NSH 3-2 DET
Well, some good goaltending from Rinne, not a whole lot on the highlinghts from Howard, a slice of luck from Datsyuk, after his takeaway and massive fortune from Nashville, that the time expired, before the puck crossed the line at the end of the 2nd period. Oh, for a buzzer beater rule, Detroit would have the 2-1 advantage.
As it stands, Nashville now have a 2-1 lead, guaranteeign them a split in the 2 games at the Joe, at worst. Can they go out there and do better, taking a 3-1 lead home? We shall see.
Prediction : Nashville have won all 2 games that Detroit should allow them. Seeing the momentum stop from here will be a tough ask from the Wings, but they are capable of it
PIT 4-8 PHI
If your goalie can't stop the puck, you won't win the game, no matter how good your offence is. Danny Briere and Jaromir Jagr supplied the offence for the Flyers today, with three points each, as eight flyers registered multi-point games, conveniently doubling up against the Penguins in more ways than one.
Bryzgalov was hardly sharp, though you don't expect him to be at his best against the likes of Crosby, Malkin and James Neil. Marc-Andre Fleury seemed to stay at home, letting soft goals in with alarming regularity, finally getting the hook for the veteran backup, Brent Johnson.
Pittsburgh's playoff hopes hang by a thread and Philly looks to seal the sweep, thus eliminating one of the previous four finalists (Vancouver seem to be on course to emulate them as well, see below) The Penguins need a more assertive defensive presence, before letting loose and scoring goals, to win games.
Tempers will flare in the next game, as this one had quite a few PIMs issued to both sides as well.
Prediction : I'm about to get reversed in round 1. Way to choke, Pittsburgh!
NJD 2-4 FLA
Stephen Weiss scored twice on the powerplay, to help the Panthers tie the series at 1-1, triggering a shower of plastic rats from the Florida faithful (hell, it beats squid). Most of the posession was Floridian in the early going, though the Devils fought back to 3-2 within the first three minutes of the 3rd period, but in a low scoring affair, they couldn't quite tie the game.
Ilya Kovalchuk needs to score more in this series, if he's to help the Devils advance, as the Panthers might just have enough confidence now.
Prediction : New Jersey needs to win 3 straight for me. I don't mind if they don't, to be honest.
VAN 0-1 LAK
Iron Maiden said it best - Be Quick, or be Dead. Dustin Brown finally found the back of the net, on his 6th shot of the game, to give the Kings a 1-0 win, as Jonathan Quick turned away 41 shots, for his first shutout of the postseason and his career-best 3rd playoff win. That the Canucks turned to their backup goalie, Cory Schneider can only bode poorly for Vancouver, as the reigning Western Conference champions stare down the barrel of a 4-0 whitewash.
Los Angeles are up for this series and they have played the better hockey throughout. Deserving of a 3-0 lead, they should be able to finish the sweep now, as letting a beleagured Canucks offence back into the series could prove to be a big mistake and they need to nix the series, to catch their breath as soon as possible.
Prediction : Yeah, I said Canucks in 5. I think I'll be 0 points from 2 here