NHL playoffs: What you need to know for Friday

The Stanley Cup playoffs are on. Each day, we'll keep you updated on the important news involving players, starting lineups, injuries and more. Check back throughout the day to stay in the know.

With only one game on tap tonight, the Tampa Bay Lightning will be on the road looking to take a commanding 3-1 series lead over the New York Islanders (CBC, CBC Sports app, 7 p.m. ET).

Lightning players close to return

Lightning forward Erik Condra and defenceman Matt Carle are close to returning to the lineup, as both were full participants in practice on Thursday.

Condra has played in only three games so far in the post-season due to an upper-body injury. He practised on the fourth line, an indication that a return could be imminent.

Carle is dealing with an undisclosed injury, and has sat out the last two games. He'll be a game-time decision for tonight's Game 4.

Forward J.T. Brown also went through a solo workout on Thursday. He's been missing in action since he was injured in Game 2 of the first round against the Detroit Red Wings. There's still no timetable for his return.

Capitals shuffling lines

Needing to win three straight games against Pittsburgh to keep their Stanley Cup hopes alive, the NHL's best regular season team is looking for answers.

The Washington Capitals shuffled their lines at practice on Friday, hoping to spark an offence that has been stifled by Penguins rookie goaltender Matt Murray.

Evgeny Kuznetsov was moved up to the top line, practising alongside Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie. Kuznetsov, who finished the regular season tied for ninth in points, has only three points in the playoffs, but the team is hoping that playing with Ovechkin may spark his production. The move shifts centre Nicklas Backstrom to the second line.

Justin Williams also practised on the third line on Friday. 

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