Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Playoffs, Day 6: Boston Hit Party; Goalies gone to the bench

In a bad mood tonight. Just got shut out for the second time in four games in NHL10. Grr. Kicked Derick Brassard's ass in a fight though.

Wreckin' Ball puts Boston ahead
Mark Recchi's most popular nickname in Pittsburgh was the Wreckin' Ball. He lived up to that moniker Monday, and Boston has a 2-1 series lead partly as a result of that.

Recchi thumped Buffalo's Tim Kennedy in the corner of the Sabres defensive zone, won the puck, and centered to Patrice Bergeron, who wasted no time firing a shot past Ryan Miller to snap a 1-1 tie with 7:03 left in the third period and the Bruins held on for a 2-1 victory in Game 3.

Mike Grier had given Buffalo a 1-0 lead when he scored seven minutes into the game, but Dennis Wideman countered with 4:43 left in the opening frame.

Tuukka Rask made 32 saves. Miller finished with 26.

Caps chase Halak, take series lead
Second-best power play in the league my foot.

Montreal ended the regular season with the second best power play in the league. Somehow the Canadiens are 3-for-12 in the postseason (25 percent, sixth best) but a woeful power play contributed to a bad loss.

Boyd Gordon scored a shorthanded goal 1:06 into the second period to break a scoreless deadlock and Washington went on to pound Montreal, 5-1, and take a 2-1 series lead. Jaroslav Halak was yanked after after Brooks Laich and Eric Fehr made it 3-0 in a span of seven minutes after Gordon's goal.

Alex Ovechkin and Matt Bradley also scored. Tomas Plekanec avoided the shutout with his third of the playoffs. On... the power play.

We can declare this series as over now. Montreal is done. Even though the Canadiens have held Washington - the league's top power play - without a goal on the man advantage, they no longer have a chance. Halak needed to play at his absolute best for them to win this series, and now we probably won't see him again. Carey Price being on the ice is a bad thing for the Canadiens.

The Nicklas Backstrom goal at the end of the second period in Game 2 was the series turning point.

Maybe Plekanec should've said Halak and Price aren't exactly Ryan Miller and Martin Brodeur, 'cause Semyon Varlamov made 26 saves.

Vancouver doesn't listen, Kings take lead
I told the Canucks to stay out of the penalty box and they'll win their first-round series. Someone email this to them.

Los Angeles continued to torture the Vancouver penalty killers, scoring on all three of its chances with the man-advantage and the Kings chased Roberto Luongo in a 5-3 victory to become the second No. 6 seed to take a 2-1 series lead.

Mason Raymond scored early for the Canucks, but Los Angeles struck for the next four goals. Drew Doughty and Michal Handzus (twice) struck on the power play and Brad Richardson's goal sent Luongo to the bench.

Mikael Samuelsson and Daniel Sedin cut the deficit to 4-3 before Ryan Smyth scored a rare goal off a slap shot with 10:39 to play. Doughty finished with a goal and three assists and Jack Johnson posted three helpers for LA. Jonathan Quick stopped 25 shots.

Vancouver had a goal disallowed shortly before Sedin's goal. I don't know if it was the right call. It was ruled that the puck was kicked in, but it sort of looked like a natural skating motion that went towards the net. I do know it wasn't nearly as distinct as Peter Regin's disallowed goal from Sunday. I guess I was OK with the call, but boy that gray area on that ruling sure is fun to interpret.

Stat of the night
58.3 - The Kings' power play percentage in the playoffs (7-12.)

Tuesday predictions
I almost nailed the Washington score exactly! Go me! Sorta. And the Kings-Canucks score! Just had the wrong winner in that one.

Detroit 3, Phoenix 1 (what's with the 6:30 p.m. start times?)
Ottawa 4, Pittsburgh 2
Philadelphia 3, New Jersey 1 (I have given up on the Devils)
Chicago 4, Nashville 1
Colorado 5, San Jose 2 (And the Sharks)


WRT - Wild Road Tripper said...

The 6:30 EDT start is for the benefit of Versus, and only Versus. They want to glom onto as many games as possible and show 'triple-headers' with the middle game (tonight, Chicago at Nashville) 'sandwiched' in between Phoenix-Detroit and San Jose-Colorado (which will also be JIP'd.)

The later two games will both be on NHL Center Ice as well as Versus.

KiPA - Kevin in PA said...

But they showed Ottawa-Pittsburgh (at 7) on Versus, didn't they? The two 6:30 games I've noticed I think have been on TSN. Maybe that's regional. Versus gets blacked out in the Pittsburgh area at least because Fox Sports Net has been showing Penguins games.