Hockey (Last) Night In Canada: Shutouts Galore

If you thought double the OT was double the fun, last night featured a game that went into triple overtime! Could you say ‘triple the OT, triple the fun’? Meanwhile 3 goalies went on a hot streak stopping all pucks that they encountered during the game. Another team makes an early exit from the playoffs and it might not be the one you were expecting.

Philadelphia 3 @ New Jersey 0 – They were on the brink of missing the playoffs, needing a win in their 82nd game of the regular season to have a shot at the Stanley Cup. But the last team to qualify for the post-season was the first one to advance to the second round. Once again, Brian Boucher played spoiler as his stopped all 28 Devils shots for the win. Leading the offense was rookie Claude Giroux who had two goals and an assist. So it’s another early exit for New Jersey. At this point, you have to wonder if Martin Brodeur’s career is coming to its inevitable end.
Philadelphia wins the series 4-1

Ottawa 4 @ Pittsburgh 3 (3OT) – If the double OT for the Boston/Buffalo game wasn’t good enough, this one should be! With Ottawa on the brink of elimination, they put up a hard fought effort in staying alive. Matt Carkner is not known for his offensive firepower. In fact, he’s better known for sitting in the penalty box, but tonight was different. His point shot 7 minutes into triple OT deflected off Matt Cooke and past Marc Andre Fleury to give Ottawa the win after an exhausting game. Pascal LeClaire had a busy night stopping 56 of 59 shots for the win while Fleury also put up a good performance with 40 saves.
Pittsburgh leads the series 3-2

Chicago 3 @ Nashville 0 – This series should have been over by now but it’s gone from a best-of-seven to a best-of-three. Antti Niemi was the star goaltender on this night as he made 33 saves to blank the Nashville Predators. Olympic team snub Patrick Sharp bookended the scoring for the Hawks with Jonathan Toews filled in the middle goal. Despite the loss, Pekka Rinne looked sharp for the Preds. A pair of quick goals late in the frame were the only real blemish in a game in which the visitng team seemed more motivated to stay in touch.
The series is tied 2-2

Colorado 0 @ San Jose 5 – Who is Logan Couture? That’s a question many people are asking as the 21 year old rookie scored 2 goals to finally help light up the San Jose offense in game 5 of the Western Conference quarter finals. Craig Anderson had an off night as he only stopped 29 of 33 shots while Budaj didn’t do any better as he saved 3 of 4. Given the amount of pucks that Anderson faced over the past few games, it’s no surprise that he’s showing signs of cracking. Meanwhile Evgeni Nabokov had an impressive night with 28 saves to land the shutout. His performance throughout the series wasn’t bad, but he had a lack of offensive support. Now it looks like he finally got it. Game 6 is headed back to the Pepsi Center. Can the Avalanche use the home ice advantage to get back into the series? Perhaps, but they better hope that Anderson will be back in top shape as he’s the main reason why they’re still in this series at all.
San Jose leads the series 3-2

Three Stars of the Night:
1. Brian Boucher (Philadelphia) – 28 saves, shutout
2. Claude Giroux (Philadelphia) – 2 goals, 1 assist
3. Logan Couture (San Jose) – 2 goals

Friday’s Schedule:
Montreal at Washington – Washington leads 3-1 (TV: TSN, Versus)
Boston at Buffalo – Boston leads 3-1 (TV: CBC)
Los Angeles at Vancouver – Series tied 2-2 (TV: CBC)
Detroit at Phoenix – Series tied 2-2 (TV: TSN, Versus)

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