Wow, tonight was a night for goaltenders. Three shutouts in four games. Incredible.
Philadelphia: 3; New Jersey: 0
Philadelphia wins the series 4-1
Wow. Even without Jeff Carter for Game 5, the Flyers found a way to dispatch the second-seeded Devils in five games. You come to think that victory almost became tainted after Ian Laperriere took a slap shot to the face that nearly cost him an eye. He's no worse for wear but he will now be (sit down if you're faint of heart) wearing a visor to protect his face (all the Don Cherry acolytes just fainted reading that. I think it's a smart move.) Here's Ian describing his decision:
I think time's come for New Jersey to go grab another good goaltender to platoon with Brodeur. Nothing against Brodeur, but it's evident that he plays too much during the regular season to be as effective come playoff time. Thing is though, how do you tell this to a goaltender who has won multiple Stanley Cups and gold medals?
The Flyers now advance and await for their next opponent (who'll likely be Washington) and hope their team toughness can shut down the opposition. If it is Washington, can their lack of enforcer finally catch up to them?
Ottawa: 4; Pittsburgh: 3; Triple OT
Pittsburgh leads the series 3-2
Now, I was critical of Ottawa's toughguys the last game because of their shenanigans. Tonight, they played really well and in the spirit of being fair, I gotta say that too. Jarkko Ruutu scored but that wasn't as sweet as Matt Carkner's goal to win the game:
Game 6 heads back to Ottawa. Could this actually go to seven games?!
Chicago: 3; Nashville: 0
Series tied 2-2
Whoa. In shades of the Phoenix-Detroit series, these two bruisers are going to the bone for this series. I think I underestimated Nashville's chances (like many do for Phoenix) but Chicago proved tonight (much like Detroit) that they're still great. While there was a solid effort by both teams, Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews were exceptional for the Blackhawks tonight and ultimately the difference makers. The series will got back to Chicago; then Nashville, so the reality of this one going to seven games isn't far-fetched considering how both teams are competing.
San Jose: 5; Colorado: 0
San Jose leads the series 3-2
Todd McLellan put Logan Couture on a line with Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau and he scored a goal. Todd McLellan then put Logan Couture on a line with Ryan Clowe and Devin Setoguchi and he scored a goal. Jumbo Joe was the only one of their top-six forwards who didn't register a point tonight. Sucks he's going through a dry spell (which seems to be typical come playoff time) but the rest of the team is firing fierce. Colorado's in a pretty dangerous place and all things considered, I think San Jose's gonna dispatch them six.