Sunday, April 19, 2015

Friday Night's Action

We're only four night into these 2015 playoffs and it has been quite a bit of fun, thus far.  Only two teams have gone up 2-0 in their respective series and everything else is back to even, so that has some great potential for more points in the pool this season.

Missed yesterday morning's sit down for the blog site, so we'll make up for it right here, giving you a quick overview of what has happened and how the points got divvied out.

Kicking it off with the Canadiens and the Senators, where everyone was present and accounted for in this one, including Max Pacioretty, who was back from his undisclosed injury.  Needless to say, the goaltending in this one was far better than in Game 1, as there were some pretty solid saves all night from both Carey Price and non-pool starter, Andrew Hammond.

It was an up-and-down game for the Sens: up, down, clawed their way back to force extra time and then dropped it in the extra frame.  Montreal took the game, 3-2, in overtime, being one of the two teams to go up 2-0 in their series.

Price made 29 stops for his 2 points, while for the skaters, it was David Desharnais and Alex Galchenyuk, who earned the nods in Montreal.  Despite his fractured wrist, Mark Stone also gets a mention, he picked up 2 assists in the game as well.

Game 3 goes tonight, 5pm MT on CBC.

In the other early game on Friday night, it was a doozy between the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals, a game finally able to live up to its billing, but it certainly didn't look like it would early on.  The Islanders definitely looked like the stronger team through 35 minutes of play, but then the game really got interesting, because just before the middle frame came to a close, Alex Ovechkin notched his 1st of the playoffs and the tides were shifting.

The Ovechkin goal made it 3-2 Islanders heading into the break, but there was some certainty, that the lead was not safe.  Sure enough, a power play marker to tie and then an even-strength marker to take the lead and the Capitals were back in business, then shutting down the Islanders for a 4-3 regulation win.  Series tied at 1-1.

Braden Holtby was unable to play in this one, feeling under the weather, so no 2 points there, rather it was Philipp Grubauer in relief, earning the win and taking the points away.  Otherwise for the Capitals,  The big guns were Washington in Game 2 were Nicklas Backstrom, who had 3 points, and Matt Niskanen, who chipped in with 2 assists.  For Long Island, it was a bunch of singles and no one notable.

Game 3 goes Sunday morning, a 10am start on Sportsnet.

The Nashville Predators didn't take kindly to the double overtime loss in Game 1 and made amends for that pretty quickly, offering the Chicago Blackhawks a firm 6-2 beating to tie the series up at 1-1.  The real thrashing came in the 3rd period, when the Predators offered up a 3-goal spot, all of the goals coming in the second half of the frame, just to put a stamp on things.

Pekka Rinne had a pretty good game in the Predators net, making 24 saves for the win and he actually tallied an assist, giving him a 3-point night for his side.  It was a pretty good night for points for those teams that decided on taking Nashville over Chicago, Craig Smith had a pretty good showing with a 4-point night, while Filip Forsberg had 2 points and Mike Ribeiro had 2 assists.

Out of the four players with points, Rinne, Smith and Ribeiro were all taken once in the pool.

The Blackhawks have a chance to regroup again at home on Sunday afternoon, as they get a 1pm MT showing at the Madhouse on Madison, this game also will be seen on Sportsnet.

The last game on Friday night, was the dust-up in Vancouver, where there may have been a lot of poolies wishing that penalty minutes were the flavour of the year, because boy howdy... there were a lot of them.

PIM leader of the night, Box 13's Deryk Engelland was not taken at all in the hockey pool this year, so his 42 minutes would have went for naught, even if they counted in this one.  It sounds like he has been spared from any other supplemental discipline after receiving a pair of game misconducts in the melee near the end of the game.

Despite the fisticuffs, there was a hockey game to be played and the Canucks made the most of it, picking up 4-1 win over the Flames, heading to Calgary with a 1-1 series.

Pool notable players for the Canucks... Chris Higgins, Alex Burrows and Chris Tanev, all picked up 2 points in the win and Higgins leads those players in selections with two, while the other two each have singles.

Game 3 will be another late affair from Calgary tonight, the second half of the CBC doubleheader in the evening.

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