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West Weekend Recap

DUCKS and PREDS DOWN TWO, FLAMES KEEP BURNING

 

The Dallas Stars are making fools out of the defending champs and, yet again, making my prediction look silly. Nashville fights hard but fails to win while the Flames keep my upset alive. Here is the breakdown.



Game 2 – Dallas Stars 5 – Anaheim Ducks 2

After losing game one in an embarrassing fashion, the Ducks carried the trend into game two. Anaheim is digging their own grave with penalties and allowed Dallas two more power-play goals, making it a total of six in two games.

Mike Ribeiro and Jere Lehtinen gave the Stars a 2-0 lead that put a damper on the Anaheim crowd. I could not believe that the Ducks were being man-handled and run-over like this and the possibility of a sweep volted through my mind.

But wait. Teemu Selanne and Travis Moen popped in goals to tie the game at the end of the second period, bringing the offense alive in Anahiem. This is what I was talking about all along. The Ducks were just playing possum and here come the true champs to take over this series. I was wrong.

Bobby Ryan must have missed the “do not take penalties” memo as he took a hooking penalty on which Mike Modano scored on the PP. This goal allowed the flood gates to open and Brad Richards sniped another goal less than a minute later.

This series is really about the special teams. The Stars have six power play goals to the Ducks one. The Stars have also scored nine times and the Ducks only twice. Anaheim has to pull off some magic on the road and win quick, to have a chance in this series.

Dallas Stars lead series 2-0.

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Game 2 – Minnesota Wild 3 - Colorado Avalanche 2 - OT

Both of these teams are refusing to lose this extremely tight race. Two games, two overtimes, two incredible goalies. The fans must be going through torturous pain watching this series.

The last five minutes of game two brought a plate of drama to the table. Mikko Koivu looked to have scored the game-winner until it was called back because Kim Johnsson took a costly penalty. As karma would have it, Milan Hejduk scored on that power-play with less than a minute left in the game, and sent it to overtime.

Keith Carney, and unlikely hero, scored early in OT and had 19,000 fans waving those white towels around like helicopters. Though Colorado lost game two, they came out of Minnesota with a split. This series heads to Denver for games three and four.

Series tied 1-1.

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Game 2 – Detroit Red Wings 4 - Nashville Predators 2

What is there really to say about this series? You have to be lucky to be good, and you have to be good to be lucky. The Predators just do not have what it takes to compete with the Wings, especially when Detroit catches breaks. Kris Draper deflected the game winning goal off a Nashville player that broke any chance of victory. Also, the Preds had a goal disallowed feeding into this disastrous series they are having.

Up 2-0, Detroit looked like they were going to blow this game out with their flashy style and exciting players. Nashville showed great heart scoring two goals in eleven seconds, but this put false optimism in Predator fans. They have a great goalie in Dan Ellis, who has been peppered with 77 shots in the two games thus far, but he needs more offensive help.

At this pace, the Wings will send their opponents golfing after four games.

Detroit Red Wings lead series 2-0.

 

Game 3 – Calgary Flames 4 - San Jose Sharks 3

After a split in San Jose, the Flames must have been eager to take this series to their home fans. The arena was a complete sell-out with everyone in the traditional red Calgary jerseys, forming the infamous Red Sea. It was loud, powerful, intimidating, and great to watch. But for some reason, the Sharks were not affected.

Calgary took a very early penalty that silenced the crowd instantly. What took place afterwards was a complete shock to all of Canada. San Jose scored three goals in the first three and a half minutes of the game, on only five shots. This was the worst possible start Calgary could have had and it lead to star goalie Mikka Kiprusoff being pulled for veteran, Curtis Joseph.

Jarome Iginla managed a goal before the end of the first period that left some hope in the fans going into the intermission. The Sharks were playing as good as they were at the end of the regular season in which not many teams could beat them. Do not forget though, Calgary is the hardest-working team and everyone knows they just would not give this game up. Slowly, they picked away at the Sharks until Dion Phaneuf drove the tying puck past Evgeni Nabakov in the beginning of the third.

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The arena went crazy. San Jose was up 3-0 after five shots and now found themselves tied in the third until Owen Nolan punished his old team. With four minutes left in the game, he scored what turned out to be the game-winner to completely flatten the tires off the Sharks.

It is not easy to win in Calgary during April and here is the proof. Never count the Flames out. My upset pick is coming together.

Calgary Flames lead 2-1.

 

 

By Kevin Chaves
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer

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