Monday, April 16, 2018

Morning Playoff Notes (Apr 16)

The Penguins and Flyers headed to Philadelphia, all tied up in their series, 1-1, and the Flyers may have thought to have been carrying a little bit of momentum heading into Game 3, but that was dashed, but no one else, but Sidney Crosby.  The Penguins captain wrapped around a puck, midway through the 1st and then, before the 7-minute mark of the 2nd, the Flyers were already down 4-0.  The Flyers were certainly more like their Game 1 iteration, than their offended Game 2 type.  In the end, it was a 5-1 loss at home and now they're down 2-1 in the series.

Crosby indeed led the way, adding 3 assists to his opening goal for a 4-point night, while Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang each had 2 points and Derick Brassard got credit for the winner.  Matt Murray made 26 saves for the win, bringing his total now up to 6 points in these playoffs.

The Winnipeg Jets were remarkably unstoppable at home in the opening two games of their series against the Minnesota Wild and Game 3 became the Wild's first chance to flex their muscles on home-ice.  And flex them, they did!  The turning point in the game, just after the Jets scored to lessen their deficit to one at 3-2 early in the 2nd, the Wild held their ground and then stomped the Jets' hopes out by scoring a pair of goals in 20 seconds, opening up a 5-2 lead, adding one more before the period was out and then it was a 20-minute pleasure cruise in the 3rd period, with the final score at 6-2.  This series now sits at 2-1 for Winnipeg.

Wild defenseman Matt Dumba led the way for his team, scoring the winner and adding an assist for a 3-point game for his zero selections in the pool.  Damn, what a waste!  Mikko Koivu, Eric Staal, Mikael Granlund and Devan Dubnyk all recorded 2 points each as well, but there wasn't a selection between them too.

Tyler Myers of the Jets, with four selections to his name, left the game with a lower-body injury, as he crumpled into the boards awkwardly in a collision with Marcus Foligno.  He will be reevaluated before Tuesday's Game 4, but it didn't look good.

The Blue Jackets and the Capitals got an extra day off in the early part of their schedule, so they were only playing Game 2 on Sunday evening.  The Capitals needed to shake off the disappointment of giving away a lead in Game 1 and letting the game slip from their fingers.  Well, they got off to the start that they were looking for, as they held two 2-goal leads early on in the game, but their grip on their leads was still exceptionally loose, and the Jackets, that blue collar team, worked their way back, scored a trio before the 2nd period was out and it was happening all over again.  Thankfully, T.J. Oshie gave the Capitals some life late, tying the game with under four minutes to go, but the Jackets broke their hearts again, as Matt Calvert, a non-pool forward, shoveled in the winner and the Jackets now hold a 2-0 series lead on the Caps.

Zach Werenski led the way for the Jackets, scoring a goal and 2 assists, followed by Seth Jones, Artemi Panarin, Cam Atkinson and Sergei Bobrovsky as 2-point players in the pool.  In the loss, the Capitals saw the big four with big nights... John Carlson had another 3-assist night, while Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Oshie all finish with 2 points each.

Columbus forward Alexander Wennberg did indeed miss Game 2 with his upper-body injury, but remains day-to-day at the moment.  In the game, Washington forward Andre Burakovsky left the game with an upper-body of his own, also not to return.  Game 3 goes on Tuesday night and both players seem doubtful.

The Los Angeles Kings returned home from Vegas, down 2-0 in their series against the Golden Knights, but they held out hope that this series was far from over, only losing by a goal in each of their first two games and then having both Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin return to their blueline, as they opened Game 3 at the Staples Center on Sunday night.

Things were looking up, right?  Right?

A 1-0 lead into the 3rd period, still tight, but right where the Kings wanted to be on home-ice, undoubtedly.  Sure enough, those untested, yet still unknown, Golden Knights played out their resilient streak, tying the game early in the 3rd and then stabbing their opponents right in the heart, just past the midway point with two goals, 21 seconds apart and all Los Angeles could do is find one more goal and now the Kings are in huge trouble, losing 3-2 in the game and down 3-0 in the series.  Shocking!

Marc-Andre Fleury did have to stand tall, making 37 saves for the win and William Karlsson was tabbed with the winning goal, each figuring with 2 points each for the pool.  Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist in the loss, but hasn't been able to carry his team into a win in this series.

The Golden Knights made a quick roster swap before this game, as David Perron returned from an undisclosed injury, but another pool player, Tomas Tatar, came out of the lineup as a healthy scratch to make room.  Perron was taken six times to Tatar's three times and Perron made good with his return, picking up an assist.

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