Here are the morning papers for the Western Conference playoff match ups:
Detroit versus Nashville:
- After allowing two goals in nine seconds to squander their 3-2 third period lead, the Wings will be looking to cut down on bang-bang goals in Game 4. Darren McCarty has been a presence since his return to the Red Wings, writes Helene St. James. The referees were very liberal in the way they called last night's contest, writes Steve Schrader.
- It took nine seconds for the Predators season to turnaround last night, writes John Glennon. The return of David Legwand was a huge boost for the Predators last night and the speedy center helped out by scoring a goal. Last night's victory was Dan Ellis' first career playoff win.
San Jose versus Calgary:
- Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News says tonight's game against the Flames may set the tone for the Sharks' future. "We have to come out and play a character game and do the right thing at the right time and not to let anybody push us around," said Sharks netminder and Vezina Trophy candidate Evgeni Nabokov. The Sharks may make some line up changes for tonight's game.
- The Flames are sure winning the toughness battle in this series, writes George Johnson. If there was every any doubt, Miikka Kiprusoff will be between the pipes tonight for the Flames. "We have too many back-seat drivers at times, and we need drivers. We've been in this situation before, the last couple of playoff series, and haven't responded well," said Sharks defenseman Kyle McLaren heading into tonight's important Game 4.
Minnesota versus Colorado:
- The Wild thought that Jose Theodore may have been cheating on Pierre-Marc Bouchard's overtime winner last night. To quantify Brian Rolston's play in points only would be a disservice to the speedy forward, writes Michael Russo.
- The Avalanche should have had more than a 1-0 lead heading into the third period, writes Adrian Dater. The Avlanche power play is costing them games. By the end of the series, Adam Foote will be sick and tired of seeing Marian Gaborik across the ice. Apparently Mark Kiszla hates the Wild and the State of Minnesota in general.
Anaheim versus Dallas:
- The Ducks know that a comeback against the Stars is feasible, they just have to focus on winning Game 3 tonight and then move forward from there, writes Dan Wood. In injury news, the Ducks may be without Rob Niedermayer (upper-body injury) for Game 3.
- Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News looks at the numbers and realizes that home-ice has not really been that big of an advantage these playoffs. The Ducks are going to bring it full-force tonight, writes Chuck Carlton.
For Illegal Curve, I'm Richard Pollock.
Email any thoughts, ideas or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org