The NHL Playoff Recap gives you our take of what happened in each game of the night and what the consequences will be for the rest of the series.
We also provide our Three Stars of the night, which will be tabulated after each round and kept track of each day in our Playoff Game Day Preview. First Star is three points, Second Star is two points and Third Star is one point. Be sure to vote on who you think the first star was as well.
Of course there’s the other side of the coin: The Black Hole is a piece of the lineup that just couldn’t get it going on a given night and contributed to a difficult evening for the team.
THN’s Take: With the memory of last year’s blown 3-0 lead on the Flyers fresh in their minds, the Bruins sure sent a message this year’s team is a different beast. Boston got contributions from all over, as more than half the lineup recorded a point. After the fifth goal, the Bruins chased Brian Boucher from Philly’s net, but this one can’t be solely blamed on the man in the crease. The Flyers defense was dragging its feet and losing men in coverage at the worst possible times. The Flyers started getting frustrated and took a few mindless penalties, but Boston’s power play was shut out again even if the offense did accumulate seven goals. Both teams had their fair share of nasty shots, which will make for an interesting and physical series the rest of the way. Based on this game, the Flyers defense has to tighten up and forwards have to be careful around the netminders as you get the sense goalie interference will become a talking point eventually in this matchup.
1. David Krejci – Boston’s top line was fairly silent in Round 1, but led the charge to start off this series. Krejci posted two goals and two assists in 19:31 of ice time, most among Bruins forwards.
2. Patrice Bergeron – The two-way menace posted three assists and a plus-2 rating with three hits. Bergeron was buzzing all game.
3. Brad Marchand – He wasn’t afraid to mix it up with the frustrated Flyers, but Marchand made a difference on the scoreboard with two goals and three points.
The Black Hole
Chris Pronger – Boucher was pulled in large part because of the shoddy defense in front of him and since Pronger is the face of that group, he gets the nod. While Pronger is still recovering from a wrist injury, he took a silly slashing penalty and was a minus-3 on the night. Pronger recorded two shots and only one hit, so clearly he’s not at 100 percent yet, which hurts Philadelphia’s chances.
THN’s Take: When you put two Vezina Trophy candidates against each other, this is the type of outcome you can expect. In what was a completely backwards regulation time from Game 1, the Predators outworked and outskated the Canucks. Roberto Luongo was on his ‘A’ game, holding his shutout streak until late in the third when Ryan Suter banked an ugly one of Luongo’s stick. Vancouver’s penalty-kill was strong throughout, with their only goal coming while they were down a man and killing two penalties successfully in overtime. But ultimately the story was about a lack of goal scoring. While that is almost expected of the Predators, the Canucks were outshot two-to-one in regulation, which was seemingly impossible 48 hours ago. To win in the post-season you need secondary scoring, but the problem right now for Vancouver is their top-liners aren’t scoring.
1. Pekka Rinne – While his counterpart across the ice was the best of the first three periods, Rinne stepped up a number of times in the extra frames and outlasted Luongo.
2. Roberto Luongo – If it wasn’t for a strange bounce late in the third period, Luongo would have been first star and lauded for his efforts.
3. Ryan Kesler – Somehow he is still without a goal in the playoffs, but Kesler was Vancouver’s engine, registering six shots, three hits and an assist.
The Black Hole
The Sedins – Not only are they not the team’s best line right now, the Sedins aren’t even the second best unit. Vancouver’s fourth line has brought more energy and contributed more around-the-net scoring chances than the Sedins, who look a gear behind the rest of the team. At some point they’ll have to step up in this series and it’s not about to get any easier on the road where Barry Trotz can throw Shea Weber at them whenever he wants.
POLL: Who was your first star of the game?
The NHL Game Night Recap will get you caught up with all the playoff action. THN will name our Three Stars for each game and tabulate the results after each series. First Star = three points, Second Star = two points, Third Star = one point.