Saturday, April 14, 2007

Stanley Cup Playoffs, Night 3

...And we switched back to the West. Exclusively, tonight. Two series got evened up and three players each scored a pair of goals. Now for brief recaps of some exciting Stanley Cup playoff action.

Predators 5, Sharks 2
Series tied 1-1
It's been an ugly series so far. A hit Steve Bernier took from Alexander Radulov resulted in five minutes and a game misconduct for the Predator. Plus at the end of the game, a bunch of Sharks went after Scott Hartnell for his hit on Jonathan Cheechoo the other night. Cheechoo did play tonight, however. But something's got to give because San Jose's been having guys helped off the ice in every game so far. Anyway, the series is tied up now. J.P. Dumont was credited with the game-winner. He scored twice tonight and leads the league in playoff goals with four. Peter Forsberg scored twice as well, including an empty-netter in the last minute.

Stars 2, Canucks 0
Series tied 1-1
Well that's the second Western Conference series to get tied up after two games. Marty Turco earned his first career playoff shutout with 35 saves. Jeff Halpern scored the first goal 24 seconds into the game and Joel Lundqvist netted number two just 45 seconds into the second period. Following a depressing defeat in the fourth overtime of Game 1, Dallas earned the series-evening victory. I enjoyed tonight's action on Versus in rather glorious HD. No other way to watch hockey.

Ducks 3, Wild 2
Ducks lead series 2-0
What began more like a Friday fight night than a hockey game ended with Minnesota putting up a hell of a fight. The Ducks' Francois Beauchemin opened the scoring on the power play in the first period and kept the lead until early in the second when Marian Gaborik netted a beauty for the Wild. But as time ran down in the middle period, the Ducks respondede with a second power play goal from Beauchemin and a short-handed tally from Ryan Getzlaf less than two minutes later. It seemed as if Minnesota was ready to throw in the towel in the third period until Mikko Koivu put the Wild within one with five minutes remaining. It was a hard-fought battle in those last few minutes, and call me crazy, but I was really hoping to see some overtime tonight. In the end, the defensively-strong Anaheim held on for the victory and the two-game lead in the series. By the way, I couldn't have been happier about Versus carrying the TSN feed so I could watch this game. I just wish they'd carried the HD feed. Standard TV just isn't the same anymore.

Photos:, CBS

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