The first round of the 2013 NHL playoffs are in the books, eight teams have been sent packing to hit the links while eight teams remain to square off in the conference semi-finals. (Photo Credit: Torch Creative)
The first round did not disappoint hockey fans who have come to expect physical, fast, dramatic hockey in the playoffs and year after year they are not disappointed.
One year after the Los Angeles Kings became the first eight seed ever to win the Stanley Cup both seven seeds and both six have managed to advance to the semi-finals. The Eastern Conference Semi-final match-ups pit the Pittsburgh Penguins (1) against the Ottawa Senators (7) and the Boston Bruins (4) face off with the New York Rangers (6), while the Western Conference will feature the Chicago Blackhawks (1) who will try to hold off the Detroit Redwings (7) and the defending champion Los Angeles Kings (5) will face their fellow Californians, the San Jose Sharks (6).
After a scoreless first period, the Pittsburgh Penguins score three in the second period to blow the game wide open and cruise to a victory in today's game five of this best of seven first round series.
The Penguins got goals from four different players and ten different skaters had points in Pittsburgh's 4-0 shutout. For Tomas Vokoun, it was his second career shutout.
The New York Islanders were hosting a playoff game on Nassau Coliseum ice for the first time in six years in front of a sold out crowd that was salivating for the puck to finally drop. Unfortunately for the Isles, they fell to the Penguins in overtime by a score of 5-4 on a power play goal that came from forward Chris Kunitz just 8:44 into the extra frame.
Special teams would ultimately play the deciding factor in the game, as the Islanders penalty kill only went 2-5, surrendering two additional power play goals in the first period that allowed the Penguins to get into the hockey game.
The Isles came out of the gates with energy and intensity, racking up hits, shots and goals immediately. Within the first two minutes of the game, Matt Moulson would slam home a rebound after Kyle Okposo would get the first few initial chances. Lubomir Visnovsky would be credited with the second assist.
The Pittsburgh Penguins played like a top seed in this opening game of the Stanley Cup playoff series between Pittsburgh and the New York Islanders tonight in Pittsburgh.
The Pens scored five goals, including two on the power play, to blow by an Islander squad that showed little jump all evening. All of this was done without the Pens having their best player as Sidney Crosby is still recovering from the broken jaw he got on March 30th in a game against the Isles.
Using a Pittsburgh Pirates home run call is about all I can say right about now, because in my mind, Ray Shero has hit a home run.
On Sunday March 24th, Shero sent prized prospect Joe Morrow and a 5th round draft pick to the Dallas Stars for a third round draft pick and veteran winger Brenden Morrow. The 34 year old former captain of the Dallas Stars is going to be bringing a few key skill sets to Pittsburgh, but none more important than that of leadership and stability.
The gritty winger will see time all over the ice for Pittsburgh. He is expected to play with Malkin and Neal, as well as time on Sutter’s wing with M...
For the second straight time the Flyers just couldn't hold a lead against the Penguins.
With 2:27 left in the over time period, Tyler Kennedy buried a wrister passed Ilya Bryzgalov to give the Penguins a 2-1 win. They rallied at the end of regulation to win their 12th straight game, stealing two points and a wash away an incredible effort by Ilya Bryzgalov.
Bryzgalov and Marc-Andre Fleury both put on a clinic, keeping the game scoreless through the first half of the game.
With 7:21 left on the clock in the second period the Flyers finally got their first power play opportunity. And with 5:51 left, Claude Giroux found the net to score the game's first goal.
(Pictured: Tyler Kennedy celebrates with Matt Niskanen after scoring the game-winner. AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Round two of the Stanley Cup Quarterfinals from last year will occur in Pittsburgh tonight. One of the most potent offenses in the entire league will test the Flyers' defense. It's Rivalry Night in Western Pennsylvania.