for his Hall of Fame career. Things haven't gone quite the way Modano had planned. Brian Hedger reports
on Modano's frustrating season and whether he'll come back for another try.
Sharks enjoying OT success
Overtime is Sharks' time this spring. Five wins in as many OT games have the San Jose Sharks
one win away from a return trip to the conference finals. Dave Lozo talks with the Sharks
about why they've been so successful in OT.
Flyers know they have to be better
The Philadelphia Flyers
know they have no more wiggle room -- they must win Friday night at Boston or their season is over. As Mike Morreale writes
, they have to be better in Game 4 than they were two nights ago, regardless of who plays in goal.
New year for Bruins
The Boston Bruins
are right back where they were a year ago -- up 3-0 in their Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Philadelphia Flyers
. But as Shawn Roarke report
s from Boston, this year's Bruins are proving they're a whole new team.
What's next for Caps?
For the Washington Capitals
, Thursday was a day for saying goodbye -- far sooner than they expected -- after a four-game sweep by the underdog Tampa Bay Lightning
ended their season. GM George McPhee
knows the Caps have to make changes, but as Corey Masisak reports
, he thinks the organization has the necessary pieces in-house.
Ovi weighs changes to offseason plans
After yet another disappointing early departure from the playoffs that followed the poorest season of his NHL career, Alex Ovechkin
may change some things about his offseason plans. Corey Masisak writes
that Ovi was more banged up than he would admit, and that he may alter his offseason routine.
Playoffs packing in the overtime
Hockey fans will sleep come the summer -- for now, they're being entertained until the wee hours of the morning, night after night, by all the postseason games that have required more than just the 60 minutes of regulation to decide. John Kreiser goes inside the numbers
to look at how 2011 might set a record for OT games.