SAN JOSE, Calif. — After posting two of the top four records in the NHL in the regular season, the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets both need to find out a way to get a win on the road or their playoff runs will end almost as soon as they began.
The Blackhawks were shut out twice at home by Nashville and then blew a 2-0 lead in Game 3 to fall behind 3-0 in the series. Game 4 is Thursday night.
“We’re in a tough spot and a place we don’t want to be in, but we got a game,” defenseman Brent Seabrook said. “We got to worry about one game and try to win one game.”
The Blue Jackets have gotten one win so far after dropping the first three games to Pittsburgh. The Penguins don’t want to give them any life.
“You have the opportunity to close it out, you want to make sure you do it,” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. “You could see the desperation in their game and saw the importance of that to be in our game as well.”
The other two series Thursday night are much tighter with Edmonton-San Jose and Montreal-New York Rangers tied at two games apiece.
The Sharks evened their series with a 7-0 win at home but the Oilers are focused on the series score rather than the lopsided game.
OILERS: Forward Leon Draisaitl was fined $2,569.44 for spearing San Jose’s Chris Tierney on Tuesday night, the maximum fine allowed.
CAPITALS 5, MAPLE LEAFS 4: Tom Wilson and T.J. Oshie each scored two goals, and Washington won at Toronto to tie their first-round playoff series at two games apiece.
Alex Ovechkin added his third goal of the playoffs as the top-seeded Capitals regained momentum with the series shifting back to Washington for Game 5 on Friday night.
Braden Holtby made 30 saves.