Penguins pot five for a 2-1 series lead
Another exciting playoff day, as the first game kicked off at 3:00 p.m. over in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center. With the series tied a one apiece, and the Flyers returning home for two games. Flyers fan certainly had their hopes up, and confidence glaring! Well, they slowly found themselves behind early and what turned into a repeat of game one. Sidney Crosby scored his 4th goal of the playoffs, off yet another beautiful play by superstar to give Pittsburgh an early 1-0 lead. The Penguins would go onto score three in the second, which eventually sealed the deal. The story out of this game is yet another five-goal performance from Brian Elliott, he seems to be the guy in Philadelphia right now but now dropping one in Philly, and allowing 13 goals in three games, someone has to be thinking Petr Mrazek time? I guess we’ll hear more on this later today and or tomorrow. Another big takeaway from this game is that the Flyers failed to convert on six power play chances as the Penguins converted on 3 of their 7 chances. Power plays have played a big role in this series and have been one of the reasons the Flyers have dropped two. The Penguins are doing what they are expected to do and that is to capitalize on the chances they get. Game four will be played Wednesday night, a two-day rest for both teams could be helpful for not only the home team as well.
Wild find offense, cut the series lead to one
Jets travel situation was quite evident here. Due to Minnesota dealing with a major snowstorm the Jets were forced back to Winnipeg Saturday night and scheduled to leave Sunday morning. After arriving on the day of the game, tired legs and jet lag may have been an issue for Winnipeg here. As Minnesota scored six goals, and never trailed the game at any point. Minnesota never lost the lead after Zach Praise scored his third playoff goal on the power play. Chipping in for the Wild also was Matt Dumba(finally some defensive production), Eric Staal buries his first and Jordan Greenway, the rookie out of Boston University scores his first playoff goal of his career. The Wild understood how desperate they needed to play and that if they lost game three it could be a do or die situation early in the series. Minnesota going 2/3 on the power play also played a major role in their success as the two previous games they scored one power play goal of their five chances. Another big note is that the Wild held the Jets to less than 40 shots, which is great as they did also throw on net more than 20 shots themselves. The Jets were clearly battling a tough travel day. Would not expect this team to come out like this again for game four Tuesday night.
Columbus with another OT thriller. Heading back to Columbus up two
Columbus does it AGAIN! They take two in Washington both in overtime and now head back to the Nation Wide Arena, where they hope to have their fifth line with them causing havoc for the Capitals. The Blue Jackets have been a relentless team all series, after being down in this game 3-1 and rallying back to take a 4-3 lead in the third, goes to show how different this team is playing. The Blue Jackets did let up a late third-period goal on the power play, off the stick of TJ Oshie in the high slot, a one-time rip past a flustered Sergei Bobrovsky. The game would need extra time again, and 12 minutes into overtime, the hero of the game Matt Calvert buries the game-winner off a beautiful play by Zach Werenski. Calvert found himself on the inside of Karl Alzner which allowed him to get some separation, for a one-handed tap-in goal. The play did get reviewed but the call remained and the Blue Jackets have done the unthinkable, taking two in Washington, with the chance to knock off the division leaders in two games. Power plays were the story of this game as the Capitals had 7 chances(converting on three) and the Blue Jackets had 4 chances(converting on two). Alex Ovechkin was able to slot two home for his first two of the playoffs but the story in Washington is John Carlson tallying already six assists in two games. Not to mention he played 30 minutes Sunday night and 28:36 minutes Thursday night (game one). Capitals are in some hot water right now, they are moments away from fully hitting the panic button and someone freaking out in that locker room.
Vegas takes a 3-0 series lead!
Vegas continues to surprise! Taking two in Vegas, not much of a surprise but still first-ever franchise team, first playoff run, taking two against these veterans on L.A. is amazing. Now they take one in L.A. and lead the series 3-0, with still two games left in Vegas. The Kings have really struggled to put the puck in the net lately, despite throwing on 25 shots plus per game and 39 in Sunday’s game, they only managed to score twice. They also have not been able to convert on their power play chances as they went 0/5 Sunday and 1/6 the first two games. Yet again though Marc Andre Fleury continues to impress fans all season, now outperforming Jonathan Quick for three games and posting 0.84 goals against through three games. The stroy for L.A. is really lack of offensive production and getting off to quick starts. The Kings have Kopitar leading the team with two points and have not scored more than two goals this whole series. With a chance of being eliminated Tuesday night, this should make for one of the best first-round games.