Noteworthy is a feature blatantly ripped off from Trey Kerby and The Basketball Jones crew that catches you up on everything you need to know from the night before in the NHL.
Lets get to the games.
Capitals/Rangers, Washington won 3-2
Mad min(utes): Nobody’s exactly sure what Dale Hunter is up to when it comes to doling out ice time, but man: Alexander Ovechkin played 13:36 last night, more than only a handful of his teammates (he racked up seven shots, had a big hit and scored the winning goal over those minutes, which is impressive). Maybe Hunter is trying too hard to win the battle of line matchups? Maybe he’s just not a very good coach?
Mad min(utes), part deux: Remember what I just said about the ice time thing? Jay Beagle got the most of any Capital, logging a couple seconds shy of 20 minutes. Beagle is a serviceable NHLer (more on him later today), but when he plays more than Backstrom (16:18) and Semin (12:27!), ur doin it rong. Hunter will be fine today because winning heals everything, but once they start losing, it ain’t gonna go over so well.
Road warriors: Four of the Capitals five playoff wins have come on the road (they’re 1-2 at home).
Getting better: The Rangers had 14 shots in game one (in a win, which is crazy), and doubled their total in game two to 28. If that doubling trend continues, and I assume it will, they’ll take 896 in Game 7.
Bangin’ bodies: Ryan Callahan, Chris Kreider and Brian Boyle were out to hurt last night: they had 21 of the 45 Rangers hits. Not bad production from 1/6th of your lineup.
Moving pictures: Here’s what it looked like – check out the Ovechkin celly, giving the fans in the Garden the “Hmm, you’re awfully quiet all the sudden” hand to the ear:
Kings/Blues, Kings won 5-2
Series: 2-0 Kings
Beast mode: Anze Kopitar it goin’ yesterday – two snipes, plus three, a couple shots, a takeaway, almost 23 minutes of ice time and a winning faceoff percentage. But most impressive of all? This shorthanded goal:
Hot start: The Kings went into St. Louis to play the stingiest defensive team in the League (they averaged giving up under two goals a game in the regular season), and poured four goals in on Brian Elliot (the League’s best statistical goalie this season) in the first period. Oh, and speaking of road warriors: That makes LA 5-0 on the road in the postseason – the last team to do that was the Lightning in 2004, who as you know, won the Cup.
Missed opportunities: The refs apparently tried to help the Blues make it interesting, giving them nine powerplays, but they capitalized on not-a-one. Kings weren’t exactly on fire on the PP either – the two teams combined were 0 for 15 in the game.
Bangin’ bodies: TJ Oshie absolutely destroyed Dustin Penner last night:
He had to step up and fight Mike Richards immediately after. I know fighting after a clean hit seems silly, but I still like Richards going after him there. “You don’t take runs at our guys.”
Captain America: Dustin Brown, when he’s on, is not a fun man to play. I think the Blues would agree, seeing as how he hung this monster line on them last night: three assists, plus three, six hits, a blocked shot, a takeaway and 14 PIMS.
Score effects: When you get up and take your foot off the gas, the ice tends to tilt in the wrong direction. After getting 16 shots in the first period, the Kings combined to get five more over the next two periods.
Moving pictures: And this, my friends, is what it looked like: