Dust off the stage and prepare the orchestra…the fat lady is on standby once again. This time, it’s the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers that find themselves in the front row of the opera house preparing for the performance that would signal their playoff demise.
With Wednesday night’s 4-1 win over Philly, the Boston Bruins are now but a win away from their first conference finals appearance since 1992…taking a commanding 3 games to none lead in their series with the Flyers. The Bruins won despite losing centerman Dave Krejci and defenseman Adam McQuaid.
Krejci left the ice after a crushing open-ice check delivered by Flyers captain Mike Richards with just under six minutes elapsed in the game. The play led to Miro Satan’s goal that broke a 1-1 tie…his fifth tally of the playoffs.
Regardless, that’s a tough way to earn a secondary assists.
Entering this spring’s hunt for Lord Stanley’s Cup, Boston had the lowest offensive production in the regular season…scoring but 2.39 goals per game on the average in 82 games. In the 83rd through 91st games, however, they have a 3.11 netted G/G…seventh best of the sixteen playoff qualifiers.
Game four will be in Philly Friday night.
But by that time, we may already know who the first participant of the Western Conference Finals is. Yes, Detroit could be the scene for the fat lady’s first performance of the second round…hmmm, I wonder how well she does performing Motown hits?
The Sharks have forced the Big Red Borg to win four straight as they have built a 3 –0 lead in that series with three 4-3 wins.
Of course, I’m pretty sure the big gal would prefer it if the Wings at least took one game in the series, winning game four and forcing a return to San Jose. I mean…having to perform in Detroit or having to go to the San Francisco Bay area of northern California?…Detroit or San Jose?…Detroit or San Jose?
Yeah…you get the picture.
The Wings have only themselves to blame after blowing leads of 2-0 and 3-1 in game three and losing in overtime on a perfectly executed break away by Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton.
Evgeni Nabokov is now 7-2 in the playoffs, despite giving up three goals in each of the three games against Detroit on 89 shots, (.899 SV%). And Joe Pavelski continues to help power the Shark attack…scoring 4 goals and 3 assists against the Red Wings in three games.
Also tonight, Montreal will look to even their series with Pittsburgh as those two square off in game four. Habs netminder Jaroslav Halak has allowed only one goal in 5 of the last games played, and has a playoff-best .933 SV% going into tonight’s action. But still the Canadiens find themselves down 2 games to 1 to the defending Stanley Cup Champs.
Last night, Chicago took a 2-1 lead over the Canucks with a 5-2 win in Vancouver thanks to Blackhawks forward Dustin Byfuglien’s hat trick. They were his first three goals of the playoffs this spring.
“He was in the middle of everything”, Marian Hossa said of his teammate. “He’s dominating in the corners, in the physical department and I think he was frustrating their team”.
Hossa scored his second of the playoffs in the third period to give the Hawks a 4-2 cushion.
Lastly…the Chicago Wolves and Texas Stars are knotted up two games apiece after they split games three and four in the Lone Star state.
Tuesday evening Chicago won 5-3 behind Spencer Machacek’s 2 goals, one assist showing. Nathan Oystrick added a pair of power play goals for the Wolves while Brett Sterling scored his first goal of the playoffs. Peter Mannino stopped 27 of the 30 shots taken by the Stars for the win.
Last night, Texas evened the series with a 3-2 win. Sterling scored twice in this match and Mannino stopped 20 of 23 shots faced.
Game five will be played Friday night in Austin.