Eye of the Hurricane

April 20, 2011

Western Playoffs Get Interesting

Filed under: Uncategorized — eadeutsch @ 12:53 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Canucks, who had been feasting on opportunities against the Blackhawks, failed to complete the sweep against the defending Stanley Cup Champions last night and were routed in Chicago 7-2.

Roberto Luongo wasn't himself on Tuesday night

Roberto Luongo, one of the best goaltenders in the league, was embarrassed at the United Center and let in six goals of the 28 shots he faced in just over two periods of play.  Cory Schneider took over in net for the Canucks and allowed one goal in the seven shots he faced.  Vancouver would love never to see him again, and instead rely on Luongo to be consistently solid throughout the playoffs.

Corey Crawford for the Blackhawks played well enough, making 21 saves in the win.

The game was tied 1-1 going into the second period, when Brian Campbell and Duncan Keith scored within 17 seconds of each other to give the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead.  After four more consecutive goals for Chicago, and dozens of penalty minutes handed out to the frustrated teams in the third period, the game was beyond over.

Tuesday's game featured six game misconducts

The Canucks are up 3-1 in the series and the series returns to Vancouver on Thursday for Game 5.  If the Blackhawks show up with as much fire as they did on Tuesday, the series could become a fight until the end.  The Canucks, however, remain the Stanley Cup favorites after running away with the Presidents’ Cup this regular season.

Meanwhile, the Sharks scored five goals in the second period to overcome a 4-0 deficit, and ultimately beat the Los Angeles Kings in overtime on a goal by Devin Setoguchi.  The Sharks now lead this closely fought series 2-1.  Both of the Sharks’ wins have been in overtime games, and being able to grind out wins is important in the playoffs.

The Sharks’ Antti Niemi was pulled after the first period in which he made only six saves out of the ten shots he faced.  Antero Niittymaki finished the game allowing one goal the rest of the way.  Los Angeles’ goalie, Jonathan Quick, had an uncharacteristic game in which he allowed all six of the Sharks’ goals, and was never replaced.  The coach must be second-guessed about the decision to leave Quick in the game–although he did have a perfect third period.  The series continues Thursday night at Staples Center.

Meanwhile, the Ducks play the Predators in Nashville tonight.  The Predators currently lead the series 2-1 and are looking to wrap up the opening round at home.  The Predators’ Mike Fisher has been the key to their success thus far.

The Red Wings will attempt to close out their own series against the Coyotes tonight in Phoenix.  The usual suspects of Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Nicklas Lidstrom, and goalie Jimmy Howard, will present a challenge to any challenger going forward.  Expect the sweep tonight.

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