NHL first round recap
(1) Anaheim Ducks 4 – 0 (W) Winnipeg Jets
Winnipeg hockey fans were seeing playoff hockey for the first time in 19 years, and the atmosphere inside the MTS Center was amazing. However, the Ducks brought too much talent to the table for crowd noise to matter and swept the Jets with just one game leaking into overtime. The short series bodes well for the Ducks, who get some valuable days off.
(2) Vancouver Canucks 2 – 4 (3) Calgary Flames
The Flames’ cinderella run continues after a six-game series with the Canucks. This series got intense after game one, featuring fights and plenty of hits, but the Flames were unshaken and advanced.
(1) St. Louis Blues 2 – 4 (W) Minnesota Wild
The Wild started setting the NHL on fire after acquiring goaltender Devan Dubnyk at the trade deadline. After posting one of the league’s best second half records, they put up a long and hotly contested battle against one of hockey’s best teams. It was enough for a second round visit as the Wild won game six 4–1 being outshot 31–21 by the Blues.
(2) Nashville Predators 2 – 4 (3) Chicago Blackhawks
Nashville actually outscored the Blackhawks in this series, turning in two dominant games while the Blackhawks scraped by on wins in double and triple overtime games. It’s unfair to see the Predators go down in a series where they played better, but luck happens in short series.
(1) Montreal Canadiens 4 – 2 (W) Ottawa Senators
The Montreal Canadiens came in as heavy favorites, but a series of closely contested, one-goal games left this matchup in reach for the Senators. Ottawa’s 5–1 beatdown of Montreal in game five remains the only convincing win of this series.
In the end, however, Montreal had enough to win the series in six games.
(2) Tampa Bay Lightning 2 – 3 (3) Detroit Red Wings
In a fast-paced series, the Lightning — hockey’s best offensive team all season — was held scoreless in games three and five, putting the Red Wings on top. This series continues on Monday when the Red Wings have a chance to win on their home ice.
(1) New York Rangers 4 – 1 (W) Pittsburgh Penguins
The Rangers came in with the President’s Trophy, and the Penguins came in with an ugly, months-long cold streak, making this outcome widely expected. However, as is often the case in hockey, the lopsided game count belies a close series.
The Penguins held their own, but lost four games 2–1 after plenty of deflections and moments of luck.
(2) Washington Capitals 3 – 3 (3) New York Islanders
The Isles and Caps have traded thrillers up to this point, and great goaltending has left three of the six games as one goal affairs.
Monday’s series finale should be yet another nail-biter.