Puck It @ The Playoff: Rangers avoid sweep, Caps and Blues on the brink, Ducks come back

Apologies for a migraine taking me out of action yesterday, I’ll try to avoid that in the future.

Unfortunately it gives me four games to recap. But, you know, content.

Senators 1 – 4 Rangers (OTT leads 2 – 1)

A dominant performance from the Rangers saw them take game three in MSG.

Using the somewhat risky tactic of taking a lead against the Sens, the Rangers were two-up by the end of the first, through goals from Mats Zuccarello and Michael Grabner. Unlike in previous games though, they made the advantage stick, with further goals from Rick Nash and Oscar Lindberg.

JG Pageau’s response, just before the end of the second, wasn’t enough to inspire the Sens to a comeback, and – in part through Henrik Lundqvist making 26 saves – the Rangers took game three and avoided the sweep.

Blues 1 – 2 Predators (NSH leads 3 – 1)

Nashville moved to within one game of the conference final in a game that was penalty-laden and saw no scoring until the third period.

To sum up what the penalties were like – Ryan Reaves took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the first, offset by Cody McLeod doing the same. Reaves would get a roughing call in the third, as would Joel Edmundson, who took two roughing penalties in the space of 1:04. It was that sort of game.

Goals from Ryan Ellis and James Neal put the Preds beyond reach of the Blues, with Edmundson getting himself on the scoresheet as consolation.

The Preds now head back out to St Louis with a chance to end the series.

Capitals 2 – 3 Penguins (PIT leads 3 – 1)

36 saves from Marc-Andre Fleury helped the Pens, missing Sidney Crosby and Connor Sheary with concussions, take game four and put the Capitals on the brink of elimination.

Goals from Patrick Hornqvist and Jake Guentzel, the latter a pass into the slot deflected home by Dmitri Orlov, were cancelled out by 72-second response from Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nate Schmidt.

Justin Schultz’s power-play goal, a little over halfway through the game, proved to be the winner, as Fleury and the Pens held strong to win in the Verizon and give themselves the chance to take the series in the PPG Arena.

Ducks 4 – 3 Oilers (Series tied 2 – 2)

Jakob Silfverberg’s OT winner won the game for the away team for the fourth time in this dumpster fire of a cup tie.

The first period went well for the Oilers, with Milan Lucic and Connor McDavid putting them two goals to the good.

The second was the complete opposite, with two goals from Ryan Getzlaf, split by one from Rickard Rakell, putting the Ducks ahead. The first was an issue of contention, with Corey Perry bumping Cam Talbot at the same time as Getzlaf’s release, but the play was ruled incidental.

Drake Caggiula equalised for the Oilers with 102 seconds remaining in the game, but Silfverberg scored just 45 seconds into overtime and tied the series up.

Tonight’s action

Just the one game tonight again. This year’s playoffs really have been oddly scheduled.

Senators @ Rangers (OTT leads 2 – 1)

Faceoff: 7:30/4:30/12:30

The Rangers avoided the sweep on home ice – can they keep themselves in it with another MSG victory?

What the Sens need to do: Regroup. Maybe try leading a game for once.
What the Rangers need to do: Whatever they did in game three, it seemed to work.

Reason to watch: It’s the business end of the season, what else are you going to do?


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