Conference Finals Open; Detroit and Pittsburgh Win
The Conference Finals of the NHL playoffs are underway and both series have began. Here's a look at the first games from the Eastern Conference Finals and the Western Conference Finals.
In game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, the Detroit Red Wings asserted their dominance over the Chicago Blackhawks. They out shot Chicago in each period en route to a 5-2 series opening win. Neither Patrick Kane or Jonathon Toews was able to get a point in the loss.
But the game started with the Blackhawks getting on the board first, on an Adam Burish backhand five minutes into the first period. Dan Cleary evened up the score a few minutes later on an unassisted goal. In the second period, Johan Franzen scored his ninth of the playoffs on a wrap around with just a few minutes left in the session.
Chicago was able to tie the game four minutes into the third on a power play goal from Kris Versteeg. After that it was all Detroit, and in a 90 second span they scored twice to open up a 4-2 gap. The first came via Mikael Samuelsson and the second was Cleary's second goal of the evening. Henrik Zetterberg added an empty netter with under a minute left to produce the final score of 5-2. Game 2 is on Tuesday night in Detroit.
In game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Pittsburgh Penguins held on to their lead to beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2. The Hurricanes started the game on fire, but Marc Andre Fleury prevented anything from getting into the net. Midway through the first the Penguins then lit up the board twice in 90 seconds. The first was on a Miroslav Satan backhand and the second on a backhand from Evgeni Malkin assisted by defensemen Philippe Boucher.
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The Hurricanes were able to answer midway through the second period on a Chad Larose goal assisted by Erik Cole and Matt Cullen. With the score still at 2-1, midway through the third the Penguins broke through on the power play. Boucher sent home a snap shot with assists from Sidney Crosby and Malkin. With less than 90 seconds remaining in the game, Carolina was able to close the gap on a Joe Corvo power play goal. However, they couldn't tie the game despite another late attempt. Game 2 is on Thursday evening in Pittsburgh.
By Jake Emen
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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