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Blackhawks, Flames dealt worst body blows

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9:10 AM ET Of the four games with blown two-goal leads Monday night, which was the most damaging? The Predators dashed the Blackhawks playoff hopes in a big way. Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Craig Custance: Both the Calgary Flames and Chicago Blackhawks are now in trouble, down 3-0 after Monday night’s losses, and both teams had high playoff hopes. The Flames are early enough in their development curve where every one of these losses is a lesson. At least that’s a silver lining. For the Blackhawks, it’s just pure disappointment. A shot at another Stanley Cup is nearly gone.

Pierre LeBrun: It certainly feels like the end for both Chicago and Calgary. The Flames even chased John Gibson from the net, but then saw the Ducks rally back for the 5-4 win. Given Calgary’s dismal record in Anaheim, I don’t see how they could win the next four games. If there’s a team that you can believe has the 0-3 miracle in them, it’s the Blackhawks, given their pedigree — but not only did the Predators come back from two goals down Monday night, they completely owned overtime. I picked the Preds back in September to make it to the Stanley Cup finals. They finally look like that team after an inconsistent regular season.

This thing just got serious. The Toronto Maple Leafs won for the second straight time in overtime and all of a sudden are in the driver’s seat against the heavily favored Washington Capitals.

Bobby Ryan’s power-play goal in OT came after the Ottawa Senators blew a three-goal lead, and the Senators’ win put the Boston Bruins down 2-1 in the first-round series.

Visit the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs page to get dates, game schedules, team matchups and featured news all the way into the finals on ESPN.

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Scott Burnside: Have to say that when the Blackhawks went up 2-0 in the second period on Patrick Kane‘s power-play goal, I was thinking history was about to repeat itself for Nashville, which has had the Blackhawks on the ropes the previous two times they’ve met in the playoffs but couldn’t match Chicago’s depth and will to win. But talk about redefining your character by coming back with two third-period goals and the OT winner to go up 3-0 in the series. So, if I was wrong about Nashville, does that mean I was wrong about Chicago, the top team in the Western Conference? Apparently. Chicago is cooked.

Rob Vollman: Psychologically, Calgary’s loss has to be the most devastating, unquestionably. But statistically, Chicago’s was probably the loss that stings most, because the Blackhawks’ chances of winning the series dropped by the greatest extent Monday night. With a win, they were still very much in this series, but now their odds are near zero. The Ottawa Senators got their win back in overtime, the Washington Capitals are still very much in their series with the Toronto Maple Leafs even with its loss, and Calgary’s chances of winning its series were quite modest to begin with.

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