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2011 NHL Playoffs: First Round Update, 4/23

Western Conference

Nashville Predators 4, Anaheim Ducks 3 (OT) -- The Predators took a great leap forward as a franchise by placing themselves on the brink of their first series win in six tries. This game was back and forth with both teams scoring twice in the third period. Nashville captain Shea Weber tied the game with 36 seconds left in the third period to send it into overtime, where Jerrod Smithson ended the comeback with a shot that made it past Ducks goalie Ray Emery less than two minutes into the extra period. The series now moves back to Nashville, where the Predators have a chance to punch their ticket into the conference semifinals.

Nashville leads the series, 3-2.

Eastern Conference

Buffalo Sabres 4, Philadelphia Flyers 3 (OT) -- The Sabres came out firing, scoring three goals in the first period and knocking out Flyers goalie Brian Boucher. Backup Michael Leighton stopped the rush of goals and allowed the Flyers to regain their confidence. Two quick goals in the second period brought the crowd back into the game and Philadelphia tied the game on a Danny Briere goal early in the third period to complete the comeback. But Ryan Miller kept the Sabres in the game as usual, stopping 36 of 39 shots he faced. Tyler Ennis ended the game and gave the Sabres a chance to close out the series at home with two goals in the game, including the overtime winner. Could there be another goalie controversy in Philadelphia? Leighton is the third goalie the Flyers have used in this series, but none of them have been consistent enough to keep Philadelphia in this series.

Buffalo leads the series, 3-2.

Games To Watch Today

Tampa Bay Lightning at Pittsburgh Penguins, 12:00 p.m. EDT, on Versus -- The Penguins can eliminate the Lightning in front of their home fans after using their toughness to overcome the offensive talent of the Lightning. Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis have essentially been shut down by the Penguins defensive corps, and Marc-Andre Fleury is taking a step towards elite netminder.

New York Rangers at Washington Capitals, 3:00 p.m. EDT, on NBC -- After a dramatic double overtime win, the Capitals have placed themselves in great position to beat a tough Rangers squad and advance to the semifinals. Goalie Michael Neuvirth has been a wonder in net, and the Capitals' stars have come to play in this series.

Montreal Canadiens at Boston Bruins, 7:00 p.m. EDT, on Versus -- The road team has won every game in this series, including an overtime thriller in Game Four. Now the series moves back to Boston, where the Canadiens are depending on goalie Carey Price to continue his stellar play so far in these playoffs. Price has outplayed his counterpart Tim Thomas for much of this series, and has frustrated a limited Bruins group of forwards. The winner of this game holds a substantial advantage in the rest of the series.

Los Angeles Kings at San Jose Sharks, 10:30 p.m. EDT, on Versus -- The most entertaining series of the first round moves back north to San Jose, as the Sharks are lucky to be carrying a 3-1 lead in the series. They have won both overtime games in this series -- including overcoming a 4-0 deficit -- and are finally wearing down the Kings sturdy defense. Jonathan Quick was lights-out in goal for the Kings earlier in this series, but he is starting to show some cracks as the series progresses. San Jose wants to close out the series at home, lest they are forced to return to Los Angeles.