The Stanley Cup playoffs got underway last night in Pittsburgh, Washington, New Jersey and Vancouver -- and all but one home team came away with wins.
Here's a recap, through my eyes:
(Penguins 4, Flyers 1)
The Pens beat the Flyers 4-1 in a game that looked more like a continuation of last year's Eastern Conference final. I thought Philadelphia was coming into this one with way more firepower than they had last year, but it certainly didn't look like it. On the other hand, the Penguins looked quite good and Marc-Andre Fleury shut the door, which is what has to happen for the Pens to be successful.
(Rangers 4, Capitals 3)
Brandon Dubinsky's highlight reel dangle midway through the third period lifted the visitors past the hometown Capitals 4-3 in game one of what I hope will be one of the better round one battles. If you didn't see the goal, you need to click here! Dubinsky dekes the pants off of Caps d-man Jeff Schultz (so bad that he falls) then he puts the puck past Jose Theodore for the go-ahead goal. Theodore, as expected, didn't look very good. It was a pretty exciting game though: the Caps opened the scoring in the second period, the Rangers scored three unanswered, Washington battled back...good stuff! This is going to be a good one.
(Devils 4, Hurricanes 1)
I half-expected the series to start like this, and I wasn't surprised to see Zach Parise's name on the scoresheet a couple of times by the end of the night (a goal and an assist). The Devils are a hard team to play against because they're responsible defensively and will make you pay if you slip up. It'll be interesting to see how the 'Canes respond, especially when the series shifts back to North Carolina.
(Canucks 2, Blues 1)
The biggest question this postseason for Canucks fans was would the Sedin twins finally show up for a playoff series...and so far, so good. Daniel Sedin opened the scoring, then assisted on Sami Salo's eventual game winner. His brother Henrik also drew an assist on that second goal. It's just one game though, but it's a good start. The Blues had some good pressure on a five-on-three power play at one point, but Roberto Luongo was there to shut the door. This could be a better series than I thought!
Montreal @ Boston - 5 pm
Columbus @ Detroit - 5 pm
Calgary @ Chicago - 6:30 pm
Anaheim @ San Jose 8:30 pm
I'll try my best to give a rundown of the playoff action as it happens...even on my days off if possible!