LAST NIGHT'S GAMES:
- The Detroit Red Wings clawed their way back into their series with the Tampa Bay Lightning as Petr Mrazek stopped 16 shots to help lead the Wings to a 2-0 win. Andreas Athanasiou and Henrik Zetterberg scored for the Wings, who did a hell of a job frustrating the Lightning's high-powered offence. As expected, the Lightning were looking to get back at Justin Abdelkader for his actions in Game 2, with Brian Boyle trying to get him to drop the gloves when this happened:
Some would say that was pretty smart of Abdelkader to remember that with his hand taped, if he were to fight Boyle he would get a game misconduct and possibly suspended. It was also pretty convenient. Either way it's good this series will last a little longer, as it's a fun, nasty one to watch.
- The New York Islanders played their first ever playoff game at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, and for a while it wasn't looking too good, as the Panthers took a 2-0 lead on goals by Reilly Smith and Aleksander Barkov. Ryan Pulock got the Isles within one after a coach's challenge negated the potential 3-0 Aaron Ekblad goal on an offside call. The Panthers would score again though as Nick Bjugstad got his 2nd of the post-season. Shane Prince and Frans Nielsen wrapped up a wild 2nd period before Thomas Hickey netted the winner in OT.
- The St Louis Blues refused to let the disappointment of that Game 2 loss get to them, and despite being down 2-1 to a team that hadn't lost in around 2 years or so when leading after 2 periods, scored twice in the 3rd for a 3-2 win and 2-1 series lead against the Chicago Blackhawks. Brent Seabrook and Artem Anisimov scored for the Hawks, while Colton Parayko, Patrik Berglund and Jaden Schwartz on the PP in the 3rd replied for the Blues. They will look to take a 3-1 stranglehold on the series Tuesday night at the United Center.
- Anaheim wanted a better effort out of their players than they got in Game 1, but again they found themselves on the wrong end of a one goal loss, with Shea Weber's PP goal in the 3rd standing up as the winner. Nate Thompson scored late in the 3rd to make it close, but Pekka Rinne stood his ground to preserve the victory. Much was made about James Neal taking a swipe at Anaheim G John Gibson, which is pretty trashy, but...
This seemingly warrented no attention from the supposedly unbiased rights holders. Interesting. Not shocking, but interesting...
- Expect a lot of emotion in Game 3 as the Flyers get their opportunity to honour the late Ed Snyder in a pregame ceremony tonight. Will they channel the Broad Street Bullies of old for the only owner the team's ever had? That remains to be seen, but they will need to do something if they want to avoid going down to a Washington team that doesn't even look like it's playing it's best hockey yet.
- Speaking of which, the 'State of Hockey' is in a state of disarray as the Minnesota Wild will also look to avoid being down 3-0 as they take on the Dallas Stars tonight. While they did play better in Game 2, they are going to need everyone to step up, having already been outscored 6-1 in the series.
- And finally, the evening wraps up at the SAP Center in San Jose, as the Sharks look to increase their lead on the rival LA Kings. Yes, they did this once before, but these are not the same teams blah blah blah. All I know is all this losing from the Kings, Ducks and Blackhawks looks so damn good on them.
Finally... the Victoria Royals withstood a late charge from the Kelowna Rockets, winning Game 6 on the road and setting up the deciding match of the series Tuesday night at the Save On Foods Memorial Center in Victoria. The winner will go on to face the Seattle Thunderbirds in the Western Conference final. Go Royals Go!
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
Death n' roll? One of metal's quirky sub-genres (created by Entombed, among others) has spawned MANTAR, who have a new album on Nuclear Blast called 'Ode To The Flame'. Check out the video for 'Cross The Cross' and enjoy the games tonight!