The Hockey News’ 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 games, which will be tabulated after each round. 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: If you thought the Bay Area was shaking before Game 3 of the 1989 World Series in San Francisco, head to HP Pavilion in San Jose Thursday night. An unlikely Game 7 will occur because the Sharks played Game 6 like they were still somehow in denial that it was happening at all. San Jose has a horror-riddled history in the playoffs and is on the verge of writing the darkest chapter yet. Already playing without an injured Ryane Clowe, perhaps their best player in the post-season, they’re essentially also playing without Patrick Marleau, even though he’s actually in the lineup. Dany Heatley isn’t exactly front and center, either. The Red Wings got a spirited performance from everyone in their lineup, but they’ll need another huge collective effort to beat a San Jose team that’s playing at home and will be desperately trying to avoid an awful fate.
1. Valtteri Filppula – Have to believe the one-and-one performance was his best as a Red Wing. He was a factor all night, including bagging the game-winner and setting up Detroit’s first goal with his ample speed.
2. Danny Cleary – Game-high six shots, got his nose dirty all night and wouldn’t have slept for a month if the Wings lost because he hit the post on a clear-cut breakaway after he had Antti Niemi beat clean.
3. Douglas Murray – One of the few Sharks who looked like he was anxious to make an impact; pounded bodies all night.
The Black Hole
Patrick Marleau – Seems completely content to be a spectator with only a passing interest in how the events of this series play out. This guy is too talented to be so invisible.
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.