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Stanley Cup Playoffs Buzz: Sharks, Blues set for Game 1

Western Conference Final begins in San Jose @NHLdotcom

Welcome to the Stanley Cup Playoffs Buzz, a daily in-depth look at the 2019 NHL playoffs. The Western Conference Final between the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues begins Saturday at SAP Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, CBC, TVAS):


Need to know 

Here are some things to watch heading into Game 1 between the Sharks and Blues

-- The Sharks will play against Blues goalie Jordan Binnington for the first time this season. Figuring him out is one of 5 keys for the game Saturday, according to staff writer David Satriano.  

-- Though Binnington has played very well all season, Sharks goalie Martin Jones struggled at times, but San Jose stuck with him and it's paying off now, writes columnist Nicholas J. Cotsonika. 

-- The Blues have just one candidate for the coaching position next season and it's not a shock who it is, according to staff writer Mike Zeisberger. 

-- Blues rookie forward Robert Thomas is getting a big help in the playoffs from Keith Tkachuk and family, writes Mike Zeisberger. 

-- Here is a comprehensive preview of the series, by David Satriano. 

Video: Who will be X-Factor in Western Conference Final?


Eastern Conference Final 

The Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes will play Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final at TD Garden on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, CBC, TVAS). Here is the latest from the in Boston: 

-- Defenseman Charlie McAvoy, suspended for Game 1, will be back in the Bruins lineup for Game 2, reports correspondent Matt Kalman. 

-- The Hurricanes know they missed an opportunity to win Game 1 in Boston but are looking ahead to the next game, writes senior director of editorial Shawn P. Roarke. 

-- Members of the 2009 Hurricanes, who defeated the Bruins in the playoffs, are enjoying this season's run by Carolina, writes staff writer Tom Gulitti. 

--- Moves the Bruins made before the NHL Trade Deadline are paying off in the postseason, writes staff writer Amalie Benjamin. 


Conference finals quiz 

--- Test your knowledge of the final four teams with our conference finals quiz


Conference finals fantasy picks 

--- Our fantasy experts have made their selections for the Sharks and Blues. 


Listen: New episode of NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast

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