Friday, April 23, 2010

The Playoffs, Day 9: Crucial wins, embarrassing loss

This is going to be short and bitter. Losing triple overtime games sucks. Kind of a weird night in the league. Three shutouts and a triple overtime game. Fun stuff.

New Jersey goes out with a whimper
Enjoy that Atlantic Division title, Devils. Boy did you guys lay a stinker in the playoffs.

Daniel Briere scored an early power play goal and Brian Boucher made 28 saves as Philadelphia eliminated New Jersey, 3-0, winning the series in just five games. Right, the Devils got shut out at home in a must-win game. Guess that Ilya Kovalchuk trade didn't quite work out, did it?

Claude Giroux scored twice in less than two minutes in the second period. Philadelphia had only 14 shots through two periods but scored thrice on Martin Brodeur. The Flyers beat New Jersey nine times in 11 tries this season. The Devils were ousted in the first round for the third straight season.

Goalie change saves Senators
Two questions. One, how devastating is losing a triple overtime game at home with a chance to close out a series? Two, was Cory Clouston's goalie change to Pascal Leclaire too little, too late?

Leclaire made 56 saves, Matt Carkner's shot from the point hit a couple things in front and squeaked past Marc-Andre Fleury, and Ottawa staved off elimination against Pittsburgh, 4-3 in triple overtime.

The Senators jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, getting goals from Mike Fisher and Jarkko Ruutu 68 seconds apart in the first period, before the Penguins countered with the next three goals, from Kris Letang, Chris Kunitz and Sidney Crosby.

Crosby's goal came with 10:59 left in the third period but the lead was brief, as Peter Regin's third of the playoffs tied it with 9:36 remaining.

The series shifts back to Ottawa Saturday with the Penguins still leading 3-2.

All or nothing for Chicago
Chicago either loses a playoff game or gets a shutout. So far, there's no in between.

Antti Niemi stopped 33 shots, Patrick Sharp scored twice and the Blackhawks evened their series with Nashville at 2-2 following a 3-0 win. Jonathan Toews also scored.

Sharks take control with emphatic statement
Perhaps reports of San Jose's demise were premature.

Logan Couture scored a pair of goals and the Sharks chased Craig Anderson with a resounding 5-0 victory to take a 3-2 series lead going back to Colorado. Joe Pavelski and Dwight Helminen helped give San Jose a 4-0 lead. Couture's second goal made it four and caused Joe Sacco to replace Anderson with Peter Budaj.

Patrick Marleau showed up in the playoffs, getting a rather meaningless goal late on the power play. Evgeni Nabokov made 28 saves.

Friday predictions
Boston 4, Buffalo 0 (Yep, I've given up on Buffalo too; Sabres can't score)
Washington 6, Montreal 1
Vancouver 4, Los Angeles 2
Detroit 3, Phoenix 1

Time to go vent my frustrations by killing stuff in God of War.

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