Three games on the Agenda on this night in the NHL, however do not judge the quantity of games by the excitement they created. Would the struggling Senators rally back to make it a close series in Pittsburgh? Would the Preds allow themselves to fall behind 3 games and how many games can the Wild and Avs play in overtime? The answers to these questions and more in this edition of the Frozen Ponder's NHL Playoff recap for April 14th.
Penguins 4 vs Senators 1 (Pit leads 3-0)
Try as they might, I don't believe the Ottawa Senators are going to dig their way out of the hole they have dug for themselves in this series. The Penguins on the other hand, look like a team that is cohesive and having fun en route to sweeping the team that knocked them out about the same time last year. The Sens were still in it heading into the 3rd period only down by one goal and with injured yet dedicated Captain Daniel Alfredsson re-inserted into the line-up in the hopes that he could set off the spark that Ottawa has been looking for. All this changed 12 seconds after the start of the 3rd when who else but Sid the Kid wires a shot past gerber on an ensuing 2 on 1 break. The wheels on the Ottawa wagon didn't take long to fall off at this point when less than 2 minutes later, Jordan Staal had his say to make it 3-1 Pittsburgh. Marian Hossa also scored against his former team, but at this point, Ottawa could not recover, not form the deficit in goals and in my opinion, not from the series deficit either.
Redwings 3 vs Predators 5 (Det leads 2-1)
The Preds want you to know that you shouldn't count them out just yet. After complaining for the last two games about bad calls and bad bounces, coach Barry Trotz finally had something positive to say : "There's moments that are going to happen in a series that can change the whole series. I don't know, we might have just had ours." Indeed Barry, Indeed. After playing two even periods, the Redwings went into the 3rd period up by one, but it was a 9 second span that the Redwings would like back that made all the difference. 2 goals scored in that time frame by Arnott and Suter seemed to give the Preds the momentum swing they were looking for and robbed the Wings of any they might have had. It will be up to the Wings to regroup and show up if they want to end this in 5 back home, something not lost on coach Mike Babcock said "We sure thought we were set up pretty well. "It looked like things were going real good ... It was a good momentum swing for them, and we didn't handle it very good." Game 4 goes Wednesday April 16th and I see Nashville wanting to build on this potential first round upset.
Wild 3 vs Avalanche 2 in OT (Wild lead 2-1)
Perseverance pays off. Although the Wild was outshot 40-30 in regulation time, this game saw overtime as did the last 2 all ending in a 3-2 score, advantage Wild. Overtime belonged to them as most of the 11:58 minutes of overtime was spent in the Avalanche's zone. Minnesota peppered Jose Theodore with 12 shots in that span and it ended up being a bad bounce that ended the game. Pierre-Marc Bouchard took a pass from Brian Rolston from behind the net and put it past Theodore on a play that looked like there was going to be and icing call. Kudos to Theodore who put it in perspective and didn't beat himself up about it : "It was an icing call, I guess it took a weird bounce and our defenseman went the wrong way so they were able to get the puck," Theodore said. "Then they attack right away with a couple of guys. It was more of a bad bounce then anything." Next overtime... er.. game is tonight. My money is on a score of 3-2.