Good morning, friends! I hope you have your coffee and are enjoying a lazy Saturday, unlike your favorite bloggers who are hard at work making sure you know what’s going on in the league. Even when no one really knows what’s going on, like with that whole Chiarelli to the Oilers thing where Boston may get a draft pick even though they fired him. BUT THAT’S FOR ANOTHER ARTICLE. On to recaps!
Game 1: Senators v Canadiens
Final Score: Sens 5 – Habs 1
Series: Sens 2 – Habs 3
Before this game started, Carey Price had been announced as a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, the trophy awarded to the outstanding goalkeeper of the year, as voted by the league GMs. There’s no way he doesn’t win that trophy, as he’s been the main driver of the Canadiens’ success this year, but it did lump some extra pressure on the Habs going into this potential elimination game.
And they crumpled.
In the first period, Price lets in two soft goals – the first from Bobby “This Actually IS A Witness Protection Alias” Ryan, and the second from Dman Patrick “Don’t Make The Obvious Joke” Wiercioch. Both snuck past Price on the glove side (to be fair, he was screened pretty badly on the Wiercioch goal).
Erik “Swedish Menace” Karlsson scores on the powerplay in the 2nd to give the Sens a 3-0 lead.
In the 3rd, the Habs get a lucky deflection to break the shutout, but that’s basically all the luck they get last night. The Sens score twice more, including this filthy goal by Erik “I Have A Video Game Name” Condra.
What We Learned: I could watch Karlsson in slowmo all day.
Game 2: Penguins v Rangers
Final Score: Pens 1 – Rangers 2 (OT)
Series: Rangers 4 – Pens 1 (Rangers Advance)
I had picked the Rangers in 5, so I was really hoping they would close out the series last night, and they obliged, albeit in a dramatic fashion.
The Rangers went up first, but much like every other game in this series the score remained very tight and the Pens were able to tie it up in the 2nd. For dressing mostly AHL defensemen, the Pens have played a surprisingly good defense, with Sidney “I’ll Play Any Position, Coach” Crosby picking up a lot of their slack on the backcheck.
No one can score throughout the third, so the game goes to OT again. Carl Hagelin puts the series away for the boys in blue on a nifty little shot that just sneaks past Fleury.
What We Learned: The Rangers haven’t looked like the offensive powerhouse we expected them to be, but winning tight games is probably more important than blowing your opponents out. And frankly, they’ll be hard to beat with Henrik “Making Saves With One Arm Tied Up By A Penguin” Lundqvist on form.
Game 3: Wild vs Blues
Final Score: Wild 4 – Blues 1
Series: Wild 3 – Blues 2
We knew this was going to be one of the closest match ups going into the playoffs, and they certainly have proven us right.
The Blues open the scoring with another Tarasenko power play goal (unfortunately, nothing as fancy as the other night). If you haven’t seen the stat, this kid is super legit: he has 6 goals in this series on 9 shots. That’s ridiculous.
Devan “It’s An Honor To Be Nominated” Dubnyk was also announced as a Vezina Trophy finalist today, and he showed off why, making several crazy stops like this karate kick to keep the Blues at one goal.
In fact, the Blues just got out-goaltended all night, as they had several excellent scoring chances (and a 60% Scoring Chances For% in all situations), while on the other side of the ice, Allen was fighting with the puck all night.
The Wild pot two goals in the 2nd and another back breaker in the 3rd and that’s game. This is the first time in the Wild’s franchise history that they’ll be going into an elimination scenario….with the lead.
What We Learned: It might be time for Hitchcock to put Brian Elliot in net.