NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Thursday Night Recap • Latino Sports

Hockey

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Thursday Night Recap

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It was quite a night as NHL Hockey began for two old rivals, the Washington Capitals, Southeast Division champions, and the New York Rangers. These two have met four of the last five years, three consecutive years culminating in last year’s conference final game seven win for New York.

The results this time in D.C. were different. But initially it looked good for the Rangers. They fought off three penalties to the team with the best power play in the league this year. “We feel, like a little bit maybe nervous.” Ovechkin reflected. Carl Hagelin wrapped around the net to tap a deflection off defenseman John Erskine’s skate into goal for a 1-0 lead in the opening period.

Henrik Lundqvist must have felt like a wet sheet in the wind during a rainstorm. His counterpart, second year player Braden Holtby stopped 35 shots. “We kind of left him out to dry.” Washington forward Troy Brouwer added.

The second period turned all momentum around and it started with a MVP candidate and a little good fortune. On their fourth penalty the Caps moved it around until center Nicklas Backstrom’ slap shot from the blue line center needled past everyone and deflected off the board to Alex Ovechkin who popped it past Lundqvist to even matters. The crowd chanted M.P.V. loudly. “Kind of a lucky bounce” Alex explained “But I’ll take it.”

Then the special teams of the Caps killed off a 5 on 3 for the Rangers, preventing them from getting ahead. Holtby even made a nifty glove grab in midair robbing Rick Nash. What followed was a mental error that left the Rangers muttering to themselves.

Defenseman Steve Oleksy shot a pass from his zone on a straight line to center Marcus Johansson at the blue line behind Ranger defenders Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh and Marcus skated the remaining distance to shoot under Lundqvist and give the Caps a 2-1 lead.

“We’ve got to know the guy’s behind us,” Girardi explained “That’s not really acceptable.” Then 48 seconds later center Mathieu Perreault dug one out from the left boards and pushed it to left wing Jason Chimera who skated away in the faceoff circle, then pivoted and shot a long range rocket that pierced Lundqvist and 3-1 down the Rangers were pretty much done.

At 4:03 an apparent goal by the Rangers Richards was disallowed as replays showed the puck stuck between Oleksy and the post then disappearing under. Game two will be in Washington as the Rangers look for a split and the Caps try for a commanding 2-0 lead.

In other action The Detroit Red Wings won a wild 5-4 game to even their series with the Anaheim Ducks.  After taking a 3-0 and 4-1 leads, Anaheim scored three times in the final period to even it at 4-4. In overtime a wrist shot from Gustav Nyquist on the power play won it for the Wings.

The Montreal Canadiens opened their series by getting upset by the Ottawa Senators. Ottawa led 1-0 after one and Montreal scored twice in the second on goals by Rene Bourque and on a power play by Brendan Gallagher. But it all fell apart in the third when Ottawa’s Jakob Silfverberg, Marc Methot, and Gillaume Latendresse all scored for a 4-2 win in Montreal.

St. Louis took a commanding 2-0 lead against the defending champion Los Angeles Kings. Dustin Brown deflected the puck in for an early 1-0 for the Kings. It stayed that way until 3:44 of the final period when Patrik Berglund tipped one in to even matters and with only 51 seconds in regulation, Barret Jackman scored on a wrist shot to give the Kings a case of the Blues.

About Luis Vásquez

A ten year veteran in the field of freelance writing and editing. Among the publications he has written for is Defining TrendsMagazine, Elboricua.com and NYC Sporting News. He has served as Editor-in-Chief for Ultimate Athlete Magazine.

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