Vancouver and Anaheim Take Series Leads
On Tuesday night in Chicago, the Vancouver Canucks reasserted their position as the favorites in their series against the Chicago Blackhawks by opening up a 3-0 lead and then holding on for a 3-1 win. The first goal came 15:30 into the first period on a Mason Raymond wrist shot, assisted by Ryan Kesler who unloaded the puck while being checked. Following that, at the one minute mark of the second period Steve Bernier scored on the Canucks power play.
About seven minutes later Henrik Sedin got his fourth playoff notch on a wrist shot from Alexander Edler, his second assist of the night. When the Blackhawks answered back on the power play with a Brian Campbell slap shot less than three minutes later, it looked like they may have been ready to make another late game rally. However the scoring never came, and Vancouver gained a 2-1 series lead. Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinals series is in Chicago on Thursday night.
The Anaheim Ducks held on for a win over the Detroit Red Wings on home ice, despite being terribly outplayed in the second half of the game. The final score read 2-1 Anaheim, which is all that the Ducks should care about. However, the final shot output was 46-24 for Detroit, including 17-7 in the second and 18-3 in the third. It was the stellar work of Jonas Hiller in net that enabled the Ducks to open up a 2-1 series lead.
Anaheim got on the board first 13 minutes into the opening period on Teemu Selanne's third goal of the playoffs. The scoring fell silent until eight minutes through the second period, when the Ducks took advantage of a power play and Scott Niedermayer tipped in a Ryan Getzlaf shot after several attempts. The Red Wings turned it up after that, and Henrik Zetterberg got his fourth of the playoffs six minutes later on the power play.
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However, the only other time they got the puck past Hiller was in the third period and it was on a play that was whistled dead when the referee couldn't find the puck. It seems like the best goaltenders typically get the best breaks as well. Detroit now finds themselves in a somewhat unusual position of trailing in a series. Game 4 is on Thursday night in Anaheim.
By Jake Emen
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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