This past weekend the Stanley Cup Playoffs took off!
Washington Capitals (3 OT) vs Boston Bruins (2):
The playoffs started off with a bang Saturday night, with the Washington Capitals taking on the big bad Boston Bruins. This was a super physical and fast paced contest, as to be expected with these two teams. Ultimately, T.J. Oshie took a slapshot in OT, that was tipped in by Dowd for the overtime winning goal.
– Oshie made his return to the Capitals lineup and notched 2 assists in this game.
– Bruins Jake DeBrusk picks up a greasy faceoff win from his centremen Curtis Lazar, and pops in the tying goal in the first period. As that happens, Capitals goaltender Vanecek got injured on the play and did not return. Almost 40 year old (3rd string goalie) Craig Anderson came in as relief for Vanecek and won the Caps the game in Overtime.
Pittsburgh Penguins (2) vs New York Islanders (3 OT):
For most of this game the Penguins controlled the pace, they came out firing on all cylinders. Unfortunately, they had a couple bad line changes and turnovers, that ultimately cost them the game. That being said, the New York Islanders played a hell of a game as well. Though it took them a while to control the pace, they did not let the Pens completely take over which was key to their success. Newly acquired Islander, Palmieri potted in the OT winning goal.
– Malkin did not dress for the Penguins
– Varlamov did not dress for the New York Islanders. Rookie goaltender Sorokin came in for the Isles and won the game for them.
Vegas Golden Knights (0) vs Minnesota Wild (1 OT):
This game was wild. It was all about the physicality and goaltending. Vegas’ goalie Fleury made some unbelievable saves to keep his team in the game. Talbot, the Wild goalie also looked the best he’s looked in years. Unfortunately for the Golden Knights, they could not capitalize on their chances. Vegas went 0/3 on the PP, which cost them big time. This was the 3rd straight overtime game to start the Stanley Cup playoffs, and the Minnesota Wild made quick work of the Golden Knights as Eriksson Ek tucks in the lone goal (and winning goal) for the game.
– VGK forward Max Pacioretty did not dress
Florida Panthers (4) vs Tampa Bay Lightning (5):
This was the most entertaining game of the weekend hands down. It was the first time we got to see the battle of Florida state hockey, and it did not disappoint. Tampa Bay saw the return of 2 of their superstar forwards, Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos. Kuch popped in 2 goals for Tampa in his return. The top two most crazy sequences in this game came from the Panthers side though. The first was a huge save by forward Noel Acciari on Tampa’s defensemen Erik Cernak, as Panthers goalie Bobrovsky was way out of position to make the save. The second was an unreal pass that lead to a goal for the Panthers. Jonathan Huberdeau cut across the goal crease and instead of trying to pop in a goal, he decided to reverse pass the puck through a slew of Lightning players to his teammate Owen Tippett. Who at that point had a yawning cage, and was an easy tuck for him.
Up next for the NHL playoff schedule is Game #2 for the Capitals vs Bruins (4:30pm PST). Then later tonight we’ll see Game #1 for the Carolina Hurricanes vs Nashville Predators (5pm PST) & Colorado Avalanche vs St. Louis Blues(7pm PST).
The Florida/Tampa game was insane. I was able to catch the last 20, growing up in SoFla it sucked to see Tampa go up with a Min left. Oh well, more games to be played. On to Colorado! Let’s make O’Reilly hit his own words!