Jordan Staal and the rest of the Pens sent the Caps home for good.-Alaina Scarano-Isbouts-Alaina Scarano-Isbouts
OF COURSE. This would happen just hours after I published that “my money is on the Caps-Pens game” for an overtime game and a game 7 win. The Pittsburgh Penguins absolutely killed the Washington Capitals tonight in DC to advance to the Eastern Conference finals. They will face the winner of the Boston-Carolina game 7. The final score was 6-2.
It all started simply enough, by a power play goal from Sidney Crosby 12:36 into the first period. And then a suspicious thing happened… the Pens scored again. Craig Adams scored eight seconds later to give the Pens a 2-0 lead. Every game in this series up until tonight was decided by one goal, except game 5 when the Penguins won by 2 goals.
Three teams will be calling it a season tonight, then it's on to conference finals.
Today and tomorrow, three teams will be eliminated from the playoffs. Of course this is the nature of the playoffs — as long as one team wins, the other one loses and their season is over. To me, game 7s are the epitome of hockey. They are fast paced, they get dirty, and usually only one goal makes the entire difference. Expect at least one of these games to go in to overtime — and my money is on the Caps – Pens game. Read on for previews of all the lucky, and maybe not so lucky, game 7 players.
– by Alaina Scarano-Isbouts
Ahh, the playoffs. While it is the best time of the hockey season, it is also the time of the year when you can throw out the window everything you think you know. No predictions are guaranteed. No players are even guaranteed. Injuries are undisclosed. It’s a time when everyone is reminded why they really, really love this game. In fact, here are the five things I love about hockey because of the 2009 post-season so far.
#5 – Ovechkin versus Crosby
Who would have thought we’d see this? Sure, I picked each team to advance (and so did most people, I’m sure), but all the same it’s exciting as hell to watch these two international superstars battle for their teams. The excitement came to an all time high on Monday, as both Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby notched hat tricks. Ovechkin scored his late in the 3rd to dash any hopes the Pens had of winning the game in OT. Washington is now up 2-0 in the series, but I’m sure it will be an entirely different game when the Pens get home ice back tonight for game 3 (5pm mountain). This series has it all: the superstars, a hot rivalry, two incredible and young goaltenders, passion, scoring and even a few veterans who could be playing for their last shot at the cup (read: Bill Guerin and Sergei Fedorov). As Markus Naslund proved, anyone can be in the middle of their last season – not just Joe Sakic. Ovechkin and Crosby have brought enough fans to the game already, now hopefully they can help bring their sport to center stage (or ice). I just hope this is a 7 game series… can you imagine anything more exciting? This just could be the playoff series to end all playoff series.
The rivalry continues.
I’m sure I’ve lost plenty of credibility after my round 1 matchups, but I’m giving round 2 a shot anyway.
Here’s a recap of my round 1 picks and who advanced:
Boston v. Montreal – Boston in 6 – actual was Boston in 4
Washington v. New York – Washington in 6 – actual was Washington in 7
NJ v. Carolina – Carolina in 7 – actual was Carolina in 7
Pittsburgh v. Philadelphia – Pittsburgh in 7 – actual was Pittsburgh in 6
San Jose v. Anaheim – San Jose in 5 – actual was Anaheim in 6
Detroit v. Columbus – Detroit in 6 – actual was Detroit in 4
Vancouver v. St. Louis – St. Louis in 6 – actual was Vancouver in 4
Chicago v. Calgary – Chicago in 6 – actual was Chicago in 6
So actually I only guessed wrong in two teams… let’s see if I can do a better job here. This time, let’s preview the western conference first since they were decided much earlier – no series in the West went to 7.
Welcome to another live blog by yours truly. Tonight’s game is the 7th meeting between the NY Rangers and the Washington Capitals in DC. The game hasn’t started yet but it should any minute. All times below are Eastern time, as that is where the game is being played. Let’s play some hockey!
9:33 – And the Caps get to feel what a game 7 victory is like after losing their game 7 in OT last year to Philly.
9:31 – Handshakes are over, and so is the Rangers’ season. Sergei Fedorov gets the game winning goal and Lundqvist ended with 22 saves.
9:28 – And it’s over. The Caps have won it.
9:27 – 30 seconds to go and it’s a Rangers time out. OMG OMG OMG.
9:26 – Less than a minute to go and Avery is hurt, Lundqvist is still in net…. 45 to go…
It's all in your hands, Lundqvist... no pressure.
In the spirit of the Game 7s and how involved I have been with the Rangers-Caps series, I’ll be live blogging the game tonight. It should be fantastic.
Just a few interesting stats for you all… the Rangers haven’t played a game 7 since their 1994 Cup championship. NY has only played seven Game 7s in their history, and in each match up the home team has won. Donald Brashear is out tonight (and if the Caps advance, for the next 5 games as well). No word yet on if Avery is in, but he did look decent in Game 6 so we’ll see if Torts put the fear of God into him or not. This game is going to depend all on Henrik Lundqvist and if he can carry the Rangers yet again.
Game starts at 7pm so be there or check it out here on TAS. May the best team win!
Can the Caps pull out a win at home on Friday to stave off elimination?
Tonight I learned that I could hold my breath for two minutes — the entire time I stood up in front of my television gripping a throw pillow against my chest. This was also the amount of time the Rangers held off the Capitals in the most intense game finish of the series. I think the rest of the world who was watching game 4 of the Rangers – Capitals series was doing the same thing.
Alexander Ovechkin made it clear that he would stop at nothing to win – and Sean Avery made it clear that he would stop at nothing. Ovechkin had the sole goal for the Caps but 11 other shots on goal; Henrik Lundqvist is without a doubt the only reason that this was the Caps’ famed forward’s only goal this series. Lundqvist stopped an astonishing 38 shots on goal and had huge contributions from his defenseman and forwards as well on the D side. Brandon Dubinsky, playing like a veteran despite being in his 2nd year, was all over the ice all night long. Dubinsky notched nearly 16 minutes of ice time and assisted on the first goal scored for NY.
The thing that isn’t making too much sense to me is that Dubinsky, who made huge contributions to NY’s win tonight, only played three more minutes of ice time than Sean Avery.