Thursday, April 12, 2007

Thursday April 12

On the second night of the playoffs the remaining 8 teams faced off in 4 competitions. The two number 1s took their turns while two other Eastern Conference matchups kicked off. Former Islanders played roles in 3 of those games notching 1 goal and 3 assists. In the other game the New Jersey Devils knocked off the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3 at home. Here is a quick breakdown of the FI action:
  • Martin Straka assisted on New York's second goal in the Rangers' 4-3 road win over the Southeast Division champion Atlanta Thrashers. The assist came at 16:47 of the first period on the powerplay. Straka returned to the playoff scoresheet for the first time since May 22, 2001 when the Pittsburgh Penguins got booted by the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference Final. In that deciding Game 5, a 4-3 loss at New Jersey, Straka had a powerplay goal. Straka was pointless in the last year's first round sweep by the Devils.
  • Mathieu Schneider got a goal and an assist to help cushion Detroit's 4-1 win over the eighth seeded Calgary Flames. Schneider assisted on the third goal and added the fourth to help Detroit cruise to an easy game 1 win. Schneider continues his strong playoff effort following a goal and 7 assists in last year's stunning first round loss to the then eighth seeded Edmonton Oilers, 4 games to 2. In his last 7 playoff games, overall, Schneider has 2 goals and 8 assists for 10 points.
  • Tim Connolly burned his old team in the Buffalo Sabres' 4-1 domination of the visiting Islanders. Connolly assisted on the first goal of the game, 9:30 into regulation. Despite missing all but 2 games of the regular season Connolly seems to be in top form. Although a concussion in round 2 of last year's playoffs derailed Connolly, his effort in the playoffs is impressive. In his 9 postseason games Connolly has 5 goals and 7 assists for 12 points. His return brings the Sabres a clutch player at the most clutch of times.

Every night there is more action and Friday is no exception. 3 more games are on schedule on Friday, all Western Conference tilts. Stay tuned to FIW for all your playoff recaps and Former Islander happenings. Until next time.

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