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Thursday's thoughts: NHL on Facebook, hopefully not on steroids

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This opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs has been tremendously entertaining, and we finally got our first multiple-overtime game last night, between Boston and Buffalo. We haven't hit OT yet between the Predators and Blackhawks... might that change this evening?

After the jump, we have several pieces setting the table for a big Game 4 tonight at Bridgestone Arena (7:30 p.m. Central start, on Fox Sports TN here in Nashville). In addition, the NHL announces new Facebook-related technology, and a report comes from Sports Illustrated which raises the specter of steroid use in hockey...

Last Night in the Playoffs

Boston 3, Buffalo 2: They're hailing Satan in Beantown, as Miro Satan scored in double-overtime to give the Bruins a 3-1 series lead.

Washington 6, Montreal 3: This one is following expectations, as Alex Ovechkin scored twice.

Vancouver 6, Los Angeles 4: The Canucks tied up this series at 2-2 as they head back to Vancouver.

Predators News

A Tale of Two Cities – And Two NHL Franchises (A Mini-Series – Part 1) " Pull My (Fang)Finger
AJ looks at this series from a city vs. city perspective, which has parallels that characterize the teams on the ice.

Preds 101: Cheater!: Explaining Erat's Penalty Shot
A handy primer for any new fans who hadn't seen a penalty shot before Erat's score on Tuesday.

Nashville Gets Serious, Predsnation Gets Loud and Proud, and Terry Crisp Gets Happypants | The Hockey Writers
Jas sums up some of the atmosphere both in the arena and on TV from Tuesday night.

Blake Geoffrion wins Spike Carlson Award - Nashville Predators Examiner
"Little Boom Boom" is going to have a crowded trophy case before he even plays in the NHL.

Sullivan's passion for playoffs is evident in his performance | Nashville City Paper
Sully is playing like he's having the time of his life. Be sure to keep an eye on his shifts tonight.

Nashville Predators solve Chicago Blackhawks' scoring threat - The Tennessean
How are the Preds stifling the Hawks? Let John Glennon count the ways.

Chicago Blackhawks consider lineup changes vs. Nashville Predators - The Tennessean
Bickel and Burish appear to be in for the Blackhawks, and maybe even Brian Campbell?

Around the NHL

How to Discount Playoff Tickets | The Business of Sports
ATTENTION NASHVILLE PREDATORS STAFF - Some useful tips on how to get that building sold out...

Stand Up And Be Counted If You Can't Live Without It - Second City Hockey
Sam's game preview considers some of the lineup changes on tap for the Blackhawks.

NHL.com Unveils Integration With Facebook - NHL.com
I have no idea what this means in practical terms, but it sounds flashy.

NHL, Washington Capitals icy about steroid investigation - SI.com
*sniff* *sniff* Anybody smell smoke?

Down Goes Brown: Signs your team is not making it to the second round
I like this one: "Your local golf course has received reports of two weird guys in green spandex dancing next to the first tee."

Is this Lidstrom’s last run? - The Globe and Mail
Is the end near for the greatest defenseman since Bobby Orr?

The Stanley Chronicles, Vol. 1 (Puck-Rakers Blog)
Tom Reed brings the Columbus perspective on the playoffs so far.

Guide to Creating an NHL Conspiracy Theory - View From My Seats
A handy how-to for what to do when things turn sour.

Dissecting the Phoenix Coyotes Attendance a Little - Five For Howling
Give credit to the gang in Phoenix for making the best of an awful situation last fall.

Toronto close to signing top Finnish goalie - USATODAY.com
It still floors me how Finland has turned into such a goaltending factory. One of my first dates with my wife back in 1996 was an IHL game (Indianapolis vs. Ft. Wayne), and that was the first time I'd ever seen a Finnish goalie in North America. Now, they're all over the NHL.

Not So Award Winning Performances - Blueshirt Banter
Jim hands out the blame for the Rangers falling short of the playoffs.

And lastly... Bloge Salming brings an update on what Brian Burke is up to in Toronto: