Big goalie storylines colour all three of Thursday's NHL playoff games. Pittsburgh is starting a netminder who hasn't played a post-season game in six years, while Minnesota and Montreal face elimination with their backups.
Here's a list of things you need to know, which we'll update throughout the day:
- It's official. Canadiens netminder Carey Price is out for the remainder of the Ottawa series, at least. Peter Budaj, who was thrust into OT duty in Game 4, gets his first NHL playoff start. He had a sprinkling of playoff appearances totalling 71 minutes while with Colorado earlier this century. Robert Mayer, who will be Montreal's backup for Game 5 on Hockey Night in Canada, has not one minute of NHL experience. No pressure, Peter!
- No one knows who Minnesota will put in net as they look to stave off elimination in Game 5 in Chicago on HNIC, given their goalie injury carousel. Wild coach Mike Yeo joked on Wednesday they'll even keep their backup a secret to add mystery. But Yeo was to the point Thursday, confirming Josh Harding will get the call. In the other crease, Corey Crawford can earn his first NHL series win after two failed attempts. The last time Chicago won a series, Antti Niemi was helping them lift the Stanley Cup in 2010.
- Penguins veteran Tomas Vokoun is just 3-8 all-time in the NHL post-season, a record achieved with Nashville up until 2007. He replaces Marc-Andre Fleury in net. Will Pittsburgh in Game 5 on Thursday shore up in front of Vokoun? Of the six playoff games since 2012 that have featured more than nine total goals, the Penguins were involved in five of them. The Isles are going for their first late-series lead since the franchise's Cinderella run to the East final in 1993.
- Playoff counter as of May 8: Home-Away record: Home teams, 22-12 … OT frequency: 38 per cent (13 of 34 games) … OT record: Home 8-5 … Total goals: 184 (5.41 per game) … Shutouts: 15 per cent (5 of 34).