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2016 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS OPEN THREAD- Apr 23/16

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One down, Two to go as the first cornerstone of the Axis of Douchebaggery has fallen. The Kings are done, the Flyers and Wild live to see another day and the Islanders outlast the Panthers in double OT.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

LAST NIGHT'S GAMES:

- I don't want to be an alarmist, but are we looking at what might be one of the greatest upsets in playoff history unfolding in this Washington/Philadelphia series? The Flyers looked to be down and out, and then along came Michal Neuvirth, the goalie who lost his #1 job with the Capitals to the goalie at the other end of the ice, Braden Holtby. The Flyers weren't just outplayed in this last game, they were downright embarrassed, yet Neuvirth is relishing this opportunity as Kingslayer, and with his teammates making the most of the few opportunities and bounces they've gotten, have a home game Sunday that can draw them even with the Capitals. You won't want to miss this one.

- The Minnesota Wild had their backs to the wall, and responded well, with Captain Mikko Koivu scoring twice, including the OT winner as they sent this series back to Minneapolis for Game 6 Sunday. They started well, charging out to a 2-0 lead less than 6 minutes in on goals by Mikael Granlund and former Canuck (shush) Jordan Schroeder. Johnny Oduya made it 2-1 late in the first and after a scoreless 2nd, things got a lil crazy in the 3rd. Jamie Benn scored at the 1:00 mark to tie it at 2, but Nino Niederreiter restored the Wild lead just 50 seconds later. It looked like Dallas was ready to end this when Jason Spezza and Alex Goligoski scored 28 seconds apart midway through the period, but Koivu tied it at 16:51, setting the stage for his OT heroics.

- Thomas Greiss stopped 47 Panthers shots, and Alan Quine scored the biggest goal of his life as the Islanders took a 3-2 series lead, defeating Florida 2-1 in double OT. Quine's goal came on the PP as Derek McKenzie was off for slashing. Frans Nielsen scored the other Islanders goal while Aleksander Barkov notched his second of the playoffs for the Panthers. The Islanders can end the Panthers postseason dreams on Sunday in Brooklyn.

- And the best part of the night by far, was the San Jose Sharks did the hockey world a solid, slaying a dragon of their own last night with an impressive 6-3 win at the Staples Center. The Sharks, who were the NHL's best road team this season backed it up by winning all 3 games on LA ice, saving the best one for last as Joonas Donskoi scored his 2nd of the game, going around Drew Doughty as if to thumb his nose at the pathetic campaign waged by MSM hockey writers this season to get Doughty a Norris, leading to a nifty no-look pass from Brent Burns. That goal was the winner, but we did get to see Jonathan Quick give up one more stinker, Joe Pavelski's slow trickling shot 5-holing him. So goodbye shots of Will Farrell in the crowd. So long Wil Wheaton trolling on Twitter. Adios Cartman on the jumbotron. You won't be missed.

TODAY'S GAMES

- In today's first elimination game, the Pittsburgh Penguins will look to seal the deal against the Rangers in Game 5, but this is the same Rangers team that has rallied from 3-1 to win a series in each of the last 2 playoffs, so you have to think they won't go down without a fight. One of those teams they beat was the Penguins in 2014, and they've won 5 of their last 6 playoff games at the Consol Energy Center. After being pulled in Game 4, Henrik Lundqvist will be in goal for the Rangers. They may also insert former Canucks legend Raphael Diaz today. Marc-Andre Fleury is still not ready to go meaning rookie Matt Murray will start his 3rd straight for the Penguins.

- It's back to Anaheim for Game 5 between the Predators and the Ducks, and for the Preds they need to figure out something, as they had their collective asses handed to them by the Ducks in the last 2 games. Getting on the board early and taking the Ducks fans out of the equation early will be key, and getting more shots on Frederik Andersen as they look to regain the momentum they had after winning the first two on the Honda Center ice.

- Tonight's other elimination game could see the defending Champions and the 2nd piece of the Axis of Douchebaggery fall, as the St Louis Blues head into Chicago for Game 6. Perhaps they can look to the San Jose Sharks for some inspiration, as the history between the Blues and Blackhawks mirrors that of the Sharks and Kings. What better way to put the past behind you than by ending the season of your enemy on their ice? Homophobic scumbag Andrew Shaw, so it would be wonderful for him to be a part of this loss tonight.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

One of the best of an incredibly underrated Greek thrash metal scene, Suicidal Angels have been quite prolific, releasing 8 albums in the last 10 years. Their latest comes out next month, here's 'The Image Of The Serpent' from 'Division Of Blood'.