It was the battle of which team had the bigger guns offensively as each game had a combined goal total of 7 last night. The extra period was required for two of the games to determine the winner. Two more teams advance to the semi-finals with their victories last night.
Nashville 4 @ Chicago 5 (OT) – The Blackhawks are a team that won’t go down easily. Despite an abismal effort by Antti Niemi, who made 12 saves on 16 shots in regulation, and having to kill a major penalty at the end of the third period, the Hawks were able to come from pull out a come from behind win. With Marian Hossa in the box for five minutes for boarding, Chicago pulled their goalie and Patrick “20 Cent” Kane put home the tying shorthanded goal with 14 seconds on the clock. When his penalty expired in the extra frame, Hossa went straight for the front of the net and immediately slammed home a deflected puck to win the game. That’s both a lucky and clutch performance by Hossa and the Blackhawks. He could very well have been the goat but turned out to be the hero on the day.
Chicago leads the series 3-2
Pittsburgh 4 @ Ottawa 3 (OT) – To go far in the playoffs, you have to overcome adversity. Pittsburgh just lost a potential series clinching game in triple overtime on home ice. Last night, they went on the road to Ottawa and gave up three unanswered goals to the Sens. However, they battled back in the second half of the game and their fourth unanswered was the game and series winner as the Pens moved on to the second round. The offense came from unlikely sources as Matt Cooke scored Pittsburgh’s first and third goals. Pascal Leclaire was solid for the Sens with 39 saves on the night. I’d tell you who’s next for the Pens but they could face any one of four different teams in the next round. One thing is certain: They’ll have to make the Eastern Conference finals to face Washington.
Pittsburgh wins the series 4-2
San Jose 5 @ Colorado 2 – The San Jose Sharks won a playoff series to advance to the next round of playoffs! That’s certainly a sentence that we haven’t heard in a while. The Sharks carried on the momentum from the previous game and sent the Avalanche packing at the Pepsi Center last night. Once again it was Joe Pavelski who stepped up and led the offensive explosion with 2 goals and 1 assist in the game. The Sharks outplayed the Avalanche throughout all three periods outshooting them 34 -18. Evgeni Nabokov had a leaky performance letting in 2 goals in 18 shots, but he had enough backup this time around. Colorado’s Craig Anderson’s magic seem to have run out but he still had a solid performance making 29 stops. The Sharks can finally put last year’s embarrassing first round exit to the Ducks behind them. However, if the Sharks really want the cup, they got a lot of work to do based on the performance in this series.
San Jose wins the series 4-2
Three Stars of the Night:
1. Joe Pavelski (San Jose) – 2 goals, 1 assist
2. Marian Hossa (Chicago) – 1 goal, 1 assist
3. Pascal Dupuis (Pittsburgh) – 1 goal, 1 assist
Phoenix at Detroit – DET leads 3-2 (TV: TSN, NBC)
Vancouver at Los Angeles – VAN leads 3-2 (TV: CBC, Versus)