NASHVILLE 4 ST LOUIS 3 (Predators lead 1-0)
PK Subban was the story last night, as his 3 point night helped the Preds hang on to take Game 1 4-3. Nashville had a 3-1 lead heading into the 3rd, but St Louis stormed back to tie it on goals by Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Sobotka in the 3rd period. It appeared as though we'd be in for another OT game when Vernon Fiddler of all people poked a loose puck through the legs of Jake Allen for the winning goal. How did that make you feel, Vern?
It was a costly win for the Preds though, as Kevin Fiala suffered a broken leg on this vicious hit by Robert Bortuzzo.
I tend to agree with the Sportsnet panel on this one: Dirty hit? Not really, but definitely vicious. I do think it was the shot blocker catching the ice that caused him to go down as well. Fiala had surgery this morning, but is lost til next season, and that's a big blow to the Preds.
EDMONTON 5 ANAHEIM 3 (Oilers lead 1-0)
The Oilers got 2 goals from Adam Larsson and Mark Letestu, and a 3 point night from Leon Draisaitl en route to a 5-3 win in Game 1. While the much ballyhooed Ryan Kesler vs Connor McDavid matchup played out as advertised, the Ducks got burned, much like the Sharks did in the last series, by the supporting cast. The Ducks, like the Blues in the other game came storming back after going down 3-1, but Larsson's second goal of the game would stand up as the winner. Naturally there was some nastiness at the end of the game, because the Ducks, though the moral outrage from some folks was hilarious, considering Zack Kassian started it all off with a crosscheck on Kesler. Besides, it's not like people should be shocked at this. It's the Ducks MO.
After dispatching the Bruins, the Ottawa Senators look to keep this run going taking on the New York Rangers. Much of the focus in the series is centered on the trade between the two teams, that saw them exchange Mika Zabinejad for Derick Brassard. Zabinejad had a big OT goal for the Rangers against the Montreal Canadiens, while Brassard leads the Sens in scoring, with 2 goals and 6 assists. That's a great story, but it does a disservice to the rest of it. The goaltending battle between the King of Hype, Henrik Lundqvist and Ottawa's Craig Anderson will be one to watch, while the Rangers will have to try and contain the likes of Bobby Ryan, Brassard and Erik Karlsson, who was one of the Sens best despite playing with two hairline fractures in his ankle.