Nine players have already scored for the New York Rangers and Edmonton Oilers, 10 for the Colorado Avalanche.

That depth of scoring early in the NHL playoffs has the Rangers on the verge of sweeping Washington, while Edmonton and Colorado are looking to take 3-1 leads Sunday in their respective first-round series against Los Angeles and Winnipeg.

“You’re going to need that more throughout the course of the playoffs,” said Rangers coach Peter Laviolette, whose team could next face Carolina 18 years since guiding the Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup. “But I think getting contributions from everybody inside of a playoff series, a playoff run, I think that’s really important.”

Meanwhile, Nashville is trying to get something — anything — going offensively in Game 4 after falling behind 2-1 to Vancouver despite outshooting the Canucks 30-12. The Predators got goalie’d by backup Casey DeSmith, leaving coach Andrew Brunette to say: “It was fun hockey game. It’s hard to leave this game feeling awful about it.”

The Oilers are feeling great about hanging six goals on the Kings’ Cam Talbot on Friday night in a blowout win. Zach Hyman and Leon Draisaitl each scored twice and Connor McDavid and Evander Kane each had a goal.

“As good as Leon and Connor are, and they’re going to win you a lot of games, but they can’t win every game,” coach Kris Knoblauch said. “We need contributions from everybody.”

JETS at AVALANCHE, Colorado leads 2-1, 2:30 p.m. EDT (TNT)

Colorado’s 6-2 win in Game 3 ended with a big scrum of pushing and shoving as the intensity rachets up between the Central Division rivals. The Jets could carry that into Game 4, but the Avalanche are happy to park that and move forward.

“We have to play hockey, they have to play hockey Sunday,” Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon said. “We have to get a win, and they need one just as badly, so I don’t know. Whatever happens happened here.”

What has happened in the series is Colorado taking control after a wild 7-6 loss in the opener. In addition to goals from everywhere, goaltender Alexandar Georgiev has gotten his groove back, stopping 50 of 54 shots over Games 2 and 3 and hearing home fans chant his name.

“I feel the guys did such a good job for me,” Georgiev said. “Just made my job so much easier, especially in the second and third. I feel they deserve more chants.”

CANUCKS at PREDATORS, Vancouver leads 2-1, 5 p.m. EDT (TBS)

Brunette wants to see more movement on offense from the Predators, especially working to get in front of the net where DeSmith has gotten help from Canucks defenders clearing pucks off juicy rebounds. If Nashville can break through, the offense could come quickly with All-Star Thatcher Demko sidelined by injury.

“That’s the most O-zone possession time we’ve had, most shots, most grade A (scoring chances),” said forward Luke Evangelista, who scored his team’s only goal in Game 3. “If we keep playing like that, we’ll be in a good spot.”

The Predators are 1 for 14 on the power play, a unit captain Roman Josi said “needs to step up.” Vancouver’s Rick Tocchet, front-runner to be coach of the year, was ecstatic with the win but acknowledged his team needs to make some improvements and expects adjustments from Nashville.

“Brunette’s a good coach,” Tocchet said. “He has some really good offensive sets there that we’re going to have to tweak.”

RANGERS at CAPITALS, New York leads 3-0, 8 p.m. EDT (TBS)

The games have been tighter than the series situation indicates, though at times it has looked every bit like the Presidents’ Trophy winner against the last team to get into the playoffs. That’s mostly on special teams, where New York has three goals on the power play and two short-handed and is one win from eliminating Washington.

“It’s been pretty tight out there to score 5 on 5,” Rangers winger Jimmy Vesey said. “They want to play a 2-1 game, so we’ve got to match their desperation at the start of the game and then settle in, maybe be comfortable in a tight game.”

The Capitals expended so much energy down the stretch just to qualify, including winning three games in four nights to clinch the second and final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Now it’s gut-check time for a young team missing several injured defensemen that could have a ninth different player, Swede Hardy Haman Aktell, make his playoff debut in this series.

“We don’t have time to start overthinking too much or feel sorry for ourselves,” rookie forward Hendrix Lapierre said. “We’re just trusting the process. We’re trusting that everyone’s going to do a job, and we got a long way ahead of us.”

OILERS at KINGS, Edmonton leads 2-1, 10:30 p.m. EDT (TBS)

The Kings are the only team in the playoffs without a power-play goal thus far, going 0 for 10. The Oilers are 7 for 14 and have all the momentum, two victories away from knocking out L.A. for a third consecutive year.

“Game 4 is a big game for us,” McDavid said. “It feels like it’s a big, swing game. I think we’ve learned our lesson from Game 2. We came out a little bit flat and didn’t match their desperation. We’ve got to be ready right off the hop.”

McDavid led all playoff scorers through Friday night with nine points, and Draisaitl and Hyman each have seven. Containing them is the Kings’ best way to even the series.

“They’re good players,” interim coach Jim Hiller said. “They’ve done it for a long time. And you got to find a way. I thought we did a pretty good job in Game 2, so we’ll just have to make sure we do that same job in Game 4.”


AP Sports Writers Pat Graham in Denver, Teresa M. Walker in Nashville and Joe Reedy in Los Angeles contributed.


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