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 The Flyers were outshot 33 to 24, but Emery shut the door, making 31 saves to give the Flyers a 4-2 win over the New York Rangers, their first victory as Madison Square Garden in nine tries... Perhaps inspired by the incredible opening sequence at the Bell Centre, Rene Bourque scored just 11 seconds in: Honorable mention: Steven Stamkos did his best, assisting on both Lightning goals in the loss, the second of which came after he returned from a nasty head hit by Alexei Emelin... Tuukka Rask made 34 saves as the Boston Bruins topped the Detroit Red Wings, 4-1 , and tied their series at one win apiece. Did You Know? Jonathan Quick has had a rough start to these playoffs: Quick allowed 29 goals in 20 games during 2012 Cup run. Has allowed 12 goals in just under five periods so far. Hardly just him though... — Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) April 21, 2014 Dishonorable mention: It's got to be the LA Kings. Quick hasn't been good, but the rest of his team has been overmatched as well. Seven goals allowed in Game 2. Fortunately, now they go home to the Staples Center, where they're usually better. It's hard to imagine them being much worse... This is some rough stuff from Jimmy Howard and Brenden Smith:
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 Blues With due respect to overtime hero Barret Jackman, it was Tarasenko’s power-play goal with six seconds left that propelled the Blues into OT where they eventually won over the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 , taking a 2-0 series lead. Honorable mention: Paul Stastny had a 4-point night as well for the Avs, building his on Conn Smythe resume after his Game 1 heroics. … Brent Seabrook had a goal and an assist and something you’ll read about in dishonorable mentions. … Kevin Shattenkirk had a goal and two assists. … Ryan Johansen had a goal and an assist. … Brian Gibbons of the Penguins scored two goals in just 2:26 of ice time, leaving the Penguins game after a collision behind the net with a Jackets player. … Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves after giving up three goals on 15 shots in the first. Did You Know? Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby earned two assists in the first, moving him into third on the franchise's all-time postseason points list with 108. (NHL.com) Dishonorable mention: Fedor Tyutin was injured for the Jackets, playing less than seven minutes. … Ilya Bryzgalov was pulled after giving up three goals on 14 shots. … Blake Comeau had three minor penalties vs. Pittsburgh. … The Penguins were 1-for-8 on the power play. … Finally, Brent Seabrook will have a hearing over the phone with the NHL after this head-shot on David Backes. Your browser does not support iframes.
The Detroit Red Wings are making their 23rd consecutive appearance in the NHL playoffs, but that wasn't the only streak they kept alive by winning the second Wild Card spot. Also saved: Detroit rapper Baby G's run of annual hip hop playoff anthems. Back in 2011, the emcee released original cut "Throw Your Wings Up", and he's been re-releasing the track with roster updates every postseason since. On Friday, just prior to Game 1 between the Red Wings and Bruins, Baby G dropped version four, "Octopi 2014 edition", and in so doing, gave Detroit the early frontrunner for best hip hop fan anthem of the 2014 playoffs. "We're going 23 consistent, 11 rings too, that's playoffs my whole existence, can't say the same for you." This guy has never seen a Red Wings team that didn't make the playoffs. I'm probably not the only one seething with envy and spite right now. The Red Wings won Game 1 of their series, and while most would argue that it was Pavel Datsyuk who propelled them to victory, I am willing to hear arguments that it was actually Baby G and his dope flow. That said, "throw your wings up" sounds like more like it should be an Applebee's anthem.