You Are Viewing All Posts In The Playoff recaps Category

2014 NHL Playoffs: Nathan MacKinnon lifts Avs to 2-0 series lead over Wild

Decrease fontDecrease font
Enlarge fontEnlarge font
Nathan MacKinnon has given Avs fans plenty to cheer about with seven points through two games. (Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Rookie Nathan MacKinnon has taken a liking to the playoffs in his first go-round. (Michael Martin/Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

Patrick Roy knows a bit about making a playoff impression at an early age.

The coach of the Colorado Avalanche was just 20 when he stepped between the pipes and led the Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup in 1986.

But even he has to be amazed at what Nathan MacKinnon is doing to the Minnesota Wild.

The 18-year-old sensation followed up a three-point performance in Game 1 with a record-setting four-point encore to lead the Avs to a 4-2 win over the Wild on Saturday night. The victory gives Colorado a commanding 2-0 lead as the best-of-seven series heads to Minnesota.

Read More…


  • Published On Apr 20, 2014
  • 2014 NHL playoffs: Blues rally for another OT win, 4-3, over Blackhawks

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    Brent Seabrook was ejected after a controversial hit on Blues captain David Backes. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

    Brent Seabrook was ejected after a controversial hit on Blues captain David Backes. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

    By Brian Cazeneuve 

    If the St. Louis Blues can survive a game such as the one they played against the Blackhawks on Saturday, then they could be heading to the franchise’s first Stanley Cup. Forget their long history without a championship. Forget their six-game losing streak to end the season, which also dashed their hopes for the Presidents’ Trophy. Trailing 3-2 in the final minutes of the third period, the Blues cashed in on a huge opportunity after Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook received a game misconduct for leveling David Backes with a shoulder to the head. On the ensuing power play, Vladimir Tarasenko’s clutch goal with 6.4 seconds left sent this one to overtime where Barret Jackman of all people gave the Blues a thrilling 4-3 victory and a 2-0 lead in their first-round series against defending champion Chicago. This St. Louis team appears to be maturing before our eyes.

    Here are a few things we took away from a Game 2 that was full of bumps, thumps and lead changes:

    Game recap | Box score | Highlights

    Read More…


  • Published On Apr 19, 2014
  • 2014 NHL Playoffs: Detroit Red Wings stun Boston Bruins in Game 1

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font

    By Brian Cazeneuve

    (Boston) — All week the talk had been that the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Boston Bruins were ripe for being taken down by a Detroit Red Wings squad that had scrambled to extend its franchise’s streak of playoff appearances, which now stands at 23.

    Well, here we go.

    The return of Detroit’s marvelous Pavel Datsyuk, even though he’s still working with a lingering knee injury, was widely cited as a possible series-changer, and sure enough he was the lone goal-scorer in Game 1, with only 3:01 left in regulation as the Red Wings neutralized Boston’s vaunted home ice advantage with a 1-0 win in a tightly contested defensive battle.

    “It’s a good start,” Datsyuk said after the game, ” but we know there are many tough games (ahead).”

    “I’ll take home-ice advantage any time,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said, “but that doesn’t mean you can’t win on the road … which is what we have to do in this series if we plan on winning this.”

    Here are a few more observations from Friday’s game:

    Read More…


  • Published On Apr 19, 2014
  • 2014 NHL playoffs: Canadiens dominate Lightning, 4-1, to take 2-0 series lead

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban (76) had two assists in the win over the Lightning. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

    Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban (76) had two assists in Montreal’s victory over the Lightning. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

    By Sarah Kwak

    The Lightning knew that the bum wrist sidelining goalie Ben Bishop would be an issue at some point in their first-round series against the Canadiens. Well, the moment came on Friday night in Tampa Bay. Backup Anders Lindback had been serviceable in Wednesday’s Game 1, making 39 saves in a 5-4 overtime loss, but in Game 2, he wasn’t nearly as good. Lindback surrendered three goals on 23 shots before Lightning coach Jon Cooper yanked him in favor of Kristers Gudlevskis, a Latvian minor leaguer who gained fame in Sochi for nearly defeating Team Canada. Against Montreal, he didn’t fare so well, allowing a goal on just three shots as the Canadiens cruised to a 4-1 victory.

    By taking both of the first two games in Tampa Bay, Montreal put itself in position to make this series a short one. After all, beating Canadiens goalie Carey Price in four out of the next five games seems like a particularly tall order. Price has followed up his career season and a gold medal in Sochi with strong play in the first two postseason games. He made 26 saves on Friday night, including a spectacular one on Lightning center Cedric Paquette in the second period. But hey, if Montreal’s offense gets into the habit of scoring four-plus goals a night, Price may not have to play the hero too often.

    Read More…


  • Published On Apr 18, 2014
  • Sharks get to Jonathan Quick, Kings early, hang on for 6-3 Game 1 Win

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    The Sharks' relentless forecheck did not make it an easy night for Jonathan Quick. (Nick Lust/NHLI via Getty Images)

    The Sharks’ relentless forecheck did not make it an easy night for Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Asked before the game what it would take the upend the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose’s Joe Thornton said simply, “Score some goals on Quick.”

    The Sharks did just that, beating Jonathan Quick three times in the first period on the way to a 6-3 win in their series opener on Thursday night.

    Thornton got the hosts on the board just 3:06 in with a deft deflection of a Joe Pavelski backhander, but it was a pair of goals from rookie Tomas Hertl and Patrick Marleau in the final 52 seconds of the frame that set the stage for a rout.

    The Sharks built their lead up to 5-0 in the second, sending Quick to the showers after 40 minutes. And while the Kings rallied with three goals to make the score interesting in the third, the end result was never really in doubt.

    Here are some observations after tonight’s contest and a look ahead to Sunday’s Game 2.

    Read More…


  • Published On Apr 18, 2014
  • Blues outlast Blackhawks to win Game 1 in a triple overtime thriller, 4-3

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font

    By Keith Schultz 

    The Blues finished Game 1 of their series against the Blackhawks with a win — and it only took 100 minutes and 26 seconds to get it. Chicago led 3-2 for much of the game after a wild first period, but St. Louis scored the equalizer with 1:45 left in regulation when Jaden Schwartz put a backhander past goalie Corey Crawford. The two teams then slugged it out for two full overtime periods, both of which included plenty of end-to-end action but no goals. Finally, just 26 seconds into the third overtime, Steve Ott made a nifty pass to Alexander Steen, who scored the winning goal.

    Here are some quick observations from the Blues’ marathon triple overtime win.

    Read More…


  • Published On Apr 18, 2014
  • Late rally by Avalanche takes Game 1 from Wild, 5-4, in overtime

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font

    By Jared Crozier

    Like most of the other first round games, offense was the big story — the Avalanche and the Wild combined for nine goals in Game 1. Normally an up-tempo shootout would be to Colorado’s advantage, but the Avs struggled early and trailed 4-2 by the end of the second period. Eventually, Minnesota allowed Colorado too many chances and paid dearly for it when Paul Stastny scored the tying goal in the final seconds of the third period. He went on to score the game-winner for the Avalanche in OT.

    Here are some notes and observations from an action-packed Game 1:

    Read More…


  • Published On Apr 18, 2014
  • Rangers take advantage of the power play to win Game 1 over Flyers

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    A four-minute power play in the third period helped the Rangers score twice in 47 seconds. (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

    A four-minute power play in the third period helped the Rangers score twice in 47 seconds. (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

    By Sarah Kwak

    NEW YORK — This was supposed to be a special day for Flyers winger Jason Akeson — he was playing in his first NHL playoff game, and making just his third appearance in the league overall. It’s one he’ll remember for the rest of his life, though chances are, he’ll want to forget it as soon as Friday. Skating on a line with Sean Couturier and Matt Read, the youngster was earning his ice time. He was aggressive, and finishing his checks — but one, he finished poorly.

    Game 1 of the first-round series between Philadelphia and the Rangers was knotted 1-1 midway through the third period at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night when the 23-year-old Akeson went in to hit New York winger Carl Hagelin on the boards in the neutral zone. Akeson took Hagelin off the puck, but his stick caught Hagelin up high. When a rookie dreams of changing the course of a game with his stick, this isn’t what he imagines. Akeson’s blade drew blood, and a double minor.

    Read More…


  • Published On Apr 18, 2014
  • NHL Playoffs: Ducks survive comeback scare against resilient Stars

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    Tyler Seguin (left) and the Stars battled back before falling short against Anaheim. (Debora Robinson/Getty Images)

    Tyler Seguin (91) and the Stars battled back before falling short against the Ducks. (Debora Robinson/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    If ever there was a playoff game where both teams could say they got what they needed, the Ducks’ 4-3 win over the Stars was it. Anaheim dominated early and held serve at home to take a 1-0 series lead, but Dallas shook off some early jitters and nearly clawed back from a four-goal deficit. The Stars are still in a 1-0 hole, but by establishing their game over the final 25 minutes they proved that they can hang with the higher-seeded Ducks in this series.

    Some observations after the opener:

    Read More…


  • Published On Apr 17, 2014
  • Stanley Cup Final: Report Card for Blackhawks’ Cup-clinching win

    Decrease fontDecrease font
    Enlarge fontEnlarge font
    Chicago's Corey Crawford earned top marks for standing tall against the Bruins in the Cup-clinching Game 6 win.

    Chicago’s Corey Crawford earned top marks for standing tall against the Bruins in Game 6. (David E. Klutho/SI)

    By Allan Muir

    Here is a completely subjective look at some of the key elements in Chicago’s Stanley Cup-clinching 3-2 Game 6 win over the Boston Bruins:

    Goaltending

    Corey Crawford, Chicago: If there was one box left unchecked on Crawford’s record during these playoffs, it was that he’d yet to steal a game like all the great keepers had. We can’t say that anymore. Tonight, he was Glenn Hall and Tony Esposito wrapped up in one glorious goaltending package during a first-period assault that saw him singlehandedly repel the black and gold hordes. While his teammates struggled to match Boston’s intensity, Crawford battled to track the puck through a forest of bodies out front and consistently controlled his rebounds, limiting the second and third chances that haunted him at times during this postseason. Those early frustrations seemed to eat away at Boston’s confidence, leading them to over-pass or get a little too cute with their shots as the game progressed.

    Read More…


  • Published On Jun 25, 2013


  •