Second Round NHL Playoffs Weekend Action
The NHL playoffs had a busy weekend schedule, with all of the conference semifinals continuing their action. Here's what went down in the second round of the NHL playoffs.
Friday May 1
The Detroit Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks got their series underway on Friday night. No two teams in the league could put a better cast of defensemen on the ice as these two could, and it was Detroit's stalwart Nicklas Lidstrom who shined the brightest on this night. Lidstrom had an assist and two goals, including the game winner with 50 seconds left in regulation.
The scoring started in the first period as Corey Perry put the Ducks ahead on passes from Ryan Getzlaf and Chris Pronger. Five minutes later Johan Franzen tied the game on a pass from Lidstrom on the power play. Tied at 1, the Red Wings found themselves on the power play 14 minutes into the second period. Lidstrom scored his first of the night, and was matche five minutes later by the Duck player when Teemu Selanne scored on a shot that was assisted by Getzlaf and Pronger. The score remained tied at 2 until Lidstrom sent home the winner with less than a minute left. Detroit out shot Anaheim 38-24, including a dominating 18-7 in the final period.
Also opening up on Friday night was the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes semifinals series. The Bruins continued their dominance in the postseason, putting away the Canes 4-1. They opened up the scoring just 90 seconds into the game on an Aaron Ward wrist shot. The Hurricanes answered at the end of the first on a Jussi Jokinen goal. From there however it would be all Boston.
Marc Savard scored on a backhanded shot seven minutes into the second, and Michael Ryder got his 5 th of the playoffs about five minutes later. Savard scored again in the third period at the exact same time he scored in the second, 7:21 into each period. It was his 4 th of the playoffs, and Phil Kessel had an assist on both. Boston scored the last three goals of the game for the winning 4-1 margin. The Bruins continued their undefeated streak and has the 1-0 series lead.
Saturday May 2
The Washington Capitals scratched and clawed and found a way to eek out an important game 1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins scored first, as who else but Sidney Crosby sent a wrist shot into the net four minutes into the opening period. However, about 10 minutes later the Capitals tied the score at 1 with a David Steckel goal. Then on the power play at 17 minutes into the period, Alex Ovechkin countered the Penguins superstar with a power play goal on assists from Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom.
Pittsburgh tied the score with the only goal in the second period, however the Capitals regained the lead for good less than two minutes into the third on a Tomas Fleischmann goal, also assisted by Backstrom and Semin. The Capitals seemed bothered by the Penguins speed and skill to open the game and were out shot by Pittsburgh 37-26. However, at the end of the day they took the 1-0 series lead.
It looked as if the Vancouver Canucks were going to open a 2-0 series lead over the Chicago Blackhawks and continue their undefeated stretch thus far in the NHL playoffs. They held a 2-0 lead on home ice just seven minutes into the game, on the strength of two power play goals. However the Blackhawks refused to go away, and as they have all postseason long, they went on a monumental tear. This one included five straight goals in 15 minutes of game time covering the second and third periods.
The scoring feast started midway through the second on a Patrick Sharp wrist shot. Sharp added his second of the game and fifth of the playoffs three minutes later on the power play. Proving they can score in all situations, the Blackhawks scored a shorthanded goal three minutes after that to take a 3-2 lead and really take the energy away from the Canucks. Two minutes into the third Ben Eager scored for Chicago and a few minutes after that Patrick Kane scored on a backhander with an assist from Jonathan Toews. The score was now 5-2 and the Canucks were left dazed. Henrik Sedin scored with three minutes left in the third to bring the score closer, however the Blackhawks finished the night with an empty netter for the final score of 6-3. The series moves to Chicago on Tuesday night.
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Sunday May 3
The Boston Bruins tasted defeat for the first time this playoff season as the Carolina Hurricanes shut them out on their home ice. Despite out shooting Carolina 36-25, the final score was 3-0 for the Hurricanes, led by the great work between the pipes of Cam Ward. The Hurricanes scored their first goal two minutes into the second on a Joe Corvo slap shot. Five minutes later they quieted the crowd with a short handed goal by Matt Cullen. All of the momentum and energy in their favor, the Hurricanes held the lead and scored once more on an empty netter with thirty seconds left in the game. The series is tied at 1-1 and is heading to Carolina on Wednesday evening.
Regulation could barely contain game 1 between the Anaheim Ducks and Detroit Red Wings, and it would not come close to containing game 2. This game extended into the third overtime session before it was decided. Most of the scoring came all the way in the first period however. Brad Stuart put the Wings ahead on a power play goal six minutes into the game. However, two minutes later Ryan Getzlaf scored his third of the postseason and just thirty seconds after that Chris Pronger scored on the power play with an assist by Getzlaf to put the Ducks ahead 2-1.
The Wings would tie the score before the period was over, and the Ducks would regain the lead on another power play goal about five minutes into the second period. They held the 3-2 lead until five minutes into the third, when Johan Franzen scored on a Henrik Zetterberg pass. The overtime sessions were devoid of penalties outside of one called on Scott Nieermayer of the Ducks midway through the first extra period. Even as Detroit out shot Anaheim 44-22 in the third period and first two overtime periods, they couldn't send home a goal. Anaheim capitalized just 75 seconds into the third on Todd Marchant's first goal of the postseason. It tied up the series at one game a piece with the action headed back to Anaheim.
Keep checking in for more coverage of the NHL playoffs as the semifinals for each conference continue.
By Jake Emen
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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