NHL Playoffs 2013: Breaking Down Wednesday's Postseason Action

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistMay 8, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 25:  Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals stakes on the ice against the Ottawa Senators during the second period at Verizon Center on April 25, 2013 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The 2013 NHL playoffs are in full swing, and the focus of the hockey community has shifted to Wednesday’s postseason action.

Some of the top teams from both the Eastern and Western Conferences will be on full display tonight, and NHL fans should be excited to see this much televised playoff hockey in the middle of the working week.

All of the following series are starting to heat up, and with so many of the league’s top stars and teams showcased, Wednesday should be a great day for hockey.


Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs: 7 p.m. ET on NHL Network

Game 4, Bruins lead 2-1

The Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs are evenly matched on both offense and defense in this first-round series, but after the Bruins took Game 3 on the ice of Toronto, the fans should expect a wild Game 4.

Boston dominated the Maple Leafs 5-2 on Monday, but with another game in front of the rowdy home crowd in Toronto, this is the chance for the underdogs to step up.

Just as the Maple Leafs did in the second game of this series, they must stop all of Boston's momentum gained from its big win immediately and even the series.

Despite the stellar play of the more experienced Bruins team, the younger and more explosive Maple Leafs will hold on for a victory Wednesday night and tie the series at 2-2.

Prediction: Maple Leafs 3, Bruins 2.


Washington Capitals at New York Rangers: 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network

Game 4, Capitals lead 2-1

The Washington Capitals looked fantastic through the first two games of this series, but in front of the raucous crowd of Madison Square Garden, the New York Rangers pulled the series to 2-1 and look to even it all up after Game 4.

In what had been a defensive showcase highlighted by the solid play of both goaltenders, Monday’s game—which ended up being a 4-3 victory for New York—proved that both of these teams could score in bunches when needed.

While Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist has played well, the defense in front of him continues to struggle. If New York can play solid defense in front of the All-Star netminder, the Blueshirts will head back to Washington with the series tied.

Prediction: Rangers 3, Capitals 1


Los Angeles Kings at St. Louis Blues: 9 p.m. ET on CNBC

Game 5, Series tied 2-2

The St. Louis Blues had every advantage possible when the team took the 2-0 series advantage on a bad mistake from Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, but after two games in the city of L.A., this series is all tied up.

That’s how fast the momentum of a series in the NHL can swing.

The story all series has been the elite goaltending—both Brian Elliott and Quick have played well for their respective teams—but the fact that each team's offense is starting to click at the same time is resulting in a wild battle.

After the frantic play and heart-pounding conclusion to Monday’s game (4-3 Kings victory), the expectations for Wednesday’s action are through the roof.

Prediction: Kings 3, Blues 2


Detroit Red Wings at Anaheim Ducks: 10 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network

Game 5, Series tied 2-2

The Anaheim Ducks are one of the best offensive teams in the NHL and boast an elite goaltender with Jonas Hiller, but the Detroit Red Wings have a tenacity that can’t be measured.

Even if the Red Wings go on to lose this series, it won’t be without battling for every inch of ice.

With the series going back to Anaheim after Detroit used its home ice to tie it up at 2-2, the Ducks will have the clear advantage in Game 5 being back in front of their home crowd again. The resulting battle will be fierce.

The increased physical play from both teams and thinning nerves will result in an all-out war Wednesday.

Prediction: Ducks 5, Red Wings 4