Pittsburgh center Nick Bonino was one of the most effective Penguins forwards in the first round, registering five assists in five games against the New York Rangers, and he wasn’t about to let the Washington Capitals slow him down in Game 1 of the second round.
With the Penguins down 1-0 midway through the second period, Bonino picked up a puck in the Pittsburgh zone before making a bank pass to start a breakout. The puck got moved into the neutral zone, where Carl Hagelin flipped a short backhander to Bonino, who skated into the pass and attacked the Capitals defense with speed.
Washington defenseman Nate Schmidt saw a chance to level Bonino, but he escaped the hit, slipped the puck around Capitals blueliner Dmitry Orlov, and watched as Schmidt crashed into his defense partner. With both blueliners down, Bonino fired low on Capitals netminder Braden Holtby, and Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy swatted the rebound home: Read more
Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson has a knack for getting under the skin of opponents, and he definitely falls into the category of players that are beloved by their own team but hated by opponents. But in being a pest, Wilson plays on the edge and he may have crossed the line in Game 1 of the second round.
In the third period of Thursday’s game, Wilson was heading for a line change while approaching Pittsburgh Penguins winger Conor Sheary. As Sheary moved the deflected the puck into the Washington zone, Wilson continued to speed toward Sheary. The Penguins rookie braced for contact, but Wilson moved out of the way and instead went knee-on-knee with Sheary before being pulled off the ice by Washington’s Alex Ovechkin: Read more
The 2009 second-round series between the Penguins and Capitals stands up as one of the most memorable post-lockout playoff matchups. That series featured three games that went to overtime and five one-goal games in a series that went seven games before Pittsburgh emerged victorious. With that series in mind, 2016’s second-round meeting between the two clubs had a lot to live up to. However, if Game 1 is any indication, the two sides shouldn’t have any problem meeting or surpassing the hype.
And it’s fitting that in a series most remembered for a game with duelling hat tricks from Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, the 2016 meeting opened with a hat trick that will be remembered and talked about for some time. But it wasn’t Crosby or Ovechkin who found the back of the net three times Thursday. It was T.J. Oshie, and he picked the perfect time to score the his third tally to complete the hat trick: overtime.
Each of Oshie’s goals on the night were great, too. The first came on a perfect shot over the glove of Penguins goaltender Matt Murray, the second on a deke that slipped under Murray’s pad and the third on a wraparound that didn’t come without controversy. Oshie’s overtime winner came as he showed an incredible bit of patience to pull Murray out of position before slipping around the back of the net and tucking the puck in the far side. But the wraparound barely — seriously, it’s by no more than a quarter of an inch — crossed the goal line. Read more
The first round of the post-season is officially over with the Nashville Predators moving on to the second round to face the San Jose Sharks. And while the second round has already begun thanks to an odd bit of scheduling with the Islanders winning Game 1 over the Lightning, that doesn’t mean we can’t look back on the round that was.
Every post-season has its share of surprises and memorable moments, and there was no shortage of those over the past two weeks. There was the yearly upset — if you can call it that — with the Sharks moving on past a Los Angeles Kings team that looked primed to chase their third Stanley Cup in five years, and there were some matchups that weren’t as close, like that between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers.
When we look back on the post-season, though, here are the 10 moments we’ll remember from the first round: Read more
The post-season is the best time of year for hockey fans, and the reasons for that have started to go well beyond the action on ice.
For the past few seasons, the team at EA Sports has started slowly releasing information about the next iteration of the NHL video game franchise during the playoffs, and the hype train is ready to get rolling for NHL 17 with the release of the game’s first trailer. While there’s not a ton of actual gameplay footage featured in the 90-second preview of what’s to come in NHL 17, there are some hints as to what gamers can look forward to.
One facet of the game that appears as if it will get an overhaul is the ‘Be A GM’ mode, which looks like it will dive deeper into front office management than any current generation game has. Check out the trailer and see what you can pick up: Read more
The Grand Rapids Griffins, the Detroit Red Wings’ AHL affiliate, are heading to the second round of the post-season thanks to a series sweep of the Nashville Predators-affiliated Milwaukee Admirals, but they should also be thankful for the keen eye of the officiating crew working Game 3 of their first-round series.
The Griffins fell behind early on a goal by Admirals winger Adam Payerl, but stormed back on two goals in the first three minutes of the second period by defenseman Brian Lashoff and winger Anthony Mantha. The Griffins may have been lucky to get both goals up on the scoreboard, though, given that both pucks were shot hard enough to burst through the net in almost the exact same spot.
Lashoff’s goal, especially, caught some off guard. The goal isn’t shown in the AHL-provided game highlights, and it’s only thanks to the Griffins that there’s footage of the puck breaking through the net at all. Take a look: Read more
Through six games of the first-round series against the Nashville Predators, Anaheim Ducks sniper Corey Perry hasn’t found the back of the net once.
Perry, 30, paced the Ducks with 34 goals in the regular season, and the former Rocket Richard winner hasn’t made a habit of being held off of the score sheet and out of the goal column throughout his career. Perry’s six-game goalless drought hasn’t come due to a lack of trying, though. His 14 shots on goal are the second-most among all Ducks forwards, and Perry has gotten pucks on goal from all over the ice. Monday night, that meant a point-blank opportunity to break his personal goose-egg for the series.
The only thing standing between Perry and his first goal of the series, though, was Predators netminder Pekka Rinne. And, just as he has done all series, Rinne turned aside Perry, continuing to frustrate the sniper in a series that has been much closer than anyone could have expected: Read more
The Chicago Blackhawks’ season ended with an incredibly hard fought Game 7 against the St. Louis Blues, but the defending Stanley Cup champions didn’t go away without putting at least one final scare into the Blues.
With the Blackhawks trailing 3-2 in the final five minutes of the third period, Andrew Shaw collected a loose puck behind the Blues net and shovelled a pass back to defenseman Brent Seabrook. Blues goaltender Brian Elliott had to look through several bodies in front, so Seabrook unloaded a shot from the blueline with the hope he’d find the back of the net or catch a favorable bounce to set up a scoring chance. He got a bounce, all right, but it wasn’t exactly the one he wanted.
Seabrook’s shot eluded everyone on the way to the net, got past a screened Elliott and came inches from tying the contest. Watch as the puck hits the post, rides the goal line and exits the net after clanking off the opposite post: Read more