Hockey (Last) Night In Canada: Rematch And Rivalry Denied

Last night featured two Stanley Cup Playoff games that had identical scores of 2-1. Unlike the previous night that was a scoring frenzy, there were two solid tense games going on. It was back to being the battle of the goaltenders. In Pittsburgh, the Montreal Canadiens were hoping to steal the home advantage from the defending Stanley Cup Champions while the Red Wings hoped to stave off elimination against the Sharks in San Jose. 

Montreal 1 @ Pittsburgh 2 – It was another close game and the advantage now goes towards the Pittsburgh Penguins as they defeated the Montreal Canadians in a fairly low scoring affair. Kris Letang bounced back for the Penguins last night as he scored the first goal of the game. It certainly made up for Montreal’s game winning goal that deflected off his skate in game 4. Sergei Gonchar scored in the second period and that was all that they needed to win the game. Mike Cammelleri’s powerplay goal late in the third period did give Montreal a glimmer of hope, but it was too little too late. The Canadiens outshot the Penguins 33 to 25 during the game, but Fleury was a brick wall for the night. Halak also did a decent job in net but it wasn’t good enough to snatch the victory. Montreal star defenceman Hal Gill left the game in the third period with a lower body injury. He will be evaluated for the next game but Habs fans should be worried. The man who has effectively shut down the likes of Ovechkin and now Crosby might not be there to save the team in the “make it or break it” game on Sunday.
Pittsburgh leads the series 3-2

Detroit 1 @ San Jose 2 – The Sharks didn’t blow it. Yes, that’s a statement many wouldn’t have expected to say this year, but they have successfully eliminated the Red Wings to advance to the Western Conference Finals. Also, it wasn’t Joe Pavelski that saved the day for the Sharks (he fired wide during a penalty shot during the third period). Instead, it was the rookie longest serving Shark, Patrick Marleau, that scored the game winning goal. Meanwhile the other Joe contributed a goal and a assist for the win. Sharks fans should be pleased that the underachieving veterans have finally stepped up in the playoffs to give their team a decent run after many years of embarrassing early exits. Unlike his shaky start the other night, Evgeni Nabokov made saved 33 pucks on 34 shots for the win. He didn’t look so hot at first when he gave up the early goal to Detroit on 7 shots, but he pulled through in the end. Johan Franzen of the Wings didn’t make as big of a splash as the previous game, but he did contribute an assist for the night. Meanwhile Jimmy Howard also put up a good performance in net for the Wings with 30 saves. Now that the Red Wings are gone, the Sharks can now sit back and relax while they wait for the winner of the Chicago/Vancouver series.
San Jose wins the series 4-1

Three Stars of the Night:
1. Joe Thornton (San Jose) – 1 goal, 1 assist
2. Marc-Andre Fleury – 32 saves
3. Patrick Marleau – 1 goal

Sunday’s Schedule:
Vancouver at Chicago – CHI leads 3-1 (TV: CBC, Versus)

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