Detroit Sweeps in Thursday Night Round 1 Playoffs Action
Thursday night featured four first round NHL playoff games. Detroit completed their sweep in the most hotly contested game of their series, and every other game featured a shutout victory. Here are the results.
The Philadelphia Flyers were facing elimination on Thursday evening as they traveled back to Pittsburgh to face the Penguins. Goalie Martin Biron picked a great time to have his best game of the playoffs, as the Flyers prevailed 3-0. The Penguins had a Malkin goal called back in the second period and it would be the only time they saw the puck reach the back of the net. The Flyers got on the board in the second on an Arron Asham goal. Claude Giroux and Mike Knuble added onto the lead in the third, as the Flyers extended their playoff life for another game.
The Detroit Red Wings swept the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night. The Red Wings are the third team to complete a sweep in the first round of this year's NHL playoffs and join the Vancouver Canucks in waiting for their second round western conference assignment. It looked like it would be another breeze for the Red Wings, as Nicklas Lidstrom tallied a power play goal three minutes into the first.
At the end of 1 it was 3-1 Red Wings, but the Blue Jackets came alive in the second, scoring two goals in the first six minutes of the period and two more in the final five. Sandwiched between however were two goals from Marian Hossa, which kept the score tied at 5 entering the third. The score stayed tied until over 19 minutes had passed in the period, when Johan Franzen put home a rebound on the power play for the game and series clincher.
The New Jersey Devils and Carolina Hurricanes continued their seesaw series with another close game. The teams have been alternating wins, so it was the Devils turn to prevail, and they did. Led my Martin Brodeur, the Devils won a 1-0 game. Brodeur tied Patrick Roy at the top of the all time NHL playoffs shutout list, turning away 44 shots. He did so after surviving a scare and suffering a cut on his calf from the skate of Chad LaRose. The Devils lone goal came midway through the second on the power play by David Clarkson.
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The Anaheim Ducks dealt another blow to the perennially quick fading San Jose Sharks. The Ducks increased their lead to 3-1 in the series with a 4-0 shutout on home ice. Bobby Ryan scored twice in four minutes in the second period, his third and fourth goals of the series. The Ducks tacked on two more in the third, including an empty netter. Once again San Jose out shot the Ducks, but they couldn't get their pucks in the net, and they couldn't protect their own. San Jose will be facing an embarrassing elimination on home ice in game 5.
By Jake Emen
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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