Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Joe Rexrode of The Tennessean,
Nashville’s 3-0 lead is a shocker in the hockey world, at the expense of a Chicago team favored by Las Vegas oddsmakers to win the Stanley Cup and picked by just about everyone else to win this first-round series. If the Predators can get one more win, it will be the most significant achievement in their 19-year history – beating an elite team that has won three of the past seven Stanley Cups, and setting themselves up to make a serious run at one of their own.
That’s why Lower Broadway is wilder than normal these days, and why this team’s TV ratings are surging, and why Monday night in Bridgestone was one of the best scenes at a sporting event you’re going to find anywhere. From Carrie Underwood’s surprise, soaring national anthem to the euphoric celebration after Predators forward Kevin Fiala scored the winning goal in overtime, it was epic.
“Awesome,” Laviolette said. “The rink was unbelievable, the fans were absolutely incredible. … From an organizational standpoint it’s huge, to watch the growth of it. It’s hard not to mention or acknowledge the impact they had on the game (Monday).”
from Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times,
from Benjamin Hochman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
The Blues are now 2-4 in closeout games in the past two seasons.
Vladimir Tarasenko, who did have a good stretch in the second period Wednesday, still hasn't scored in the series.
And that the old Wild has awakened - the team that played the first two-thirds of the season.
See, the Wild was really, really good until the last month. It was possible they could've ended up with the No. 1 overall seed in the Western Conference, if they didn't turn into the “January St. Louis Blues” in March and April.
Much of the problem was Dubnyk. And now he's proving to be the solution, and that's a scary proposition.
“That’s what we need from him every night if we’re going to turn this thing around,” said Hanzal, whose team hosts Game 5 on Saturday at 2 p.m. “He has to be our best player and that’s what he did tonight. We have to do the same thing on Saturday, because everybody in this room still believes we can do it. I believe too, and if we play like this the rest of the series, we’re going to do it.”
That doesn't sound good.
Below, watch the highlights from the 2-0 Wild win over the Blues...
from Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald,
The Bruins are down to their final loss and, if they can’t figure out a way to make a big play at the right time, we will have seen them in Boston for the last time this season.
After having a goal called back in the second period on an offside challenge, the B’s gave up the go-ahead goal early in the third to Bobby Ryan and lost to the Ottawa Senators, 1-0, at the Garden, their third straight loss in the Eastern Conference first-round playoff series. The Senators, up 3-1 in the series, have a chance to end it on home ice tomorrow night in Game 5.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
The scoreboard read 5-4 and the landmines were scattered everywhere.
About the only victory the Toronto Maple Leafs could claim on Wednesday night is that they managed to pack up and leave Air Canada Centre without stepping on any of them.
There were several different ways a Game 4 loss could have been chalked up as an aw-shucks near-miss, from the 19-3 shots advantage over Washington in the third period to the fact they came within a botched 1-on-4 clearing attempt from forcing overtime.
But the Leafs instead took a deeper level of self-reflection and thus avoided lying to themselves about what really happened here.
“For sure, it is a lost opportunity,” said head coach Mike Babcock. “It doesn’t feel like it – it is. I think Game 1 in their building you could say that, but I didn’t feel like that, I just felt that was a confidence builder for our team. You’re playing a team, they’re the best team in hockey and here you are.
“I thought today was the first time that maybe we weren't scared enough of them and it looked like it because our competition level wasn’t good enough.”
Highlights are below...
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
The Brian Elliott era is over in Calgary.
So is the Calgary Flames season.
Those facts aren’t mutually exclusive.
Not only did Elliott play a significant role in the Flames loss for the second game in a row, the 32-year-old netminder’s whiff on a soft, weak-angled wrister by Patrick Eaves a mere 5:38 into Wednesday’s series-ending game also put an abrupt end to any chance the Flames can put any more faith in him.
That point was hammered home seconds later when coach Glen Gulutzan replaced Elliott with Chad Johnson, leading to one of the longest skates to the bench in Elliott’s career.
Surely his last as a Flame.
Immediately plopping himself down at the end of the bench, a stunned Elliott left his mask and gloves on the rest of the period.
You couldn’t help but feel bad for him.
Watch the game highlights (Ducsk 3 - Flames 1) below and the handshake line too
Home Team in Caps
Washington 5, TORONTO 4 – series tied 2-2
Ottawa 1, BOSTON 0 – OTT leads 3-1
Minnesota 2, ST. LOUIS 0 – STL leads 3-1
Anaheim 3, CALGARY 1 – ANA wins 4-0
DUCKS SWEEP FLAMES TO BECOME FIRST TEAM TO REACH SECOND ROUND
After being relieved in Game 3, John Gibson rebounded with a 36-save outing as the Ducks swept the Flames to become the first team to reach the Second Round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
* The Ducks earned their fifth four-game sweep in franchise playoff history and first since the 2015 First Round vs. WPG. They also became the first NHL team to record a sweep in the postseason since the 2015 Second Round (CHI: 4-0 vs. MIN).
* The Ducks improved to 20-3 against Canadian teams in the Stanley Cup Playoffs dating to the start of the 2007 postseason (8-1 vs. CGY, 4-1 vs. OTT, 4-1 vs. VAN and 4-0 vs. WPG).
* The Ducks will face the winner of the Oilers-Sharks series in the Second Round. Anaheim has played each team once before in the postseason (4-1 L vs. EDM in 2006 CF, 4-2 W vs. SJS in 2009 CQF).
Washington did win the game 5-4 over Toronto, but what do you think of this no goal call?
Tom Wilson just did, Caps up 4-1 after the 1st.
NEW YORK -- Centers Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins, Ryan Kesler of the Anaheim Ducks and Mikko Koivu of the Minnesota Wild are the three finalists for the 2016-17 Frank J. Selke Trophy, which is awarded "to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game," the National Hockey League announced today.
Discuss the games if so moved.
Yesterday I was 3-0, so let's try it again tonight.
Washington, Boston, St. Louis and Calgary all win.
Washington @ Toronto, TOR leads 2-1, 7 p.m., CBC, TVAS2, NBCSN, CSN-DC
Ottawa @ Boston, OTT leads 2-1, 7:30 p.m., SN, TVAS, USA, NESN
Minnesota @ St. Louis, STL leads 3-0, 9:30 p.m., SN360, TVAS2, NBCSN, FS-MW, FS-N
Anaheim @ Calgary, ANA leads 3-0, 10 p.m., CBC, TVAS, USA, PRIME
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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