Four games total were played this weekend.  Three games ones and one game two.  The Washington Capitals took on the New York Rangers and the St. Louis Blues took on the Los Angeles Kings.  Of the 4 teams that played today the New York Rangers are the only team to have won a Stanley Cup. The Rangers being an Original 6 team have had a few extra years to win the cup and have won a total of 4 times.  The other 3 teams, the Capitals, Blues and Kings have all been to the final in previous years but never won a cup.  Keep in mind after this round there is still the 3rd round for the conference finals and whoever wins that goes and plays in the finals.  If you want to see  a full Stanley Cup countdown check out Episode 2 of Hockey Talk with Courtney.  Not only do you learn about penalties in hockey but the fun fact: A Stanley Cup countdown!

On Sunday the New Jersey Devils took on the Philadelphia Flyers and the Nashville Predators played the Phoenix Coyotes for the second time.  Here is a quick break down of all 4 games:
And the series begins between the NYR & WSH
Perhaps a common theme forming again in the 2nd round is scoreless 1st periods.  The 1st goal of this series wasn't scored until 12:38 minutes was gone in the 2nd period.  Artem Anisimov scored for his team the Rangers, but with 4 seconds left in the period Jason Chimera scored for the Capitals to tie the game 1-1.  In the 3rd period New York took a 2 goal lead with both goals being scored 90 seconds apart.  The first by Chris Kreider, the 2nd by Brad Richards.  Braden Holtby stopped 11 of 14 shots, Henrik Lundqvist stopped 17 of 18.  Both team took 4 penatlies each and New York skates away with a win and a 1-0 lead in the series.  Check out Artem Anisimov's goal below.

Artem Anisimov scores the opening goal of the series and his Rangers win 3-1!
It is a party at Madison Square Gardens after the Rangers win! Fireworks and streamers!
And the series begins between the LAX and the STL!
The Los Angeles Kings picked up their 5th win in 6 playoff games this year.  Jonathan Quick #1 netminder for the Kings is a big part of their wins.  Quick is like a wall that doesn't budge.  Saturday Quick stopped 28 of 29 shots without even flinching.  St. Louis scored first in this game with a goal by David Backes.  King Slava Voynov scored to tie the game and end the 1st period 1-1.  In the 2nd period LA scored another short handed goal but not by Dustin Brown, the goal was by Matt Greene.  Brown can only take credit for an assist on that goal.  Then on an empty net off the boards Dustin Penner scores the 3rd goal of the night for the Kings.  St. Louis goalie Brain Elliott stopped 26 of 28 shots.  LA took 3 penalties, St. Louis took 5.  Los Angeles leads the series 1-0.  Below you can check out Dustin Penner's empty net goal.  It was wild.  Off the boards!  I think Penner was more shocked then anyone it went in!

For anyone wondering? This is Quick's secret: NEVER TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THE PUCK. Stay square in the play and be ready with your stick and keep you glove up!
Quick winning it for his team, yet again.
Goalie talk
The New Jersey Devils and the Philadelphia Flyers met up for the 1st time in the best of 7 Round 2.  The scoring went like this:
Goal #1 Zach Parise New Jersey lead 1-0
Goal #2 Danny Briere Game tied 1-1
Goal #3 James Van Riemsdyk Philly leads 2-1
Goal #4 Travis Zajac game tied 2-2
Goal #5 Claude Giroux Philly leads 3-2
Goal #6 Petr Sykora game tied 3-3
Goal #7 Danny Briere Philly wins in OT.
Martin Brodeur stopped 32 of 36 shots and Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 23 of 26.  New Jersey took 6 penalties and Philly took 3.  Philly leads the series 1-0.  Check out Danny Briere's OT goal below!

James Van Riemsdyk getting the puck past Martin Brodeur
Listen up New Jersey, you want to win? Don't let Danny Briere near the puck. Briere celebrating his OT goal and 2nd goal of the night.
Coyotes Winning
After last night's game Phoenix skates away with a 2-0 series lead.  This game ended in a 5-3 final.  This game's scoring went like this:
Goal #1 Antoine Vermette PHX leads 1-0
Goal #2 Andrei Kostitsyn tie game 1-1
Goal #3 Martin Hanzal PHX leads 2-1
Goal #4 Radim Vrbata PHX leads 3-1
Goal #5 Patric Hornqvist PHX leas 3-2
Goal #6 Taylor Pyatt PHX leads 4-2
Goal #7 Ryan Suter PHX leads 4-3
Goal #8 Shane Doan PHX wins 5-3
Pekka Rinne stopped 34 of 39 shots and Mike Smith stopped 30 of 33 for the Coytoe win.  Both goalies were busy.  Both teams took 4 penalties.  Games 3 and 4 will be played in Nashville and with the home crowd on the PREDS side a shift in wins might happen.  Stay tuned.  But for now you can watch Coyote Captain Shane Doan score the 5th goal for his team last night.

As usual it was a fight to find the puck
Create a screen in front of the goalie anyway you can?!
There are 2 games being played tonight in the NHL:
The Washington Capitals play the New York Rangers at 4:30 (NYR leads series 1-0)
The Los Angeles Kings play the St. Louis Blues at 6:00 (LA leads the series 1-0)
Round 2 started last night.  Less then 24 hours after Round 1 ended.   One thing about the playoffs is that there are unexpected surprises around every corner.  If you look at the Conference Finals in the Western and Eastern Conference last year the Vancouver Canucks played the San Jose Sharks and the Boston Bruins played the Tampa Bay Lightning.  This year Tampa didn't even make the playoffs, San Jose was eliminated in 5 game by St. Louis.  Vancouver was eliminated in 5 games by Los Angeles and Boston was eliminated in 7 games by the Washington Capitals in large part by the amazing play of rookie netminder Braden Holtby.  Interesting isn't it.  Round 2 officially kicked off with the match of the Phoenix Coyotes and the Nashville Predators.  The Preds are playing in round 2 for the second time ever in franchise history.  Last was the first time they made the second round and were outed by the Canucks in 6 games.  Phoenix on the other hand made the second round for the first time since they were relocated from Winnipeg back in 1996.  And what a matchup last night ended up being!
Last night's gam ended in an entertaining overtime!  Phoenix opened the scoring with a goal by Radim Vrbata, his first goal of the 2012 playoffs.  Nashville tied it up with a goal by Brandon Yip to end the 1st period 1-1.  Early in the 2nd period Rostislav Klesla scored for Phoenix only to have Andrei Kostitsyn tie it up with a goal for Nashville.  But it wasn't over. Mikkel Boedker (who scored multiple OT wind for his team in the 1st round) made it a 3-2 Phoenix score by the end of the 2nd.  Start of the third Nashville down by one.  Late in the 3rd period it happened: Nashville tied it up with a goal on a rebound by Martin Erat.  The game into OT and Ray Whitney scores for his team.  Game over, Phoenix wins and leads the series 1-0.  Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne stopped 20 of 24 shots but Mike Smith oh Mike Smith was the busy goalie stopping 39 of 42 shots!  This was actually Phoenix's first appearance in the 2nd round since 1987.  Ray Whitney scored his first OT goal since 1995, Phoenix sets a NHL record with 6 of there first 7 playoff games ending in OT and finally the Coyotes win a 2nd round playoff game for the first time ever in their franchise history!  It was a big night in Phoenix!  Below you can check out photos of the game and Brandon Yip's goal, Martin Erat's goal and Ray Whitney's Game Winning OT Goal!

Tonight's lineup starts early and consists of two games:
The Washington Capitals play the New York Rangers at 12:00
The Los Angeles Kings play the St. Louis Blues at 4:30  Enjoy X
As of last night the 1st round of the Stanley Cup playoffs officially ended.  Both games were game 7 and both were great games and thus, did not disappoint.  Don't get to relaxed though thinking you have a night off hockey.  The 2nd round starts tonight!  Here is a quick recap of last night's games and what is going on tonight and who is playing who!
In the 1st game to start last night the New York Rangers took on the Ottawa Senators in Game 7 at Madison Square Gardens.  It was a heated game and not a lot of people saw this series going to game 7.  Ottawa was the underdog and made New York work for their win.  Start of the 2nd and Marc Staal scored to get the Rangers on the board.  Dan Girardi scored for the Rangers 5 minutes later and it was 2-0.  Then in true hockey fashion Ottawa Captain Daniel Alfredsson scored to bring his team within 1 goal.  It was a scoreless 3rd period, New York wins and advances to the 2nd round.  Only 5 penalties were taken total.  Two by New York and 3 by Ottawa.  Daniel Alfredsson and Milan Mickalek took nearly 1/2 their teams shots on Henrik Lundqvist with 6  apiece.  Craig Anderson stopped 27 of 29 shots and King Henrik stopped 26 of 27 shots.  Below check out video of Daniel Alfredsson's goal for Ottawa and the traditional handshake between teams.

On the other side of the river in New Jersey fans went wild with a double OT win for their Devils.  The game was played in Florida but New Jersey took the cake.  89 seconds into the 1st period Adam Henrique scored to give New Jersey the lead.  Stephen Gionta scored in the 2nd and Jersey had a 2-0 lead.  It wasn't over, with Florida scoring 2 goals in the 3rd period by Stephen Weiss and Marcel Goc.  Into OT is was.  The 1st OT was scoreless but less than 4 minutes into the 2nd OT Adam Henrique scored!  Game over New Jersey wins!  Jose Theodore, goalie for Florida stopped 33 of 36 shots and Martin Brodeur, who coincidentally played his 1st game 20 years ago yesterday stopped 43 of 45 shots.  It was a high penalty game with each team taking 6!  Below you can enjoy watching Adam Henrique's goal and the handshakes.

We don't even have time to breath and the 2nd Round is starting!  Tonight is kicks off with one game:
The Nashville Predators take on the Phoenix Coyotes at 6:00pm  Enjoy X
In the 2nd series
Nashville plays Phoenix
St. Louis plays Los Angeles
New York plays Washington
Philadelphia plays New Jersey
Captains Chara and Ovechkin
There was only 1 game played in the NHL last night.  A heated Game 7 match up between the Stanley Cup Champs the Boston Bruins and the underdogs, the Washington Capitals.  Washington took the lead in the 1st period with a goal by Matt Hendricks.  Boston Bruin Tyler Seguin tied up he game in the 2nd.  A scoreless 3rd period meant sudden death overtime.  What happened?  Early in the OT Joel Ward of the Washington Capitals gets the puck past Tim Thomas and into the back of the net.  Game over Washington wins, eliminates the Stanley Cup Champs and head to Round 2! Washington goalie Braden Holtby stopped 31 of 32 shots, Tim Thomas stopped 25 of 27.  Boston only took one penalty the entire game.  I heard that Boston was actually the team taking the fewest penalties in any series.  Washington only took 3 penalties.  Some interesting stats happened in this series.  This is the closest goal scoring series in NHL history.  Every single game was decided by only a 1 goal difference.  Four of the games went into OT.
Game #1 1-0 Boston in OT
Game #2 2-1 Washington in double OT
Game #3 4-3 Boston
Game #4 2-1 Washington
Game #5 4-3 Washington
Game #6 4-3 Boston in OT
Game #7 2-1 Washington in OT.
Rookie Netminder for the Washington Capitals Braden Holtby is the 1st rookie goalie since 1971 and 1986 to beat the current Stanley Cup Champs in the 1st round.

Tyler Sequin getting one past Holtby
It was a party for Washington! Round 2 here they come!
Perhaps one of the best traditions in professional sports, the handshake at the end of the series!
There are 2 games being played tonight in the NHL.  Both are in the east and both are Game 7s.  We will know who is playing Philadelphia and who is playing Washington when these games end.
Ottawa plays New York at 4:00
New Jersey plays Florida at 5:30  Enjoy X

Hello everyone, sorry I haven't gotten a blog up in a few days.  Hockey Talk with Courtney is preparing to shoot 4 more episodes of the show during the playoffs with a few more rules on the game, fun tips about the history of the NHL and more handsome hearts of the week! A lot has happened in the world of NHL playoff hockey.  Here is a quick recap of Saturday, Sunday Monday and Tuesday in the NHL:
Troy Brouwer's GWG late in the 3rd.
On Saturday the Washington Capitals took a lead in their series against the Boston Bruins.  Again the game ended within one goal which is a common theme in this series.  It was a scoreless 1st period.  In the 2nd Washington took a 2 goal lead and before the period ended Boston had scored 2 goals.  Tie game 2-2.  Washington scored again the in the 3rd, followed by Boston.  Tie game 3-3.  With less then 90 seconds left in the period Troy Brouwer scored to win the game for Washington 4-3!  One of my favorites Braden Holtby stopped 34 of 37 shots and Stanley Cup Champ Tim Thomas stopped 28 of 32.  In the penalty department only 9 were taken total.  Five by the Capitals and 4 by the Bruins.  Watch Brouwer's game winning goal below!  After this game Washington took a 3-2 lead in the series.

Jose Theodore got his team a shutout!
On Saturday the Florida Panther's netminder Jose Thoedore shutout the  New Jersey Devils with 30 saves.  Again these two teams battled it out and it was a scoreless 1st period.  Kris Versteeg scored the only goal in the 2nd period.  Scottie Upshall scored in the 3rd and Tomas Kopecky scored short handed with 34 seconds left in the 3rd to end the game 3-0.  Martin Brodeur stopped 30 of 32 shots with the last goal being scored into an empty net.  Ten penalties taken in this game.  Six by Jersey and four by Florida.  Check out the 3 Florida goals below.  After this victory Florida took a 3-2 lead in the series.

Spezza scored both goals for the Senators!
The Ottawa Senators beat the New York Rangers 2-0 on Saturday.  Senator Jason Spezza scored both the goals.  One goal came in the 1st period the other in the last minute of the 3rd period.  Craig Anderson stopped a whopping 41 shots for the shutout and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 28 of 29 with the 2nd goal being scored into an empty net.  Again 10 penalties were taken total, 5 by each team.  And the theme of the day so far in penalties was nothing over 2 minutes.  Watch Jason Spezza's 1st goal below.  After this game Ottawa took a 3-2 lead in the series.

Congrats line in St. Louis
The St. Louis Blues knocked out the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.  In 5 games St. Louis managed 4 wins and is heading to the 2nd round of the Stanley Cup playoffs for the 1st time in 11 years.  Again it was a scoreless 1st period.  In the 2nd Shark Captain Joe Thornton scored the 1st and only goal late late late in the period with 41 seconds left.  St. Louis came back guns blazing in the last 1/2 of the 3rd period and scored 3 goals in 8 minutes.  Antti Niemi stopped 24 of 26 shots with the last goal by Andy McDonald being scored on an empty net.  Brain Elliott stopped 26 of 27 shots for the Blues.  Only 6 penalties taken in this game but it did have a couple 5 minute fighting majors. Watch the Traditional Handshake in hockey below.

Toews is back and scored the GWG OT goal
The Chicago Blackhawks being the Chicago Blackhawks found a way to win and force a game 6 Saturday night.  Phoenix Coyote Gilbert Brule scored the opening goal of the game in the 2nd period.  Again after a scoreless 1st period, a common theme Saturday night.  Chicago's Nick Leddy tied in the up in the 3rd.  Early into OT and Blackhawk Captain and fantastic hockey player Jonathan Toews scored his 2nd goal of the series and that was that Chicago won 2-1.  Phoenix netminder Mike Smith was the busier goalie that night stopping 36 of 38 shots while Chicago goalie Corey Crawford stopped 18 of 19.  Watch Jonathan's Toews game winning OT goal below!

Congrats line in Philly
The Pittsburgh Penguins were the 3rd team on the chopping block Sunday in the NHL playoffs.  With a 5-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers the Penguins were out in 6 games.  Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell scored a goal a piece in the 1st period.  Erik Gustafsson scored for Philly in the 2nd.  The lone goal for Pittsburgh came from points leader in the regular season Evgeni Malkin.  Danny Briere and rookie Brayden Schenn scored goals 4 and 5 for Philly in the 3rd.  Philly Goaie Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 30 of 31 shots for the win.  Watch the Handshakes below.

Tyler Seguin and his GWG goal to tie the series!
Tyler Seguin scored the OT game winning goal for his Boston Bruins Sunday afternoon forcing a game 7.  It was back and forth scoring the whole game with Bruin Rich Peverley scoring 1st followed by Washington's Mike Green and Boston's David Krejci to end the 1st period 2-1 Boston.  With less then a minute left in the 2nd period Capital Jason Chimera scored to tie it up.  Andrew Ference made it 3-2 Boston in the 3rd but Washington Capital Captain Alex Ovechkin tied it up and forced OT.  Tyler Seguin won it for Boston with his 1st goal of the series.  Eleven penalties were taken total and 2 by Ovechkin both for hig-sticking.  Tim Thomas stopped 36 of 39 shots and Hot shot goalie from the AHL keeping Washington in this series Braden Holtby stopped 27 of 31.  Even though Washington lost, Holtby has been amazing in the series having only played 21 NHL games total before this series started.  Watch Seguin's goal below.

#35 and #32 played extremely well
The Vancouver Canucks were the 4th team overall and the 2nd of the day to have their playoff bid cut short.  Los Angeles managed an OT win.  Cory Schneider made his 3rd consecutive start in the series and Jonathan Quick of the Kings again played an amazing game.  Henrik Sedin scored the opening goal in the 1st period.  A scoreless 2nd period meant Vancouver was 20 minutes away from forcing a game 6.  Early in the 3rd period that bid was squashed with a goal by Brad Richardson.  An OT goal by Jarret Stoll and that was that.  Los Angeles wins the series in 5 games.  Jonathan Quick made 26 saves on 27 shots.  Cory Schneider was a busier goalie making 35 saves on 37 shots.  Los Angeles moves to the 2nd round for the first time since 2001.  An interesting fact about netminders Schneider and Quick?  They have been playing against each other since high school!  If anyone knows these goalie well it is each other.  Having been facing off against each other for over 10 years!  They are both only 26 and have been meeting up since they were teenagers.  Something was in the water that year!  Watch the Stoll OT game winner and Handshakes below.  Now Los Angeles plays the St. Louis Blues in the 2nd round.

Ottawa lost but Alfredsson is back!
On Monday the New York Rangers beat the Ottawa Senators to send the series back to the Big Apple for Game 7.  Ottawa scored 1st with a beauty by Chris Neil.  The period ended 1-0.  New York came back in the 2nd period and scoring 3 goals by Derek Stephan, Brad Richards and Chris Kreider who also each assisted one of the other goals.  Late in the 3rd with 39 seconds left Jason Spezza on his hot streak scored but it wasn't enough.  Rangers won 3-2.  Series tied 3-3.  Watch the Spezza goal below.  It did get reviewed by the league but eventually was ruled a good goal.

The Congrats line in Chicago
The Chicago Blackhawk's playoff run came to an end at the United Center Monday night.  It was a pretty win for Phoenix though ending the 1st round in style with a 4-0 victory.  Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Kyle Chipchura, Antonie Vermette and Gilbert Brule all scored for Phoenix.  Mike Smith stopped all 39 shots he faced for the shutout and Corey Crawford let in 4 goals on 20 shots.  This is the first time since Phoenix moved down south from Winnipeg they are going through to the 2nd round.  Now they face the uber tough and talented Nashville Predators.  Watch the Handshakes Below!

In the only game played last night the New Jersey Devils won forcing the series back to Florida for Game 7.  The game ended in fashion with an overtime goal by Travis Zajac.  New Jersey did have a 2 goal lead with goals by Steve Bernier in the 1st and Ilya Kovalchuk in the 2nd but Florida came back.  Both Kris Versteeg and Sean Bergenheim scored in the 2nd to end it 2-2.  A scoreless 3rd period meant sudden death OT!  It took just under 6 minutes for Jersey to win and that was that.  Scott Clemmensen was in net for Florida.  Florida, like Vancouver, has bounced between 2 goalies during the series.  Clemmensen still stopped 39 of 42 shots.  Martin Brodeur had a slow night with only 16 shots total to face and stopping 14 of them.  Watch Travis Zajac's OT winner below!

Tonight's lineup consists of one game:
The Washington Capitals and the Boston Bruins at 4:30 (series tied 3-3)  Enjoy X
Hello Everyone!  I want to write and quickly say that Hockey Talk with Courtney is in the process of shooting more episodes of everyone's favorite web series about hockey.  That means blogging takes a back seat for a day.  Check back tomorrow and I will update you on Saturday and Sunday in the NHL!  It was big.  Pittsburgh, San Jose, Detroit and Vancouver all out of the running.  St. Louis is heading to the 2nd round for the 1st time in 10 years and Los Angeles is heading to the 2nd round for the 1st time in 11 years.  Nashville is heading to the 2nd round for the 2nd consecutive year, a first ever for the franchise.  I will recap it all for you tomorrow!
For the Canucks Game 5 here at home in Vancouver head on down to Red Card Sports Bar, downtown Vancouver (corner of Seymour and Smithe) to watch the game!  Support the Canucks Autism Network (CAN) and a chance to win swag signed by the Canucks!  Plus $2.00 from every hat trick pizza sold goes to CAN!  Puck drops at 5:00pm!  Come down and enjoy the party!  GO CANUCKS GO!
Two games were played last night and both series were at 3-1 before the night started. In Pittsburgh, they had a chance to stay in the playoffs if they beat Philadelphia and in Nashville, they could make it to the 2nd round for the 2nd time ever in franchise history with a win over the Detroit Red Wings.  This is what happened.
Tyler Kennedy jumping over his GWG!
In there lowest scoring game of the series so far the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 to remain in the playoffs and take it to game 6 after being down 3-0 after 3 games. Here are the scores for the 5 games in the series:
Game 1 Philadelphia wins 4-3
Game 2 Philadelphia wins 8-5
Game 3 Philadelphia wins 8-4
Game 4 Pittsburgh wins 10-3
Game 5 Pittsburgh wins 3-2
Last night's game Game 4 was do or die for the Penguins.  In this series the team that scores 1st has gone on to lose every game.  Well it was true again last night as Flyer Matt Carle scored the opening goal of the game just over the 1/2 way mark in the 1st period.  Penguin Steve Sullivan scored next to tie the game 1-1. Scott Hartnell lit up the board for his team before the period ended and the teams went to the locker room with a 2-1 lead for Philly.  The Penguins came back in the 2nd period.  Jordan Staal scored his 6th goal of the playoffs assisted by Tyler Kennedy and Kris Letang.  Then 3 minutes later Tyler Kennedy scored his own goal assisted by Matt Cooke and Jordan Staal.  A scoreless 3rd meant a win for Pittsburgh making the series 3-2.  Eight penalties were taken between the teams.  Three for Philly, five for Pittsburgh.  Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 20 of 23 shots and Penguin goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 24 of 26 shots.  These 2 teams meet up in Philadelphia Sunday for game 6 at noon. Check out the Tyler Kennedy Game Winning Goal below!

Seconds before the Preds officially win!
For the 2nd time ever in franchise history the Nashville Predators are heading to the 2nd round of the playoffs.  They first managed the feat last year and played the Vancouver Canucks.  The Canucks beat the Preds in 6 games.  This year the Predators are looking stronger than ever so it is anyones guess what will happen next.  All of the games in this series ended in a 1 goal difference except for game 4 and last night was no exception.  It ended 2-1 Nashville.  Predator Alexander Radulov scored 1st late in the 1st period.  Jiri Hudler scored for Detroit in the 2nd and the game winning goal came from David Legwand 13 seconds into the 3rd period.  Game done, Nashville wins!  Five penalties taken total, no fights.  Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard stopped 23 of 25 shots and Pikke Rinne stopped 21 of 22.  Unlike the PENS/Flyers series, in the Preds/Wings series the team that scored 1st has always won the game. Check out pictures from the game.  The goals scored in highlights and the traditional handshakes!

All eyes on the puck says Red Wings Jiri Hudler, Pred Kevin Klein and goalie Pekka Rinne
Team Captains Nicklas Lidstrom and Shea Weber shake hands after Nashville wins in 5 games.
Pekka Rinne and Jimmy Howard talk it out after Nashville wins.
In the Nashville Locker Room after the game David Legwand is award the Fireman's award for his play during the series.
Today's line up is the busiest day so far:
Washington takes on Boston at 12:00 (series tied 2-2)
New Jersey takes on Florida at 3:30 (series tied 2-2)
Ottawa takes on NY Rangers at 4:00 (series tied 2-2)
San Jose takes on St. Louis at 4:30 (St. Louis series 3-1)
Chicago takes on Phoenix at 7:00 (Phoenix leads series 3-1)  Enjoy X
It was yet another tense night in the NHL.  In two games teams took 3-1 leads in the series, in the other 2 games they ended tied 2-2 in the series.  A quick breakdown:
Martin Brodeur and his playoff shutout!
The New Jersey  Devils blanked the Florida Panthers to tie the series 2-2.  Martin Brodeur recorded his 24th playoff shutout with 26 saves.  Both teams fought in the 1st period and it ended with no goals.  In the 2nd period Devil's Captain Zach Parise got his team on the board 1-0 to end the 1st period.  Start of the 3rd period and it only took Devil Steve Bernier 2 minutes to find the back of the net 2-0.  Less then 7 minutes later it was 4-0 with goals by Travis Zajac and Ilya Kovalchuk.  Florida did opt to start backup goal Scott Clemmensen. With this shutout win, Martin Brodeur passes Patrick Roy with the most playoff shutouts, nice work.  The game wasn't too physical besides typical hockey but it did get a bit rough in the 3rd with a few misconduct, charging and roughing calls.  Check out highlights from last night's game below!

Capital's Hero Braden Holtby!
The rookie goalie for the Washington Capitals put on another spectacular show for Capitals fans!  Braden Holtby helped his team get another win stopping 44 shots and keeping his team in the running for the Stanley Cup.  Remember Holtby mainly plays in the AHL and between this season and last has only played 21 regular season NHL games and is the starting goalie in the 1st round of the Stanley Cup playoffs because of injury!  Washington scored the 1st goal of the night by Marcus Johansson on the 1st shot of the game.  Boston tied it up later in the period with a goal by Rich Peverley.  Late in the 2nd period Alexander Semin scored assisted by Keith Aucoin and Alex Ovechkin.  Total of only 4 penalties where taken the entire game!  Three by Boston and one by Washington.  Tim Thomas stopped 19 of 21 shots but Holtby stopped 13 of 14 in the 1st period, 18 shots in the 2nd and 13 shots in the 3rd!  This kid in unbelievable!  The oddest part of this game would the 5.3 seconds the clock didn't run late late in the 3rd period with 9 seconds left.  Instead of 9 seconds to score a tying goal Boston got 14 seconds but Holtby fought them off!  The Capitals for the first time all season let 45 shots on net and Holtby stopped all but 1!  HOLTBY HOLTBY HOLTBY!  Below watch the clock and watch Bob McKenzie explain what happened.

Boedker #89 scoring his 2nd GWG in as many game!
The Phoenix Coyotes and the Chicago Blackhawks put on one nail biter for fans at the United Center in Chicago.  The game started with Phoenix having a one game lead in the series.  It started out as a scoreless 1st period and 2nd period.  Six penalties were taken between the teams in the periods to create power play opportunities but nothing happened.  Then in the 3rd period things got exciting.  In less then 12 minutes the game was a 2-2 tie.  Coyote Captain Shane Doan scored the 1st goal and former Canuck and current Coyote good looking Taylor Pyatt scored the second goal for Phoenix 44 seconds later.  Less then 3 minutes later former Canuck and current Blackhawk playing in his 1st game of this series Brendan Morrison, assisted  by team Captain Jonathan Toews and Niklas Hjalmarsson, scored.  Later in the 3rd Blackhawk Michael Frolik made it 2-2 and sent the game into OT.  Just like a repeat of Game 3 almost down to the second with 2:15 gone in OT Mikkel Boedker gets one past Chicago goalie Corey Crawford and Phoenix wins 3-2 and leads the series 3-1!  Pheonix only had 19 shots on net the entire game and Mike Smith was the busier goalie stopping 30 of 32 shots.  This game was played without injured Marian Hossa and Raffi Torres is suspended indefinitly.  Plus this series has gone into OT all 4 games!  Below watch Mikkel Boedker score his 2nd OT goal in as many games.  Mikkel is the first person since Joe Sakic in 2004 to score not one but two OT winners in a row in the playoffs!

Andy McDonald scoring his game winning goal!
After a 2-1 win last night for the St. Louis Blues they now have a 3-1 lead in their series against the San Jose Sharks.  B.J. Crombeen scored in the 1st for the Blues.  A scoreless 2nd period.  Andy McDonald scored with 12 minutes gone in the 3rd and Shark Captain Joe Thornton scored for his team late late in the 3rd but it wasn't enough.  St. Louis wins!  Blues goalie Brian Elliott stopped 24 of 25 shots and Sharks goalie Antti Niemi stopped 22 of 24.  Andy McDonald's goal was his 7th point of the series.  Wow.  Only 7 penalties were taken and surprisingly no fights.  Check out the goals scored last night below!

Tonight's lineup is calmer, only 2 games are being played:
Philadelphia and Pittsburgh at 4:30 (Philly leads series 3-1)
Detroit and Nashville at 5:00 (Nashville leads series 3-1)
If both Philly and Nashville win these 2 series will end and both teams move on to the next round.
Last night might have been the most intense night in the NHL 1st Round Playoffs so far.  New York played Ottawa for the 4th time.  If New York won they would lead the lead series 3-1.  They didn't win and Ottawa won in OT.  Pittsburgh and Philadelphia met up for the 4th time and Philly had a 3-0 lead in the series.  Another Pittsburgh loss and they were out.  Pittsburgh didn't lose, they won by a touchdown 10-3!  And in the west Los Angeles played Vancouver also having a 3-0 lead in the series.  If Los Angeles won Vancouver would be out.  Vancouver won 3-1!
Kyle Turris celebrating his Game Winning OT Goal!
In the Nation' s Capital Ottawa Game 4 of the series between the Ottawa Senators and the New York Rangers took place.  New York came out strong and scored a power play goal by Anton Stralman.  Ranger's Captain Ryan Callahan scored the second goal for his team also on a power play.  Both Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik assisted these goals.  Both picking up assist point # 1 and 2 in the process.  The 1st period ended with a 2-0 lead for New York.  Henrik Lundqvist stopped 12 shots and Ottawa netminder Craig Anderson stopped 10 of 12 shots.  In the 2nd period Ottawa made a comeback.  Milan Michalek scored for his team on a beauty of a pass from Matt Carkner who was fresh out of the penalty box.  New York Ranger Marc Staal made a bad move and hit Ottawa Super Star Jason Spezza in the head.  It was shocking for different reasons.  Staal had no reason to hit Spezza  and 2nd Staal was out for a large portion of time healing from his own concussion brought on by a hit from his older brother Eric, captain of the Carolina Hurricane.  Then at the end of the period Sergie Gonchar scored and it was a tie game!  It was a scoreless 3rd period with Lundqvist stopping 9 shots and Anderson stopping 11.  Jason Spezza did return for the 3rd period.  Into OT and it didn't take long for Ottawa's Kyle Turris to find the back of the net!  Game Over!  Ottawa wins and the series is tied 2-2.  Now the teams head back to New York for Game 5!  Below you can watch Milan Michalek's goal and the OT Kyle Turris Game Winning Goal and also the Marc Staal hit on Jason Spezza.  We all know checking is part of the game in hockey and is legal but as you can see here Staal goes straight for the head.  It makes it a bit easier to see what is allowed in hockey and what is cheap.  Interesting fact: the Ottawa Senators hadn't won a OT playoff game at home since April 18th 2004, exactly 8 years to the day that they won last night!  Wild!

Jordan Staal and one goal for his Hat Trick!
In the first do or die game of the night the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers met for the 4th time and Philly was up 3-0 in the series.  While Marc Staal was hitting heads in Ottawa, his younger brother Jordan was scoring goals in Philly.  Here is how the game went down:
PENS goalie Marc-Amdre Fleury made 22 stops on 25 shots.  Phiily #1 net minder Ilya Bryzgalov let in 5 goals on 18 shots and was replaced by backup  Sergie Bobrovsky early in the 2nd period but Bobrovsky had the exact same stats, he let in 5 goals on 18 shots.  Pittsburgh took 36 minutes worth of penalties total while keeping in fine form this series, Philly took 62 minutes worth of penalties.  The goals came line this:

Goal #1 Claude Giroux assisted by Jaromir Jagr and Wayne Simmonds on the power play (1-0 Philly) 
Goal #2 Evgeni Malkin assisted by Pascal Dupuis and Richard Park (1-1 tie)
Goal #3 Matt Niskanen assisted by Sidney Crosby and Steve Sullivan on the power play (2-1 PENS)
Goal #4 Kimmo Timonen assisted by Claude Giroux and Danny Briere on the power play (2-2 tie)
Goal #5 Jakub Voracek assisted by Wayne Simmonds and Scott Hartnell on the power play (3-2 Philly)
Goal #6 Sidney Crosby assisted by Matt Niskanen and Evgeni Malkin (3-3 tie)
Goal #7 Jordan Staal assisted by Eric Tangradi and Matt Cooke (4-3 PENS) and that ended the 1st period!
Goal #8 Kris Letang assisted by Sidney Crosby and Steve Sullivan on the power play (5-3 PENS)
Goal #9 Jordan Staal assisted by Tyley Kennedy and Matt Cooke on the power play (6-3 PENS)
Goal #10 Steve Sullivan assisted by Marc-Andre Fleury on the power play (7-3 PENS)
Goal #11 Pascal Dupuis assisted by Chris Kunitz (8-3 PENS)
Goal #12 Jordan Staal assisted by Deryk Engelland (9-3 PENS) end of the 2nd period.
Goal #13 Evgeni Malkin assisted by Chris Kunitz and Tyler Kennedy (10-3 PENS) Final Score.
There was a late 3rd period brawl between the teams,  It was relatively small for the series considering only 3 players were kicked out.  24 goals have been scored in the 1st periods alone in this series a new NHL record.

Edler, H. Sedin and D. Sedin celebrate a WIN!
In the 2nd do or die game of the night the Vancouver Canucks beat the Los Angels Kings 3-1 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.  LA had a 3-0 lead in the series after the incredible play of netminder Jonathan Quick.  Quick only let in 4 goals in 2 games, had 1 shutout and last night let in a ground shaking 3 goals.  The Vancouver Canucks had reason to celebrate.  Backup goalie Cory Schneider was getting his 2nd consecutive start.  Not because #1 goalie Roberto Luongo was playing poorly but Los Angeles doesn't know Schneider, keep then guessing.  The second reason to celebrate? Daniel Sedin was back in the game after missing the last 9 games of the regular season and the first 3 games of the playoffs.  Daniel joined his brother Henrik 

For the 1st time in the series Quick fell.
and David Booth on the 1st line.  Burrows played on the 2nd line with Kelser and Raymond.  The 3rd line was Higgins, Pahlsson and Hansen and last but not least the 4th line of Malhorta, Lapierre and Kassian.  In the 1st period LA took a one nothing lead with a goal by alternate captain Anze Kopitar.  With Quick being a thorn in the Canucks side now they needed to get at least 2 goals past Quick and Schneider had to keep everything else out.  Early in the 2nd period Alex Edler found his groove and scored his second goal of the series, assisted by Dan Hamhuis and Ryan Kesler.  Tie game 1-1.  Then Kevin Bieksa who has a history of scoring game winning goals, shot a pass from David Booth finding the back of the net less then 5 minutes later and the Canucks lead for the 1st time since the 1st game 2-1.  Shortly after the Bieksa goal Kings Captain Dustin Brown was awarded a penalty shot after Bieksa of all players knocks Brown over when he was in the process of shooting.  Brown was to put it simply: DENIED by the SCHNEID!  In the 3rd period Vancouver Captain Henrik Sedin lit up the scoreboard with the 3rd goal of the night for the Canucks assisted by Dan Hamhuis and brother Daniel Sedin.  Canucks win 3-1 and are still alive in the playoffs!  Jonathon Quick made 27 saves on 30 shots but Cory Schneider oh Cory Schneider made a whooping 43 saves on 44 shots!  This game had the least amount of penalties with both teams only taking four two minute penalties each.  These two teams meet up for Game 5 in Vancouver Sunday.  Below you can see some of the highlights from the game.  Henrik Sedin (not that I am saying this is ok) elbows Dustin Brown in the head for 2 reasons.  One Brown was slashing his brother Daniel earlier and two, in game 3 Brown hit Henrik in the head and knocked Henrik to the ice with his head hitting the ice.  Now let's look at Dustin Brown's penalty shot on Cory Schneider.  Watch Cory's incredible work keeping the puck out of the Vancouver net.  Finally check out Henrik Sedin's insurance goal!

Tonight's lineup has 4 games:
Florida and New Jersey at 4:00 (Florida leads series 2-1)
Boston and Washington at 4:30 (Boston leads series 2-1)
Phoenix and Chicago at 5:00 (Phoenix leads series 2-1)
St. Louis and San Jose at 7:30 St. Louis leads series 2-1)  Enjoy X
After last night's games Nashville has a 3-1 lead over Detroit, Florida is beating New Jersey 2-1 in their series and Phoenix beat Chicago in OT to lead that series 2-1.
Brain Campbell wins it for his team!
The Florida Panthers had a huge comeback last night.  They pulled off a come from behind victory after they were down 3-0 just over 6 minutes into the 1st period.  New Jersey Captain Zach Parise scored just 33 seconds into the game.  Stephen Gionta made it 2-0 three minutes later, and Patrik Elias made it 3-0 with only  6:16 gone in the 1st period!  That was it for Jose Theodore's night who let in 3 goals on 6 shots.  Theodore was replaced by back Scott Clemmensen who stopped the next 19 shots he faced during the game to keep the Devils at 3.  Before the 1st period was over Sean Bergenheim and Jason Garrison (who scored with only 8 seconds left in the period) made it 3-2 New Jersey.  Start of the 3rd period Mike Weaver scores with only 2:18 gone in the period tying the game for Florida.  After that New Jersey netminder Martin Brodeur was pulled and replaced by Johan Hedberg for letting in 3 goals on 12 shots.  Shortly after the New Jersey net minder swap Panther Brain Campbell scored the game winning goal assisted by former Canuck Mikael Samuelsson and Tomas Fleischmann to make the score 4-3.  No more scoring in the rest of the 2nd period and nothing in the 3rd means with the win Florida leads the series 2-1.  The Panthers pulled off their biggest comeback in their playoff history.  Three of the four goal Florida scored were power play goals but surprisingly the New Jersey Devils set a modern day penalty killing record in the regular season?  One last fun fact:  Martin Brodeur hadn't been pulled from a playoff game since May 2006 and funny enough he was replaced by Scott Clemmensen who is the back up for Jose Theodore.  Wild!  There were no fights in this game and each team only took 4 penalties.  That means Florida scored on 3 of 4 power play chances.  Because the goals in this game cam fast and furious check out the goal highlights and take a look at Brian Campbell's game winner in slow motion!

Kevin Klein oh Kevin Klein (sigh)
The Nashville Predators took a 3-1 lead in their series against the Detroit Red Wings.  All the scoring action happened in the 3rd period but it wasn't that the teams weren't trying in the 1st and 2nd.  Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne stopped 11 shots in the 1st and 17 in the 2nd.  Jimmy Howard stopped 7 in the 1st and 3 in the 2nd for Detroit.  In the 3rd Detroit took another 13 shots on Rinne and he manged to stop 12 of 13.  Nashville took 7 on Howard but 3 manged to get past him.  Rinne stopped 40 of 41 total and Jimmy Howard stopped 14 f 17.  Predator Gabriel Bourque scored early in the 1st only to have Detroit's Jiri Hudler tie it up less then 2 minutes later.  1-1 game.  Kevin Klein continued his great play in the series scoring the game winning goal with 13 minutes remaining in the period.  Then in front of his parents and hometown crowd, David Legwand scored the insurance goal with 39 seconds remaining in the 3rd.  Nashville wins 3-1.  Detroit took only 3 penalties the entire game while Nashville took 7.  With this win Nashville is heading home for game 5 and a chance to win the series on home ice. Check out the Legwand insurance goal below!

Mikkel Boedker scoring the GWG!
The only game to end in OT last night was between the Phoenix Coyotes and the Chicago Blackhawks.  This game was intense.  Chicago struck first with a goal by Andrew Brunette with 29 seconds remaining in the 1st period.  A scoreless 2nd period lead to a shooting range worth of shots in the 3rd.  Coyote Rostislav Klesla scored for his team with 8:16 gone in 3rd.  33 seconds later Blackhawk Michale Frolik made it 2-1 and 32 seconds after that a tie game again with a Ray Whitney goal.  That is 3 goals and a tie game in 1 minute and 5 seconds.  Into OT and Mikkel Boedker scores his 1st playoff goal to lift the Coyotes to victory 3-2 and lead the series 2-1.  This game was an intense match from the beginning.  Coyote Raffi Torres hit Blackhawks Marian Hossa in the head (head shots are illegal in hockey) and Hossa was taken off the ice on a stretcher.  Hossa was released from hospital later that night.  Torres didn't get a penalty for the hit but Blackhawk Brandon Bollig was not impressed and went after Torres and received the only penalty.  Bollig got a roughing penatly and a 10 minute game misconduct.  In total Phoenix took 4 penalties and Chicago 4.  Shots on goal were almost even.  Mike Smith stopped 35 of 37 and Blackhawk Corey Crawford stopped 31 of 34. We know that Great Dane Jannik Hansen of the Vancouver Canucks gets a lot of attention for being one of a small hand full of Danish players in the league and last night Mikkel Boedker became the 1st Dane to ever score a goal in a playoff OT game!  Solid Work Boedker!  The Coyotes also get their 1st playoff OT win since 1993 when the were the original Winnipeg Jets!  Below you can see the Torres hit on Hossa and Mikkel Boedker OT goal!

Tonight's lineup includes 3 games:
New York takes on Ottawa at 4:30 NY leads series 2-1
Pittsburgh takes on Philadelphia at 4:30 Philly leads series 3-0
Vancouver takes on Los Angeles at 7:00 LA leads series 3-0 Enjoy X