Opening Night of the NHL Playoffs Recap
The NHL playoffs are finally underway, and they started off with a great group of games Wednesday night. The Eastern Conference took center stage with three of the four games played thus far. Nothing else is like playoff hockey, the intensity of play and the excitement are unparalleled. Let's take a look at how the first night of games played out.
In a series matching two teams headed in opposite directions when the season ended, the New Jersey Devils met the Carolina Panthers in game 1 Wednesday night. The Hurricanes were on of the hottest teams at season's end, while the Devils struggled to close out the year. Still, New Jersey prevailed on home ice to win 4-1. The Devils completely dominated the Hurricanes, tallying 39 shots compared to 19. It was the usual suspects who got the job done for the Devils, with stars Zach Parise, Patrik Elias and Jamie Langenbrunner all notching a goal.
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin both scored and had an assist in the Penguins 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers couldn't keep up with the young stars of the Penguins, and tried to impose their physical presence. This resulted in a series of penalties and a brawl in the final seconds of the third period.
In the only Western Conference game Wednesday Night, The Vancouver Canucks prevailed over the St. Louis Blues 2-1. Vancouver got on the board in the first period on a delayed penalty call. On the power play in the second period they added to their lead, making a 2-0 game. St. Louis was able to answer at the end of the second with their own power play goal, however that score would stand as final. Roberto Luongo made 25 saves and will need to continue his excellence in net for the Canucks to advance in the playoffs.
Only one road team was able to win a game, and that was the New York Rangers over the Washington Capitals. The Rangers won the game 4-3 but had to get the go ahead goal in the third period after they blew a 3-1 lead. The teams combined for three goals in the last three minutes of the second period, which turned a 1-1 goalie battle into a 3-2 shootout. The Capitals dominated the action, out shooting the Rangers 35-21. The Rangers only managed four shots in the first period and six in the third. It was Henrik Lundqvist, who was sensational in net, that allowed the Rangers to win the game.
> Find a nice selection of NHL merchandise & hockey wall decals here at ProHockey-Fans.com!
Four series have begun and another four are set to begin on Thursday evening. It gets no better than the NHL playoffs, so enjoy the games and grow those beards.
By Jake Emen
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
Want to add your comment to this article? Leave your comments on our NHL blog today!
> Follow the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs online with Pro Hockey Fans!
> Find all of the NHL news & articles online from Pro Hockey Fans.