NHL Playoffs: The Four Games Of Easter Sunday

The Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers bounced back, the Los Angeles Kings did not, and the Montreal Canadiens moved to within a game of advancing.  Here’s a look back on the four games of Easter Sunday in the NHL playoffs


Boston 4 Detroit 1: The Bruins came out like a team who had lost the first game on home ice and been outskated in the process. They came out aggressive, taking 18 shots on Jimmy Howard and constantly sending players to the net. There was a lot of chippiness on the ice, and while penalties didn’t get out of hand, frequent fisticuffs were a part of this game.

Boston scored twice early. Detroit picked up a second period goal, but Jarome Iginla and Torey Krug combined for the assist on each of the last two goals, coming from Milan Lucic late in the second and Zdeno Chara early in the third.

The Red Wings ended up leading shots 35-29. The second period was their best, as they had momentum much of the period, but Boston goalie Tuuka Raask repeatedly turned them back. Detroit’s third-period shot advantage came when the flow of play had changed drastically and the Bruins were just dumping the puck deep and playing defense.

Montreal 3 Tampa Bay 2: Montreal’s Rene Borque continued his offensive outburst in this series, scoring 11 seconds into the game and firing eight shots on goal. Defenseman P.K. Subban continued his outstanding passing, with two assists. The teams traded goals the rest of the way and Montreal took a 3-0 series lead.

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The Lightning got two assists from Steven Stamkos, though Ryan Callahan had his third straight game of being a non-factor.


Pittsburgh-Columbus: This series is tied 1-1 and resumes tonight.

Philadelphia 4 NY Rangers 2: After taking the first game, the Rangers got an early goal from Martin St. Louis, off an assist from Derek Stepan and Rick Nash. Then New York scored a power play goal and with a 2-0 lead before the opening period was halfway through, it looked like the rout might be on.

But by the time we had reached the same point in the second period, the Flyers had taken the lead, and eventually clinched it on an empty-netter in the closing seconds. This was about goaltending. New York did what they needed to between the goals. Nash was aggressive, taking six shots, as was center Brad Richards. None of Philadelphia’s prime offensive players made a major impact on the game.

A hot goaltender cures all ills though, and Ray Emery was just that for the Flyers. This was especially true in the second period—the Rangers actually took 17 shots in the very period where they lost control of the game. But Emery was great and New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist was not.


Colorado-Minnesota: This series resumes tonight with Colorado holding a 2-0 lead.

St. Louis-Chicago: Game 3 goes tonight, with St. Louis up 2-0.


Anaheim-Dallas: Another series at 2-0, this one in favor of Anaheim, that picks up on Monday.

San Jose 7 Los Angeles 2: When you have a goaltender that’s led the way to the Stanley Cup, and been an Olympian, as LA’s Jonathan Quick is, you don’t expect a 2-0 lead to turn into a 7-2 loss. But that’s what happened in San Jose last night.

The Sharks are playing great hockey, but when you score 13 goals in two games in the playoffs, the first order of business has to be to look at the opposing goaltender. The collapse of Quick—who had a mediocre regular season—is easily the story here. And Los Angeles’ best player, Jeff Carter, isn’t getting his shot opportunities in the offense.

Over the next two nights, we’ll see Montreal have the chance to clinch, and the other seven series all complete Game 3. Here’s the Monday-Tuesday slate…

Pittsburgh-Columbus (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Network)
Colorado-Minnesota (7 PM ET, NHL)
St. Louis-Chicago (8:30 PM ET, CNBC)
Anaheim-Dallas (9:30 PM ET, NBC Sports Network)

Tampa Bay-Montreal (7 PM ET, NHL)
Boston-Detroit (7:30 PM ET, NBC Sports Network)
NY Rangers-Philadelphia (8 PM ET, CNBC)
San Jose-Los Angeles (10 PM ET, NBC Sports Network)

TheSportsNotebook will resume its coverage of the NHL playoffs on Wednesday with a look back at the above eight games.