- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
No. 1 Star: Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks
Pavelski had a three-point night in the Sharks 7-2 rout of the Los Angeles Kings, picking up a second assist on the Justin Braun goal that stood as the game-winner, then adding a goal and another assist once the Kings fell apart in the third. The Sharks scoured four in the final frame:
No. 2 Star: Brendan Gallagher, Montreal Canadiens
Gallagher capped off a massive momentum shift for the Canadiens versus the home Tampa Bay Lightning in the second period, scoring the go-ahead goal not long after Ryan Callahan has his go-ahead goal disallowed. Then in the third, he helped orchestrate a Tomas Plekanec goal which would stand as the game-winner in a 3-2 victory for the Canadiens. Game 4 now becomes our first elimination game of the playoffs.
No. 3 Star: Ray Emery, Philadelphia Flyers
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
You're not going to see many momentum swings as drastic as the one that turned the Tampa Bay Lightning's 2-1 lead versus the Montreal Canadiens into a 2-1 deficit in Sunday night's Game 3.
Originally, it looked like the Lightning had scored the all-important go-ahead goal. After a scramble in front of the Montreal net, with Alex Killorn spilling into the crease, Carey Price flopping all over, and the puck moving side to side before Ryan Callahan put the puck in.
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But the goal was waved off by the officials, presumably because of goaltender interference.
On its face, that's a terrible call. Price wasn't interfered with at all. Sure, Killorn was briefly where the puck would eventually wind up, but he didn't touch Price. The only contact between the Lightning forward and the Canadiens defender came when Price attempted to re-establish position moving to his left and inadvertently stepped on the back of the fleeing Killorn's skate.
Price fell, and never quite got set after that, moving back across the ice to chase the puck and flopping at Callahan's shot, which deflected off his body and in.
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy9 hrs ago
If you've read the New Testament, you probably know by now that Jesus is a big fan of gardens. The last place he went before his arrest was the Garden of Gethsemane. And most recently, he was spotted at the TD Garden, where the Bruins and Red Wings duked it out for Game 2 of their first-round series.
In other words, if you skipped Easter Sunday service to attend this one, you're not alone: so did the Lord.
"Jesus", in this case, is a guy named Thor, who knew just how to get invited to the game. Ask if someone had a minute for the guy that died for their sins:
Who has an extra ticket to the Bruins game on Sunday? Jesus must make his return to the garden for Easter. Please RT pic.twitter.com/Pqp4jBORyZ
Apparently, Jesus is a fan of the World Series.
Anyway, it worked.
@svenlylethor I have an extra ticket!
The condition, of course, was that Thor come to the game dressed not, as his name implies, as the crown prince of Asgard, but as the Saviour of mankind. And of course he obliged.
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy11 hrs ago
Heading back to Chicago trailing their first-round series with the St. Louis Blues two games to none, the Chicago Blackhawks were already in trouble. But now their uphill climb has gotten even steeper, as the long arm of the law has come down on Brent Seabrook for his nasty hit on David Backes in Game 2.
[Puck Daddy: Seabrook ejected after hit to head of David Backes]
Fittingly for this Easter Sunday, it will be three game days before Seabrook can rise again. Here's Patrick Burke to explain why:
Three games is a big suspension, but it seems justified, in this case.
The argument in defense of Seabrook could be that he didn't know Backes had failed to gain control of the puck, but the Department doesn't seem convinced. "While it is possible," Burke says, "the onus is still on Seabrook to ensure that he does not hit an ineligible opponent."Mon, Apr 215:30 PM PDTSt. Louis at ChicagoPreview Game
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy16 hrs ago
The Philadelphia Flyers were the NHL's most penalized team during the regular season, so it was almost no surprise to see that a penalty -- a double minor, to be specific -- helped doom them in Game 1 Thursday night against the New York Rangers.
New York kept their discipline in tact, only giving Philadelphia a single power play on a Ryan McDonagh high-stick early in the third period. A similar infraction seven minutes later by Flyers forward Jason Akeson drew blood on Carl Hagelin and opened the door for two power play goals, giving the Rangers the lead for good.
“We’ve been whistle to whistle all year long," said Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault regarding his team's post-whistle discipline. "Nothing’s changed for us."
Special teams always play a big role in how series develop. The Rangers took advantage in Game 1. How will the Flyers respond Sunday afternoon in Game 2?
"It's something we've battled all year," said Flyers forward Matt Read. "If we don't smarten up it's going to cost us like it did last game.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy16 hrs ago
After Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook freight-trained him with a charge to the head in Game 2 on Saturday, St. Louis Blues captain David Backes struggled to his skates and attempted to confront his assailant. He wobbled, his legs buckling. In our age of concussion awareness, it was a disturbing scene.
Or, alternately, a hilarious one for someone watching the play with Blackhawks allegiances. Check out the audio here, around the 45-second mark, as someone exclaims, “Wakey Wakey, Backey, Wakey Wakey!”
So the conventional wisdom since the end of the game is that it was Duncan Keith that uttered this mockery, because his lips are moving and he’s nearby and it sorta sounds like Duncan Keith and he’s the kinda guy that would say it.
I couldn’t confirm it from the clip – hell, it could have been one of those glass-banging Blackhawks fans watching the action for all we know – but I guess that’s what we’re going with.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy17 hrs ago
It may have been a bit of a circus on the ice for the AHL's last place Portland Pirates this season, but having an actual Big Top alter your schedule's end wasn't something many saw coming.
The Pirates lost their season finale Saturday night 5-4 to the St. John's IceCaps at MHG IceCentre. If you're thinking that name sounds like some sort of local practice rink, well, you'd be correct.
A scheduling conflict at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine saw the Kora Shrine Circus win out, forcing the Pirates to play in front of 550 fans at their practice facility, not the 2,000-plus on average they're use to.
Here's what it looked like:
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
No. 1 Star: Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
MacKinnon’s ankle-breaking goal tied the game. He assisted on Gabriel Landeskog’s two goals to grab the lead, and on Paul Stastny’s empty netter to end it. The Avalanche won 4-2 taking a 2-0 series lead over the Wild as MacKinnon had a 4-point night. He now has seven points in two games, tying the NHL record for most pts in first 2 playoff games of an NHL career.
No. 2 Star: Matt Calvert, Columbus Blue Jackets
Calvert scored a key shorthanded goal to close the Pittsburgh Penguins’ lead to 3-2 and then, in double OT, scored the game-winning goal to give the Jackets their first ever playoff win. Columbus knotted the series at 1-1.
No. 3 Star: Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis BluesMon, Apr 214:00 PM PDTPittsburgh at ColumbusPreview Game
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
Since their inaugural season in 2000-01, the Columbus Blue Jackets have played in 1,037 games. That includes five in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, all of them losses.
Game No. 1,038 was Saturday night.
Three periods and two overtimes later, and the Columbus Blue Jackets finally received a stamp of validation as an NHL franchise.
The first playoff win. The first time a Columbus Blue Jackets player was mobbed by his teammates as a postseason hero. The first time a series shifts back to Nationwide Arena with the Blue Jackets not facing a deficit. The first time a Columbus Blue Jackets fan wakes up the following morning – Easter Sunday, of course, because the “coming back from the dead of Game 1” allegories couldn’t be more on-the-nose – with that insatiable notion that creeps into the minds of every hockey fan in the Stanley Cup Playoffs:
“We might actually do this. ”
Matt Calvert played the hero, scoring two goals in the game including the definitive one at 1:10 of the second overtime on Saturday night at the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Here's his shorthanded goal that cut it to 3-2, a goal Coach Todd Richards said was "the difference maker in the game. It gave hope to our guys."
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy1 day ago
Nathan MacKinnon is going to win the Calder trophy. He stands alone as the NHL's best rookie, and one of the reasons for that is that he never really looked like one. Heading into the playoffs, you had to wonder if his first NHL postseason was the moment he started to look his age.
In the parlance of most kids his age: LOL nope . On Saturday, MacKinnon scored his first career NHL playoff goal, and my lord if it isn't an incredible piece of business.
The NBA postseason kicked off Saturday, but I submit that you won't see finer playoff ankle breakage than this today. Unbelievable.
You knew the Wild were in trouble the moment MacKinnon received this pass. The only guy near him was Mikko Koivu, and MacKinnon blows by him with ease, leaving him most of the neutral zone to pick up speed, because this is no longer Jacques Lemaire's Wild, and the middle of the ice is wiiiiiiide open. By the time he hits the Minnesota blueline, he's a flux capacitor away from going back to 1955.