Red Wings and Hurricanes Advance to Conference Finals
The NHL had two great game 7s in round 2 of the playoffs Thursday evening. Both games went down to the wire and now the Conference Finals are set. Here's a recap of the final round 2 playoff games.
The Anaheim Ducks visited the Detroit Red Wings for their Western conference semifinal game 7. As they have all series, Detroit out shot Anaheim 40-27 and their clutch playmaking and big game experience pulled through. The Red Wings won the seesaw contest with a 4-3 final score to advance to the Western Conference Finals.
Detroit opened the scoring with four minutes left in the first period on a Jiri Hudler power play goal with assists from Johan Franzen and Henrik Zetterberg. Just 75 seconds into the second period, Darren Helm zoomed to a loose puck and sent a snap shot in for a goal on a breakaway. With a 2-0 lead it looked like the game would be a walkover for the Red Wings.
However with five minutes left in the second, Teemu Selanne grabbed a loose puck from behind the nut and stuffed it past Chris Osgood. Detroit responded 90 seconds later to reopen a two goal lead, but a minute after that Corey Perry tipped in a shot on the power play to bring the score to 3-2. Seven minutes into the third Anaheim scored again, as Bobby Ryan tipped in a Perry shot.
The score remained tied at 3 deep into the third, until with three minutes left in the game Dan Cleary got his third goal of the postseason to give the Red Wings the decisive 4-3 edge. At the end of the day, the Ducks couldn't quite keep up with or match the depth and skill of the Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings will face the Blackhawks in the Western Conference Finals.
The Carolina Hurricanes upended the Boston Bruins in overtime to advance past game 7 and into the Eastern Conference Finals. In a tough back and forth game that truly could have gone either way – Carolina had just a one shot advantage over Boston at 37 to 36 – the Hurricanes were able to put the pressure on in overtime while they survived Boston's attack with some great saves by goaltender Cam Ward.
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Boston grabbed the early 1-0 lead midway through the first period on Byron Bitz's first postseason goal. It was then veteran and captain Rod Brind'Amour who tied the game seven minutes later, scoring his first of the postseason as well. Carolina grabbed the lead eight minutes into the second period on a Sergei Samsonov tip and the score remained 2-1 entering the third. Six minutes into the session, Milan Lucic grabbed a rebound from in front of the net and sent it top shelf to tie the game at 2.
Despite great scoring attempts for both teams, their Eastern conference semifinals match headed into Overtime. Both teams came out flying and both had many chances to win, stifled by great work in net by Ward and Boston's Tim Thomas. It seemed that the game was heading into a second overtime when with just 75 seconds left in the period Scott Walker scored his first goal of the playoffs to end the series.
The number 1 seed Boston Bruins were eliminated, and the Carolina Hurricanes will move on to face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals.
By Jake Emen
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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