The NHL playoffs are underway and there has already been a lot of drama.
Out of the eight first round games that were played Wednesday and Thursday, five have been one goal games — this includes one overtime and one double-overtime game. Also, the lower seeded team currently leads five of the eight series.
The following are scores from Thursday night.
New York Rangers 2, Pittsburgh Penguins 1
The New York Rangers scored two early goals to take a 1-0 series lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Rangers’ center Derick Brassard scored 28 seconds into the game and Ryan McDonagh added another goal later in the period. Henrik Lundquist made the early goals stand up for the Rangers, saving 24-of-25 shots.
New York outshot Pittsburgh 38-25, including 14-5 in the first period. The Penguins, who were the NHL’s most penalized team this season according to Jenn Martinez of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, were whistled for first period penalties and five overall.
“Short-handed for seven, eight minutes of a 20-minute period, you’re not doing yourself any favors,” said Pittsburgh defenseman Rob Scuderi. “You’re taking half your lineup out of the equation. Those guys sit on the bench and they get cold. It’s hard to keep your legs going. It’s hard to keep any momentum going when you’re constantly killing penalties and in your own end.”
Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury earned the third star of the game by saving 36 shots. Blake Comeau scored his first career playoff goal when he knocked in a rebound 6:15 into the second period.
The Rangers have now won four straight playoff game against the Penguins. New York took three straight from Pittsburgh to overcome a 3-1 second round deficit last year.
Game two is Saturday in New York at 8 p.m. (ET) and will be televised on NBC.
Update: Sidney Crosby netted two goals as the Pittsburgh Penguins evened the series with a 4-3 victory. Game three is in Pittsburgh and televised on Monday on NBCSN.
Detroit Red Wings 2, Tampa Bay Lightning 1
23-year old goalie Petr Mazek earned top billing in the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 victory over Tampa Bay. Mazek turned away 44 Lightning shots to earn the win in his first career playoff start.
Detroit was able to put just 14 shots on goal but the Red Wings made the most of their opportunities. Pavel Datsyuk scored two goals, including a power play goal just eight seconds into the second period. Luke Glendening’s short-handed goal gave Detroit a 3-1 lead early in the third period.
Tampa Bay outshot Detroit 46-14 for the game but was 0-for-7 on the power play. Brian Boyle and Nikita Nesterov netted goals for the Lightning, who were the league’s highest scoring team during the regular season.
This is the first playoff meeting between the franchises. The Lightning won three-of-the four meetings during the regular season. Detroit has made the playoffs 24 straight seasons.
Game two is Saturday in Tampa Bay, where the Lightning won a NHL-best 32 games this year. The game can be seen on NBC at 3 p.m. (ET).
Update: Tampa Bay earned a 5-1 win on Saturday to pull the series even. Game three will be Monday in Detroit.
Minnesota Wild 4, St. Louis Blues 2
The Minnesota Wild scored the first two goals of the game and goaltender Devan Dubnyk did just enough to keep the Blues, who won the Central Division with 109 points, at bay. Dubnyk, who made his first career playoff start, stopped 19 shots and spoke after the game.
“That was a fantastic road game. We were great with the puck. We were fast coming up the ice on turnovers and we did a good job with keeping them to the outside.”
Minnesota’s Jason Zucker and Matt Dumba got things going for the Wild with goals in the first and second period, respectively. Mikael Granlund and Jason Pominville added empty netters late in the third. Pominville and Zach Parise had two points apiece.
Jaden Schwartz and Alexander Steen had goals for St.Louis.
Minnesota registered 29 shots on goal and were whistled for two penalties. In the meanwhile, St. Louis had 21 shots on goal and accumulated 18 penalty minutes — which included one 10 minute major penalty. The Wild were 2-of-4 on the power play according to ESPN.
Game two is in St. Louis on Saturday at 3 p.m. and can be seen on NBC.
Update: St. Louis skated to an easy 4-1 win on Saturday to even the series at a game apiece. Game three will be Monday in Minnesota.
Anaheim Ducks 4, Winnipeg Jets 2
Corey Perry tallied two of Anaheim’s three third period goals as the Ducks earned a 4-2 come-from-behind victory over the Winnipeg Jets.
Perry finished game with four points, which included the tie-breaking shorthanded goal with 6:39 left to go in regulation. However, Perry was not officially awarded the goal until 62 seconds later when the referee’s were able to check the replay after a stoppage of play according to the Associated Press. Perry now has 24 career playoff goals.
Ryan Getzlaf and Sami Vatanan each added a goal and two assists for the Pacific Division champs. Frederik Anderson had 25 goals for the Ducks, who had 24 comeback victories during the regular season.
Winnipeg is in the playoffss for the first time since relocating from Atlanta four years ago. The Jets received goals from Adam Lowry and Drew Stafford.
Game two is back in Anaheim at 10:30 (ET) and can be seen on NBCSN.
Update: Jakob Silfverberg scored with 21 seconds left in regulation to lift Anaheim to a 2-1 victory and give the Ducks a 2-0 series lead. Game three is in Winnipeg and will be televised on NBCSN.
Ottawa Senators at Montreal Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens took a 1-0 series lead after earning a 4-3 victory in a very physical game that saw Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban ejected after injuring the Senators’ Mark Stone.
Subban finished with two assists and Brian Flynn, who had three points, made his first career playoff goal count in a big way, tallying the game winner late in the second period. There were a total of six goals scored in the second stanza of Game one.
Montreal outshot Ottawa 39 -33 in the opening game but the Senators converted 2-of-their-5 power play opportunities. The Canadiens were 0-for-1 on the power play. The teams combined for 86 hits and 66 penalty minutes.
Game two is expected to be just as intense. The game can be seen at 7 p.m. on CNBC.
“The intensity level is there,” said Brendan Gallagher told ESPN following Montreal’s morning skate Thursday. “Each series takes on its own personality. Whatever you’re going to get, you just go in and you have to be ready to compete hard. That’s what their side is doing and that’s what our side is doing.”
Update: Montreal holds a 2-0 series lead after taking Game two 3-2 in overtime. Game three is in Ottawa on Sunday.
New York Islanders at Washington Capitals
The New York Islanders look to take a 2-0 series lead after taking Game one 4-1. The game can be seen on MSG, CSNB and NBCSN at 7 p.m.(ET).
Update: Washington evened up the series at 1-1 with a come-from-behind 4-3 victory in Game two. The Capitals scored two goals in the third period after tallying two goals in the second. Game three is in New York on Sunday.
April 19 Update: John Tavares scored 15 seconds into overtime as the Islanders took a 2-1 series lead. New York won Game three 2-1. Game four is in New York on Tuesday.
Chicago Blackhawks at Nashville Predators
The Chicago Blackhawks scored four straight goals to overcome a 3-0 deficit to take Game one of the series in two overtimes. Nashville scored all three goals on their first 12 shot attempts but couldn’t get a shot passed Scott Darling over the final 67:44 of the game.
Corey Crawford, who started Game 1, is expected to get the nod in Game 2 for the Blackhawks. Crawford shared the Jennings Trophy with Montreal’s Carey Price for the fewest team goals allowed during the regular season.
“He’s our starting goalie,” Blackhawks coach Joe Quenneville said. “He’s been our strength all year long. It was one period, and one collectively as a team — goaltending all the way out through the forwards — I thought our first period was ordinary at best. I look forward to him getting back in the net.”
Game time is set for 9:30 p.m. (ET) and will be televised on CSNC and NBCSN.
Update: Nashville pulled even in the series with a 6-2 win. The Predators, who registered 35 shots in Game two, have now scored nine goals on Chicago’s starting net minder Corey Crawford in the series. The Blackhawks will go with Scott Darling in Game three, which is Sunday.
April 19 Update: Scott Darling stopped 35 Nashville shots to help the Blackhawks take a 2-1 series lead with a 4-2 victory. Chicago hosts Game three on Tuesday.
Calgary Flames at Vancouver Canucks
The Calgary Flames wrestled home ice advantage from Vancouver after scoring two goals in the third period to take Game 1 2-1. The Flames, who had 99 third period goals in the regular season (tied for most in the league, got goals from David Jones and Kris Russell. Russell’s goal came with 30 to go in the game.
The puck is set to drop at 10 p.m. (ET) and can be seen CNBC.
Update: Vancouver scored two first period goals and coasted to a 4-1 Game two win to even the series at 1-1. Game three is in Calgary on Sunday.
[photo by Harry How/Getty Images]