What a day of playoff action where one team moved on, one went home and four others will have to battle again on Monday night.
Saturday's action got off to quick start on NBC with the Flyers jumping out to a 3-0 lead in an oranged-out arena. Immediately after the third goal Max Talbot lured Daniel Carcillo into a fight and took a severe beating. Fourteen seconds later the Pens scored and another scuffle ensued. From then on, it was all Pens as they scored four unanswered goals including the game tieing goal and the empty net goal by Sidney Crosby.
For me, one the highlights of the game was to hear the entire arena chanting "Crosby Sucks" for the better part of the game. They must have made him made because the only thing he sucked was the life out of the entire arena and the Flyers. I was hoping this one would go seven games but the Flyers didn't have it in them.
The Flames and Hawks game was the first real blow out of the series. The Hawks went up 3-0 before the Flames scored. Three and a half minutes later, the Hawks scored again and chased Kiprusoff who was not happy as he actually left the bench and headed to the locker room. The Flames even wasted a opportunity on a five on three power play in the third period. The game never lost its physical nature right up to the end. These teams really do not like each other. After the 5-1 loss for the Flames, they head back home where they will face elimination if the effort doesn't improve.
Facing elimination, the Sharks that were waiting for Anaheim in San Jose did not appear to be the same listless team that played Thursday night. Joe Thornton who went missing in the last game also looked like a different player right from the start. Much was written after the last game that his performance tonight may determine his future with the Sharks. After some early verbal sparring with Ryan Getzlaf, Thornton lured Getzlaf into a penalty and then scored on the power play for his first goal of the series. Late in the second period Devin Setoguchi scored his first goal of the series. After a post goal scuffle the Ducks had a chace to counter but failed.
The third period was a different game. The Ducks scored twice in the first five minutes to tie the game. San Jose apeared to have lost the confidence they had earlier in the game. Joe Thornton hit the post with about six minutes left on a shot that could have put the Sharks ahead. Both teams played at a frenetic pace in the closing minutes but neither could finish it so they headed for overtime. The shot count was 41-22 in favor of the Sharks at the end of regulation.
Overtime started at a fast pace and ended quickly on a goal by Patrick Marleau 6:02 into the extra perion. The Ducks tried to disput the goal but will have to return to Anaheim for game six on Monday. This game had more of a look of what everyone expected before the series started.
News came during the Calgary-Chicago game that John Tortorella will be suspended for Sunday's game. Good Call Gary Bettman! (Some of the following links were before this announcement but are still interesting.) This will add to the already intense rivalry that will be on display in the NBC afternoon game where the Caps are in a win or start the Summer vacation situation.
The other game on Sunday will have Carolina facing elimination at home against the Devils. Marty Brodeur played his best game in game five so it will be interesting to see if he will continue on the road and be able to finish off the Hurricanes.
As a result of Friday night's fiasco in DC, the woman hit in the head by a John Tortorella thrown bottle wants to see action by the NHL for the wild behavior.
Newsday reports that Torts will be coaching Sunday and he continued not to comment as he claims he was instructed not to. Note that coaches are disciplined by Garry Bettman himself and not Colin Campbell.
A group of Ducks fans caravaned from Anaheim to San Jose today in a logo painted Ducks vehicle and blogged along the way.
Way off topic... My childhood sports hero, Hank Aaron, got his own exhibit in Cooperstown at the Baseball HOF.
Alex Burrows has a bunch of fans at this bar in Vancouver. Every time he scores, everyone in the bar gets a special secret blue concoction.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass