Last night in Nashville, the 19th overtime was played in this spring’s NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. That’s roughly one-third of the 59 games played so far. This time it was the Predators and Canucks who required extra time to determine a winner with visiting Vancouver ultimately winning 3-2 on Ryan Kesler’s power play goal.
It was the second straight time those two teams needed more than 60 minutes to settle matters.
Kesler’s game-winner came after Preds defenseman Shea Weber was called for hooking him along the boards. It was a call Nashville coach Barry Trotz strongly disagreed with.
“He chicken-winged the stick and kept moving, and really if you look at it, Webs is pushing on him, trying to pull his stick out of there,” Trotz stated after the game. “I’ve seen it before. One of the earlier games, he drew a couple penalties like that by chicken-winging the stick and just holding it there and keep moving and see if he can sell it.”
So far in that series the finals scores after three games have been 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict the game-four score will be 4-3.
Speaking of 4-3…that’s exactly what the final score was in game-three of the Lightning-Capitals series with Tampa Bay once again coming out on top. With the victory, they now take a commanding three games to none lead and stand one win away from advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals since they won the Cup in 2004.
It was the sixth consecutive playoff win in a row for Tampa Bay after falling behind the Penguins three games to one in the opening round.
The Bolts trailed the top seed in the east 3-2 after 40 minutes of play, but a pair of goals by Steven Stamkos and Ryan Malone just 24 seconds apart in the third changed all that. It also left the Capitals scratching their heads.
“They’re uncanny when they want to get a goal. It’s like they just snap their fingers or hit a button. They just dial it up,” Caps forward Mike Knuble said. “You can see it’s like they’re flipping a switch. … It leaves you flabbergasted. You don’t know what to say about it.”
All this means, of course, is that hockey’s Grim Reaper will now get a chance to harvest his first soul of the second round tonight. He’ll be standing near the Zamboni during game-four tonight in Tampa looking for the Lightning to strike down the Capitals.
I’ve been told he’s also brought the Fat Lady along with him…she’s schedule to perform if the Caps indeed fail to keep themselves alive. Meanwhile, she and The Reaper will enjoy the day on the beaches of Clearwater just across the bay.
Also this evening, the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks will both get a chance to also go up 3-0 in their respective series. The Bs will be at home for game-three while the Sharks play on the home ice of The Big Red Borg.
Three games tonight. And given the way thing have gone so far this postseason, odds are that one of them will require overtime.