Monday, May 17, 2010

Conference finals begin

These will become shorter as my interest wanes, which happens with a second-round defeat. Plus attention must be turned to the upcoming World Cup.

Niemi, Byfuglien give Chicago first strike
Antti Niemi is answering those questions nicely, isn't he?

The rookie Finn stopped 44 shots, quite a few of the spectacular variety, and Dustin Byfuglien snapped a shot past Evgeni Nabokov to give Chicago a 2-1 win in Game 1 of the Western Conference final.

Pretty entertaining game and a solid goaltending duel, with 85 total shots on goal. Nabokov made 38 saves in the losing effort.

Jason Demers scored the game's opening goal for San Jose in the first period on the power play before Patrick Sharp equalized in the second period. Byfuglien scored with 6:45 remaining.

Chicago killed off five power plays, which is a good thing since San Jose wasn't whistled for a single infraction of any kind.

Tick, tock, tick, tock
One Cinderella story in the East is going to end in a couple weeks. Based on Game 1, it'll be Montreal's.

Six different goal scorers and Michael Leighton staked Philadelphia to an emphatic 6-0 victory over the Canadiens to take a 1-0 series lead, chasing Jaroslav Halak after four goals at the game's midpoint.

This isn't the first time Montreal, and Halak, were blown out in a playoff game, and both rebounded each time. However, the Canadiens did absolutely nothing right against the Flyers and looked nothing like the team that knocked off Washington and Pittsburgh.

Despite going over 11 minutes without a shot on goal after Braydon Coburn's opening tally, Philadelphia never wavered in its game plan and never lost focus. Five Flyers recorded a goal and an assist - Coburn, Daniel Briere, Scott Hartnell, Claude Giroux and James van Riemsdyk. Simon Gagne also scored, Ville Leino and Matt Carle had two assists each and Leighton finished with 28 saves.

Tuesday predictions
San Jose 3, Chicago 2
Philadelphia 3, Montreal 1

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