Corey Perry’s huge second effort lifts Ducks to Game 1 win

Jared Clinton
Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf (Debora Robinson/Getty Images)

You’ll have to forgive Corey Perry for being quiet heading into the third period of Game 1 against the Winnipeg Jets. He was saving his energy for some late-game heroics.

Perry, who managed to find the score sheet in the first period with an early assist, was largely unnoticeable through the 38 minutes that followed Sami Vatanen‘s early first period goal that put the Ducks ahead 1-0. But in the third frame, with Anaheim down 2-1, Perry scored to knot the game at two. Then, 12 minutes later, Perry did what he does best: drove to the net, shielded the puck from a defender and scored a hard-nosed tally. Read more

Minnesota Wild rookie Matt Dumba’s first career NHL playoff goal is a blast to remember

Matt Dumba (John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

At this time last year, defenseman Matt Dumba was in the WHL playoffs with the Portland Winterhawks, who eventually won that league’s Western Conference championship for the fourth consecutive season. The 20-year-old may not get that far in the NHL with the Minnesota Wild this season, but in his first career playoff game Thursday night, Dumba made a lifetime memory for himself with his first playoff goal – a rocket slap shot from the blueline that beat Blues goalie Jake Allen and gave his team a 2-0 lead on the road.

The Wild were on the power play early in the second period when Dumba one-timed a pass from Jared Spurgeon past Allen, who was screened on the play by Minnesota forwards Nino Niederreiter and Chris Stewart…and Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo: Read more

Pavel Datsyuk shows why he’s the ‘Magic Man’ with beautiful second period tally

Jared Clinton
Pavel Datsyuk  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Pavel Datsyuk didn’t suit up for eight of the Red Wings’ final 15 games of the regular season, but if the veteran sniper is feeling any rust, he certainly isn’t showing it.

After Datsyuk put Detroit on the board midway through the first period with an outstanding deflection, it didn’t take long before Tampa Bay equalized to send Game 1 of the first-round series between the clubs to the first intermission as a 1-1 tie. It didn’t take long for Datsyuk to break that tie once the second period started, though, and of course, in typical ‘Magic Man’ fashion, the goal was gorgeous: Read more

Rangers get great Game 1 start against Fleury, Pens with goal 28 seconds after opening faceoff

Derick Brassard of the Rangers watches the puck go past Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury for the first goal of the Penguins/Rangers Eastern Conference first-round series. (Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

Not many hockey pundits, professional or otherwise, were giving the Pittsburgh Penguins much of a chance to win their first-round series with the New York Rangers. And after the Pens gave up the first goal of the series just 28 seconds into Game 1 Thursday night, there are probably more people who feel that way.

Without injured veteran defensemen Kris Letang and Christian Ehrhoff in the lineup, the Penguins’ defense corps was projected to be a weakness, and it didn’t take long after the opening faceoff before it had a catastrophic defensive breakdown. That came in two parts: the first, when Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury allowed a massive rebound on Rick Nash’s slap shot from the blueline; and, more importantly, when Pens d-man Paul Martin allowed Derick Brassard to blow by him and snap a shot past Fleury to make it 1-0 for the home team before the game was a half-minute old: Read more

Kris Russell lifts Flames to Game 1 victory with last minute goal

Jared Clinton
Kris Russell (Rich Lam/Getty Images)

The Vancouver Canucks learned a valuable lesson in the first game of their opening round series against the Calgary Flames: if you want to beat this team, you have to make sure you bury them under a pile of goals. Otherwise, the never-say-die Flames will find a way to make you pay.

In another of their improbable victories, the Flames entered the third period down by one. After evening the score with 12 minutes remaining in the final frame on a David Jones marker, Calgary built up substantial pressure as time wound down. Sam Bennett controlled the puck below the goal line with less than 40 seconds left, made a quick pass that narrowly missed the stick of Jones but was held in by Dennis Wideman.

Wideman, who has been outstanding since Mark Giordano went down with injury, took a peek at his shooting lane before shuffling the puck across the blueline to Kris Russell, where Russell let go a quick slapshot that found its way through a glut of bodies and past Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack: Read more

Isles’ Ryan Strome picks a corner in traffic, sends seeing-eye puck past Caps’ Braden Holtby

Islanders center Ryan Strome celebrates after scoring a second period goal against the Capitals in Game One of their first-round playoff series. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

New York Islanders center Ryan Strome was playing his first NHL playoff game Wednesday against the Washington Capitals – and the 21-year-old wasn’t showing any nerves when he scored his first career playoff goal (and the game-winner) on a sweet wrist shot in traffic that caught the upper corner of the Capitals’ net.

Strome, who scored 17 goals and 50 points in his sophomore regular season, grabbed the puck off a faceoff won by Isles star John Tavares early in the second period in Washington, and wasted no time ripping it over Holtby’s right shoulder and just under the crossbar to make it 2-1 for the visitors: Read more

Corey Crawford makes big blunder, gives gift to Viktor Stalberg to put Predators ahead 2-0

Jared Clinton
Corey Crawford (John Russell/Getty Images)

Heading into the post-season, the Chicago Blackhawks were struggling, but goaltender Corey Crawford was playing some of the best hockey of his career. Crawford is going to want to forget the first period of the opening game between his Blackhawks and the Nashville Predators, however.

With Nashville taking the play to Chicago early in the first and jumping out to a 1-0 lead thanks to a Colin Wilson goal, the Predators added to their lead thanks to a massive misplay by Crawford. As the puck came around the boards into the Blackhawks’ zone, Crawford went out to play the puck but, due to the trapezoid that limits goaltenders ability to get involved in the play, he had to wait for the puck to arrive.

When the puck met Crawford, he had it poked from his stick by Nashville winger Calle Jarnkrok. Predators’ winger Viktor Stalberg was waiting on the other side of the net, scooped up the puck and tucked it into the wide-open net. Check it out below: Read more

Canadiens’ P.K. Subban ejected after slashing Sens star Mark Stone – did the referees get it right?

Carey Price and P.K. Subban (Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)

You know that, no matter what else happens in every Stanley Cup tournament, there will always be at least one controversy related to NHL officiating. If it’s not a personal relationship between a referee and a particular player some fans and media focus on, it’s a debatable call that earns the ire of the public (and often, the team on the wrong end of the call). And it didn’t take very long at all for that officiating controversy to take place in the 2015 post-season: in the second period of Game 1 of Montreal’s first-round series against Ottawa Wednesday night, Canadiens star defenseman P.K. Subban was assessed a five-minute major penalty for slashing and a game misconduct.

The ejection of Subban enraged Habs fans, especially after Sens phenom Mark Stone – who, after being slashed by Subban on the penalized play, writhed around in great pain and left the game – returned to action a few minutes later. But if you think Subban was wronged to be given so harsh a penalty, don’t blame the officials. Blame the league and its philosophy of basing punishments on injury and thus encouraging players to embellish.

To be certain, Subban’s slash of Stone’s arm was (a) a two-hander; (b) vicious; and (c) could easily have caused serious damage to him: Read more