Two teams are in trouble being down 2-0, while two others split the first two games.
Detroit vs. Phoenix-After the Octopus-gate fiasco of game one, game two featured a lot of spectacular and exciting plays as the Red Wings posted a 4-3 victory heading into tomorrow night’s game three in Phoenix. There was controversy early in the game as Shane Doan leveled Johan Franzen into the boards. Franzen underwent preliminary concussion tests, but returned to the game wearing bandages across his face and his nostril stuffed with gauze.
The Red Wings looked more like the Harlem Globtrotters in the first period as they scored three goals in the first 20 minutes. Even broadcast announcer Doc Emrick compared the Coyotes to the Washington Generals. The third goal was a spectacular assist by Pavel Datsyuk in which he fired a shot on Illya Bryzgalov through his legs. He did so because he was being covered on his left-side shooting forehand and Bryzgalov had the backhand covered. It turned into a goal as Darren Helm was able to score on the rebound. The Coyotes took advantage of several Detroit penalties over the final two periods as all three of their goals occurred via Power Play. Datsyuk recorded four points in the game, as he scored one goal in addition to three assists. The two teams combined for five goals with the extra-player advantage.
Buffalo vs. Philadelphia-The first period was nothing short of providing fireworks as both teams combined for six goals in a nine minute span. After the first period both teams were tied at three. The Flyers took the game into their own hands as they were able to score twice in under two minutes in the late stages of the second period to take a 5-3 lead after 40 minutes. The Sabres were able to tally on one more to fall to the Flyers 5-4. The series is tied 1-1 going back to Buffalo.
The Flyers need to have goalie Sergei Bobrovsky tighten up his goaltending as there were some questionable, soft goals allowed Saturday night, case in point Buffalo’s third goal by Amdrej Sekera. Bobrovsky was goal in the butterfly even before Sekera shot the puck, which left the top side of the net exposed. Brian Boucher relieved Bobrovsky after the goal. Look for Boucher to potentially start game three, and depending on what happens, remaining games in the series.
San Jose vs. Los Angeles– Datsyuk wasn’t the only player who had a four-point night Satuday. Kings defenseman Drew Doughty isn’t a player flying under the radar, he was a Norris Trophy finalist in just his second season in 2010 and is starting to rise up to the level of one of the best players on the blue line in the league. Doughty had four points in a surprising 4-0 shutout victory for the Kings over the Sharks at HP Pavilion. The series is tied 1-1 heading to Staples Center for game three Thursday night.
In game two, the Sharks took several undisciplined penalties, perhaps in retaliation for Jarret Stoll’s hit on Ian White. But the fact of the matter is that the league took care of the situation by suspending Stoll for last night’s game. If San Jose wants to win this series, they have to stay out of the penalty box and play the puck possession game they are known for playing. They also have to find a way to get more rebounds off Jonathan Quick as Quick did a fantastic job of playing shots away from the Sharks.
Montreal vs. Boston- Can we say panic in Beantown? It’s bad enough when you lose the first two games at home in a series, but it’s even worse losing the first two games of a series to your rival as you head to their barn for games three and four. The statistics of them advancing past the Canadiens doesn’t bode in their favor as they are 0-26 in franchise history when losing the first two games of a series. Despite being hospitalized Friday night with dehydration, Zdeno Chara took part in warmups but was a last minute scratch. It probably took the Bruins a few minutes to adjust to playing without their best player, but by then it was already too late.
The Habs took advantage and silenced the Boston crowd as they scored twice in the first 2:20 and won the game 3-1. Carey Price made 34 saves in the winning effort, and Tim Thomas made 23 saves. Concidentially, April 16 is the anniversary of Montreal’s victories over Boston to win both the 1953 and ’57 Stanley Cup titles.