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The two central division teams got off to a good start for both teams with a stalemate in the first. Chicago needing the win over Detroit to stay alive with playoff hopes it should come as no surprise that they scored first.
Just over five minutes into the second Michael Frolik put the Blackhawks on the scoreboard and the hometown crowd went nuts.
It was then Detroit who played spoiler as Tomas Holmstrom netted a slap shot goal from outside his normal office of being camped in front of the goaltender. Taking only 62 seconds after the Holmstrom goal it was Pavel Datsyuk with a one gloved – wrist shot to put the Red Wings up over the Blackhawks.
The third period was dire for the Blackhawks and it became even more dire as less than two minutes into the period the Red Wings went up 3-1 with a goal from Drew Miller.
Brent Seabrook scored his ninth of the season with a slap shot to bring Chicago within one of Detroit.
In a match of tit-for-tat Danny Cleary would put a wrist shot past Corey Crawford to regain the two goal lead for the Red Wings before Duncan Keith would go backhand on Red Wings Jimmy Howard; whom stopped 33 of the 26 shots the Blackhawks threw at him.
The Devils took an early lead as Patrik Elias scored his 21st of the season within the first two minutes of play. It would be a wrist shot from Bruins Rich Peverley halfway through the period that kept the game a tie game until the four minute mark into the third period.
It was Devils Vladmir Zharkov with his second of the season to regain the lead for the Devils as he put a wrist shot past Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask. Just over five minutes later Alexander Urboom would score his first of the season on a wrap-around to give the Devils the 3-1 lead.
With four seconds left in the game Boston’s Chris Kelly would tip-in a shot from Dennis Seidenberg to make it a one goal game.
Penalties were a factor for both teams as the Thrashers took the early lead just over four minutes into the game with a power play goal form Andrew Ladd after Penguins Eric Godard was called for hooking (3:28) and Maxime Talbot for slashing (3:39).
Thrashers would hold the lead until the second period when Blake Wheeler would be called for boarding giving the Penguins the power play. It was Tyler Kennedy with a snap shot past Chris Mason to tie the game.
Halfway though the period Pascal Dupuis would tip-in a shot from Talbot for the go ahead goal – and they wouldn’t look back.
The Thrashers Tim Stapleton would score on the power play to bring Atlanta within two of Pittsburgh only to have Mike Comrie score his first of the season on an empty net with less than a minute and a half left in the game.
It was Teemu Hartikainen with his third of the season for the Edmonton on the power play after Colorado’s Mark Olver took a penalty for interference just 25 seconds into the game.
Ryan O’Reily would tie the game for Colorado while Philippe Dupuis would give the Avalanche the lead less than a minute later.
The Oilers would take control of the game in the second as Kurtis Foster would put a slap shot past Peter Budaj to tie the game. Edmonton’s Liam Reddox would score his first of the season to put the Oilers ahead of the Avalanche. Before a fight would break out between Edmonton’s Theo Peckham and Colorado’s Ryan Wilson.
Peckham would also be assessed a two minute elbowing penalty that would carry over into the third period and set up Milian Hejduk for a game tying goal that would eventually force the game into overtime.
It would be a tripping penalty in overtime to Oilers Reddox for tripping that would lead to David Jones scoring on the power play for the Avalanche.
And with the last game of the NHL 2010-11 regular season the Dallas Stars needed a win in regulation (or overtime) and they would take the 8th place in the Western Conference over last years champion Chicago Blackhawks.
Dallas Stars 3 Minnesota Wild 5
The Minnesota Wild may have only put 23 shots on goal but it was enough to defeat the Stars and keep Dallas from extending their season.
The Wild took the lead early as Brad Staubitz scored his fourth of the season with a backhand past Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen.
Brad Richards would tie the game with his 28th of the season while Brenden Morrow would tip-in a shot from Loui Eriksson for the Stars go ahead goal sending the game into intermission with the Stars leading 2-1.
It would be a penalty to Stars Brandon Segal early in the second that would lead to a Wild power play goal from Jared Spurgeon to tie the game. Minnesota’s Colton Gillies would score his first of the season minutes later for the Minnesota lead.
Gillies would then take a two minute penalty for interfering with the goaltender and then teammate Greg Zanon would get an automatic penalty for putting the puck over the glass which would lead to a power play goal from Alex Goligoski to tie the game at three heading into the second intermission.
The third period would see Antti Miettinen put the Wild up by one early; but it would be Pierre-Marc Bouchard with a slap shot with 13 seconds left in the game at the empty Stars net that would end the season for Dallas.
Up into the Netting
The Sporting News Craig Custance takes a look at why he thinks the Washington Capitals will beat the New York Rangers.
Could the Detroit Red Wings be without Henrik Zetterberg for at least the first two games of the playoffs?
California Dreaming: Sharks, Ducks, and Kings all headed to the playoffs.
Anaheim Ducks Teemu Selanne received his first fighting major of his career at age 40 the other night.
According to the Official Jokerit page on Facebook the NHL is heading back to Finland this fall and Jokerit will face off against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday October 4th. The Ducks will play the Buffalo Sabres at Hartwall Areena in Helsinki.
Leaves one wondering – Will Selanne return for one more NHL season to head home to play Jokerit?