Boston Advances to Second Round as Playoffs Continue Wednesday Night
There was three more first round NHL playoffs game on Wednesday night. The second round now has its first representative from each conference, and other teams are continuing intense, well played action. Here's a recap of Wednesday night's playoff action.
The Boston Bruins completed their sweep of the Montreal Canadiens, ending the centennial season for the club in disappointment. Montreal got on the board just 40 seconds into the first period, showing that they had intentions of extending the series. However, after that all of the scoring was done by the Bruins. Boston scored twice in the last three minutes of the first period and twice more in a one minute stretch in the middle of the second. The result was a 4-1 final score, with Michael Ryder accounting for two of those goals for Boston. The series was sweet revenge for a largely intact Boston club that lost in the 2008 playoffs to Montreal.
If there was an award for MVP of the first round of the NHL playoffs, New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist would have to receive. Thanks to his stellar play between the posts, the Rangers held on to beat the Washington Capitals 2-1 on Wednesday night. They now hold a 3-1 advantage and are heading back to D.C. to play game 5. Washington had nearly twice as many shots as the Rangers, tallying 39 compared to 21. After the first period Washington out shot New York 30-10.
But on two somewhat fluky goals the Rangers got all of the scoring they needed. Paul Mara scored on a redirection in the first period and Chris Drury put in a rebound from a sharp angle, almost behind the net in the second. Alex Ovechkin got his first goal of the series in the beginning of the third, but it would not be enough. Lundqvist denied many other great chances to hand the Rangers their third win in the series.
The Calgary Flames and the Chicago Blackhawks continued play in their amazing, fast pace and hard-hitting first round playoff series. The first three games were won by the home team, and the fourth game would stay true to form. Calgary won 6-4 in a game of momentum shifts that was largely free of penalties, despite the ending – or perhaps because of – to game 3. Chicago scored first on a Patrick Kane shot five minutes into the first. The next 25 minutes of action saw the Flames score four times. This was started off with a Jarome Iginla power play goal just one minute after the Kane goal. Olli Jokinen added two goals in the second, and Adrian Aucoin had a tally as well.
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With a 4-1 lead the game looked secure, however the next 10 minutes were all Blackhawks, as they scored three times to tie the score at 4 before the second period closed. The game still tied at 4 deep into the third period, Eric Nystrom put a rebound though the 5 hole of Nikolai Khabibulin to give the Flames a lead they would not relinquish. Iginla added an empty netter to reach the final 6-4 score.
Each conference now has one team waiting, already having advanced to the second round via a sweep. Whether the layoff hurts or helps Vancouver and Boston will have to be judged later.
By Jake Emen
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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