The Predators took a 1-0 series lead against the Anaheim Ducks after Fisher's two goals and assist contributed to their 4-1 victory. Nashville stormed out to a 4-0 lead by early in the third period and Pekke Rinne frustrated the Ducks all night with 27 saves. Fisher's second goal 56 seconds into the third period was the final one for Dan Ellis who was pulled in favor of Ray Emery after facing 24 shots and allowing all four goals.
Semin entered Game 1 against the New York Rangers having gone 14 playoff games without scoring a goal. With 1:36 remaining in overtime, Semin broke that streak as Washington took a 1-0 series lead thanks to a 2-1 victory. Alex Ovechkin's goal with 6:16 remaining in the third period tied the game and would force overtime, setting up Semin's wrist shot past Henrik Lundqvist for the win:
The two netminders guided their teams to separate shutouts and 1-0 series leads. Fleury stopped 32 shots for his fifth career playoff shutout as the Penguins blanked the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-0. Luongo also made 32 saves for his second postseason shutout in a 2-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
Honorable Mention: Capitals defenseman Mike Green returned to the lineup after missing 20 games with a concussion suffered against the Rangers on Feb. 25 ... Alex Kovalev and Arron Asham scored 18 seconds apart early in the third period for Pittsburgh to break a scoreless game wide open ... Brooks Orpik might have assisted on Pittsburgh's final two goals, but night will be remembered for this hit on Steven Stamkos:
Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen were the unexpected contributors for the Canucks scoring 3:20 apart in the first period ... Steve Sullivan scored his first goal since Dec. 18 for the Predators ... Johan Franzen now has points in his last 13 playoff games as his goal and assist powered the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes. Franzen has 18 points in 12 games last postseason ... Rinne had your "Save of the Night" with this doorstep stop on Teemu Selanne:
Did You Know?: "Detroit is making its 20th straight playoff appearance, the longest active streak in North America's four major leagues." (AP)
Dishonorable Mention: Despite being given opportunity after opportunity to get back into the game, including a 5-on-3 power play for 91 seconds, the Coyotes could not capitalize on all six of their opportunities with the extra skater ... Martin St. Louis took a stick to the mouth and needed a double root canal after the game. He should be able to play Friday in Game 2 against the Penguins ... Roberto Luongo wasn't the only source of frustration for the Blackhawks as Jonathan Toews rang two shots of the post in the second period.
Conn Smythe Watch: 1. Mike Fisher, Nashville Predators; 2. Alexander Semin, Washington Capitals; 3. Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins, Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks; 5. Johan Franzen, Detroit Red Wings; 6. Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators; 7. Michal Neuvirth, Washington Capitals; 8. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers; 9. Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings; 10. Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks.
- Nashville Predators
- Washington Capitals
- Alexander Semin
- Vancouver Canucks
- Mike Fisher
- Roberto Luongo
- Henrik Lundqvist