NHL Playoffs Update - 04.17.08
Nashville even with Wings, Avalance & Wild tied and more
Hockey fans love April as the Stanley Cup Playoffs give us something to look forward to every night as each game gets bigger and bigger as the NHL Playoffs roll on. Pro Hockey Fans staff writer Kevin Chaves brings us his latest update on the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Game 3 - Anaheim Ducks 4 – Dallas Stars 2
Good Morning Anaheim. It is about time the Ducks woke up and played like the defending champs. The Stars did make it close at the end with two power-play goals and some intense pressure, but the Ducks prevailed.
This is another series where the home team refuses to win.
Dallas Stars lead series 2-1.
Game 3 - Minnesota Wild 3 - Colorado Avalanche 2 (OT)
Game 4 – Colorado Avalanche 5 - Minnesota Wild 1
For the third straight game, this series hit overtime in Game #3. The goalies combined for 85 saves in this game which made for an energetic, nervous ending. Simply, this battle has been a goalie clinic. So much offensive talent on these two teams, but they are having a hard time cracking both Nicklas Backstrom and Jose Theodore.
Pierre-Marc Bouchard silenced the Avalanche crowd as he scored the game-winning goal to give Minnesota a 2-1 lead in the series.
Watching Game #4, I was expecting yet another overtime game. This game did not end with a wacky play, missed call or a nail-biting finish. To be polite, Colorado fed Minnesota a whooping.
It was about time a goalie’s perfection was broken, unfortunately for the Wild, it was their goalie. Backstrom is after-all human, but the certainty of Theodore is under debate as he only allowed one goal.
As expected, the game got a little chippy once it was out of reach for Minnesota. The Wild were throwing elbows, late hits, and there even was a decent tilt in the game. It is hard to believe that this series will not go seven games. Too close to call.
Series tied 2-2.
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Game 3 – Nashville Predators 5 - Detroit Red Wings 3
Game 4 – Nashville Predators 3 - Detroit Red Wings 2
What in the world is going on here? After winning both games at home, with expectations of ending this series quickly, the Wings lost both games in Nashville.
Nashville has never once showed any fear of the President Trophy champs. The Preds won both of their home games tying this series up in convincing fashion. Though the scores do not show it, the Preds really played excellent hockey at home. Not too many people could say they saw this coming.
Dan Ellis is playing better than he has ever played in his dreams, and Jason Arnott finally broke his goose egg with his first goal. Nashville has contained the top line of the Wings very well and has also really attacked their two-goalie system.
Pressure was on Detroit to win this series quickly at the beginning of the playoffs. They better get back on track just to survive and advance.
Series tied 2-2.
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Game 4 – San Jose Sharks 3 – Calgary Flames 2
Well, I guess since the Sharks blew their lead in Game 3, it was only fitting that the Flames blew theirs in Game 4. This one hurt a lot more since it was in front of the home crowd.
Calgary was winning by one goal with five minutes left with their sights at a commanding 3-1 series lead. That was until Jonathan Cheechoo scored a difficult-angled goal to tie the game and put a dagger in the hearts of all the members in the Red Sea.
Just when you thought overtime was coming, Joe Thornton popped in the game winner with ten seconds left in the game. Finally, the captain who has been accused of his weak playoff performance, finished an emotional game, as the hero. Quite fitting.
Series tied 2-2.
Game 4 – Montreal Canadiens 1 – Boston Bruins 0
Carey Price posted an unbelievable shutout and held his team to very close victory. This 20-year old goalie keeps improving while staying as cool as a cucumber. He plays with such a poker face, almost motionless. Price is leading Montreal in the right direction and has gained more confidence from his team, than his fans.
Boston is done.
Montreal Canadiens lead 3-1.
Game 4 – New York Rangers 5 - New Jersey Devils 3
The pieces of the puzzle are coming together for the Rangers. They are out-scoring, out-working and out-goaltending New Jersey and the Rangers are going to send the Devils out of these playoffs if they can pick up one more win. Finally, a home team wins in this series - bad news for the Devils.
New Jersey has to win the next three games, including two at a place they have not won yet in these playoffs, at home. My condolences to all Devil fans because the end is near for your team.
New York Rangers lead 3-1.
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Game 3 – Philadelphia Flyers 6 - Washington Capitals 3
There is still time to get off the Ovechkin banwagon, I will not tell anyone you were ever on it, promise. The hype was good for the game and for Washington, but Philly knows how to beat the Caps now.
Keeping Ovechkin off the goal scoring sheet equals wins for the Flyers. Washington is being toyed by Vaclav Prospal and Daniel Briere who have combined for 12 points in the three games. Add this to the great show that Mike Richards is putting on and this series and things are going in the wrong direction for the Caps.
Quick note: Philadelphia out-shot Washington 32 to 19 in game three.
Philadelphia Flyers lead series 2-1.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators
The Pittsburgh Penguins have swept the Ottawa Senators to advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
By Kevin Chaves
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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