There are 5 NHL playoff games, all with a major impact on their series, taking place tonight. I have been channel surfing thoughout the night, and here are my thoughts as of right now.
Penguins @ Flyers – Game #4
Marc Andre Fleury stole the show again, after a lackluster game 3 on Sunday afternoon. He made all the big saves at the right time, and really won the game for the Penguins. The Flyers came out of the gate strong, but couldn’t score a single goal in the first. Then the Pens got on the board with a pair in the second. The Flyers got close, making it 2-1 late in the third, but it was too little, too late as they are now in a deep 3-1 hole heading back to Pittsburgh for Thursday night’s game (7:00pm, CBC).
Canucks @ Blues – Game #4
This was the other game I’ve watched a fair amount of, most of the third and all of OT. I know I say this a lot during the playoffs, but the story at the ScotTrade Center was also goaltending. Chris Mason and Roberto Luongo are the biggest reason why the game went 79 minutes and change. It wasn’t for lack of opportunities for either team, especially St. Louis. However Alex Burrows scored with under a minute left in the first overtime session to send Vancouver on to the second round. It is the first time in the history of the Canucks that they have swept a team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Canucks could have up to ten days off before they start their Western Conference Semi Final series.
Devils @ Hurricanes – Game #4
I didn’t see a lot of this game. However, Carolina was up 3-0 halfway though. When New Jersey came back to score 3 unanswered to tie the game by the halfway point in the third. Then when the game surely looked like it was going to OT, Jussi Jokinen scored a goal on a tip in. The refs went upstairs to review the goal to see if it was in before the buzzer. After minutes of deliberation, they decided it was in fact a goal. Then Martin Broduer started to argue with the refs that he had been interfered with. Anybody who knows anything about Marty knows he doesn’t do that often, so he probably had a case. Devils commentator Chico Resch, a former goalie himself, certainly thought he did. Marty went on to slam his stick against the boards, before throwing it as he exited the ice at the RBC Center in Raleigh. Game #5 goes Thursday in Newark (7:30pm, TSN2)
Red Wings @ Blue Jackets – Game #3
It was the first ever Stanley Cup playoff game in Columbus, and it didn’t turn out too well for fans there. Detroit scored just over a minute in and never relinquished control, winning 4-1. Henrik Zetterberg scored twice. I didn’t see any of the game really, so I don’t know much more. The Wings can finish the series on Thursday (TSN, 7:00pm)
Sharks @ Ducks – Game #3
Another game I’ve saw very little of, I’m watching it now though. The Sharks are up 2-0, in what is a must win for them, midway through the second.
The Whole Playoff Picture
So we are almost through what might have been the best night of playoff hockey in recent memory and here is a quick rundown of how each series is looking. We should start with the fact that Vancouver is the first team to move to the second round. Detroit and Boston look like they will too, as both are up 3-0. The Flyers lost an important home game, and now have to win in Pittsburgh on Thursday, which is no easy task. Calgary has a really important home game tomorrow night, if they lose they will be down 3-1, while if they win the series will be tied 2-2 and Calgary will have the momentum heading back to Chicago. Carolina won an important home game, tieing their series with the Devils up at 2 heading back to Newark. The Ducks are currently winning a must win, and the Capitals need a win in The Big Apple tomorrow night.