Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tuesday April 17

In the busiest night of playoff hockey action so far this postseason it seemed as if most of the winners put the 3rd nail into the coffin of their competitors. Former Islanders played roles in only 2 games (of course playing huge parts in the Vancouver game) while accounting for 2 goals and 3 assists. In the other games the Ottawa Senators edged the host Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 to take a 3-1 lead in the series. Ottawa, after splitting their home games, came into Pittsburgh and took both games setting up a potential series ending game 5 back in the Canadian capital. The New York Rangers took a 3-0 stranglehold lead over the hapless Atlanta Thrashers with a 7-0 thumping at Madison Square Garden. Atlanta will try to stave off elimination in Game 4 tonight in NYC. Calgary refused to fall down three games to none and walked away with a 3-2 victory at home over the Detroit Redwings. Calgary had one of the top home records on the regular season and capped the comeback from a 2-1 deficit with a goal at the 9:21 mark of the third period. Detroit leads the series 2-1. Here is a look at the FI happenings in the other two games:
  • Mark Parrish topped off a dominating win with his first goal of the playoffs for the Minnesota Wild over the Anaheim Ducks, 4-1, at the Xcel Center. It was Captain Parrish's first playoff point since April 16, 2004 when the Islanders lost their first round series in Game 5 to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning. With the win the Wild live to see another day avoiding a first round sweep. Anaheim leads the series 3-1.
  • The Vancouver Canucks are barely scraping by to beat the Dallas Stars. On Tuesday they mustered just enough to pull out a 2-1 win in Dallas. After splitting their first two home games the Canucks have won the first 2 in Dallas to take a commanding 3 to 1 lead in the series. A lot of credit is due to the teams plentiful corps of FIs. Trevor Linden scored his first of the playoffs with 5:31 remaining in the third period to seal the win. The goal was his first postseason tally since April 22, 2003 ending a 17 game playoff goalless streak.
  • Taylor Pyatt assisted on the game winner and Vancouver's first of the game for 2 points on the night. Pyatt now has a goal and 3 assists in the series.
  • Bryan Smolinski received the primary assist on Vancouver's first goal. Smoke's play has picked up as of late. He has now tallied a goal and 2 assists in the 4 games thusfar.
  • Roberto Luongo was hot in net yet again stopping 26 of 27 shots for his third win in four starts. His goals against has dropped to a jawdroppingly low 1.49 while his save percentage now stands at .950, currently best among starters in the postseason.

4 more games are scheduled for Wednesday. The Rangers can wrap up their series while the other 3 tilts can either be evened up or forcefully taken control of. Tune in for all the FI news.

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