It’s a big day for some recent Stanley Cup champions. The Chicago Blackhawks face elimination, while the Washington Capitals and St. Louis Blues look to avoid falling into 0-3 holes. Also, are the Vegas Golden Knights the new Stanley Cup favorites?
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Here’s a stat we didn’t expect: The Islanders are averaging 3.67 goals per game this summer, which ranks third. Combine that with New York’s trademark stingy defense, and Barry Trotz has his former team playing what it’s calling the most important game of the season. Nicklas Backstrom (concussion protocol) practiced Saturday, but his status for Game 3 is unclear. The Caps have been outscored 7-2 in the third period through five games. An honest assessment from Washington’s Carl Hagelin: “We’ve only scored, what is it? Four goals so far. Sometimes that is all it takes in the playoffs if you are playing smart enough defensively, but we haven’t done that, either.”