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2011 NHL Playoff Coverage
It was a good night to be Tyler Ennis last night as the young Sabres left wing would start the game with a goal just minutes after opening face off.
Just over a minute after Ennis put the Sabres on the scoreboard first teammate Thomas Vanek would out one past Brian Boucher himself to double the lead with less the four minutes ticked off the game clock.
Nearing the fourteen minute mark in the period it would be Sabres Chris Butler and Flyers captain Mike Richards with off setting minors for roughing and slashing respectively that would make it 4-on-4 and hurt the Flyers even more so when just over a minute into the penalties Flyers Danny Briere would take a goalie interference call and join Richards in the penalty box.
With the Flyers being down an extra skater it would set up Sabres Marc-Andre Gragnani for his first of the post season as he put a wrist shot past Boucher; at which point Boucher would be replaced in net with Michael Leighton.
The second period would see two Buffalo penalties come and go before the Flyers James van Riemsdyk managed to go back hand on put the puck past Ryan Miller; just over a minute later Andrej Meszaros would put the puck past Miller for his first of the post season to cut the Sabres lead to 3-2.
With the game now within a goal it would me Danny Briere just over three and a half minutes into the third with a backhanded shot past Miller to tie the game. Briere would then almost immediately take a penalty for interference but the Sabres were unable to capitalize and regain the lead.
The game went into overtime where the young Ennis would book end the game with a wrist shot past Leighton to see the Sabres take the series lead 3-2 as the teams head back to Buffalo for game six.
The Ducks fall to the Predators without Jarkko Ruutu while the Predators rally despite being without Martin Erat.
It would take over eight minutes of play before the first goal was scored as Kevin Klein would tip-in a shot from Jordin Tootoo to see Nashville take the lead in Anaheim.
The second period would see Nashville fail to increase their lead on two early power play chances. The first (and only) goal of the period would come from the Ducks Jason Blake with a tipped-in goal from Saku Koivu on the power play after Predators Shane O’Brien was called for tripping.
Third period would open with a / goal of the year performance from Bobby Ryan after a mere 40 seconds had ticked off the clock to make it a 2-1 lead for the home team as he put the beauty of a shot past Pekka Rinne.
Predators Joel Ward would net a slap shot to tie the game up at two just over the halfway point in the period.
Blake would score his second of the game, this time from Teemu Sleanne and Koivu, to give the Ducks a 3-2 lead over the Predators with just over five minutes remaining in the game.
Nashville’s captain Shea Weber would come through in the final minute of play with a slap shot that would go past Ray Emery to force the game into overtime.
With the carry over momentum from the Weber goal it would take less than two minutes into overtime for Predators Jarred Smithson to put a wrist shot past Emery to claim the game and the series lead.
Up into the Netting
Monday the NHL will announce the three finalist for the James Norris Memorial Trophy awarded to the leagues tip defenseman.
New York Daily News Rangers writer Jesse Spector is reporting that Rangers Mats Zuccarello whom was sent down to play with the AHL Connecticut Whale for the playoffs has broken his hand.
Speaking of the Rangers… they have a new take on the Verizon slogan “Can you hear me now” – fitting as they head to the Verizon Center in DC tonight for game five.
Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference has been slapped with a $2,500 fine after giving an unintentional finger after his goal Thursday night. You be the judge:
There may not be any major news about the future of the Phoenix Coyotes but they are still making impacts on the hockey world as prospect Oliver Ekman-Larsson will play for Tre Kronor (Sweden) in the IIHF World Championship and announced that they signed forward Brett Hextall to an entry-level contract.
NHL Commisioner Garry Bettman says that the league will not be involved in the meeting in Glendale – is the end of hockey in the desert drawing near?
According to the Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom became the oldest player (40 years, 347 days) to appear in every game of an 82-game NHL schedule.
Today’s NHL Playoff Lineup
Tampa Bay Lighting at Pittsburgh Penguins
Game 5; Penguins lead series 3-1
Noon EST on CBC and Versus
Montreal Canadiens at Boston Bruins
Game 5; Series tied 2-2
7:00 p.m. EST on RDS, Versus, CBC