Chris Carlson/Associated Press
Home-ice advantage has vanished for the St. Louis Blues and the Anaheim Ducks in the conference semifinal round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
While either of those teams can put themselves in a position to get it back by winning on the road at some point in their respective series, neither team was able to win at home Wednesday night.
The red-hot Nashville Predators, who swept the Chicago Blackhawks in the opening round, earned a 4-3 victory over the Blues in the opener. The Preds built a 3-1 lead in the game as a result of a goal and two assists by defenseman P.K. Subban before the Blues came storming back to tie the game in the third period.
However, Vernon Fiddler scored the go-ahead goal with 5:05 to go, and goaltender Pekka Rinne made that strike stand up. The Preds now have a five-game postseason winning streak and the early 1-0 advantage in this series.
The Edmonton Oilers followed a similar pattern against the Ducks, as they had two quick goals in the third to take a 3-1 lead. However, the Ducks tied the score on a pair of goals 1:25 apart midway through the period.
As overtime seemed a likely development, defenseman Adam Larsson scored the second of his two goals with less than five minutes remaining to restore the lead for the Oilers. Leon Draisaitl added an empty-net goal after taking an unselfish pass from Milan Lucic to clinch the victory for the visitors.
Here’s a look at the conference semifinal round of the playoffs.
|2017 NHL Playoffs; Upcoming Conference Semifinal Schedule|
|New York Rangers at Ottawa Senators||—||April 27||7 p.m.||CNBC||NBCSports.com|
|Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals||—||April 27||7:30 p.m.||NBCSN||NBCSports.com|
|Nashville Predators at St. Louis Blues||Nashville, 1-0||April 28||8 p.m.||NBCSN||NBCSports.com|
|Edmonton Oilers at Anaheim Ducks||Edmonton, 1-0||April 28||10:30 p.m.||NBCSN||NBCSports.com|
|New York Rangers at Ottawa Senators||—||April 29||3 p.m.||NBC||NBCSports.com|
|Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals||—||April 29||8 p.m.||NBC||NBCSports.com|
|Nashville Predators at St. Louis Blues||Nashville, 1-0||April 30||3 p.m.||NBC||NBCSports.com|
|Edmonton Oilers at Anaheim Ducks||Edmonton, 1-0||April 30||7 p.m.||NBCSN||NBCSports.com|
The two Eastern Conference semifinal series get underway Thursday night with the Ottawa Senators hosting the New York Rangers at 7 p.m. ET and the Washington Capitals facing the defending Stanley Cup champions Pittsburgh Penguins 30 minutes later.
The Caps and the Pens are the glamour matchup of the second round of the postseason, and this is the second year in a row that the two rivals have squared off in the playoffs.
The Pens used their speed and opportunistic offense to defeat the Caps in six games last year, and those factors will undoubtedly factor into the game plan again this year.
Sidney Crosby doesn’t need much space to get his shots off, and he has shown the ability to score key goals against the Caps in the past. He gets plenty of…