Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Recently in Second Round Category

Canucks' celebration muted

Categories: Nashville Predators, Second Round, VAN vs. NSH, Vancouver Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks celebrate their 2-1 win in Game 6 against the Nashville Predators, on Monday in Nashville, Tenn. (Mike Strasinger/Associated Press)
There was way more merriment in the stands at the Bridgestone Arena than in the Vancouver Canucks dressing room following the series finale. Yet, it was the hometown Nashville Predators whose season just ended.

The game had finished and the series was over, but most of the 17,113 loud and proud fans stayed to send a message of appreciation to their players. "Go Predators go, go Predators go," they chanted over and over and over again as captain Shea Weber led his teammates to the middle of the ice to salute the fans by raising their sticks in unison.
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Patrick Marleau (12) of the San Jose Sharks is facing criticism for his quiet performance in his team's series with the Detroit Red Wings. (Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Detroit Red Wings' Pavel Datsyuk (13) moved into a share of the Stanley Cup playoff points lead on Sunday, despite playing with an injured wrist. (Duane Burleson/Associated Press)
You could say that Pavel Datsyuk had a hand in the survival of the Detroit Red Wings.

Incorrectly rumoured by a Detroit newspaper to be a scratch for Game 5 of the Wings' Western Conference semifinal with the San Jose Sharks Sunday at HP Pavilion due to an injured wrist, Datsyuk not only played, he thrived, setting up three goals as the Wings rallied from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits for a 4-3 victory.

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Predators' Ward stepping up

Categories: Nashville Predators, Second Round, VAN vs. NSH, Vancouver Canucks
Joel Ward (29) celebrates with Shea Weber (6) of the Nashville Predators after scoring a goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the third period in Game 5 on Saturday at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. (Rich Lam/Getty Images)

Down, but not out. That could be the Predators mantra this season. Here's a team that lost Matthew Lombardi, their top centre, to a concussion early in the second game of the season. In the playoffs, they lost veteran Steve Sullivan with a lower-body injury in Game 3 and forward Jerred Smithson joined him on the sidelines with an upper-body injury two nights later.

But they push on. Somebody steps up. Somebody, like the unheralded 30-year-old Joel Ward. His inspiring, feel-good story has been told many times. But it is a tale worth repeating after his special Saturday night against the Canucks, a two-goal, one-assist performance in the Predators 4-3 victory to force a sixth game.
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Red Wings familiar with OT heartbreak

Categories: SJS vs. DET, San Jose Sharks, Second Round
Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (35) lets San Jose Sharks forward Devin Setoguchi shot past in overtime against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 3 in Detroit on Wednesday. (Paul Sancya/Associated Press)

Same date. Same third-period lead. Same heart-breaking outcome.

The Detroit Red Wings find themselves on the brink of elimination for the second straight spring against the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference semifinal after squandering a third-period lead and falling 4-3 on Devin Setoguchi's goal at 9:21 of overtime in Game 3 of the series Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena.
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Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Sean Bergenheim (10) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals during the second period in Game 4 on Wednesday in Tampa, Fla. (Chris O'Meara/Associated Press)
Sean Bergenheim is hardly a household name. Each year there are under-the-radar players who become playoff stars, but the Lightning winger has put himself in the very early discussion for the Conn Smythe Trophy.

Bergenheim has seven goals, including two in Tampa Bay's 5-3 victory Wednesday night in Game 4 that finished the Capitals off with a sweep and moved on to the Eastern Conference Finals.
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Bruins' quick start dooms Flyers

Categories: Boston Bruins, PHI vs. BOS, Philadelphia Flyers, Second Round
Philadelphia Flyers goalie Brian Boucher skates off the ice as he replaced by Sergei Bobrovsky (35) following a goal by Boston Bruins' Nathan Horton, which gave the Bruins a 4-0 lead, during the second period in Game 3 on Wednesday in Boston. (Charles Krupa/Associated Press)

t came in the first two shifts of Game 3 as the Bruins scored twice in 63 seconds to stun the Flyers, en route to a 5-1 shelling.

Boston is now up 3-0 in this Eastern Conference semi-final series just like they were last year when the Flyers became the first Flyer team to overcome that deficit to win a series.

"We knew they would come out strong," Danny Briere said. "That was the game, right there."
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Canucks' Bieksa having a blast

Categories: Nashville Predators, Second Round, VAN vs. NSH

Kevin Bieksa seems to be having a blast in this playoff run.

And why not? The Vancouver Canucks soon-to-be unrestricted free agent, who has a finance degree from Bowling Green University, is about to cash in. He's been the Canucks best defender on the ice and there with the best quips in the dressing room afterwards.
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Washington Capitals players and coach Bruce Boudreau, third from left, watch the final moments of Game 3 in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday. Tampa Bay won 4-3. (John Raoux/Associated Press)

The Capitals were cruising along and looked like they were going to make this a series. Then a giveaway by Eric Fehr turned into a Steven Stamkos goal, and 24 seconds later the puck went in off Ryan Malone and the Lightning had a 4-3 lead. They held on to take a commanding series lead.
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Thomas, JVR shine in Game 2

Categories: Boston Bruins, PHI vs. BOS, Philadelphia Flyers, Second Round

Simply a fabulous performance from two warriors in Game 2 of the Flyers-Bruins Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Tim Thomas had 52 saves for the Bruins.

James van Riemsdyk was triple shifted for the Flyers, scored two goals, and was everywhere on the ice in 28 minutes of play - most by any Flyer forward - during a 3-2  Bruins win in overtime.

Start to finish, this was a superb hockey that had to make Lord Stanley proud.
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