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Conference semifinal previews: Penguins-Rangers, Blackhawks-Wild

CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS

Series beginning tonight

East: Penguins vs. Rangers

Coaches: Penguins — Dan Bylsma; Rangers — Alain Vigneault

Season series: Tied 2-2

Outlook: Each team had an easy regulation win and a shootout win in the regular-season series. … By the time Game 4 is done Wednesday, the Rangers will have played six games in nine days, going back to Game 6 of their seven-game first-round win over the Flyers. … The Penguins have been off since ending their series against the Blue Jackets in six games Monday. … New York's Henrik Lundqvist and Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury are the goalies with the most wins in the regular season over the past five years, combining for 334. Both had their wayward moments in the first round.

West: Blackhawks vs. Wild

Coaches: Blackhawks — Joel Quenneville; Wild — Mike Yeo

Season series: Wild 3-1-1

Outlook: The big question for the Wild is the status of goaltender Darcy Kuemper, who left midway through the third period of Game 7 against the Avalanche on Wednesday with an injury. Ilya Bryzgalov, who started the first two games against Colorado, replaced him and made one save in the final 13:15 to help Minnesota advance. … Chicago goalie Corey Crawford is third in the league in the postseason with a 1.98 GAA and a .935 save percentage. … The Blackhawks practiced Thursday without All-Star captain Jonathan Toews (3 G, 7 points in the first-round win over the Blues). Quenneville said the center was "a little under the weather" but would play tonight.

Times wires

Conference semifinal previews: Penguins-Rangers, Blackhawks-Wild 05/01/14 [Last modified: Thursday, May 1, 2014 8:38pm]
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