Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Monday Night's Playoff Action

Headlining Monday night's action was Alexander Semin of the Capitals, as he helped lead his team to a much needed road victory in Game 3. With Washington losing both games at home, they faced a tough task in New York, trying to get themselves situated back in the series. Semin scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner and added an assist for a 4-point night. The Capitals ended up shutting out the Rangers, 4-0, but it wasn't Jose Theodore in net to claim the shutout points, rather it was the Russian rookie, Simeon Varlamov.

The Bruins put the screws in on Montreal on Monday night, winning the game 4-2 and taking a 3-0 series lead. Leading the points charge for the Bruins were Michael Ryder, Dennis Wideman and Tim Thomas. All three players had 2 points a piece in the pool.

In the late game, the Flames managed to take a game back from the Blackhawks under the watchful eyes of their home fans. The key to that game for the Flames was their depth scoring, which did little for the pool, as Curtis Glencross led all pool skaters with a pair of assists, while Miikka Kiprusoff registered 2 points with the win.

Game-Winning Goals
PhotobucketThree games on Monday night, means three game-winners are to be had... or are they? Only of the three goals scored, did two count for the pool. Alexander Semin, as noted above, scored the first goal of the game for Washington and it ended up being counted as the winner after 60 minutes. Semin was one of the more popular players on the Sheet this Spring, garnering 25 selections. All 25 teams received the bonus point for the goal. In Montreal, the Bruins got their winner from a former Hab, Michael Ryder. Ryder, a Box 17 forward, was taken only 9 times in the pool, so it was a pleasant surprise to few when his goal turned out to be the winner. Finally, in Calgary, it was David Moss' goal early in the third that stood up to be the winner for the Flames' first win of the series. Moss was not placed on the Sheet this time around, so no bonus point could be collected from him.

There wasn't any pure confirmation of this, but I have read in a couple places that Box 2 forward, Patrick Kane, missed Game 3 with a bout of the flu. Kane was a game-time decision, but the he and the coaching staff decided against playing. With the Blackhawks already up two games (at the time), there was some safety in the fact that they could spare a game without him.

Do you think the Habs can hear the death rattle yet? Well, they faced the Bruins rather short-handed on Monday night, as Mathieu Schneider and Alex Tanguay were both out of the line-up with upper body injuries. They joined Andrei Markov and Robert Lang, who was already on the shelf with injuries. Getting scratched from the line-up on Monday was Sergei Kostitsyn, who can't seem to impress the coaching staff. Figuring back into the line-up was Tomas Plekanec, who missed Game 2 as a healthy scratch.

Tonight's Games
Well, look who's back on the blog! It's the 8-ball! Well, we'll start with the first elimination game of the playoffs, as the Blues will try and work themselves out from behind the black, as the Canucks will look to put them out of their misery. The game will start at 6pm MT on CBC, taking over the feed from the Penguins and Flyers, who will play Game 4 as well on CBC, starting at 5pm MT. I suppose that makes for a good segue to that next game in Philadelphia. The Flyers will look to even up the series against the Penguins tonight, while the non-flying birds will try and put the Flyers behind the 8-ball. Also at 5pm MT, on TSN, the Red Wings will also look to put their series opponent, the Blue Jackets, behind the 8-ball tonight, as they play Game 3 in Columbus. The Devils and Hurricanes will play Game 4, starting at 5:30pm MT on TSN2, in Carolina, as the home team will look to even up the series again in front of their home fans. The Devils could put the 'Canes behind the 8-ball with a win as well. There could be a lot of 8-ball action in the next couple days, eh? Finally, the late game on CBC (8:30pm) will see the Ducks and Sharks play Game 3 in Anaheim, where the Ducks have caught the Sharks by surprise, taking the first two games in San Jose. The 8-ball looms again.

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