If you're like me, you watched every Round 1 game of the 2015 NHL Stanely Cup Playoffs on your Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE account. For those that missed them or just missed a game or two, I've included your entire Round 1 Wrap Up complete with videos.
Sound off on each game, let us know what you thought of Round 1.
And we will be back to post a Wrap Up for Round 2.
April 15th 2015
Canadiens vs Senators: Game 1
If you missed it last night; you missed a lot. Confidence ran high and emotions ran hot between both the Canadiens and the Senators on Wednesday night. Fans didn’t have to wait long for the hits to come as J.P. Pageau and Marc Methot of the Senators started dishing in under the first 3 min. Andrew Hammond, the Senators ‘outta the blue’ net minding messiah also didn’t have to wait long to ‘taste puck’ as he stood tall on both Dale Weise and Torrey Mitchell; and they came in doubles as Hammond was forced to repeat twice more against P.K. Subban and Adrei Markov in the following 3 minutes.
The Senators didn’t have to wait long though for some sweet sweet karma as Montreal’s Andrei Markov mishandled the puck in front of Carey Price and tipped it into his own net, putting the Sens up by 1. The Senators enjoyed the lead for the remainder of the period, before Montreal exploded in the 2nd Period banking 2 goals in 15 seconds. Ottawa responded just over 2 min. later with a goal from Kyle Turris that entered and exited the net so fast most fans didn’t even realize. Having capitalized on the 5 min. major that sent P.K. packing, the Sens remained on the power play, although that didn’t help as Lars Eller scored short-handed on a break-away, putting it over top of the Hamburglar to regain the lead. Ottawa’s Mika Zibanejad answered back when he buried Weircioch’s rebound on the power play. The 2nd when on reasonably uneventful until Montreal’s Brian Flynn stuffed one underneath Hammond to put Montreal up 4-3 for the win, and to take the series lead 1-0.
Capitals vs Islanders: Game 1
A few decades ago a Washington and Isles post season match up was a thing of the norm. This year, we are once again treated to an old school division rivalry reborn.
Game 1 was under way with Curtis Glencross firing a shot from the sharp angle testing Halak early. But NY wasn’t going to let that go to far as Thomas Hickey sent a long ‘wrister’ in; forcing Holtby to spread’em wide and take it off the toe. Not to be diminished in their first attempt, the Isles kept the pressure and with Brock Nelson speeding up the wing they took an early lead on Washington.
Washington kept the pressure forcing Halak to make some tough saves on the likes of Jason Chimera and Alex Ovechkin before being awarded with a tieing goal from Marcus Johansson, as he stepped into a beautiful full motion wrister’ putting it by Halak on the stick side.
Almost 4 minutes into the 2nd period Ryan Strome answered back with another wrist shot off the draw, putting it top corner on Holtby; never standing a chance. Josh Baily kept the train rolling with a ‘never give up’ shift making it 3-1 when is bounced the puck in on his own rebound.
Braden Holtby held on well for the remainder of the game taking command of the net, and forcing Jaroslav Halak into making a few saves heart skipping saves before Brock Nelson put away an empty netter’ to secure a 4-1 win for the Isles.
April 15th 2015
Predators vs Blackhawks: Game 1
Once again the post season welcomes the Nashville Predators, and ever since their 2004 playoff debut, they’ve proven to be a sticky wicket to solve. Now the 2010 first round rematch begins.
Colin Wilson opened the series scoring by putting a shot up over the shoulder of Blackhawks net minder Corey Crawford, putting Nashville on the board. But Crawford stood tall taking on another 3 shots in 40 seconds at the midway point of the first.
At the 17 minute mark of the first Corey Crawford mishandled the puck behind his net on a dump in allowing Nashville’s Viktor Stalberg to pick up James Neal’s shoveling pass and deposit into Chicago’s open net. Colin Wilson netted his second of the game with a tip on Seth Jones’ wrist shot from the point in the dying seconds of the first.
Opening with second with a three goal deficit, the Chicago Blackhawks replaced Crawford with Scott Darling. The change seemed to light a fire under Chicago as Niklas Hjalmarsson jumps down low to take a killer feed from below the goal line banging in the Blackhawk’s first of the game. Both Pekka Rinne and Scott Darling dueled in saves for the next 10 minutes until Patrick Sharp whacks his own rebound in on a Chicago 5 on 3 power play.
3rd Period, 13:50 and once again on the power play, Blackhawks’s clutch man Jonathan Toews stuffs one under Pekka Rinne to tie the game 3 all. Toews’ goal solidified the Blackhawks’ rally forcing Game 1 into double OT until Duncan Keith blasts a hard and low shot from the blue line putting Chicago in the books with a 4-3 win.
April 15th, 2015
Canucks vs Flames: Game 1
Game 1 of our second all Canadian match up got underway in Vancouver on Wednesday and with all eyes on Calgary’s Sam Bennett, we all knew this game was going to be fireworks (see what I did there. Fire. Flames.).
1st period saw goaltender’s Eddie Lack and Jonas Hiller trade saves back n ’forth including a brilliant save on Vancouver’s young gun Bo Horvat.
The second opened with Calgary taking control, Sam Bennett nearly converted, but ended up tipping the puck wide. At 8:16 of the second the Flames’ Johnny Gaudreau took a Delay of Game penalty putting Vancouver on the power play. This seem to turn the momentum in favor of the Canucks as Bo Horvat was able to work his way around the zone and bounce one in off a defender’s skate, putting Vancouver up 1-0
With the 3rd under way, Bo Horvat was once again on the offensive tipping the puck just over top the net, nearly giving goaltender Jonas Hiller a heart attack in the process. Eddy Lack answered right back with a stoning of Dennis Wideman. The defense didn’t last long though, as Calgary’s David Jones converted Vancouver’s failed clearing into a tying goal.
Both the Canucks and Flames spent the remainder of the 3rd exchanging chances and stops until Calgary’s Kris Russell fired a slap shot from the point at 19:30 to put the Calgary Flames ahead 1-0 in the Series.
April 16th, 2015
Rangers vs Penguins: Game 1
On day 2 of the 2015 NHL Stanly Cup Playoffs we see two hockey titans collide. With the Pittsburgh Penguins (perennial contenders in their own right) matching up with President’s Cup winning New York Rangers, I feel goaltending is going to play a deciding factor in this series.
And how! This series opens up at 28 seconds into the first with a stretch pass to Girardi who blasts one on Marc-Andre Fleury who spit out a huge rebound for Derick Brassard who nets it with no problem.
Marc-Andre Fleury stood up well for next 14 minutes; stopping the likes of Carl Hagelin and Derek Stepan before Ryan McDonagh rockets one from just inside the blue line to make it 2-0 Rangers. From so far out, Fleury feels that one should have been stoppable, and takes a skate to clear his head afterwards.
And it seems to work, the Penguins net minder stands strong well into the second, enough time to see Blake Comeau bury a rebound at 6:15 of the 2nd.
This one wraps up with the Rangers taking a 1-0 Series lead with a 2-1 win.
Red Wings vs Lightening: Game 1
How many people are excited for this one?! You’ve got the Detroit Red Wings with 24 straight playoff appearances going up against the Stamkos led Lightening who have proven to be a force this season.
Petr Mrazek was in goal for Detroit and Ben Bishop got the call for Tampa, but ‘Big Ben’ couldn’t stop the quick hands of Pavel Datsyuk who tipped one by on the back hand to take the Red Wings up 1-0 at 9:03 in the 1st. The Lightening didn’t wait some 5 minutes before striking shorthanded when Brian Boyle slipped one past Bishop on a breakaway.
Detroit came flying back early in the 2nd with Datsyuk lifting a quick wrister’ up over Bishop at 8 seconds. Almost 6 minutes later Luke Glendening scores shorthanded for Detroit on a highlight spinning back hand to make it 3-1 Red Wings.
Nikita Nesterov would net Tampa’s second of the night at 8:26 of the 3rd after out waiting the Detroit defenseman and burying a laser from the high slot. Unfortunately it was not enough, and the Red Wings went on to take Game 1.
April 16th, 2015
Blues vs Wild: Game 1
Any statistic lover is eating up this series. With the Blues being perennially strong of late and the Wild, under the protection of Devan Dubnyk have been the feel good story of the Central Division.
Jason Zucker opened the scoring for Minnesota on a textbook wrap around after his first initial shot was bounced back to him from the Blues’ Jake Allen.
Under 2 minutes later the Minnesota rookie Matt Dumba drills one from the blue line and beats Jake Allen. The Wild are enjoying a 2-0 lead.
The St. Louis net minder takes a peppering of pucks for the remainder of the 2nd and into the 3rd before the Blues finally get on the board with a tip from Jaden Schwartz.
Minnesota’s Mikael Granlund scores an empty netter before Alexander Steen of the Blues scores at 19:01 of the 3rd to put the Blues within one, with 1 minute to go. All hope of the comeback dies 39 seconds later when Jason Pominville buries a second empty netter for a 4-2 Minnesota win.
Ducks vs Jets: Game 1
Winnipegger’s rejoice! And Atlanta cringes. The Jets are in the playoffs and it’s going to be a hard and fast series.
And as promised the Ducks open the series with goal at 1:57 of the first when a hit along the boards forces a turnover in the Jets zone. Under a minute later, the Jets return fire with some simple tick tac toe passing and tie the game at one.
Tensions continued to run high as at the end of the first, both teams shared some disagreement. That disagreement was settled 5 minutes later into the 2nd period when Winnipeg’s Drew Stafford beat the Duck’s net minder on the short side.
Pavelec stood tall for the remainder of the period and into the 3rd until Corey Perry scored at 1:09 on a play where Anaheim was clearly controlling the passing game. Perry would score again at 13:25 but the play would continue and was later reviewed to confirm the puck had actually crossed the line. Ducks lead 3-2.
The Duck’s would strike again at 16:55 on Captain Ryan Getzlaf’s wrist shot to take the Series lead 1-0
April 17th, 2015
Canadiens vs Senators: Game 2
After Game 1’s interesting field of events, Game 2 was sure to be a barn burner. Both teams wasted no time in starting the hitting and penalties with multiple scoring chances to be had. Montreal was able to create some excellent attempts with an early power play but just couldn’t take care of the loose pucks around Hammond’s crease.
The Senators weren’t letting Montreal pull any punches though, forcing goaltender Carey Price to make a near unbelievable pad save on Mika Zibanejad. Eventually the Senators were rewarded by Clark MacArthur at 18:42 of the 1st who rifled one high over Price’s glove. The was much like the first; both teams trading heart skipping chances until Montreal’s Max Pacioretty goes 5-hole on the Hamburgler at 7:18 of the first to make it 1-1. Hammond would be tested two more times until Montreal’s P.K. Subban drilled one as it bounced off the boards on a perfect ‘tee’. The puck would be clocked at over 140km p/hour whistling by Hammond’s left ear and hitting the post before ricocheting in. Habs up 2-1 late in the Second.
3rd period, 13:25 found Ottawa D-man Patrick Wiercioch sliding one under Price to make it 2 all. We would finish the 3rd goal free and send it to OT where the Senators were put to bed at 3:40 when Alex Galchenyuk spins, fires after picking up a rebound. Habs lead the Series 2-0.
Capitals vs Islanders: Game 2
The dangerous Capitals and the clutch Islanders were on the ice Friday April 17th for Game 2 of their series. With Brayden Holtby out with an illness, Philipp Grubauer was in for Washington and tested early by New York’s Kyle Okposo with a slap shot from just above the circle. But Cal Clutterbuck would open the scoring on snap shot to the right of Grubauer.
It would be the second period before the Caps would get on the board. Karl Alzner would drive one from the top of the faceoff circle beating Halak, but the Isles were already up by one thanks to Ryan Strome 8 minutes earlier.
Okposo would put the Isles up 3-1 at 14:09 of the second, but Alexander Ovechkin would response exactly 2 minutes later on a follow up rebound putting the Caps within one.
Come early 3rd period, Nickals Backstrom steps in on Halak and buries one tying the game at 3 and sending the bench into frenzy. Jason Chimera would net Washington’s fourth at 7:37 of the 3rd totaling three unanswered goals for the comeback win. Series tied 1-1.
April 17th, 2015
Predators vs Blackhawks: Game 2
With Game 1 in the books, Chicago proved that it pays to never give up. How would the Predators respond? With a repeat performance by Colin Wilson that’s how, as he once again opens the scoring at 2:47, stuffing one past Crawford on the short side. It would take roughly 13 minutes, but the Blackhawk’s Patrick Sharp would retaliate with a back hand stop, and forehand flip up over Pekka Rinne.
Not to be outdone, Nashville’s Roman Josi would respond at 19:56 of the 1st to put the crowd at ease into the 2nd period. Nashville up 2-1 so far, until Patrick Kane picks up a chip in, skates down the left hand side and buries the tying goal for Chicago.
Unfortunately that’s where the Blackhawk’s offence ends, as Nashville comes alive with four unanswered goals; including one from former Maple Leaf Mike Santorelli at 15:00 of the 3rd. Predators take it convincingly 6-2.
Canucks vs Flames: Game 2
Having the Flames come into your own building and take the air out of your sails in Game 1 could have been worse. But determined to show everyone in the West that they still got it, the Canucks were not going to take the young n’gunnin Flames lightly.
Vancouver’s Daniel Sedin started out beautifully at 2:56 of the 1st with a smooth cross ice pass and into the back of the net from the circle.
The Canucks didn’t let up; with Tanev wringing the post and Horvat going coast to coast, it was only a matter of time before Vancouver converted. At 5:52 the Flames take a Delay of Game penalty and this allows the Canucks the room to create a few chances before Chris Higgins is able to coral the loose puck to make it 2-0 Vancouver.
Calgary clearly started to show signs of frustration as Sam Bennett retaliates against Daniel Sedin after a bump along the boards.
The roughness doesn’t seem to end come the 2nd as multiple chances by Calgary turn into crease scrums and eventually both the Flames and Canucks are assessed roughing penalties at 7:27 for Roughing.
The 2nd period would finish with more physicality but no resulting goals. The 3rd on the other hand opens in goals, as Vancouver’s Ronalds Kenins beats Jonas Hiller high glove on a snap shot. Canucks up 3-0 early in the 3rd.
The scrums and jabs continue to boil until the Flames finally make it on the board at 16:26 with a slap shot on the power play by Kris Russell
Vancouver responds a minute and thirty later as Radim Vrbata slides the empty netter in, but settles nothing as a brawl ensues shortly after. Canucks take it 4-1 and tie the Series.
April 18th, 2015
Red Wings vs Lightening: Game 2
If Game 2 was going to be anything like Game 1, then viewers were going to be in for a treat. Game 1 was a back n ’fourth battle, but Game 2 was to put Detroit’s Petr Mrazek to task. Tested twice in under a minute forty, he couldn’t hold off for long as Tampa’s Tyler Johnson buried a rebound of the post to open in the Lightening’s favor.
Not to be left out, Ben Bishop spent the remainder of the first with Mrazek being tested and forced to come up big. The 2nd period was not so kind though, as the Lightning struck three times including Tyler Johnson’s second of the night.
Jimmy Howard is given the start for Detroit in the 3rd and it seems to give the Red Wings a little confidence as Tomas Tatar nets a nifty tip at 5:49
Valterri Filppula nets Tampa’s fifth of the night at 15:26 and the Lightening tie the Series 1-1.
Blues vs Wild: Game 2
With Minnesota coming off their win of Game 1, how would the Blues respond? Would they let the Wild take two in their home?
Devan Dubnyk and Jake Allen both got the start again for their respective teams and spent the first half of the period trading saves before St. Louis’s Vladimir Tarasenko tips a shot from Alexander Steen at 13:18 and then ushers one in on the power play, short side of Dubnyk. Blues up 2-0 through the remainder of the 1st and all of the 2nd.
Minnesota start the 3rd on a high note as Marco Scandella shatter’s his stick on a bomb past Jake Allen. The Wild are down by one.
The Blues seal their win late in the 3rd on a wrist shot from Patrik Berglund at 18:02 and Tarasenko nets one on an empty net for the hat trick.
Blues tame the Wild 4-1 to even the Series heading into St. Paul.
April 18th, 2015
Rangers vs Penguins: Game 2
The battle of the Metropolitan continues as the Penguins once again re-enter MSG to take on the league leading New York Rangers.
The majority of the 1st was a goaltender’s clinic as it appeared neither Fleury nor Lundqvist seemed beatable. Derek Stepan of the Rangers found a way on a beautiful snap shot from a cross ice wing to wing pass from J.T. Miller. Rangers up 1-0.
Pittsburgh came storming back in the 2nd tallying three unanswered goals between Brandon Sutter and Sidney Crosby. Penguins take a 3-1 lead.
New York’s Derick Brassard gets the Ranger’s back in the game with a power play goal in close on Marc-Andre Fleury at 3:16 of the 3rd. But Chris Kunitz answers back for Pittsburgh at 9:41 on a backhanded power play goal. 4-2 Penguins.
Not going quietly, Rick Nash nets the Rangers’ third goal of the night with 4 seconds left on the clock. Penguins hold on though for the 4-3 victory.
Ducks vs Jets: Game 2
Game 2 got underway from Anaheim on April 18th and we all knew we were in for a hockey game. The Jets were going to go fast and heavy like Game 1 and hopefully pull out a win.
Winnipeg didn’t disappoint, they came out laying hits and taking the body, but unfortunately got a little excited and took two high-sticking penalties giving the Ducks a 2 man advantage. Pavelec stood solid and Winnipeg’s penalty killers did their job to pull the Jets out of what could have been a tailspin had the Ducks got themselves on the board.
Eventually come late 2nd period, the Winnipeg Jets found themselves on the board with a wrap-around from Adam Pardy.
Come the 3rd period Anaheim was putting on the pressure and the Jets started to show signs. Ondrej Pavelec was forced to stand tall once again turning aside Duck’s Captain Ryan Getzlaf and a hard push on the net a few minutes later.
Just past the midway point of the 3rd the pressure proved to be too much as Anaheim’s Patrick Maroon redirected a point shot from D-man Cam Fowler after the Jet’s Andrew Ladd took a high-sticking penalty.
All tied at 1-1 the Jets were hoping to at least have the chance to put the Ducks away in OT, but Jakob Silfverberg obtained from Ottawa in exchange for Bobby Ryan found the short side on Pavelec at 19:40 to put the game away. Ducks lead the Series 2-0
April 19th, 2015
Capitals vs Islanders: Game 3
With the series tied 1-1 we head to Long Island for Game 3 where Washington’s Brayden Hotlby spent the first period putting on a clinic. It wasn’t until 12:37 of the 2nd when we saw the Islanders get on the board after Kyle Okposo couldn’t bury a juicy rebound from Hickey; he parked up in front and tipped a rocket from Lubomir Visnovsky.
Washington wouldn’t answer until nearly 20 minutes later when Nicklas Backstrom drifts outside the top of the circles and into the slot to let on go. The puck would miss a ton of traffic in front and drift up to hit the crossbar and fall down into the net.
With just over 6 minutes left in the 3rd, this was going to OT. But the Isles wouldn’t have to wait long as clutch Captain John Tavares put the Capitals away 15 seconds into OT with a sharp angle shot off a turn-over in the Washington zone. Islanders lead the Series 2-1
Predators vs Blackhawks: Game 3
Game 3 saw us leave Nashville and head to the Windy City. Scoring got started late in the 1st when Andrew Desjardins of the Blackhawks picked up his own blocked shot rebound and fired a shot while falling to the ice.
Nashville’s Mike Ribeiro would answer back 31 seconds later with a slapper from between the hash marks to tie the game at 1.
2nd period, 36 seconds in. Marian Hossa leaves a drop pass to Jonathan Toews who flicks a wrister’ from the top of the circle. Hawks up 2-1, but 22 seconds later Mattias Ekholm completes his drive with a little help from the post. All tied up at 2
The second would continue like this, but all in Chicago’s favor as Brandon Saad nets a wrist shot from up the wing at 3:38 and then at 12:41 Olympic Gold Medalist Brent Seabrook unleashes a snap shot from the hash marks to make it 4-2 Chicago.