Stanley Cup Stories: Canadiens get scare with Lars Eller
Montreal forward stretchered off after frightening hit
The end result between the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators was overshadowed by a frightening incident that sent Habs forward Lars Eller off the ice in a stretcher. Elsewhere, the Boston Bruins found out they will be without one of their defencemen for Game 2 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. These are just a couple of the stories that generated headlines Thursday in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
1. The Senators struck first in their Eastern Conference quarter-final against the Montreal Canadiens with a 4-2 Game 1 win, but it wasn't Ottawa's victory that generated the most discussion. At 13:28 of the second period, Senators defenceman Eric Gryba levelled Lars Eller, which gave rise to a gruesome scene in which trainers attended to the bloodied forward and removed him from the ice on a stretcher. Gryba denied any intent to injure, but a date with NHL head disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan is set for Friday for the rookie. Eller suffered a concussion, dental and facial fractures on the play. The incident created a social media stir as plenty of Senators players and NHLers alike weighed in on about the play. Will there be any disciplinary action? The Hockey Night in Canada panel doesn't think there should be. The Habs and Sens won't get much time to think about it as they battle again Friday night for Game 2 in Montreal (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m. ET).
2. Mikhail Grabovski got a measure of revenge Thursday as Andrew Ference was punished for the vicious elbow he threw on the Leafs forward Wednesday night. The Boston Bruins blue-liner was suspended one game by the NHL and will be forced to sit out Game 2 on Saturday night against Toronto (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m. ET). But while one Bruins' defenceman will be out, another one is elevating his game. As CBCSports.ca senior hockey writer Tim Wharnsby writes, Wade Redden has been resurgent for Beantown.
3. St. Louis had the defending Stanley Cup champions singing the blues Thursday thanks to a late third-period goal by Barret Jackman. With just over 50 seconds to go, the unsung hero helped lift the Blues to a 2-1 win and ultimately a 2-0 series lead over the Los Angeles Kings. As profiled on the Hockey Night in Canada Close Up, Jonathan Quick and Brian Elliott were solid with 23 and 28 stops, respectively. Game 3 takes place on Friday night (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 10 p.m. ET) as the series shifts to L.A.
4. A wild back-and-forth affair in Anaheim culminated in a 5-4 overtime win by the Red Wings. After carrying a 4-1 lead midway into the third period, Detroit surrendered three unanswered goals to the Ducks and found itself heading to an extra frame. But it didn't take long for the Red Wings to even the series at one game apiece, as Gustav Nyquist played the hero just over a minute in to end the game. In Washington, the Capitals' strong play continued after they came back to beat the New York Rangers 3-1 to draw first blood in their series. Alex Ovechkin passed Peter Bondra for the franchise's all-time playoff goals lead to continue his hot run.
5. The Vancouver Canucks will try to rebound from a disappointing start in their series when they host the San Jose Sharks for Game 2 Friday night (10 p.m. ET). And the Canucks will need to make some adjustments if they hope to even their series at 1-1.