Three shutouts and a barn-burner on Day Nine of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
One team got bounced, one team lived to fight another day and one Goliath may have met it's David, albeit a pretty tall David.
Here's the recap:
(Flyers 3, Penguins 0)
-With their backs against the wall, the Philadelphia Flyers looked to their grinders on Thursday night. Not the four players that scored over 30 goals in the regular season, or even the league-high six players with at least 25 regular season goals. Nope, the game winning goal was scored by Arron Asham, a laser beam from the blue line that surprised Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury early on in the second period. Believe it or not, Asham's fourth line has combined for five points this series, compared to the second line of Jeff Carter, Scott Hartnell and Joffrey Lupul, who have just four! Marty Biron took a page out of Fleury's book this time around too, stealing the show between the Philly pipes with a 28-save shutout performance. Game six goes Saturday in the City of Brotherly Love.
(Red Wings 6, Blue Jackets 5)
-Oh, to be Fredrik Modin today. Last night with the game tied 5-5 and less than two minutes left in regulation, Modin jumped the boards a little early and played the puck before the guy he was replacing was even close to the bench. That's a penalty! On the ensuing power play, Johan Franzen jammed home the game winner and the series clincher with 47 seconds to go. Unfortunately for the Jackets, they waited until the bitter end to put up a fight...but at least they gave the home crowd a bit of excitement to end the season! Poor Freddy Modin though, he'll be kickin' himself.
(Devils 1, Hurricanes 0)
-It seems like every night of the NHL playoffs, a goalie steps up and steals a game. Biron played good for Philly on Thursday night, but Martin Brodeur was exceptional in net for the New Jersey Devils in their 1-0 game five win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Brodeur earned his 23rd career playoff goose egg with a 44-save performance, tying him for the all-time lead in that category with Patrick Roy. It almost didn't happen though...during the second period, Brodeur collided with Carolina forward Chad LaRose about 20 feet in front of the net while going for a loose puck. LaRose's skate blade hit the back of Brodeur's leg, giving him a four-inch cut -- but he stayed in the game, despite the pain and the blood. Now THAT'S playoff hockey! ESPN had a great quote from Brodeur after the game; he said "I'm not that tough. I probably wouldn't have continued if I had to take stitches." I love it! The Devils can move on to the second round with a win in North Carolina on Sunday.
(Ducks 4, Sharks 0)
-How often does THIS happen? Four games, three shutouts (and 11 goals in the fourth game, just to even it out). Apart from the eighth seed taking a commanding 3-1 series lead by shutting out the number one seed for the second time in four games, the other thing that made this game unique was the 4.0 magnitude earthquake that shook the arena during the first intermission. That seemed to spark the Ducks -- namely, rookie Bobby Ryan, who scored twice in the middle frame as the Ducks blanked the Sharks 4-0, putting them on the brink of elimination heading back to the Shark Tank where they USED to be nearly unbeatable.
NY Rangers @ Washington - 5pm (Series: 3-1 NYR)