NHL Playoffs Update
The second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs is under way, and here’s an update on what’s happened so far.
Chicago – Minnesota (2-0 CHI in games)
The Blackhawks were on fire coming into the series and they show no signs of cooling off, beating the Wild comfortably in the two first games. Game 1 ended 5-2 in favor of the Hawks with Patrick Kane leading the way with two goals, including the game winner. In Game 2 the Hawks kept the Wild to 19 shots on goal and left the United Center celebrating a 4-1 win. Corey Crawford has stopped 48 out of 51 shots in the two first games, whereas his counterpart Ilya Bryzgalov has allowed seven goals on 41 shots. Game 3 from Minnesota is tonight (Tuesday).
Anaheim – Los Angeles (2-0 LA in games)
The freeway face-off got a lot of play in the media, and so far the series has lived up to the hype. Game 1 was a real thriller and looked to go the Ducks’ way before Marian Gaborik tied it up 2-1 with seven seconds remaining in regulation and then got the winning goal in overtime. Game 2 was also a close affair, and once again Gaborik played a big part in the Kings victory, scoring after just 34 seconds in the first period to give the Kings the lead. Patrick Maroon tied it at 1-1, but before the period was over, Alec Martinez had restored the Kings lead. Dwight King then got the empty netter in the third period to set the final score of 3-1. Kings got two huge wins on the road, and now they are heavy favorites as the series goes to the Staples Center. Anze Kopitar leads the scoring with 14p in 9 games. Game 3 is on Thursday.
Boston – Montreal (Series tied 1-1)
A heated and classic rivalry that has been a lot of fun to watch. Montreal snagged game 1 with a 4-3 win in overtime after a canon of a shot by P.K. Subban. Bruins bounced back in Game 2 and won 5-3 after four third-period goals. Reilly Smith got the game-winning goal and Zdeno Chara registered his first assist in the playoffs. Interesting game with the game between Tukka Rask and Carey Price, as it’s always a treat to see two elite goaltenders match up against each other. Series heading to Montreal, with Game 3 today (Tuesday).
Pittsburgh – New York Rangers (2-1 PIT in games)
After grabbing a 3-2 win in overtime in Game 1 the Rangers have been shutout by the Penguins and Marc-Andre Fleury. In Game 2 Pens won 3-0, and Game 3 ended 2-0. Rangers abysmal power play is definitely a part of the problem. Rangers has played over 30 power plays without scoring. Henrik Lundqvist has done all he can at the back, but with no help from the offense it doesn’t matter how good “Kings Henrik” plays. Sidney Crosby finally scored in Game 3, Crosby’s first playoff goal in 13 games. Game 4 from Madison Square Garden goes down tomorrow (Wednesday).