What a night of hockey! This was the kind of evening that only the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs can produce. Heading into the evening, I was a little put out that there were five games with four starting within an hour but it all seemed to work out with a series of great finishes.
The only real dud game was the Wings playing at Columbus which was the one game I had become emotionally involved with. I was really excited for the Columbus fans and their first home playoff game and really expected that they would win. Unfortunately, Tomas Holmstrom quelled the crowd 1:07 into the game and it was all Red Wings from then on. The fans did get a reason to celebrate when R J Umberger scored on the power play at the end of the game. Osgood has been stellar for the whole series, while Calder shoe-in Steve Mason has had his worst run of the season.
The Flyers-Pens game was tightly contested from start to finish. After Dan Carcillo scored to bring the Flyers within one with less than 10 minutes left, he did his best to rally the already frenetic Philly crowd but was unable to inspire his teammates to follow through on their end. The Flyers will have their work cut out for them as they head to Pittsburgh and face elimination games from here on out.
I saw very little of the Devils-Canes game but did catch the end. What an incredible finish with Carolina winning with less than a second left. Marty Brodeur was not happy with the finish and let things fly. I love seeing that much emotion. So now it's tied 2-2 and headed back to Jersey. This one has seven games written all over it.
After being completely dominated by Vancouver for three games, St Louis played a really strong, physical game to take the Canucks to the end of the second overtime before losing on an Alex Burrows rush. Jackson called the winning goal by Burrows, one of his favorite players when the game went into OT. This was the first sweep in franchise history for the Nooks, who will have up to ten days to recover before they play a second round game.
San Jose finally acted like they wanted to extend their season playing in Anaheim. after forgetting to show up in their two home games. Through two periods the two teams traded goals with San Jose never falling behind. Patrick Marleau put the Sharks ahead on the power play halfway through the third period and the Sharks held on for the win. This has been a really odd series with the road team winning each game. It looks to be a long series.
Vancouver was not the only team to complete a sweep on Tuesday night as the Milwaukee Admirals finished off the Rockford Icehogs with 4-1 to advance to round two of the AHL Playoffs. Mike Santorelli had a hat trick and Jed Ortmeyer added a goal and three assists to lead the Ads to victory. Ryan Jones also had two helpers playing on the line with Santorelli and Ortmeyer which was a combined +12 on the evening. Drew MacIntyre stopped 25 of 26 in the game and 105 of 109 in the series allowing a single goal in each game.
Tonight's action will be hard to match but we will will take each night as it comes, on to night 8 of the playoffs on Wednesday night.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass