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Five things to know about the NHL playoffs for May 16

Rangers look to advance, Avalanche live to fight another day

The Colorado Avalanche live to see another day after a win on Wednesday, while the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers battle for an edge on Thursday.

Here are five things to know heading into Thursday’s post-season action:


The Oilers are set to meet the Canucks in Vancouver on Thursday night for Game 5 of their best-of-seven second-round series.

Each team has taken a split on the road, with Edmonton most recently tying the series at 2-2 with a 3-2 victory.

Both teams have also kept it close, with neither side winning by more than one goal and Game 2 having gone to overtime.

Now needing just two wins in the next three games, both teams will look to unlock some offence to pull away — our outdefend their way to a trip to the Western Conference finals.


Edmonton head coach Kris Knoblauch made quite the move on Tuesday.

He swapped out No. 1 goalie Stuart Skinner for backup Calvin Pickard — and it worked to perfection.

The 32-year-old, in his 13th season of pro hockey, made 19 saves in his first-ever playoff start in the Oilers’ effort to make it a 2-2 series.

Pickard replaced Skinner in the third period of Edmonton’s 4-3 Game 3 loss on Sunday, with the 25-year-old Skinner having given up four goals on 15 shots in that contest.

Now the question becomes, who Knoblauch goes with for Game 5?


Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet said on Wednesday that Thatcher Demko has “improved immensely the last 72 hours” as the all-star goaltender works his way back from a lower-body injury.

The 28-year-old started Vancouver’s playoff opener against the Nashville Predators, but hasn’t suited up since.

Vancouver has gone with third-string rookie Arturs Silovs in the post-season after backup Casey DeSmith was hurt in Game 3 against the Predators in the opening round of the playoffs.

Silovs, who is 4-3 in the playoffs with a .907 save percentage and a 2.71 goals-against average, led the Canucks to a victory in that series and has been solid against the Oilers in the second round.


Colorado pulled one back on Wednesday night, topping Dallas 5-3 on the road, and is now down just one game in the series, 3-2.

The Avalanche took Game 1 but suffered three straight losses to end up in a hole in their best-of-seven second-round series.

Now they have another chance to extend the series even more at home on Friday when the two teams meet for Game 6.


The New York Rangers look to make the Eastern Conference finals with a win on Thursday night at Carolina.

New York took the first three games of the best-of-seven second-round series before dropping two straight, allowing the Hurricanes right back into it.

Losing three straight is far from ideal for the Rangers, but in Carolina’s case, a return trip to the conference finals is at stake, and the team has continued to fight for it.

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