Sunday, April 19, 2015

Four More Games From Saturday

In the early game on Saturday, the Tampa Bay Lightning were not going to take their Game 1 defeat lying down, as they finally came out like the team we had been expecting to start the series against the Detroit Red Wings.  It was a sound defeat by the Bolts, as they chased non-pool goalie, Petr Mrazek, from the Detroit net and was still able to put one past Jimmy Howard, who came in for relief, in a 5-1 win.

The heavily favoured team from Tampa gave their pool supporters a lot to be thankful for, as a number of players earned notations in this blog post this morning.  Tyler Johnson, Alex Killorn, Valtteri Filppula, Steven Stamkos and Ben Bishop all collected 2 points each for their pool teams, Filppula the most popular of the five, being taken 12 times on the sheet.

With the series heading back to Detroit, we have seen two completely different games that saw the series get split at 1-1, so it will be interesting to see what kind of game we'll get in Game 3, which will go on Tuesday evening, a 5pm MT start in the Motor City.

I, for one, was awfully skeptical about this St. Louis Blues teams in these playoffs, as they didn't finish the regular season with a lot of confidence and with the Minnesota Wild winning Game 1 with little doubt, it was going to be tough for the home side to recover, if they showed that lack of gumption in Game 2.

The best players for the Blues had to be just that... their best players.  Cue Vladimir Tarasenko, one of the more popular players taken from the team, with 11 selections, he tallied a hat-trick, including the winner, for a 4-point night in the pool.  That's exactly what the doctor had ordered.

Forward Alex Steen and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk also picked up a pair of assists each for notable status this morning, while it was Jake Allen, the preferred starter in these playoffs, over sheet goalie Brian Elliott, getting the win and taking away the 2 points from the pool.

Game 3, in Minnesota, goes at 6pm MT on Monday night.  The Wild did take one away from home, so they have a reasonable advantage, heading back to their barn.

Watching the pregame show before the Penguins and Rangers tilt, there was a lot of talk about Pittsburgh needing Sidney Crosby to be himself (and maybe a little bit more) to overcome a 1-0 series deficit to the Rangers early on.  Sure enough, the Box 13 forward was just that, helping his side level the series with a 4-3 win at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers got off to another good start in the game, but the Penguins dug deep in the 2nd period, scored three times and fought tooth-and-nail to come away with the win.

It was a breakout game for Chris Kunitz, who actually led the Penguins with 4 points in the game, which was great for the three teams that picked him up in the pool this year.  Marc-Andre Fleury made 23 saves for the win, while Brandon Sutter chipped in with a couple of points, while Crosby had a pair of goals in the 2nd period, which pretty well made the biggest difference on the scoresheet.

Now the series is all even and they'll renew hostilities in Pittsburgh as the early game on Monday night, a 5pm MT start on CBC.

I would imagine that the Winnipeg Jets are really looking forward to being at home on Monday night, as they couldn't catch a break in the two games in Anaheim, as the Ducks took Game 2 and a 2-0 series lead, after a 2-1 win on Saturday night.

Jakob Silfverberg ended up being the hero last night, as he scored the winner in the final minute of regulation, capping a 3rd period comeback win for the Ducks, breaking the hearts of the Jets early on in this series.  Frederik Andersen made 28 saves for the win, keeping the Ducks in the game, especially after the 1-0 goal in the 2nd period, making sure his team could strike when they needed it most.

The MTS Centre in Winnipeg will be rocking on Monday night, as they have a 7pm MT start and it will be seen on Sportsnet.

Game-Winning Goals
New Playoffs Game Winner ButtonThere are two nights of game-winners to go through in this post, since I really didn't touch on it much for the Friday night post.  That's okay, I can get totals easier that way, without having to make anything up.

Friday night's bonus points came from Montreal's Alex Galchenyuk, Nashville's Craig Smith and Vancouver's Christopher Higgins, while the bonus point from the Washington Capitals was sniped by non-pool forward Jason Chimera.

The Saturday night winners were tallied by Tampa Bay's Alex Killorn, St. Louis' Vladimir Tarasenko, Pittsburgh's Chris Kunitz and Anaheim's Jakob Silfverberg.  All four bonus points stayed in the pool... that's great news!

The bonus points are important this year, as we have a new leader in the pool, Nic L., who also has 5 bonus points to help pave the way.

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