Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Morning Playoff Notes (Apr 18)

The Washington Capitals went into Tuesday night's Game 3 with some focus, they were not at all worried about their situation, although they probably should have been.  Nevertheless, their focus did pay off in Game 3, as they buckled down and rode through one overtime and finally got what they had been missing in the first two games at home, a game-winning goal.  The Jackets stayed to form, keeping the Capitals close, thanks in part to a goal review going their way, but they didn't make it easy on the Capitals, but they just couldn't find the dagger.  Capitals took Game 3, 3-2 in double overtime, Lars Eller getting the winner.

Eller, taken five times, and Alex Ovechkin, taken only once, were the only two skaters with 2 points in the pool, while Braden Holtby made 33 saves for the win.  Artemi Panarin continued to roll, also notching a couple of points in the loss.

Game 4 goes on Thursday night, with the Blue Jackets still up 2-1 in the series.

It was Game 4 in St. Paul on Tuesday night and the Wild were looking to build off their big Game 3 win against the Jets to try and even up the series, before heading back to Winnipeg, but their opponents had other ideas.  The Jets were much better prepared for Game 4 and they put on a defensive clinic, taking the middle part of the defensive zone away and the Wild didn't really have the quality shots that they did in the game previous.  It probably didn't help that the Wild were also without Box 7 forward Zach Parise, who suffered a broken sternum in Game 3, and was given the timetable of week-to-week on the shelf.  The Jets defended admirably and Mark Scheifele scored late in the 1st to go up 1-0 and then late in the 3rd to salt the game away at 2-0, which was your final on the night.

With the bonus point, Scheifele had a 3-point night and with the shutout, Connor Hellebuyck had a 4-point night and that was it for notable players in the pool.

The Jets will now take a 3-1 series lead back home to try and finish the series off and that game goes on Friday night, giving the two teams an extra night of rest.

Wow. The Golden Knights did it. They swept the Los Angeles Kings in their first playoff series as a franchise.

The Kings went out with a whimper, losing Game 4, 1-0 (again!), and there was just very little that their offense could do against Marc-Andre Fleury and the Vegas defense.  In four games, the Kings were only able to score three goals, Anze Kopitar led the team with a goal and an assist and despite Jonathan Quick only allowing seven goals in four games, he wasn't able to post a win.

In the pool, the selections were close, Vegas taking a 38-36 edge, which suggested that this series could have been closer and that's not to say that the series wasn't close, it was just so low scoring, that all four games fell Vegas' way and the broom came out pretty quickly.  16 of 23 pool teams lost at least one player and those who hedged their bets did well.

Fleury was the top player in the series, finishing with 4 wins and 2 shutouts for 12 points and he was taken twice, by Tony and Thor.  This bodes very well for them, as they now rest up and await the winner of the Anaheim/San Jose series.

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