NHL: And Then There Were Eight
Added by Jackie Daly on April 30, 2012.
The NY Rangers topped the Washington Capitals in a closely played Game 1.
The end of April signifies one thing in my eyes: the start of the conference semifinals in NHL playoffs.
The quarterfinals were more dramatic than expected, with the series outcomes yielding unpredictable results.
Now, there are four teams remaining in each conference, fighting through another round and inching closer and closer to the grand prize: Lord Stanley’s Cup.
In game one yesterday, the New Jersey Devils fell to the Philadelphia Flyers in OT. There have been eighteen games so far in the 2012 playoffs that have needed more than regulation to find a winner. Danny Briere of the Flyers scored a goal two and a half minutes into OT. A player cannot score a goal by kicking in the puck. If there is a clear forward kicking motion of the leg followed by the puck in the back of the net, it will not count. After review of the play, it was concluded that Briere kicked the puck in. No goal. About two minutes later, Briere blasted one from the top left point, sneaking one past Devils net minder Martin Brodeur (who is approaching his fortieth birthday). He regained trust from his teammates and fans after the called back no goal that preceded the game winner.
Flyers lead the series 1‐0.
The New York Rangers take on the Washington Capitals tonight at the Garden for game 2 of their series. Rangers lead the series 1‐0, with newbie Chris Kreider unleashing a monster shot for the game winning goal in front of a fired up Blueshirts crowd. This is Kreider’s second goal of the playoffs. Coming straight out of the collegiate frozen four, there was no hesitation from the Rangers coaching staff to put him in his first NHL game, which just happened to be during the quarterfinals of the 2012 playoffs. He has performed very well, and has more goals in the playoffs then Marion Gaborik, who led the Rangers in goals during the regular season. Gaborik scored 41 goals, third in the league in the regular season finishing behind Evgeni Malkin who had 50 and Steven Stamkos who had 60.
The eighth place Los Angeles Kings have a one game to zero lead on the second place St. Louis Blues. Will another upset happen in the semis with the Kings beating out a top seeded team for the second time in these playoffs?
The Phoenix Coyotes, with incredible goaltending from Mike Smith, who faced 39 shots alone in game 2, have taken a 2‐0 lead on the Nashville Predators. Both their wins came in front of their fans on home ice. Game three is on Wednesday May 2, in Nashville, with the Predators up for a challenge of digging themselves out of the two game hole they are currently sitting in.