McDonagh missed the final five games of the regular season with a shoulder injury, but will suit up in game 1 vs. the Flyers. He had 45 points (14G / 29A) in 77 games this season, so getting him back is huge for the Rangers.
Quick lost his final three starts of the regular season, but overall it was a good season. He won 27 games with a 2.07 GAA, .915 SV% and six shutouts. He won each of his starts vs. the Sharks this season, while posting a 1.47 GAA and .930 SV%. Heading into game 1, you have to give the goaltending edge to the Kings.
Niemi stopped 30 of 32 shots in a win over the Coyotes in the season finale. He finished the season at 39-17-7 with a 2.39 GAA and .913 SV%. Entering game 1 vs. Los Angeles, Niemi is 3-2-0 in Aprial and 2-1-1 with 2.67 GAA and .910 SV% against the Kings this season.
Varlamov was sensational for the Avalanche this season. He led the NHL with 41 wins and posted a strong 2.41 GAA and .927 SV%. He has won seven of his last eight starts and comes into the playoffs as the leagues' hottest netminder. He was 3-0-1 with a 2.16 GAA and .929 SV% vs. the Wild this season.
After a puzzling start to the season, Lundqvist managed to finish the season at 33-24-5 with a 2.36 GAA and .920 SV%. He enters the playoffs having gone 13-6-2 in his final 21 games. Lundqvist is a career 30-37 with a 2.28 GAA and .920 SV% in the postseason.
Coming off a postseason when he was one of best players for the Stanley Cup champions, Corey Crawford will once again be a major key to the Blackhawks’ success this spring. While regular-season numbers don’t automatically translate to the postseason, Crawford did put up very competitive numbers against the Blues this year, going 2-1-1 with a 1.72 GAA and .935 SV%.
Berglund, missed the season finale with an upper-body injury, was the most unlikely of the injured Blues to play in game 1. He did not skate this morning, while the rest of the team did. He is expected to be back at some point in the first round.
Backes missed the last three games of the regular season with a foot injury, but he will play on Thursday in game vs. Chicago. Backes had 27 goals and 30 assists in 74 games this season--two goals and one assist came in five games vs. the Blackhawks.
Tarasenko has been sidelined since March 15th after undergoing surgery on a broken hand. He was expected to miss six weeks, but he will be back in the lineup two weeks ahead of schedule. Tarasenko tallied 21 goals and 22 assists in 64 games this season. He will skate on the second line with Vladimir Sobotka and Jaden Schwartz.
Oshie missed the final two games of the regular season with a head injury that he suffered on a hit by Mike Rupp last Thursday. He skated in the Blues' morning skate, but will be held out of game 1. He is expected to return at some point in the first round.
Bishop (arm) did some light on-ice workouts in full pads on Thursday morning.
Bishop still is not facing shot in practice, but he was in goal while coaches threw pucks on goal. Bishop does not appear very close to returning to the Lightning crease. Consider him very doubtful for game 2.
Miller finished the season 0-5 with a 3.83 GAA and .856 SV% to finish 10-8-1 with a 2.47 GAA and .903 save percentage since being acquired from the Buffalo Sabres. The struggles down the stretch can not be solely placed on Miller, because the Blues were battling injuries to key players. Tonight, a series between two great teams will get underway.
Seidenberg (knee) is skating for the fourth consecutive day.
Seidenberg has been out since December 27th after suffered and torn ACL and MCL. Seidenberg could return to the Bruins lineup if they make a deep playoff run, but at this point he remains a ways away from being back in game action.
Granlund (head) is expected to return for Game 1 on Thursday.
Granlund missed the final six games of the regular season with a head injury, but he is ready to go in game 1 vs. the Avalanche. Tonight, will mark Granlund's NHL playoff debut. He finished the season with eight goals and 33 assists (41 points) in 63 games. Expect him to centre a line with Jason Pominville and Matt Moulson.