Stars Really Shine in West
Flames Head to Calgary With Split
Goaltending, goaltending, goaltending. The games in the Western Conference have been very tight, thanks to the spectacular saves each individual goalie is making. Three of the five games played so far have been won by the visitors. Not one team ever stops working in this conference, making for interesting finishes.
Dallas Stars 4 - Anaheim Ducks 0
Wow. This makes my prediction of the Ducks winning the Cup look ridiculous. I cannot believe Marty Turco shutout the defending champs in game one. Everyone for Dallas seemed to come out to play and did not stop working. The Stars hard work forced the Ducks to take way too many penalties that came back to haunt them.
Dallas scored all four goals on the power-play, and we all know it is hard to win games when you are always shorthanded. Simple resolution for the Ducks is to just stay out of the box in game two. The only upside the fans had in this game was when Chris Pronger put a Dallas Star through the glass.
Ugly start for the Anaheim Ducks.
Detroit Red Wings 3 – Nashville Predators 1
Thirty seven. That is the number of saves Nashville’s Dan Ellis made in game one. There is no way that they have a chance in this series if they allow Detroit that many shots. Also, the Preds top two goal scorers in Jason Arnott and J.P. Dumont were a combined minus three.
Nothing to say about the Wings, who dominated the game and were held to a low scoring game thanks to a hot goalie. They out-shot Nashville by twenty shots, only took four penalties, and got two goals from all-star Henrik Zetterberg. Great night for the Wings.
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Colorado Avalanche 3 - Minnesota Wild 2 (OT)
Overtime was needed to settle this exciting game. Colorado jumped out to a two goal lead in the first period and held that lead going into the third. The Wild worked hard to eventually equalize the game that left the final ten minutes a nail-biter. Both teams were playing cautious to finish the game when the drama grew more intense. With a little over two minutes left, Colorado’s Ryan Smyth was awarded a penalty shot, which he failed to score.
Joe Sakic eventually scored at the eleven minute mark of overtime to give his team the one game lead in the series. Sakic should be named “Captain Clutch,” as he shot his nineteenth game-winning playoff goal of his career.
Both goalies were incredible and if they continue to play like this, these team will have no energy to play the next round. This series may go seven games with all of them going to overtime.
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Calgary Flames 3 - San Jose Sharks 2 in Game 1
San Jose Sharks 2 - Calgary Flames 0 in Game 2
Game one in this series made bookies around the world a little wealthier. The Flames simply out-worked, out-played, and out-scored the much higher ranked Sharks in the premiere game. Calgary timed their counter attacks perfectly and did well keeping Joe Thornton to only one assist. Also the Flames did a great job staying out of the box, by only taking two penalties. This left San Jose’s stars at ease.
Unlike game one, the Flames were short-handed ten times in game two. At one point they had to penalty kill six straight times. Still they kept Joe Thornton off the score sheet and only allowed one power-play goal. The Sharks have thrown everything at Mikka Kiprusoff including the kitchen sink. The Flames goalie has already made seventy-eight saves in two games, compared to Evgeni Nabokov’s forty-one.
Not much more the Sharks can do but wait for Kiprusoff to get cold. Calgary comes out of San Jose with a split and now take it home for games three and four. The Flames are hard to beat at home in the playoffs, with their support of the infamous Red Sea fans.
By Kevin Chaves
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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