OTTAWA 6 NEW YORK 5 2OT (Ottawa leads 2-0)
The New York Rangers looked like they had it in hand yesterday, they really did. They'd beaten Craig Anderson 5 times, surely that would be enough to send the series back to NYC tied at one, right? Turns out Jean-Gabriel Pageau wasn't willing to let that happen. Pageau became the 2nd player in NHL history to score 4 goals and have the final tally be the OT winner (on a set up from Alexandre Burrows, no less) as the Senators stormed back to get the win and a 2-0 lead as they shift to MSG on Monday.
The Rangers were looking to get more offense and they certainly got it, including 2 short handed goals from Michael Grabner and Derek Stepan. They got the first of the playoffs from Chris Kreider and 2 from Brady Skjei, and yet still couldn't put away a Sens team that's looking like they should be reviving that 'Pesky Sens' moniker.
After scoring to tie the game at 1, Pageau scored the 5-4, 5-5 and winning goals. To do that on home ice is one thing. To do it in your hometown is another, and a night Pageau and Sens fans won't soon forget.
PITTSBURGH 6 WASHINGTON 2 (Penguins lead 2-0)
I have mentioned that if you're not getting tired of seeing the Penguins successful you should be, and last night in a 6-2 blowout of the Capitals, we got another gold star reason why:
This is insane and irresponsible. pic.twitter.com/TSfVue0qO6— Japers' Rink (@JapersRink) April 30, 2017
Yes, you're reading that correctly. A member of the Pittsburgh media is convinced that Alex Ovechkin deliberately shot the puck at a Penguin player's head last night. Arrogant. Insufferable. The Eastern Conference version of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Anyway, if the Penguins end up winning, you'd do well to put some money down on Jake Guentzel winning the Conn Smythe. The kid scored 2 more, giving him 7 for the playoffs so far in a fairly convincing win, despite the fact that the Capitals continue to out play the Penguins for much of the time. We're back to questioning the Capitals again, and with the Capitals icing what has probably been the best team in their existence, if they can't come back against the Penguins here, you have to think there's going to be some kind of changes in Washington.
They came into the series looking invincible, but now the Preds are looking down the barrel of some serious adversity for the first time. St Louis has been finding ways to beat Pekka Rinne, and they're going to have to get him to get back to the kind of goaltending they got against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blues meanwhile have been a beast on the road the last couple months, and that's bringing them success in the postseason. They've won 13 of their last 15 road games, and the Preds are going to be in tough to try and hang onto home ice advantage here.
In a sure sign that the apocalypse is nigh, Las Vegas oddsmakers now have the Oilers as the favorites to win the Stanley Cup at 3 to 1 odds. That is not a typo. If you thought their fans were annoying and their media cringe-worthy now, it's only going to get worse with each win. That's why, for the good of humanity, the Anaheim Ducks have to get their collective shit together and stop this before it goes any further.
The Ducks will again be without Kevin Bieksa, who suffered an upper body injury in Game 1. The Oilers meanwhile continue to be healthy, so much so that there was an article today about how they're not concerned about Connor McDavid's lack of scoring in the playoffs so far. And with the secondary scoring they're getting, why should they be? It could all collapse with one injury though, and the odds of them getting through this without one are larger than the ones that saw them win the lottery last season.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
Off to Beijing for some Chinese thrash metal today. Yeah, I know that sounds as weird as the Oilers being the Cup favorites, but China is definitely becoming a country to keep an eye on for metal talent. Tumourboy's new release is called 'Damaged System', and from that album here's 'Bay Serial Killer'.