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2011 NHL Playoff Coverage
Detroit Red Wings 4 Phoenix Coyotes 2
The round one rematch between the Western Conference perennial contender Red Wings and the fighting to stay alive in the desert Coyotes kicked off the NHL post season last night in Detroit and saw the hometown fall to a Coyotes early lead.
It was early in the first when Phoenix’s Kyle Turris scored the first goal of the NHL Playoffs with a snapshot past Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard. It would be only one of two shots that would get past the net minder on the 28 he faced.
It would take nearly halfway though the game before Detroit would answer back and tie the game.
Pavel Datsyuk snuck in a wrap-around goal past Ilya Bryzgalov to set Hockeytown ablaze.
Minutes later one of the most hated players currently playing in the NHL, Todd Bertuzzi, had a quick fight with Coyotes Rostislav Klesla and Joe Louis Arena erupted into chants of “Todd-Bert-Uz-Zi”
Johan Franzen would come alive once again for the playoffs and give the Red Wings the go ahead goal just over halfway though the game. The Joe immediately started chanting “Jo-Han-Fran-Zen” and would continue to chant each Detroit players name after a goal for the remainder of the game.
In the final minut4es of the period Coyotes Ed Jovanovski was called for hooking and Red Wings veteran blue liner Brian Rafalski would put Detroit up 3-1 heading into the second intermission.
The third period would see Jiri Hudler remind Hockeytown, Phoenix and the rest of the hockey world why Detroit wanted him back from the KHL as he made it 4-1 Red Wings just over three minutes into the final period.
Radim Vrbata would put one past Howard nearing the midway point in the period but it would not be enough to spark a comeback in Detroit.
New York Rangers 1 Washington Capitals 2 (OT)
A rematch from the 2009 first round when the Capitals knocked the Rangers out of the playoffs the Rangers were looking to avenge themselves in Washington and almost did when Matt Gilroy netted the first goal of the game – it only took until 1:56 into the third period.
The Capitals would not surrender to the Rangers. It was Alex Ovechkin with a wrist shot off of a feed from Alexander Semin that would see the Capitals tie the game and force game one into over time.
It would be Semin with a slap shot in the final minutes of overtime that would put the Capitals ahead in the series 1-0.
Tampa Bay Lightning 0 Pittsburgh Penguins 3
Another game that did not see any scoring until the third period it was Pittsburgh’s Alex Kovalev with the first goal of the game that gave the Penguins the momentum to push though the Lightning’s defense for the remainder of the game.
It would be less than 20 seconds after the Kovalev goal that Arron Asham would double the Penguins lead while Chris Kunitz netted an empty netter in the final minute of play.
Chicago Blackhawks 0 Vancouver Canucks 2
The stage is set. The Blackhawks and the Canucks once again have found themselves going head to head in the Stanley Cup playoffs – will this time be different? Will the Canucks finally out the Blackhawks? Or will history repeat itself?
With rookie Corey Crawford in net for Chicago it was Vancouver who managed to get on the score board first. Chris Higgins tipped-in a shot from Kevin Bieksa for the quick lead over the defending Stanley Cup Champs.
Minutes after the Higgins goal it would be Jannik Hansen with a wrist show from Mikael Samuelsson to give the Cancuks the 2-0 lead that they would ride out for the remainder of the game take the early lead in the series over Chicago.
Nashville Predators 4 Anaheim Ducks 1
In a late night start out in California as the Ducks fell prey to the Predators.
It took less than five minutes before Nashville’s Shea Weber put a slap shot past Dan Ellis on the power play after Anaheim’s Matt Beleskey took a penalty for cross checking.
Steve Sullivan tipped-in a shot from Cody Franson to make it 2-0 for the Predators over the Ducks just over halfway though the game. It would be Mike Fisher who would make it 3-0 before heading into the second intermission.
The third period started with another goal from Fisher before the game got physical. Little over seven minute onto the period Ducks Winchester was called for roughing, before that penalty expired Luca Sbisa was called for slashing as the same time as Predators Blake Geoffrion was assessed a cross checking penalty.
Twenty seconds after the Sbisa and Geoffrion penalties Predators David Legwand was called for hooking.
At 10:28 in the third Predators Kevin Klein was given two two-minute roughing calls (one of which was sat by Steve Sullivan), while Ducks Corey Perry was giving a slashing penalty.
In the final minute Anaheim’s George Parros and Jarkko Ruutu were both given a misconduct and at the end of the game Sheldon Brookbank was given a misconduct and roughing.
Tonight’s NHL Playoff Action:
Montreal Canadiens at Boston Bruins
7:00 p.m. EST on CBC (HD), RDS, VERSUS
Buffalo Sabres at Philadelphia Flyers
7:30 p.m. EST on TSN and VERSUS (join in progress)
Los Angeles Kings at San Jose Sharks
10:00 p.m. EST on TSN and VERSUS