Flyers and Kings have Penguins and Canucks on the verge of elimination, Panthers win first playoff game since 1997, suspensions start coming down, and more.
PHILLY.COM/PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW: The Philadelphia Flyers pushed the Pittsburgh Penguins to the brink of elimination with a convincing 8-4 victory. The Penguins did nothing to help their situation, losing their cool, getting shoddy goaltending from Marc-Andre Fleury, and playing lousy defensive hockey. The Penguins, including captain Sidney Crosby, have been justifiably criticized for their undisciplined performance, looking nothing like the seasoned playoff professionals we’d come to expect from a former Stanley Cup champion. The Flyers, meanwhile, have only been marginally better with their defensive play and goaltending, but combined with their poise and offensive talent, have been the better team and deserve to be where they are in this series.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Jonathan Quick made 41 saves and Dustin Brown scored the only goal, as the Kings down the Vancouver Canucks 1-0 to push the President’s Trophy winners to the verge of elimination. Brown also laid out Canucks captain Henrik Sundin with a hard but clean bodycheck, which could be a metaphor for this series. For more on the Canucks, visit “Canadian Corner”.
MIAMI HERALD/NJ.COM: For the first time since 1997, there was a rain of plastic rats following a Florida Panthers playoff game, as the Panthers hung on for a 4-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils, evening their series at a game apiece heading back to New Jersey for Games Three and Four. Stephen Weiss scored twice for the Panthers, who received loud support from their fans throughout the game, especially in the final minutes.
THE TENNESSEAN/DETROIT FREE PRESS: Shea Weber, Kevin Klein and Sergei Kostitsyn scored while Pekka Rinne made 41 saves, as the Nashville Predators downed the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 to take a 2-1 series lead, prompting one Detroit sportswriter to suggest the Wings are the victims of bad luck and bad calls. Perhaps to a degree, but that doesn’t diminish Rinne’s outstanding performance in this game.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Rangers forward Carl Hagelin has been suspended for three games for his elbowing Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson in the head during Game Two of the Rangers-Senators series. For more on the Senators, visit “Canadian Corner”.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE/ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw will learn his fate today for running over Coyotes goalie Mike Smith in Game Two, while the Coyotes hope to overcome adversity after losing three players (Radim Vrbata, Martin Hanzal and Lauri Korpikoski) to injury in the first two games of this series.
CSNNE.COM/WASHINGTON POST: Bruins forward Milan Lucic believes his club’s top lines has to improve their play against the Capitals, whose rookie goalie Braden Holtby has been the star of the series thus far.
STLTODAY.COM/MERCURYNEWS.COM: The Blues are winning the battle of the top lines in this series, while Joe Pavelski, Dan Boyle and Patrick Marleau have surprised by displaying a willingness to scrap in this series.