Apparently hockey isn’t exciting enough for some folks. Not enough goals happen, so pads have been made smaller and further discussions about the size of nets and whathaveyou continue to roll on.
Well we had 19 goals in two games last night, how’s that work for you?
Rangers 5 – 6 Senators (OTT leads 2 – 0)
JG Pageau has been nicknamed the honey badger by Guy Boucher. It’s fitting, because he clearly doesn’t give a f**k about leads.
Four goals from Pageau earned the Sens another comeback victory, putting them up by two ahead of the trip to New York.
His first, at 13:59 came as an equaliser to Michael Grabner’s fifth-minute power play goal. Then the other players had the audacity to score six without him.
Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan, Marc Methot, Mark Stone and two from Brady Skjei had the Rangers up 5-3 before Pageau scored two in 2:17 at the end of the third to take the game to overtime and complete his hat trick.
He also got the game-winner, beating Henrik Lundqvist at 82:54 to seal the game and send the tie back to MSG with a chance of a Sens sweep.
Penguins 6 – 2 Capitals (PIT leads 2 – 0)
A three-point night from Phil Kessel (brother of Amanda, who is the best Kessel) helped the Pens to another win in the Verizon and gives them the opportunity to sweep at home.
Similar to how the Ducks managed to lose against the Oilers in game two, the Capitals were brutally dominant. Having had all the play in the first period, they went behind to a short-handed goal from Matt Cullen at 21:15. They equalised on the same power play through Matt Niskanen, but that was as close as they got.
Two from Kessel and a tally from Jake Guentzel put the Pens three ahead before Nicklas Backstrom scored at 43:44 to give the Caps hope. However, Evgeny Malkin got only his second of the post-season, and Guentzel got his seventh, to put the game to bed and send the Pens home happy.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 34 saves, while Braden Holtby was pulled at the end of the second period after looking half-asleep for most of the night. Things didn’t get better for Philipp Grubbauer, but they had to try something.
The supposed logic in tanking was blown to pieces last night as the Colorado Avalanche fell three places in the 2017 entry draft.
It was a bad night for the bottom three teams, as the Avs, Vancouver and Arizona, in addition to the Vegas Golden Knights, all fell as the three lottery winners all came from outside the bottom five.
Taylor Hall’s New Jersey Devils won the first overall pick. Philadelphia will select second, with the Dallas Stars selecting third.
Back west for game threes, tonight at reasonable hours!
Blues @ Predators (Series tied 1 – 1)
TV: NBC, Sportsnet, TVAS, Premier (tape delay)
Both games have been decided by one goal so far, so expect this to be equally as tight. The difference heading into game three? Vladimir Tarasenko seems to have woken up, and the Preds have finally lost a game in the playoffs.
What the Blues need to do: Build on the victory and keep the key pieces rolling
What the Preds need to do: Dust themselves off and go again. It was only one loss.
Reason to watch: This looks the likeliest to go seven games, and they’ll be full of drama.
Ducks @ Oilers (EDM leads 2 – 0)
TV: NBCSN, Sportsnet, TVAS, Premier (live)
In the series where nobody wins, the Oilers have taken a two-game lead on the road. They could clinch within four, if they win out at home. I’m not sure I can take it.
What the Ducks need to do: Wake up.
What the Oilers need to do: Lay a marker. Win convincingly and it might break the Ducks.
Reason to watch: I suppose if you’ve nothing better to do on a Sunday evening you could watch some garbage burn.