April 19th, 2015
Canadiens vs Senators: Game 3
We’re back in the nation’s capital on April 19th to see Game 3 of Habs vs Senators. The Senators go back home licking their wounds from Game 2’s OT loss. Its here they need to make their stand. Anderson is given the net in lieu of Hammond on Coach Dave Cameron’s orders. It’s game time.
Learning from Game’s 1 and 2 the Sens starting the hitting early, and it paid off at 11:28 of the 1st when Clark MacArthur nets a nifty backhand to put Ottawa up 1-0
Ottawa opened the second still with the 1-0 lead and the hits didn’t stop. Captain Erik Karlsson levels Montreal’s Beaulieu in open ice. The period continues like this with both Ottawa and Montreal trading penalties and crushing hits.
3rd period begins and all of Ottawa is once again holding their breath. They’ve been here before, so close but yet so far away as Habs Dale Weise knocks the puck out of mid-air with his hand and shovels home the tying goal at 14:13
Remaining regulation solves nothing and we’re going to OT. The Senators have a productive OT and things are looking up. Craig Anderson makes a few stellar saves to keep the dream alive and Stone is robbed by Carey Price after forcing a turnover in the offensive zone.
At 8:47 of the first OT Dale Weise once again plays spoiler and rips his shot short side, putting Montreal up 3-0 in the Series.
Canucks vs Flames: Game 3
Game 3! The Saddle Dome, Calgary Alberta, playoff hockey is back in Calgary and the Flames are lit up. Calgary is on the board first at 6:35 when Brandon Bollig jumps on a loose puck to get the crowd fired up.
The Canucks respond less than 3 minutes later with a wrist shot from Shawn Matthias after Calgary’s Jonas Hiller gives us an acrobatics show.
But the Flames return fire at 15:02 with a slap shot from TJ Brodie to once again take the lead and move into the 2nd period up 2-1. With the second under way, so come the penalties. Both Calgary and Vancouver are assessed Interference calls as tempers start to flair. This smolders into a Roughing penalty for both sides at 15:39 when Burrows takes offence to some extracurricular after the whistle. The bad blood continues late in the as Dorsett and Engelland have words.
3rd period saw Calgary’s rookie Sam Bennett net his 1st career goal at 2:14 after Eddie Lack lost view of the puck after a second shot attempt. Flames up 3-1
Three quarters of the way through the 3rd Vancouver’s Hamhuis takes two for a check to the head, which puts Calgary on the power play, 40 seconds later Sean Monahan parks up front off the faceoff and takes a pass from Johnny Gaudreau down low. Rings it off the post for some insurance; Flames lead 4-1
The Canucks would put in for another at 17:41 making in 4-2 in favor of Calgary, but tempers finally boiled over when Alexandre Burrows and Kris Russell are given Fighting Majors at 18:35, immediately followed by Kevin Bieksa and Michael Ferland with the same at 18:54. The fires were still burning come the end of the game as Luca Sbisa is awarded another Fighting Major against Deryk Engelland who takes a Roughing call as well.
Calgary leads the Series 2-1
April 20th, 2015
Rangers vs Penguins: Game 3
Game 3 moves into Pittsburgh with the Pens able to steal one at MSG keeping the field level at one a piece.
Just like Game 1 and 2 the 1st was once again a goal tender’s dual until Carl Hagelin breaks away on a poor Pittsburgh line change and drills one home through the five hole. The remainder of the 1st would return to the goal tender’s dual.
2nd period starts the way the first ended until Chris Kreider finds the back of the net for the Rangers on a sharp angle shot that bounced off the boards behind Fleury.
The Penguins were determined not to get frustrated and spent the remainder of the second forcing Lundqvist to make save after save; including drive by Ian Cole. With momentum carrying well into the 3rd, the Penguins kept increasing their chances until Patric Hornqvist solved the New York net minder at 13:12 when a scrum and loose pucks broke out in front of Lundqvist.
The Penguins were unable to put another goal together and the Rangers were able to hold on for the 2-1 win.
Blues vs Wild: Game 3
In the city of St. Paul we were last night, and the Wild were ready to go with Devan Dubnyk in net, and Jake Allen getting the call again for the St. Louis.
The Wild spent the first 15 minutes drilling shots at Allen for a total of seven good scoring chances, but just unable to convert. Not being deterred, Minnesota kept up the pressure into the 2nd and were eventually able to transform a thwarted 2 on 1 into an open net goal from Jason Pominville.
Zach Parise was able to add to that two minutes later when he refused to be outplayed in front of the St. Louis crease, banging one home to put the Wild up 2-0.
Devan Dubnyk continued to work hard and stoned the Blues on all of their 17 attempts, while the remainder of the Wild were able to hold the Blues to under 20 shots for the entire 60 minutes. With Nino Niederreiter pocketing an empty netter at 17:58 of the 3rd; Minnesota held on to record the first shut out of the 2015 NHL Playoffs.
April 20th, 2015
Ducks vs Jets: Game 3
MTS Centre, Winnipeg MB, the Jets have flown home and are taking on the Anaheim Ducks for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The first playoff game in Winnipeg in 19 years, would there even be a roof left on the place?
The puck dropped to start the 1st and from then on you could barely hear yourself think. Winnipeg worked their game, kept skating and delivering the body. Come 9:38 the Jets entered the Duck’s zone on a 3 on 2 resulting from a cross ice pass where Lee Stempinak banged in the rebound on a wide open net when the Duck’s defense skated by the puck.
The hitting and speed continued; Ryan Kessler of the Ducks was proving to be an annoyance to the Jets. Eventually ending in offsetting Roughing penalties for himself and Adam Lowry at 18:43, and under a minute later the Ducks were able to convert the 4-4 into a goal by Cam Fowler.
2nd Period started with Ondrej Pavelec making a game saving stop on a breakaway by Jakob Silfverberg, and then repeating that again when stopping a shot by Emerson Etem on a 2 on 1
At 3:08 Anaheim’s hotshot Corey Perry is left alone in front of Pavelec and bangs a rebound home to make it 2-1 Ducks. Jets’ Dustin Byfuglien takes a Roughing penalty after the play when he punches Perry in the back of the head.
Two minutes later Anaheim is caught with Too Many Men of the Ice and Tyler Myers is able to tip in a shot from above the circle to make it 2-2. Two minutes later Blake Wheeler nets Winnipeg’s third for a 3-2 lead.
At 16:04 Jakob Silfverberg strikes again when he’s left alone in front to bang in a pass from below the goal line. Ducks tie the game 3-3, but like a broken record the Jets land another one two minutes later at 18:18 when Bryan Little intercepts a sloppy Anaheim pass in the slot.
By the mid-way point of the 3rd period things were looking great in Winnipeg and you could see the blue faces of those holding their breath, until Anaheim’s Ryan Kesler rips one by Pavelec after the Jets were unable to regain possession after a dump in. Tied 4-4 and going into OT.
At 5:12 of OT Duck’s Rickard Rakell blasts one by Pavelec after the Ducks force a turnover below the goal line due to fierce fore-checking; Ducks now lead the Series 3-0
April 21st, 2015
Red Wings vs Lightning: Game 3
Game 3 saw us back in the iconic Joe Louis area and with Detroit’s focus clear “create more chances in the offensive zone”, the Red Wings would look to the likes of Pavel Datsyuk and big D-man Kyle Quincey for support.
The Red Wings would draw first blood at 8:46 of the 1st on a drive by Datsyuk who was able to tip the puck enough to change direction and beat Bishop.
The 1st and 2nd periods would continue relatively uneventful with Ben Bishop and Petr Mrazek exchanging saves, with near identical shot attempts (15-14).
3rd period heated up quickly for the Red Wings as Riely Sheahan scored on the power play after Tampa’s Braydon Coburn took a Tripping penalty at 5:12, and then Luke Glendening adding an empty netter late in the 3rd.
Red Wings take the Series lead 2-1
Capitals vs Islanders: Game 4
More drama was in store at Nassau Memorial Coliseum on April 21st as Game 4 got underway.
The Islanders got busy quickly with five great scoring attempts on goaltender Braden Holtby before Capital’s scoring stud Alex Ovechkin was able to beat Jaroslav Halak via a screen from Joel Ward.
The Islanders would respond 13 seconds before the end of the 1st with Casey Cizikas banging in the rebound off the pads of Braden Holtby.
The Islanders would end the 2nd out shooting the Capitals 15 to 6, but unable to solve Braden Holtby through on. The 3rd period would solve nothing for these two teams and OT would be need.
Washington savior Nicklas Backstrom would net the OT winner at 11:09 with a beautiful wrist shot from up top the point. Capitals tie the Series 2-2
April 21st, 2015
Predators vs Blackhawks: Game 4
Chicago, Illinois and a man named Darling! Game 1 saw Scott Darling come in as relief, gets the start in Game 3 and again for Game 4.
Period 1 saw Colin Wilson strike once again for the Predators on screen and tip play, but the Blackhawks would fire back 1 minute and 27 seconds later with a reaching tip by Antoine Vermette. All tied up going into the 2nd.
The 2nd period saw Nashville out shoot Chicago 14 to 7, and the Predator’s recent pick up from Pittsburg; James Neal net a beauty off a mishandling by Chicago defense.
3rd period saw a flip side to the story with Chicago out shooting the Predators 12 to 5, and with Brandon Saad picking up a drop pass from Marion Hossa at 11:03 to make it 2-2, we would head to OT.
This one would take triple OT to solve for the Blackhawks as Brent Seabrook rifles one from the blue line to put Chicago up 3-1 in the series.
Canucks vs Flames: Game 4
Would game 4 give us the physicality that we saw in game 2 and 3? Sure it would!
Puck drop, 1st period, 1:44, Canucks are called for Boarding and this opens the door for stud rookie Johnny Gaudreau to score on a beautiful pass from Dennis Wideman.
7:08 in the 1st, Flames’ David Schlemko is boxed for Slashing and Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin gets a favorable deflection from Calgary’s Kris Russell. We’re tied.
Still in the 1st, 9:02, Canucks’ Nick Bonino goes for Roughing and 18 seconds later Juri Hudler deflects Dennis Wideman’s slapshot to make it 2-1 Calgary.
This game wouldn’t need any more time, and despite the Canucks out shooting the Flames 15 to 9 in the 3rd, Calgary would hold on to win it 3-1
April 22nd, 2015
Canadiens vs Senators: Game 4
Game 4 saw the Senators on the brink of elimination. All meetings decided by one goal. Would this be the same?
The game started out fast paced as the previous three had with both the Canadiens and the Senators moving from coast to coast exchanging chances, heart attacks and saves. This would continue into the second period where oddities began to show. At 8:34 of the 2nd Ottawa’s Bobby Ryan for a Face-off violation, a violation penalty that had not been called for some time in the NHL.
For the next two minutes, all of Ottawa held their breath as Ottawa was forced to kill one of the oddest penalties that could be assessed. By 10:34 it was clear the Senators had dodged a bullet and perhaps luck was on their side?
We wouldn’t know until 15:24 when Montreal’s Brandon Prust was able to manufacture a break away, getting by defenseman Erik Karlsson. Goaltending Craig Anderson who got the call for Game 4 stayed with Prust the entire way and sprawled out forcing Prust to the outside where he simply ran out of real estate and couldn’t slide the puck through.
3rd period saw the Senators come out skating strong and controlling the shots. Working to out shoot Montreal 12 to 7 in the 3rd, this is where Ottawa’s Mike Hoffman who has convincingly been absent of late was able to fit one by Carey Price on his signature quick release with a screen. Ottawa goes up 1-0 and would hold on to force Game 5.
Rangers vs Penguins: Game 4
With New York leading the series 2-1, Pittsburgh was in definite need to close the gap. Letting the Rangers go up 3-1 could be a recipe for disaster.
The Penguins got off to a great start netting the first goal at 2:22 of the 1st off a tip by Patric Hornqvist. This seemed to rally the Penguins which allowed them to withstand the onslaught of physicality that the Rangers unleashed for the remainder of the 1st and into the 2nd.
New York kept the pressure in the 2nd and were rewarded late with 2:45 to go when Ryan McDonagh got the puck deep for Rick Nash to throw on net. The resulting scrum and loose puck allowed Derick Brassard to net New York’s first of the game, leaving us tied at one a piece.
As the theme had been lately, the 3rd solved nothing and OT was in order. Early in the extra frame the Rangers once again got the puck deep where Martin St. Louis was able to gain position on Ben Lovejoy and throw the puck in front of Fleury where the Rangers were able to take a another crack at the loose puck before 6’5 Kevin Hayes was able to bang it by Marc-Andre Fleury who by this time was snow-angeled in the crease.
New York now leads the series 3-1.
April 22nd, 2015
Blues vs Wild: Game 4
By the way the Minnesota played Game 3 it looked quite possible that the Wild could take a 3-1 series strangle hold tonight. As it turned out, St. Louis would not be singing the blues by the end of the night.
St. Louis wasted no time in applying back breaking pressure to the Wild and goaltender Devan Dubnyk, racking up 3 goals in 10 minutes. The first; a bomber of a shot from Ryan Reaves, the second; a tip from Tarasenko a minute and a half later, and a third from David Backes who stuffed the puck underneath Dubnyk on the power play. Blues lead 3-0 at the end of the 1st.
The 2nd period saw Minnesota attempt to mount some sort of offence when Jared Spurgeon fired a wrist shot from the top of the circle at 1:41 to beat Jake Allen. The Wild trail by two.
Paul Statsny silenced the crowd 2 minutes later with the Blues’ fourth of the night with another wrist shot from the button to the right of Dubnyk. St. Louis regains their 3 goal lead.
Vladimir Tarasenko would net his second of the night at 15:47 on a breakaway, and Patrik Berglund would seal the Wild’s fate 1 minute later with his backhand over the shoulder of the Minnesota net minder.
St. Louis would hold onto even the series at 2 games a piece with the 6-1 routing of the Minnesota Wild.
Ducks vs Jets: Game 4
It was elimination day on the Flight Deck in Winnipeg and as Game 3 was a classic, Game 4 would make history.
The puck was dropped and the 1st was under way to a deafening crowd, it simply seemed that no matter what, when a Jet’s player touched the puck the cheers could be heard.
Those cheers turned to roars at 16:26 of the 1st when Bryan Little snapped one past Anaheim’s Andersen to open the scoring.
Again as the series’ theme seem to go, the Ducks proved ‘anything you can do, I can do better’ as Emerson Etem would net his first of the playoffs a minute and a half later by simply undressing two Jet’s defenseman to slide the puck past Pavelec on the backhand. Ducks and Jets are tied at 1.
Anaheim would take a 2-1 lead just passed the mid-way point of the second on a one-timer from Andrew Cogliano. Winnipeg’s most wanted; Ryan Kessler would extend that lead at 6:41 of the 3rd when he calmly skates in behind the rush to tap in the rebound to make it 3-1 Ducks.
Winnipeg’s Mark Stuart would strike for the Jets at 10:27 as his point shot off the faceoff would trickle its way through the pads of Andersen to make it 3-2 Anaheim.
Ryan Kessler would strike again at 15:11 to put the damper on the Winnipeg crowd as they saw their team’s playoff hopes dying. Sami Vatanen would put an empty netter in at 19:33, firmly closing out the Jet’s hopes as time dwindled down to allow Anaheim to complete the 4 Game sweep of the Winnipeg Jets.
April 23rd, 2015
Red Wings vs Lightning: Game 4
Back at Joe Louis arena for Game 4 between the Detroit Red Wings and the Tampa Bay Lightning, we all wondered could the Red Wings place a 3-1 series grip on the Lightning who had been so dominant throughout the regular season?
We had to wait until the second period for anything solid to materialize as the teams would combine for a total of only 16 shots (8 apiece) in the first. Henrik Zetterberg would set up fellow Swede Gustav Nyquist for a wide open tip in.
Joakim Andersson would add another for Detroit roughly 10 minutes later off a weird bounce.
We would need to wait nearly a full 20 minutes for the next goal that finally saw some life inside the Tampa Bay Lightning. The speedy Tyler Johnson would gain position on Darren Helm from the outside and lift a nifty little snap shot up over Petr Mrazek to make it 2-1. The Lightning would strike again a minute and seventeen seconds later when Ondrej Palat beats Jonathan Ericsson for centre position and bangs the centering pass past the Detroit net minder leaving us all tied up at 2.
Time would elapse in the 3rd and OT would see Tyler Johnson score again to lead the Lightning over the Red Wings 3-2 and even the series.
Capitals vs Islanders: Game 5
We were back in Washington for Game 5 and with the series currently tied a 2, this game is going to be pivotal.
At 5:48 of the 1st, Josh Bailey would take a pass from John Tavares who was pressed along the boards and nets a quick snap shot to put the Islanders on the board first.
The Capitals however would make their mark just over 6 minutes later when Evgeny Kuzenetsov bats the puck out of midair and puts it by Halak. We end the 1st tied at one.
The 2nd would only see the Capitals score a sneaky play by Karl Alzner who snuck in as fourth man on the play to snap one by Halak who was completely beaten and on the far side of the net.
Brooks Laich netted a wrist shot up top on Halak at 2:42 of the 3rd and Evengy Kuzenetsov would follow up 3 minutes later with his second of the night and of the playoffs to make it 4-1 Washington. Jason Chimera would score again for Washington to make it 5-1 and take Game 5.
April 23rd, 2015
Predators vs Blackhawks: Game 5
Back in Music City, Tennessee for Game 5 where the Blackhawks have a chance to put away the Predators, and the Predators have their chance to bite back.
Blackhawks’ Brad Richards makes his mark first on a simple play down the far wing putting a nice little wrist shot by Pekka Rinne, but Nashville’s Filip Forsberg would even the tide under a minute and a half later right off the faceoff.
We leave the 1st and travel all the way through the second tied at one.
47 seconds into the 3rd period, former Pittsburgh Penguin James Neal would put Nashville ahead on a sweet wrap around. Colin Wilson who has struggled during the regular season to find the back of the net does not struggle in this series as he nets his fifth on the power play. 12 seconds later Forsberg calls again for his second of the night.
Kris Versteeg would net Chicago’s 2nd of the night at 14:52, but Forsberg would come calling a 3rd time on an empty net for the hat trick. Predators stave off elimination and top the Blackhawks 5-2
Canucks vs Flames: Game 5
Vancouver Canada, Rogers Arena and the Canucks are on the brink of elimination. Calgary would open the scoring at 2:40 of the 1st on a loose puck. Vancouver would use this as ammo and would tally 17 shots on goal to the Flames 8.
2nd period would see a repeat shot count of 17-8, but the periods goal would be assessed not Vancouver’s Nick Bonino with a quick snap shot from a pass below the goal line.
The 3rd period would see a far less shot paced game take form with the Canucks only tallying 9 shots to Calgary’s 5. But once again the Canucks would win out with Daniel Sedin just barely getting enough wood on the puck inside the crease of Jonas Hiller to make it 2-1 Vancouver and live to play another day.
April 24th, 2015
Canadiens vs Senators: Game 5
It was Game 5 in Montreal and the Habs only need one more win to put it away. As dictated every other game, Ottawa was the first on the board when Bobby Ryan broke his 16 game scoring slump on a wrist shot at 9:29 of the 1st. With Mike Hoffman back paired with Ryan and Zibanejad, life seems to have been breathed into the number 6.
The Senators would strike again at 15:39 on Patrick Wiercioche’s eagle eyed wrist shot as it found its home over Carey Price’s shoulder.
The 2nd was a stapling clinic as both teams literally exchanged heavy hits. Most notably was Montreal’s Max Pacioretty’s thundering hit on Curtis Lazar. The hits weren’t enough to slow the Senators down though as Senators Captain Erik Karlsson wired one past price at 14:29 of the second to put Ottawa up 3-0.
3rd period is where we saw Montreal on the board when Tom Gilbert blasted a low and hard one past Anderson. But the Senators would only use this as fuel for the fire, netting their 4th goal of the night on a break-away dangle by Eric Condra and rocket from Mike Hoffman at 19:10. Sens take it 5-1
Rangers vs Penguins: Game 5
The Penguins face elimination and if they’re unable to fight off the Rangers, this would be their earliest exit of the post season in 8 years.
Derek Stepan ‘stepped’ up early in the 1st when he buried the rebound on Fleury during a New York power play that had just started 12 seconds earlier.
Pittsburgh would answer back late in the second at 17:23 with an odd tip-in off Nick Spaling’s hand. The play would be reviewed, but eventually called a goal.
The 3rd period would see the Penguins out shoot the Rangers 14 to 7, but no goals from either side. OT would once again be needed, and New York’s Carl Hagelin would net the OT series ending winner with a wrist shot at 10:52 of the fourth frame.