The Rangers, Bruins and St. Louis Blues all eked out one goal wins on the road yesterday to move ahead 2-1 in their respective series. Let’s take a look at the noteworthy stories and players from each game.
#2 St. Louis vs. #7 San Jose
The big story: As we all know by now, playoffs are a tough, physical grind. You’re going to take a few penalties. If you are unable to kill said penalties, you’re gonna need to start cleaning the grooves of your Pings. The Blues scored three powerplay goals last night, which means over 50% of their offense in this series has been with the man-advantage (5 of 9 goals). San Jose might wanna look into that issue.
Leafs fans, skip this: How about Carlo Colaiacovo’s game? Three apples, a plus, a shot, five blocked shots, a couple PIMs and over 20 minutes of ice time. Well done, sir.
You forgot the kitchen sink: Patrik Berglund had a good night too – one and one for two, a couple shots and a couple blocks – but Jiminy Cricket was he bad in the faceoff circle: 5 of 19 (26%).
While we’re talking numbers: This is the most Tommy Wingels line Tommy Wingels has ever Wingeled - zero points, zero shots, eight hits in 11:40 of ice time.
#2 Boston vs. #7 Washington
You can’t do that on television: Nicklas Backstrom got a match penalty for cross-checking another human being in the face after the game ended, which totally makes sense and was a great idea and what a moron. Still, I don’t think he should be suspended for it – for more on the play, here’s Daniel Wagner. (Claude Julien’s take: “The only thing that’s disappointing for me personally is that this is the third time in three games our player has been cross-checked in the face.”)
Notable quotables: Milan Lucic busted out a pretty solid line on Karl Alzer giving him the cry-baby eye-rub routine on the ice: “It’s a rich gesture coming from a guy who I think has two roughing penalties in three years.” I would be petrified to line up for a faceoff next game if I were Alzner and Lucic were on the ice. This will be Lucic:
Climbing: Alexander Ovechkin moved into second all-time on the Capitals playoff goal-scoring list with 26. He’s now just four back of the great Peter Bondra, who had 30. Man, Bondra used to rule in video game form when I was growing up.
This would get annoying: “Annoying” may be the wrong word, “painful” better - the Bruins threw 58 hits last night (Caps 36). For those of you unfamiliar with hit numbers, that’s a lot.
Leadership: You’re on the Bruins. It’s a big game three, and you’re going to play on the road against a team that could very well upset your squad. Your captain’s stats from the blueline: one goal, two assists, three shots, two blocks, two PIMs, seven hits, 26:29 of ice time. When someone says to you “Erik Karlsson should win the Norris,” you’re appalled, right? What a game by Zdeno Chara.
#1 New York vs. #8 Ottawa
Won’t be his last: Henrik Lundqvist was a rock for the Rangers last night – his 39 saves earned him his fourth career shutout, and upped his handsomeness stats by .01.
Might be his last: Okay probably not, but for a guy who scored 11 goals during the entirety of the NHL’s regular season, Brian Boyle’s three game goal-scoring streak seems crazy improbable. The Rangers want him to keep that part of his game going, but would appreciate if he’d clean it up in the faceoff circle – he was 5 for 16 (31.3%) last night.
Major step: Nine days ago Chris Kreider was playing for Boston College in the Frozen Four. Last night he played 11:11 of a Stanley Cup Playoff game with the New York Rangers, calling it “The most exhausting 12 minutes of my life.”
Century mark: Chris Phillips played in his 100th career playoff game last night. Going out on a limb here, but I’m gonna guess the Ottawa Senators have played roughly 100 playoff games in the past 15 years.
Black aces: Ah, playoffs: no salaries, so no salary caps, so unlimited call-ups. The Sens had thirteen players scratched last night. You know, just in case.
At least he missed once: Zenon Konopka’s line: 0 goals, 0 assists, even, 0 SOG, 1 miss, 0 blocks, 0 PIM, 0 hits, 0 takeaways, 0 giveaways, 11:21 ice-time. Thanks for coming out.
For those of you are better visual learners, here’s what yesterday’s action looked like in moving picture form:
Now, is Flyers/Pens on yet?