Friday, April 17, 2009

Kerrzy's Notebook: Playoff recap, Day Two

Day two of the Stanley Cup playoffs saw, once again, most of the home teams winning. The exception was the San Jose Sharks, who are in tough against the Ducks...Here's a recap:

(Bruins 4, Canadiens 2)

This game had some of that grit I talked about in my playoff prediction blog, and the Habs even showed some too! Shots were 39-28 for Boston, penalty minutes were 32-28 for Montreal. So, a busy night for the guys wearing the stripes! One thing I've noticed this year is goals happening in bunches, and that was the case again here. A Carey Price miscue in the first period gave Phil Kessel his first goal of the playoffs and David Krejci made it a two-goal game 1:30 later. But just 1:38 after that, it was 2-1 after Chris Higgins found the back of the net. Alex Kovalev tied the game late in the second period with an absolute cannon from the right wing (the netcam view made me flinch!), but it was Zdeno Chara scoring the game-winner midway though the third. Phil Kessel potted an empty net goal for his second of the night and some Montreal players took exception...should be a good Game Two coming up!

(Red Wings 4, Blue Jackets 1)

The Detroit Red Wings survived the initial onslaught of the Columbus Blue Jackets (at one point, being outshot something like 7-1) and got some help from their depth players, earning that ever-important first win for a high seeded team. Jiri Hudler got the Wings on the board after a scoreless first period on a nice pass from Valtteri Filppula, but 52 seconds later it was a tie game. Jonathan Ericsson potted his first career playoff goal minutes later, under a minute later Niklas Kronwall made it 3-1, and in the third period Johan Franzen rounded out the scoring. Chris Osgood played to form which, as a Red Wings fan, was nice to see, making some huge saves early on. Hopefully I can catch the next game on TV, instead of a bad internet stream! Let's go Red Wings!!!!!

(Blackhawks 3, Flames 2 - OT)

It looked like the Calgary Flames might steal one in Chicago on Thursday night, it really did. Up 2-1 late in the third period, getting outshot pretty bad, but holding on. That is, until Martin Havlat got a second crack at a shot on Flames goalie Mikka Kiprusoff and tied the game with his first of the postseason. Calgary got two of their four shots that period after that, but with nothing doing, it was off to the first overtime period of this year's playoffs. It didn't last long though! Twelve seconds, to be exact. The Flames won the draw, gave the puck away in the neutral zone, Havlat took a pass in the slot and beat Kipper five-hole! There was a degree of goalie interference on the play, but not enough to call it back. Everyone but Red Wings fans will disagree with me on this, but if that was Tomas Holmstrom, it would have been called back!

(Ducks 2, Sharks 0)

I pegged this series as one of the better ones to watch in the first round, and it looks as though that will be the case. Despite being a great team, the Sharks haven't been able to make it happen in the playoffs, routinely going out in the second round. This year they are better than they've ever been...but instead of a lesser eighth seed, they have to play the gritty Anaheim Ducks. In game one, it was scoreless after two periods until Scott Niedermayer beat Evgeni Nabokov five minutes into the third. Then, at the tail end of a Sharks powerplay in the final four minutes...disaster! San Jose's blue liners messed up a d-to-d pass, Ryan Gezlaf, fresh out of the box, jumped on the loose puck and put the game out of reach. Burn!

Tonight:

Philadelphia @ Pittsburgh - 5 pm
Carolina @ NJ - 530 pm
St. Louis @ Vancouver 10 pm

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