From Abdelakder to Zuccarello – 19 April 2011

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2011 NHL Playoff Coverage

Philadelphia Flyers 4 Buffalo Sabres 2 (Game 3; Flyers lead series 2-1)

With Brian Boucher in net it was Michael Leighton backing him up on the bench while Sergei Bobrovsky sat for the night for the Flyers. In another surprising line up change the Sabres put in Jordan Leopold.

37 shots on goal were not enough for the Sabres to overtake the Flyers as Boucher stopped 35 of them for a 0.946 save percentage and third star of the game honors.

It didn’t take long for the Flyers to get into the game in Buffalo as Jeff Carter netted a power play goal less than five minutes into the game after Sabres Patrick Kaleta was called for roughing.

The Sabres came back with a power play goal of their own as Drew Stafford put a wrist shot past Boucher just over halfway though the period after Braydon Coburn took a interference penalty.

Danny Briere would break the tie and put the Flyers up 2-1 early in the second after putting a snap shot past Ryan Miller:

With the Flyers leading it would be coincidental roughing penalties to Scott Hartnell and Sabres Mike Weber before Nikolay Zherdev would tip-in a shot from Mike Richards to make it 3-1 Philadelphia in Buffalo.

Less than two minutes remained on the clock for the second period when Nathan Gerbe brought the game with in a goal for home team before heading off to the second intermission.

The third period would see the Flyers hit with four penalties from holding and slashing to cross checking while the Sabres took two of their own including a cross checking to Kris Versteeg that coincided with Buffalo Tyler Ennis cross checking penalty shortly after an empty net goal from Philadelphia defenseman Kimmo Timonen in the final seconds of the game.

Boston Bruins 4 Montreal Canadiens 2 (Game 3; Canadiens lead series 2-1)

Looking to not go down 3-0 in the series to the Canadiens the Bruins came out pumped up. Maybe a little too excited as just over a minute they were called for having too many men on the ice.

Seconds after the penalty expired, David Krejci would give Boston the early lead in Montreal as he would put one past Carey Price. It would then be Nathan Horton with a wrist shot from Zdeno Chara to make it 2-0.

With four seconds left in the first Boston’s Andrew Ference and Montreal’s Benoit Pouliot would drop the gloves.

The second period would see Rich Peverley put the Bruins up 3-0 on Canadiens before Andrei Kostitsyn would go backhand on Tim Thomas and but the home team on the score board.

With the momentum carried into the final period Montreal would score once more. It was early in the third when Tomas Plekanec would bring the score within one of Boston. Within a minute of the goal teammate Andrei Kostitsyn would take a penalty for slashing.

The Canadiens killed of the untimely penalty and continued to try to even the score force an overtime to try and leave the Bruins behind in the series. Montreal would pull Price from net for the extra attacker but see Boston’s Chris Kelly score on the empty net with just over 30 seconds left to play.

Pittsburgh Penguins 3 Tampa Bay Lightning 2 (Game 3; Penguins lead series 2-1)

Penguins take the first playoff game in Tampa for years.

It would be Maxime Talbot with an early goal in the first to give the visiting Penguins momentum in Tampa Bay. Less than a minute after Talbot put the Penguins on the scoreboard first it would be Arron Asham that would make it 2-0 for Pittsburgh.

Martin St. Louis would go back hand on Fleury to net a power play goal, after Alex Kovalev was called for goaltender interference, to bring the Lightning within one of the Penguins before the first twenty minutes of play had concluded.

Penalty calls would be an issue for Pittsburgh as Paul Martin would be called for interference in the third that would lead to a second power play goal by St. Louis. The tie game would last just over thirty seconds as Tyler Kennedy would give the Penguins the lead over the Lighting in the game; and series.

Detroit Red Wings 4 Phoenix Coyotes 2 (Game 3; Red Wings lead series 3-0)

An object in motion will not change unless acted upon by an opposing force….

… and the Winged Wheel just keeps on turning even though the Coyotes have tried to stop it.

Scoring early and scoring often would be the way of the Red Wings last night as it would take less than two minutes for Red Wings veteran blue liner Ruslan Salei to put a slap shot past Coyotes net minder Ilya Bryzgalov.

Less than a minute after the Salei goal it would be Drew Miller with a tip-in goal off of a shot from Niklas Kronwall to make it 2-0 Detroit in Phoenix.

Minutes later Red Wings Patrick Eaves would get called for roughing as Coyotes Adrian Aucoin would be sent the penalty box for interference.

The teams would break for the first intermission and come back to another early goal by the Red Wings. It was only 2:50 into the second period when Valtteri Filppula would put in a wrist shot (assisted by Jiri Hudler) and make it 3-0 Detroit.

Oh how those big wheels keep on turning…

Midway though the period it would be Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader called for hooking that would set up David Schlemko for a power play goal to put Phoenix on the scoreboard.

Stubborn as a Mule it would be Johan Franzen living up to his nickname with his face stitched back together after a fall into the boards in game two back in Detroit that would put the Red Wings up 4-1 over the Coyotes just 45 seconds into the third period.

It would be penalty problems for Detroit that would lead to the second goal for Phoenix as Ryan Whitney would tip-in a shot from Radim Vrbata after Tomas Holmstrom was called for slashing.

For good measure here is the video for the last game the Winnipeg Jets played in Winnipeg – it just happened to be against the Red Wings. Is it possible that the last game in Phoenix will also come against Detroit?

Up into the Netting

Often a joke for being the oldest or one of the oldest teams in the league the Red Wings believe that their age is a reason they are perennial contenders.

“It is a great opportunity to offer the passionate hockey fans in Finland a game from the best league in the World. It is good for the people involved in every aspect of our Club to see how the NHL teams operate.” – Jarmo Kekalainen Jokerit (SM-liiga) General Manager on hosting the 2011 NHL Premiere.

Ville Peltonen (1993 San Jose Sharks draft pick who also played for the Predators and Panthers) scored a hat trick at Helsinki IFK (HIFK) completed their sweep over the Espoo Blues in the SM-liiga (Finland) final yesterday 4-2.

Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu started his military service earlier today in Finland. Koivu was supposed to begin his service a year ago, but was injured and had to postpone it. Finnish males must serve a least six months of service; and Koivu will spread his six months out over this summer and next summer doing three months each. – a big thanks goes out to Juha Hiitelä and Jani Mesikämmen
for the information. Kiitos Juha ja Jani.

Too Many Men on the Site takes a look at Gary Bettman’s worst nightmare: An all Canadian Stanley Cup Final.

The Calgary Flames announced that they will not be using the contract extension options for assistant coaches Rob Cookson and Jamie McLennan.

New York Rangers send Mats Zuccarello back to the Connecticut Whale (AHL)

The Penguins take the series lead but will Chris Kunitz be suspended? There is a supplementary discipline hearing scheduled for today for Kunitz along with Lightning’s Downie.

Kunitz elbow on Simon Gagne:

Today kicks off the NHL award finalist announcements as the three finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy awarded to the top rookie in the league will be released.

According to Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski the NHL has announced conference call with Gary Bettman and Dick Ebersol of NBC for 1 p.m. “Major Announcement.”

Today’s NHL Playoff Lineup
Vancouver Canucks at Chicago Blackhawks Game 4 (Vancouver leads 3-0)
8:00 p.m. EST on CBC (HD) and Versus

San Jose Sharks at Los Angeles Kings Game 3 (Series tied 1-1)
10:30 p.m. EST on TSN and Versus