LAST NIGHT'S GAMES:
- Michal Neuvirth was near flawless again, but he needed help from his teammates that never came, as Braden Holtby and the Washington Capitals shut out the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0 to win the series 4-2. Nicklas Backstrom's goal in the 2nd period was the only one to beat Neuvirth, who damn near stole this series for Philly. The Capitals now move on to face Pittsburgh, and as an entertaining 1st round draws to a close, we can look forward to a Sidney Crosby showdown with his old nemesis, Alexander Ovechkin.
- The Minnesota Wild staged a furious comeback, but fell one short as Dallas ended their postseason dreams with a 5-4 win at the Xcel Energy Center yesterday. John Klingberg, Patrick Sharp and Jason Spezza gave the Stars a 3-0 lead after the 1st, and a Jamie Benn goal at the end of the 2nd made it 4-0. Cue the comeback. 2 PPG's from Jared Spurgeon and a goal from Jonas Brodin brought them within a goal of tying it, but 2 minutes later Alex Goligoski got the eventual winner. Jason Pominville added another for Minny but they ran out of time. Props to them for giving the Stars all they could handle.
- It took 2 OT's, and some pretty heinous non-calls, especially as the Islanders had the goalie pulled late in the 3rd, but the John Tavares show continues to be a hit off-Broadway, as he scored the equalizer and then the series winner to give the Isles the 2-1 win and 4-2 series victory over the Florida Panthers. If there's one good thing to come out of this all, it was that after the victory they lit the Empire State Building in the blue and orange of the Islanders, which must have driven Rangers fans crazy.
- Nashville will be at home, desperately trying to figure out Frederik Andersen as they look to stay alive and set up a Game 7 back in Anaheim on Wednesday. Since he replaced John Gibson for Game 3 the Ducks have been rolling, and if the Predators can't get him solved, their season is done. The Ducks led Chicago 3-2 last season but lost in 7, and while Nashville's no slouch, they aren't last year's Blackhawks by any stretch.
- Ah yes, the Blackhawks. All of the talk now would make one think this game 7 between the Hawks and the St Louis Blues is already done. That the Hawks have the number of the Blues, who led this series 3-1. No one's giving St Louis much of a chance, but I think they forget that this is a Hawks team that knows the taste of failure as well as that of victory. That dragon was slain a year after it had reigned, and it would be so very fitting to remind them, their entitled media corps and spoiled fan base how it feels to have their collective hearts ripped from their chests.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
Katatonia. Criminals. Few can touch these guys, from their black metal roots to their post-metal modern releases, they continue to be one of the most underrated bands on the planet.