NASHVILLE 3 ANAHEIM 2 OT (Predators lead 1-0)
James Neal scored the OT winner as the Nashville Predators won another road game, taking Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals 3-2 over the Anaheim Ducks last night.
If you're an Anaheim fan, you might be a little pissed off, not just because they lost, but because, in the fine tradition of playoff officiating, Neal shouldn't have even been playing at that point because of this pretty blatant and dangerous charge that went uncalled.
That's not to say Nashville wasn't deserving of the win. They outshot the Ducks 46-29 and were visibly the better team. They were only in it because of a solid performance from John Gibson. Game 2 goes Sunday in Anaheim.
The Ottawa Senators face their toughest challenge yet in the 2017 Playoffs as they head into Pittsburgh for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The good news is that they've had a few days to rest and heal, super important especially for Erik Karlsson, who will be the key to a Senators win in this series. Karlsson has been unbelievable despite playing with hairline fractures in his foot, but the Sens will need to get more than Karlsson going if they hope to defeat the defending Champs.
They'll also have to bottle up Pittsburgh's speed, and get a solid performance from Craig Anderson like they have in the first two series against the Rangers and Bruins. For the Penguins, you have to wonder how quickly they will change goalies should Marc-Andre Fleury falter with Matt Murray now healthy and ready to step in if needed.
Canada looks to go to 5-0 in Group B play as they take on an opponent who always gives them trouble in the Swiss team today at the Worlds in Paris. Canada will be getting a big (literally) boost on the back end with the addition of St Louis Blues dman Colton Parayko. Parayko was added to replace Tyson Barrie, who suffered an injury that will see him miss the rest of the tournament.
Canada will need to start playing a little harder than they have so far as the medal round approaches. They ran into a hot goalie in the 3-2 win over France, but with 3 games remaining, they need to step it up, and get some of their veteran players scoring. One change tonight is an all Flyers line of Brayden Schenn, Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds, in the hopes of bringing some natural chemistry to get them fired up.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
He would have been 50 today, but his musical legacy endures. Chuck Schuldiner's departure from this world (fuck you, cancer!) was a huge loss, and today we give you one of the best from Death (which sound even better in the remixed rereleases)