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Posted at 06:04 PM ET, 04/18/2012

NHL Playoffs: Can Penguins, Canucks avoid the sweep?

Whether you agree with them or not, the latest wave of suspensions is in the books, which means it’s time to get back to playing hockey.

The Wednesday night slate features a pair of elimination games for higher seeds looking to stay alive on the road while the top seed in the East looks to move within one win of the conference semifinals.

Fresh of a 1-0 shutout win, Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers will look to keep the clamps on Ottawa.

But tonight’s main course takes place in Philadelphia where the Flyers will look to close a Pittsburgh team that will be without a few familiar faces. Sunday’s Game 3 nearly turned into an all-out brawl with cross-checks, head shots and fights for all. Even Hulk Hogan got into the act. Will Marc-Andre Fleury and the Penguins regain their composure in time to avoid the sweep? Or will Claude Giroux, Danny Briere, Brayden Schenn and the Flyers give ’em the boot?

In the L.A. nightcap, the top-seeded Vancouver Canucks hope to have leading scorer Daniel Sedin back on the ice for the first time in four weeks as he has struggled to recover from a concussion. Sedin, who scored at least 29 goals for the sixth straight season, would immediately provide a boost to a Canucks offense that has scored just four goals in three games against Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. Meantime the white-hot kings will try to close the door on last year’s Western Conference champions.

Here’s the lineup:

Rangers at Senators, 7:30 (CNBC) - New York leads series 2-1

Penguins at Flyers, 7:30 (NBCSN) - Philadelphia leads series 3-0

Canucks at Kings, 10 (NBCSN) - Kings lead series 3-0

Who do you like in tonight’s matchups? Can the Pens or Canucks send their series back to home ice?

Consider this your open thread for all of the action...

More

Capitals: Backstrom’s one-game suspension was not warranted

NHL suspends Raffi Torres indefinitely for Marian Hossa hit

Penguins-Flyers series full of fisticuffs; even Crosby drops the gloves

Carl Hagelin, Matt Carkner suspensions continue inconsistent rulings

NHL playoffs: Scoreboard | Schedule

By  |  06:04 PM ET, 04/18/2012

 
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