The Stanley Cup Playoffs have taken a dramatic turn in conference semis play | The GIST

    The GIST: And the award for best drama goes to…the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This weekend’s puck play was heart-stopping, frustrating, and exhilarating all at the same time.

    The Florida Panthers inch closer to the Eastern Conference (EC) Finals: Even with Boston Bruins captain Brad Marchand out of the lineup, the Bruins charged to a 2–0 first period lead, but the Panthers (assisted by a controversial call) meowed back and erased Boston’s edge all the way to a 3–2 Game 4 win.

    • Now up 3-1 in the series, the reigning EC champ Panthers can eliminate their Atlantic Division rivals when Game 5 returns to the Sunshine State tomorrow at 7 p.m. ET.

    The Vancouver Canucks bounce back with Game 3 road win: Right winger Brock Boeser and the ’Nucks flipped the script after Friday’s Game 2 loss and posted a much-needed 4–3 Game 3 win over the Edmonton Oilers last night, moving ahead 2-1 in the all-Canada series.

    • See if the Pacific Division champions can jump out to a commanding lead on the road during Game 4 tomorrow at 9:30 p.m. ET.

    Previewing tonight’s games: The Carolina Hurricanes finally handed the NY Rangers their first playoff loss, winning Saturday’s Game 4 4–3. The Canes raced to a two-goal first period lead and held on to send the series back to the Big Apple for a pivotal Game 5, tonight at 7 p.m. ET. Will the Rangers close it out at home or can Carolina stay alive once again?

    • The wild, wild West has been living up to its name — the Dallas Stars stifled the typically stout Colorado Avalanche offense in Saturday’s 4–1 Game 3 win, giving the Big D a 2-1 series lead.
    • That said, expect the Avs to come out firing in front of their home crowd when Game 4 begins tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET.

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