Tag:Western Conference Quarterfinals
Posted on: April 16, 2010 1:50 am
Edited on: April 16, 2010 1:52 am

Three Stars: April 15

By Erin Brown

First Star: ★ Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres

Buffalo lost its composure during a massive scrum late in the first period, and Miller made sure the fisticuffs didn't impact the final score. The Sabres goalie stopped 38 shots Thursday night -- 23 in the second period alone.

Second Star: ★ ★ Tomas Plekanec, Montreal Canadiens

The Canadiens regular season scoring leader came through in the clutch, scoring from the high slot to give the eighth-seeded Canadiens a 3-2 overtime win.

Third Star: ★ ★ ★ Mikael Samuelsson, Vancouver Canucks

A Cup winner with Detroit, Samuelsson knows what it takes to win in the postseason, and showed his Canucks teammates Thursday night. The Swede contributed a tying goal in the second period and the game-winner in overtime.

Honorable Mentions

Goat of the night: Andrew Alberts, Vancouver Canucks

The Vancouver penalty killing hasn't been great this season, and Alberts left his teammates shorthanded for a chunk of Game 1. The Kings scored on the power play resulting from his interference call. They tied the game on a 5-minute power play after Alberts was ejected for boarding.

Posted on: April 16, 2010 1:17 am

Wraparound: A recap of Thursday's games

A roundup of the night's action:

No. 3 Buffalo Sabres 2, No. 6 Boston Bruins 1

Buffalo leads series, 1-0

Ryan Miller was remarkable in making 38 saves -- including 23 in the second period -- in the Sabres' 2-1 playoff-opening victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday. Recap | Stats

No. 8 Montreal Canadiens 3, No. 1 Washington Capitals 2 (OT)

Montreal leads series, 1-0

On a night in which the two-time reigning MVP Alex Ovechkin was neutralized, Tomas Plekanec was the perfect spoil sport for the Montreal Canadiens, scoring 13:19 into overtime as the Eastern Conference's No. 8 seed beat the top-seeded Washington Capitals 3-2. Recap | Stats

No. 3 Vancouver Canucks 3, No. 6 Los Angeles Kings 2 (OT)

Vancouver leads series, 1-0

Mikael Samuelsson scored his second goal 8:52 into overtime to give the Vancouver Canucks a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night in Game 1 of the first-round Western Conference series. Recap | Stats

Posted on: April 16, 2010 12:37 am
Edited on: April 16, 2010 12:40 am

Snap Shot: Photo of the Day

Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks gets some help from team equipment manager Pat O'Neill after the stick of Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar gets stuck in his visor during the second period in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. (Getty Images)

Posted on: April 16, 2010 12:31 am

Canucks' Alberts to face discipline for hit?

By Erin Brown

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Andrew Alberts could be the first player to face disciplinary action this postseason.

Midway through the second period of Game 1 against Los Angeles, Alberts checked Kings forward Brad Richardson from behind into the boards. Alberts connected with Richardson's head, and left his skates to do so. [ Video ]

Richarson immediately grabbed for the side of his head and was helped off the ice by a trainer. He returned to action before the end of the period.

Alberts received a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct.

Should the play be reviewed by the league, the Canucks defender could be punished under a new rule implemented in late March which explicitly bans "a lateral, back-pressure or blind-side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principal point of contact."

Posted on: April 15, 2010 11:50 am
Edited on: April 15, 2010 12:10 pm

The Morning Skate: News from around the rinks

By Erin Brown

A look at news from around the league...


Tonight's Games

No. 6 Boston Bruins at No. 3 Buffalo Sabres, 7 p.m.

• Buffalo's Ryan Miller expects plenty of pressure in a low-scoring series. [ Buffalo News ]

• What can Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers do for an encore to his stellar rookie season? [ Buffalo News ]

• Getting Tuukka Rask from Toronto has paid dividends for the Bruins. [ Boston Globe ]

• Boston needs a big series out of winger Milan Lucic . [ Boston Herald ]

• With the B's hurting along the blueline, rookie Johnny Boychuk hopes to crack the lineup. [ Boston Globe ]


No. 8 Montreal Canadiens at No. 1 Washington Capitals, 7 p.m.

• Goalie Jose Theodore expects to start Game 1 after taking a puck to the knee at practice. [ Washington Post ]

• The Capitals enter the postseason favored to win it the Cup. [ Washington Post ]

• Offensively minded Washington must focus more on its own end. [ Washington Post ]

• No one on the Canadiens roster can afford to take a night off in this series. [ Montreal Gazette ]

Andrei Markov and Marc-Andre Bergeron find instant chemistry along the Habs' blueline. [ Montreal Gazette ]


No. 6 Los Angeles Kings at No. 3 Vancouver Canucks, 10 p.m.

• Canucks coach Alain Vigneault on preparing his team: "We do sex every day." [ Vancouver Province ]

• Defenseman Sami Salo is healthy and keeping his teammate in stitches. [ Vancouver Sun ]

• Kings coach Terry Murray plans to keep his top lines intact for Game 1. [ Los Angeles Times ]

• Los Angeles GM Dean Lombardi is finally seeing his rebuilding project take shape. [ Los Angeles Times ]

• About half of the Kings' roster will make its playoff debut tonight. [ Orange County Register ]


Off-Day Teams

No. 2 New Jersey Devils vs. No. 7 Philadelphia Flyers (Philadelphia leads 1-0)

Chris Pronger did just about everything in the Flyers' 2-1 win over the Devils [ Newark Star-Ledger ]

• New Jersey coach Jacques Lemaire isn't looking to match lines with Philadelphia [ New York Post ]

• Flyers forward, and New Jersey native James van Riemsdyk gets support in Devils country. [ Camden Courier-Post ]


No. 4 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. No. 5 Ottawa Senators (Ottawa leads, 1-0)

• 2009 playoff phenon Marc-Andre Fleury didn't give the Penguins a chance to win on Wednesday. [ Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ]

• Neither did the old Mellon Arena boards, which gave up a bad bounce for the Pens. [ Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ]

• Rookie Brian Elliott says he's glad to have survived his first playoff game. [ Ottawa Sun ]


No. 1 San Jose Sharks vs. No. 8 Colorado Avalanche (Colorado leads, 1-0)

• The Sharks suffer another heart-sinking moment thanks to an ugly bounce. [ San Jose Mercury News ]

• Avs rookie Matt Duchene , 19, shows no fear in facing San Jose or trying to grow a playoff beard. [ Denver Post ]

• Being down in this series only adds to the Sharks' stress of reversing their playoff woes. [ Denver Post ]


No. 2 Chicago Blackhawks vs. No. 7 Nashville Predators

• Hawks winger Marian Hossa hopes he can win a Stanley Cup after two straight unsuccessful attempts. [ Chicago Tribune ]

• Chicago's Brian Campbell hopes to return to the lineup sometime during this series. [ Chicago Tribune ]

• Predators leading goal scorer Patric Hornqvist returned to practice and will suit up for Game 1. [ The Tennessean ]


No. 4 Phoenix Coyotes vs. No. 5 Detroit Red Wings (Phoenix leads, 1-0)

• Coyotes fans embrace the 'whiteout' tradition from the team's days in Winnipeg, Man. [ Arizona Republic ]

• Former 'Yotes Jeremy Roenick and Keith Tkachuk are thrilled to see Phoenix doing well. [ Arizona Republic ]

• Detroit's success hinges on whether Tomas Holmstrom can be a factor. [ Detroit News ]

Posted on: April 15, 2010 3:04 am
Edited on: April 15, 2010 3:16 am

Three Stars: April 14

By Erin Brown

First Star: ★ Derek Morris, Phoenix Coyotes

Morris played a role in each of Phoenix's goals, assisting on the first two before chipping in the go-ahead goal. In addition to being the first postseason goal of the defenseman's career, it held up as the game-winner, giving the Coyotes their first home playoff win in 10 years.

Second Star: ★ ★ Brian Boucher, Philadelphia Flyers

Like the Coyotes, Boucher also snapped a postseason winless streak, dating back to 2000. The Flyers netminder stopped 23 shots, and carried a shutout into the third period. That was nixed by New Jersey's Travis Zajac with less than three minutes to play, but Boucher held on for the victory.

Third Star: ★ ★ ★ Ilya Bryzgalov, Phoenix Coyotes

Bryzgalov has been nothing short of stellar during the regular season, and that appears to be the same during the playoffs. The goalie stopped 18 of 20 shots in the first period and kept the Coyotes return to the playoffs from turning into a debacle.

Honorable Mentions

Goat of the night: Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins

First he shows up late to the game, missing the team meeting, then goes out and allows five goals on 26 shots. Although Fleury was the victim of one bad bounce off the glass, he looked out of place on other goals, and struggled to follow the puck for most of the night.

Posted on: April 15, 2010 2:36 am
Edited on: April 20, 2010 12:45 am

Wraparound: A recap of Wednesday's games

A roundup of the night's action:

No. 5 Ottawa Senators 5, No. 4 Pittsburgh Penguins 4

Ottawa leads series, 1-0

Erik Karlsson and Chris Kelly scored on power plays in the second period and the Senators ignored their underdog tag and the Penguins' recent playoff success, surprising the Stanley Cup champions with a 5-4 victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first-round series. Recap | Stats

No. 7 Philadelphia Flyers 2, No. 2 New Jersey Devils 1

Philadelphia leads series, 1-0

Brian Boucher had 23 saves in his first playoff start in eight years and the Flyers -- who clawed their way into the playoffs with a shootout win on the last day of the regular season -- beat the Devils 2-1 in Game 1 of their first-round Eastern Conference series. Recap | Stats

No. 4 Phoenix Coyotes 3, No. 5 Detroit Red Wings 2

Phoenix leads series, 1-0

Derek Morris broke a tie early in the third period and assisted on two other goals, and Ilya Bryzgalov made 38 saves to help the Coyotes win a playoff game for the first time since April 20, 2002, the last year they were in the postseason. Recap | Stats

No. 8 Colorado Avalanche 2, No. 1 San Jose Sharks 1

Colorado leads series, 1-0

Chris Stewart 's centering pass deflected off Rob Blake 's skate and into the net with 50 seconds left in regulation to give the Avalanche a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks in the opener of the first-round series. Recap | Stats

Posted on: April 15, 2010 2:07 am
Edited on: April 15, 2010 10:31 am

Home ice a disadvantage for Sharks

By Erin Brown

To say fans in San Jose are disgusted by the Sharks' recent playoff performances is an understatement.

The Western Conference's top seed left the ice to boos after a 2-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche in Game 1 of the Conference Quarterfinals. Colorado's Chris Stewart struck with 50 seconds left in the regulation.

San Jose has now lost its last four series openers at HP Pavilion, and dropped to to 3-6 all-time in Game 1s on home ice. The Sharks' last opening victory at home came on May 7, 2006, a 2-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

Game 1 in San Jose
Date Round Opponent Score
Apr. 14, 2010 Conf. Quarters Colorado L, 2-1
Apr. 16, 2009 Conf. Quarters Anaheim L, 2-0
Apr. 25, 2008 Conf. Semis Dallas L, 3-2 (OT)
Apr. 9, 2008 Conf. Quarters Calgary L, 3-2

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