The Chicago Blackhawks beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 to take a 2-0 series lead to Philadelphia on Wednesday night.
The game was all defense and goaltending for the better part of two periods until Marion Hossa and Ben Eager scored back to back goals 28 seconds apart at the end of the second period. Hossa's goal was on a scramble beside the net, but Eager's goal was one goalie Michael Leighton would love to have back.
Simon Gagne scored for the Flyers early in the third to make it a close game down the stretch.
After a wild 6-5 contest in game one, both teams chose to focus on clogging up the neutral zone and pushing the puck to the opponents boards. It was a very effective strategy and led to a much more physical game.
Dan Carcillo played his first game in the finals and found plenty of folks to hit and shove, turning up the hate meter between the two squads.
Leighton played a good game in taking the loss, but Antti Niemi was very sharp and kept the Hawks in the game until they were able to get the lead.
Going into Wednesday's game three, the Hawks have statistics on their side as the home team has been 32-2 when taking a 2-0 lead on the road for game three. One of the two was last year's Pittsburgh Penguins.
The first two games could have gone either way but the Hawks have come out with one goal victories in both. Fans wanting a long series hope that the Flyers will be able to break trough with a win and extend the series.
This series has a similar look to the way the Hawks beat the Sharks in the conference finals where the Sharks were never really out of it but still never won a game. Wednesdays game will go a long way in seeing just how long a series we may have.
I was on SportsTalkSoup Radio on BTR after game one and correctly predicted a 2-1 Hawks win in game two. That just proves that a blind squirrel finds a nut every one and a while.
In Pred Nation...
David Boclair calls for a new captain at The City Paper. He also writes about former Preds and their shot at the Cup with the Flyers.
Jim Diamond continues casting the Predators with the defensemen.
From the all knowing @SLakePreds: Reports are D Robert Dietrich in negotiations with 4 DEL teams. Likely to play in Germany next season.
Paul McCann had a look at game one and information on SlapSHotRadio's big fundraiser tomorrow night.
The Sports Betting Network labels the Preds as a surprise team for last season and looks for bigger things next season.
Kelly at Preds Fanatic bleeds blue and lives to tell about it.
Around the NHL...
Chris Johnson met with Jeremy Roenick to discuss who he was cheering for among his former teams.
Buffalo prospect Zach Kassian was arrested over the weekend after a bar fight in Windsor. Kassian was a key member of this year's Memorial Cup Champion Windsor Spitfires.
Steve Lapore has a round-up of Saturday's broadcast by NBC.
Jay Feaster writes about what Steve Yzerman faces as the new GM in Tampa. Feaster should know.
Odds and Ends...
Some of the moon rocks that were distributed to all 50 states and over 100 countries by Richard Nixon have disappeared. There is an effort underway to locate the missing rocks.
Also on the space front, there is a huge competition among museums to land one of two soon to be retired space shuttles. Discovery is going to the Smithsonian but Atlantis and Endeavour are up for bid.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass