Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Playoffs, Day 8: Thrillers abound, except in Montreal

First multi-OT game goes to Boston, as does 3-1 lead
Remember that stat NBC showed Saturday? Buffalo was 31-0-0 when leading after two periods? The Sabres are now 31-2.

Goals by David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron less than seven minutes into the third period erased a 2-0 Boston deficit, and Miroslav Satan's power play goal in the second overtime gave the Bruins a stunning 3-2 victory over Buffalo in Game 4 of that series. Boston has the Sabres on the brink of elimination carrying a 3-1 series lead to New York.

Satan scored when he took a centering pass from Michael Ryder when Satan was alone in the slot, deked Ryan Miller out of his goalie pads and slid a backhander into a vacated net - well, through Tyler Myers, who made an attempt to block the shot, but in vain. The Sabres, who failed on a power play in the first overtime, had been penalized for too many men on the ice.

Tim Kennedy and Steve Montador scored for Buffalo. Whither Derek Roy?

Tuukka Rask made 35 saves. Miller finished with 36.

Power play shoots Montreal in foot again
Oh, those tricky shorthanded goals. Particularly in the last minute of a period.

Alex Ovechkin scored twice, we had a Jason Chimera sighting, and Washington doubled up Montreal, 6-3, to take a commanding 3-1 series advantage heading back to D.C.

After goals by Ovechkin, Mike Cammalleri and Brian Gionta resulted in a 2-1 Canadiens lead, Montreal had a power play late in the second period. Problem is, the Capitals scored their second shorthanded goal in two games, this one from Mike Knuble, with seven seconds left in the period. Montreal had a chance to take control of the game but once again fouled it up.

The Capitals made it four straight goals by scoring the first three of the third period. Ovechkin broke the 2-2 tie, Chimera made it 4-2 52 seconds later, and Knuble scored an empty-netter with 2:27 remaining.

Dominic Moore made the score less lopsided by scoring with 1:18 to play, only for Nicklas Backstrom to get another empty-netter.

The Canadiens played so well in Game 1. Guess they didn't bother to watch that game tape to figure out what they did right.

Semyon Varlamov made 36 saves.

Canucks take wild back-and-forth affair
This just in: Vancouver gave up two power play goals to Los Angeles.

This time it didn't matter, as the Canucks netted four goals in the third period to win Game 4, 6-4, and even that series at 2-2.

The teams exchanged power play goals, first by the Kings' Drew Doughty, Vancouver's Christian Ehrhoff and then Dustin Brown for LA. Pavel Demitra tied the score at 2-2, only for Anze Kopitar to reclaim the Kings' lead.

Zaniness transpired in the third period. Mikael Samuelsson and Sami Salo scored back-to-back goals to stake Vancouver to a 4-3 lead, but Wayne Simmonds tied the game just 62 seconds after Salo's goal. Henrik Sedin broke his goalless drought by netting a nifty goal with 2:52 remaining, and Ryan Kesler's empty net goal sealed the win.

Roberto Luongo had just 22 saves but made several big ones, including one on an Alexander Frolov breakaway in the third period when the Kings still led 3-2.

Stat of the night
4 - Times Buffalo scored the first goal, in four games, in its series.

Quote of the night
"They stopped the bleeding with the penalty kill and then they cauterized it with this."
Daryl Reaugh, on Demitra's goal

Thursday predictions
Philadelphia 4, New Jersey 1 (thanks for playing, Devils)
Ottawa 4, Pittsburgh 2
Chicago 3, Nashville 2
Colorado 4, San Jose 2

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