Milan Lucic fined $5,000 for cheap, unpenalized groin slash on Danny DeKeyser

Rory Boylen
lucic-185677962

As the second period of Friday’s Game 1 between Boston and Detroit wound down, Milan Lucic gave Danny DeKeyser a nasty slash to the groin from behind. The Red Wings defenseman dropped to the ice and Lucic was not penalized.

But he was fined $5,000 for the infraction Saturday and discussed it with the media after practice. He did not call DeKeyser a chicken. Read more

Datsyuk reaches back to push Wings forward in Game One of series against Bruins

Pavel Datsyuk (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

With four minutes remaining in Game One of Boston’s first-round playoff series against Detroit, neither team had scored. Then Red Wings star center Pavel Datsyuk put on a one-man clinic to score a dazzling goal – and the only one in a 1-0 win over the Bruins.

Datsyuk began the play by reaching back at his own blueline and corraling the puck in traffic; he then moved quickly up the ice and across Boston’s blueline before beating goalie Tuukka Rask with a perfectly placed wrist shot at the 16:59 mark of the third period.


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Bourque’s gorgeous goal undresses Lightning’s defense in Canadiens’ dominant Game 2 win over Tampa

Rene Bourque (Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Since arriving from Calgary in a trade two years ago, Rene Bourque hasn’t lived up to expectations as a member of the Canadiens. But in Game Two of Montreal’s first-round series against Tampa Bay, he scored a nifty little goal that stood up as the game-winner in the Habs’ 4-1 win over the Lightning.

Halfway through the first period, Bourque split Tampa Bay’s defense and delicately pushed the puck to the outside of netminder Anders Lindback for the Canadiens’ second goal of the night. The 32-year-old winger – who added a second goal against Tampa late in the third period of Game Two – had just nine goals and 16 points in 63 games with Montreal this season, but he did have a pair of goals and three points in five post-season games with the Habs last year. He’s matched that goal total in just two playoff games this year and if he can continue producing, star goalie Carey Price will have a lot more room to breathe.

How early should you pull your goalie? Patrick Roy’s gamble paid off, with a little luck

Colorado Avalanche

How early should you pull your goalie?

Almost every coach does it with about one minute left in a one-goal game, and maybe around 1:30 in a two-goal deficit. But not Patrick Roy.

The Avalanche coach is known as an aggressive individual and his coaching style is the same – he’s been known to pull his goalie earlier than is conventional. Once, when he still coached major junior in the QMJHL, his Quebec Remparts were in a semifinal series against the Shawinigan Cataractes. The series was tied 1-1 and Shawinigan led 3-0 in the third period, when they took two minor penalties less than a minute apart. So, with a 5-on-3 advantage already, Roy decided to go the extra mile and opted to pull his goalie for a 6-on-3 advantage.

There was more than 12 minutes left on the clock.

It didn’t work that time, as Shawinigan scored into the empty net and went on to win the series.

And it didn’t work just last month when Roy pulled Semyon Varlamov with five minutes left of a 2-0 game against Boston. Though the Bruins didn’t score, neither did the Avalanche. No harm, no foul.

It did work in early February against New Jersey, when Roy pulled his goalie with two-and-a-half minutes left in a 1-0 game. They tied it up with less than two minutes left and Ryan O’Reilly buried the overtime winner.

And it worked again in Game 1 of Colorado’s Stanley Cup playoff series against Minnesota. Read more

Alex Steen scores in third overtime, but Ryan Miller saves the day

Alex Steen

St. Louis’ Alex Steen has had a rewarding season. He set a career high with 33 goals and 62 points in 68 games, gained some traction as a Selke candidate and signed a three-year extension worth north of $17 million. In Game 1 against Chicago, he put another egg in his basket.

The Blues-Blackhawks series is going to be a brutal one…in a good way. With so many banged up stars and gruff bruisers battling for pride and glory, the immense skill and ruthless carnage mix for a perfect playoff painting. The opening game of this series was physical, full of offensive chances, great saves and was a test of endurance.

The Blues and Blackhawks were on their way to playing two games Thursday night, but Steen put the game, and everyone watching it, to bed, only 26 seconds into 3OT. Read more

Ryan Getzlaf takes puck to the face in Game 1 against Dallas Stars

Rory Boylen
Ryan Getzlaf

The Anaheim Ducks had the best record in the Western Conference and the best offense in the NHL this season, so how can an underdog beat such a machine in a seven-game series?

Well, you can start by knocking down one of their pillars.

With 16 seconds left in Anaheim’s Game 1 win, Dallas’ Tyler Seguin one-timed a bouncing puck from the blueline that he lost control of (or did he? muahaha). Standing in front of him was 6-foot-4, 221-pound Ryan Getzlaf, who took said puck square to the mouth. Read more