Ahead of the trio of important games, here's a list of things you need to know, to be updated throughout the day:
- Brad Richards, the so-called big fish of the 2011 NHL free agent season and a forward under contract through 2019-20, told reporters Thursday morning he's being scratched from the New York Rangers lineup as they face a potential four-game elimination at the hands of Boston. Richards has one goal and no assists in 10 playoff games, and saw just over eight minutes of ice time in Game 3.
- The New York Times looks at Dan Paille of the Bruins and Dan Girardi of the Rangers, both from Welland Ont., (pop. 50,000), who were each other's best men.
- Presidents' Trophy winner Chicago looks to solve impressive Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard at Joe Louis Arena to avoid a 3-1 series deficit. You can watch or stream the Hockey Night in Canada game at 8 p.m. ET.
- San Jose and the Kings are tied heading into Game 5 tonight. Los Angeles has won 12 straight at home. T.J. Galiardi says Jonathan Quick is a Hollywood goalie as well as an L.A. one. Galiardi averages a goal every six regular-season games, for the record. In 17 post-season contests, he's got zero for the Sharks.
- The mood in Ottawa is "probably not" too chipper after the Penguins riddled the Senators for seven goals in Game 4. The Canadian club hits the road hoping Friday's game isn't the last of their 2013 season. But if even the captain doesn't believe …