Friday, May 7, 2010

The Playoffs, Day 23: He's not dead yet

"Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!"

"Here's one."

"That'll be ninepence."

"I'm not dead!"


"Nothing, here's your ninepence."

"I'm not dead!"

"'Ere. He says he's not dead."

"Yes he is."

"I'm not."

"He isn't?"

"Well, he will be soon, he's very ill."

"I'm gettin' better."

"No you're not, you'll be stone dead in a moment."

Halak saves Canadiens again
Killer instinct and finishers. Two things Pittsburgh lacks, and Montreal is right back in the series as a result.

Jaroslav Halak shook off two early goals after a quick Canadiens strike, and Montreal scored two goals early in the third period to take a 3-2 victory over Pittsburgh and even the series at 2-2.

Tom Pyatt scored just two minutes into the game off a real bad goal for Marc-Andre Fleury to give up, but goals by Max Talbot and Chris Kunitz in less than three minutes put the Penguins ahead, 2-1. From there, Pittsburgh dominated through two periods, but Halak came up with a series of huge saves and prevented the Penguins from adding on. Even one more goal might've spelled the end for the Canadiens.

Instead, the lead remained one until the third period, when Maxim Lapierre scored on a wrap-around to tie the game two minutes in. Brian Gionta's fluke goal 93 seconds later, a pass which deflected off Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang and past Fleury, proved to be the difference. Suddenly it was Montreal who dominated play and the Penguins weren't able to muster enough attack to get the tying goal. Even when Evgeni Malkin and his $8.7 million price tag had a breakaway that he badly missed on with four minutes left.

Halak finished with 33 saves.

Awful officiating in this game. Both teams got away with so many blatant violations. Classy move by the Canadiens fans though throwing debris onto the ice during the third period when Montreal was whistled for an infraction.

Franzen > San Jose
Reports of Johan Franzen's demise were greatly exaggerated.

Franzen scored four goals and finished with a team postseason record six points as Detroit avoided a sweep with a thorough and emphatic 7-1 rout of San Jose. Franzen originally scored the game's first four goals before the initial marker was credited to Todd Bertuzzi. The goals came in a span of just 5:36, including 3:26 for Franzen's three.

He netted his fourth in the third period to make the score 7-1. Valtteri Filppula and Brian Rafalski put the Red Wings ahead 6-0 before we had a Dany Heatley sighting to break Jimmy Howard's shutout bid. Howard finished with 28 saves.

Evgeni Nabokov was pulled after the first period having given up the first five goals.

Somewhat surprisingly, San Jose started to goon things up a bit, led by Joe Thornton. I don't mind the Sharks showing some emotion, but honestly, I expected more poise out of a team still ahead 3-1 in the series and heading home. Instead, it looked like they were the ones becoming unraveled, as if the Red Wings got in the Sharks' heads.

Of course, if any team can blow a 3-0 series lead, it's San Jose, and if any team can overcome an 0-3 deficit, it's Detroit.

Bertuzzi finished with five points.

Stat of the night
7, 15:15 - Montreal defenseman Ryan O'Byrne blocked 7 shots despite logging just 15:15 of ice time. Yet he didn't lead the team; that was Hal Gill with eight.

Quote of the night
"Maybe this spanking will wake us up to know we're not out of the woods. I'm saying it. We have to respond to it."
San Jose coach Todd McLellan

Friday predictions
Boston 4, Philadelphia 1
Chicago 5, Vancouver 2

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