Hockey (Last) Night In Canada: Slipping Away

There was a slight technical difficulty yesterday, but now the blog is back up and running. Last night was a set of game threes in the semi-finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Off the brilliant victory the other night, the Canadiens were hoping to catch onto the momentum to take on the series lead against the Penguins while the Detroit Red Wings were hoping to claw back into the series after dropping the first two games to the Sharks.

Pittsburgh 2 @ Montreal 0 – Jaroslav Halak once again provided solid goaltending for the Montreal Canadians; however on this night, he received no offensive support. Only one goal managed to beat him and that was enough to lift the Penguins to victory. The Canadiens started off strong, outplaying and outshooting the Penguins 7-3 in the first period. Then the Penguins came alive and outshot the Canadiens in both the second and the third. The goal that managed to beat Halak was scored early in the third period on the powerplay by Evgeni Malkin. The usual salt in wound routine sealed any hopes of OT when Pascale Dupuis scored the empty netter near the end. Halak stopped 23 of 24 shots in a losing effort while Fleury only needed to make 18 saves for the shutout. All hope is not lost for the Canadiens, but if they still want to win it, they’re going to have to get some backup for their outstanding goaltender.
Pittsburgh leads the series 2-1

San Jose 4 @ Detroit 3 (OT) – It’s the third game of the series and once again the score is identical to the previous two games. The Sharks once again defeat the the Red Wings by a score of 4-3, but the only exception this time is that they needed overtime to do it. For a good portion of the game, it seemed as though the Sharks were once again letting it all slip away when they were behind 3-1 after two periods of play. However, the third period rush helped them tie the game and force overtime. About 7 minutes into the extra frame, Jon Thornton and Patrick Marleau were on a 2 on 1 rush. Marleau took the puck from Thornton and puts it past Howard to cap off the comeback win. The shots were fairly even going back and forth. Detroit’s Jimmy Howard was beaten 4 times on 33 shots while Evgeni Nabokov got the win from 32 saves. With a decisive 3-0 series lead, the Sharks aren’t going to blow this one… right?
San Jose leads the series 3-0

Three Stars of the Night:
1. Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh) – 18 saves, shutout
2. Joe Thornton (San Jose) – 1 goal, 1 assist
3. Patrick Marleau (San Jose) – 1 goal

Wednesday’s Schedule:
Boston at Philadelphia – BOS leads 2-0 (TV: TSN, Versus)
Chicago at Vancouver – Series tied 1-1 (TV: CBC, Versus)

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