News: Ray Emery will start in net for Game 1 against the Rangers on Thursday, Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Analysis: With Steve Mason (upper body) out for Game 1, Ray Emery will get a shot to steal home ice advantage for the Flyers. Considering Mason isn't even traveling with the team to New York, there's a good chance Emery could get back-to-back starts to open the series.
News: Sidney Crosby scored two goals and seven points in five games against Columbus in 2013-14. Analysis: The Penguins captain averaged nearly five shots per game against the Blue Jackets (24 shots in five games). Surprisingly, he finished with just one power-play point on a team which went 6-for-17, but the Pens are healthier now than they've been all season long.
News: Marc-Andre Fleury will start Game 1 on Wednesday at home against the Blue Jackets. Analysis: Marc-Andre Fleury has flamed out in past postseasons, making Wednesday's performance crucial for his confidence. The Flower went 3-0, with a 1.33 goals-against average and .963 save percentage in the regular season versus the Blue Jackets. The numbers favor Fleury, even though his history suggests otherwise.
News: Steve Mason (upper body) will not play Thursday against the Rangers, Tim Panaccio of CSN Philadelphia reports. Analysis: Steve Mason won't make the trip to New York with the team, so there's a good chance Ray Emery will start each of the first two games of the team's first round series. Mason will likely take over the starting role upon his return, but we'll have to wait a couple days to find out when that will be.
News: Joe Vitale (upper body) took part in line rushes during Wednesday's morning skate, Pens Inside Scoop reports. Analysis: Joe Vitale hasn't played since March 20, but his presence in line rushes is a pretty good indicator that he's ready to return. The center recorded just one goal and 13 assists in 53 regular season games this year, so his absence wouldn't have a huge effect if he can't go.
News: Jonas Gustavsson (shoulder) will be available for Thursday's Game 1 against the Bruins, the Detroit News reports. Analysis: Jimmy Howard is expected to get the start Thursday, but it's good news that Jonas Gustavsson will be there to back him up. Gustavsson finished the regular season with a 16-5-4 record, a .907 save percentage, and a 2.63 GAA in 27 appearances.
News: Evgeni Malkin (foot) took part in line rushes during Wednesday's morning skate, Pens Inside Scoop reports. Analysis: Evgeni Malkin was back on the ice for Tuesday's practice as well, so all signs point toward him being in the lineup for Thursday's Game 1.
News: Matt Bartkowski (unspecified reason) did not practice Wednesday. Analysis: It's unclear what's ailing Matt Bartkowski, but we should have a better idea regarding his status for Friday's playoff opener by Thursday. Bartkowski recorded 18 assists and a plus-22 rating in 64 games for the Bruins this past season, so in playoff pools he's only an option for heavy backers of Boston.
News: Chris Kelly (back) did not practice Wednesday. Analysis: As Friday's playoff opener against the Red Wings approaches, Chris Kelly remains day-to-day, with Justin Florek filling in for him at practice on the Bruins' third line, which also features Loui Eriksson and Carl Soderberg.
News: Daniel Paille (unspecified injury) did not practice Wednesday. Analysis: The Bruins are calling Daniel Paille (who was helped off the ice this past Saturday after absorbing a check) day-to-day, which clouds his status for Friday's playoff opener against the Red Wings. Meanwhile, Jordan Caron is skating on the B's fourth line in practice in place Paille.