In yesterday’s action, we see the start of the fourth semifinal series and the first game two of the second round.
Boston vs. Philadelphia- For the Flyers, some things stay the same in the playoffs. The Flyers once again had to make a goalie change as the Bruins scored five goals in the first two periods as they routed the host Flyers 7-3. Brian Boucher started the game, but allowed five goals in 36:37 of action before being replaced by Sergei Bobrovsky late in the second period. The fifth goal from the Bruins was scored by Brad Marchand when he scord on the third swipe of the puck started when Patrice Bergeron fired a shot on goal from the point. The goal was Marchand’s first of two and the it was also Bergeron’s second of three assists in the contest. The second period was dominated by the Bruins as they outscored the Flyers 3-1. Before then however, it was a 2-1 score after the first period. Boston didn’t need much time to light the lamp 1:52 into the contest when he backhanded a rebound past Boucher.
Philadelphia’s offense was led by Claude Giroux with two assists. They got goals from Danny Brierre, James van Riemsdyk and Mike Richards. The goal by Richards at 13:02 of the third period was the only special teams goal of the contest. The goal cut the deficit to 5-3 before Boston scored twice in the next 4:37. Philadelphia, coming off one of its’ best games in game seven against Buffalo, played one of their worse games against Boston. They can quickly let the series get away from them if they play this way tomorrow night in game two. Who will the goaltending roulette land on Monday night? It is unclear but after making 18 saves on 23 shots Sautrday, Boucher said he hopes to get the start.
Nashville vs. Vancouver- The most exciting game of the playoffs set two playoff standards. It was the longest game of the 2011 playoffs, and it was the longest game in the short history of the Nashville Predators. The Predators can look back at this game as a positive one as they defeated the Canucks 2-1 in double overtime. The two finalists for the Vezina Award as best goaltender went head-to-head as Pekka Renne made 32 saves on 33 shots while Roberto Lulongo made 44 saves on 46 shots.
Prior to Ryan Suter scoring with 1:07 left in the game, Lulongo had a shutout streak of 126 minutes, stretching over three games dating back to Jonathan Toews tying game seven with 1:56 left. He had a shoutout in game one. The teams finished the first period 0-0 for the sixth time this season. The only goal Vancouver scored came from Alexandre Burrows when he and Ryan Kesler created a turnover at the Nashville blue line and scored a shorthanded goal past Renne at 2:00 into the middle period. Suter’s goal came late in the same as Renne was going to the bench for an extra attacker. The puck was dumped into the zone and he was able to bank the puck off Lulongo behind the goal line and into the net.
The game winning goal was scored at 14:51 into the second overtime when Matt Halischuk scored his second playoff goal when he fired a wrist shot just under the crossbar and past the glove of Lulongo. The teams will head to the Music City even at 1-1, and the Predators have the confidence they can beat the President’s Trophy winners. Game three will take place at Bridgestone Arena