Elton John once sang that Saturday night is alright for fighting. Well Saturday was alright for fighting indeed. In fact, Saturday was the night for everything in the NHL, dirty hits, dramatic goals, overtime games; it had it all. And there were only four games!
With the game literally seconds from being over and the Coyotes becoming the only team to hold home-ice advantage in the eight series, Brent Seabrook fired the puck on net and Patrick Sharp deflected it in. The clock read 5.5 seconds.
It was the seventh time already this postseason that a game went to overtime. And I'd wager a bet that none beat out this overtime for excitement. It looked like they were playing 4-on-4 like regular-season OT, the action was up-and-down relentlessly. Eventually the Blackhawks settled into a long offensive possession that eventually won them the game.
No, it wasn't on that shift that they won. It was immediately after when the next line came on. The Coyotes were equally drained and Keith Aucoin just went to hammer the puck up the side boards and out of the zone. Well the Blackhawks were waiting for it and the next second Bryan Bickell was beating Mike Smith from the slot. Game over, series tied.
Would you believe it was Bickell's second goal of the night? Me neither, but it was.
Moreover it's the type of game and finish that can completely flip a series, and that's going beyond the fact that it's now even instead of a 2-0 lead. The Coyotes will feel the sting of this one to be sure. To be that close only to lose in heart-breaking fashion at home? Ouch.
It was an amazing finish to an amazing day. Let's take a look at one hectic, hectic day in the NHL playoffs.
Player of the day
Oustide of Bickell, that is. This one is a tough call but how about Braden Holtby for the Capitals? He was once again nearly unbeatable for Washington, stopping 43 of the Bruins' 44 shots in more than four periods worth of action. You want to find a reason why the Capitals are headed back home with the home-ice advantage in their favor now, look no further than Holtby.
Goat of the day
Oh there are so many to choose from how do I pick just one? There was Marc-Edouard Vlasic scoring an own goal. There were numerous players who were ejected and/or are likely facing league discipline. But instead this one is going to the officials in for the Senators and Rangers game. All in all they didn't seem to have great control over the game, but it was all lowlighted by this crazy scene where two pucks were in play. Really.
Goal of the day
Outside of Sharp's deflection of course (notice a theme?). David Backes is going to take the honor for Saturday. But it isn't really for his work, he had a wide-open cage and plenty of space to fire a one-timer from. No, it's the assist from T.J. Oshie that was spectacular. Look at the defenders he leaves in his wake before eventually feeding Backes with the routine finish. Thing. Of. Beauty.
Save of the day
We're headed back to MSG for this one from Senators goalie Craig Anderson. This is some robbery of Ryan Callahan, who must have thought it was his birthday when he found himself on the doorstep with the puck and all alone. A juke and a deke later and he's getting stoned by Anderson from point-blank range.
Of course it turned out that was a game-saving save, if you will. Technically all of the saves he made were since the game went to overtime, but especially one on such a golden chance like this.
Tweet of the day
So that just made it even more hilarious when Bryzgalov sent out this tweet on Saturday with no explanation. It was his first tweet since Jan. 11.
Of course by now you understand the background, Bryzgalov's comments about fearing bears has taken on a life of its own so Bryzgalov had a response for everybody. I was laughing (click the link on the tweet, of course).
Stat of the day
There is not one single team that came into the first round with home-ice advantage that still has it. Every single lower seed picked up at least one win in the first two games. In total, road teams are now 10-5. Home ice doesn't mean what it used to, now does it?