Tuesday, April 17, 2007

2007 NHL Playoffs Recap and Predictions - Apr 17th

3/3 on predictions last night, there must have been something in my coffee yesterday morning. As expected the Sabres took control of their series with 3 goals in the second period while San Jose pounded the Predators to take the lead at home in their series.

Tonights Games:

Atlanta Thrashers (0) at New York Rangers (2) : Atlanta coach Bob Hartley says that Kari Lehtonen will be back in goal for the Thrashers as they try to keep alive in their first playoff appearance. The problem for the Thrashers lies in the fact that top scorers Ilya Kovalchuk, Slava Kozlov and Marian Hossa have managed only 1 point between them in the series so far. I expect the Rangers to take this game tonight and would not be surprised to see Lehtonen chased from between the pipes by the 3rd period.

Ottawa Senators (2) at Pittsburgh Penguins (1) : The Penguins have to be disappointed after letting the Sens regain momentum in game 3. I expect the Penguins to come out blazing tonight and specifically hope to see Evgeni Malkin pick up where he left off in game 3 by putting more shots on net (he took his first 4 shots on net in the series last game). Penguins even this series behind a stellar game from Fleury and some offensive production from Staal and Malkin.

Vancouver Canucks (2) at Dallas Stars (1) : The Dallas Stars are currently on a 5 game home playoff losing streak. That is a problem. The Stars looked to be on the way to ending that streak in game 3 but lost in OT. Look for Marty Turco to bounce back tonight with a strong effort between the pipes and the Stars to even this series up a 2-2 to head back to Vancouver for game 5.

Anaheim Ducks (3) at Minnesota Wild (0) : Wow, I really expected the Minnesota Wild to make this a more competitive series. The Wild are 1-15 on the power play and leading scorers Brian Rolston, Pavol Demitra and Marian Gaborik have been limited to 2 goals and 2 assists between them. That being said I expect hope that Minnesota will display some pride tonight and get at least 1 win in this series. Their last appearance in the post season saw them swept by the Mighty Ducks on 2003. Expect Ilya Bryzgalov in net again tonight for Anaheim.

Detroit Red Wings (2) at Calgary Flames (0) : Jarome Iginla has notched only 2 shots on goal during this series. If the Flames expect to win a game in this series they need this to change tonight. Miikka Kiprusoff has done everything he could to keep the Flames in this series by making 90 saves on 97 shots. In contrast Dominik Hasek has faced only 35 shots and allowed only 2 goals. Tough call but I'll pick the Wings to squeak one out tonight to go up 3-0 in the series.

Recaps Day 6:

New Jersey Devils 2 (1) at Tampa Bay Lightning 3 (2) : If I had told you that Martin Brodeur would post a GAA of 3.00 in this series and be outplayed by Johan Holmqvist you probably would have been asking me to share my pharmaceutical paraphernalia with you. However, that's exactly what has happened in this series so far. The Lightning seem to have realized that Martin Brodeur is going to make the first save almost everytime so they have been focusing on getting shots on him and crashing the net for garbage goals. That served them well last night as two rather fluky goals gave them the win at home and the lead in the series. Martin St. Louis managed 3 assists while Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards combined for a goal and an assist each.

Buffalo Sabres 3 (2) at New York Islanders (1) : The Sabres came out fired up in the second period and took a one goal lead into the third. The Sabres held the Islanders to just 1 shot in the third period (a 17-1 advantage) to hold onto the lead. Islanders captain Alexei Yashin was relegated to the 4th line and the power play in game 3. Apparently Ted Nolan has realized what everyone else has already, Yashin doesn't show up in April. Hell, even the Ottawa Senators were able to figure that out years ago.

Nashville Predators 1 (1) at San Jose Sharks 3 (2) : The Sharks outshot the Predators 41-20 in there game 3 matchup and completely overpowered the Preds to take the lead in the series. The Predators played stellar defense throughout the game, they kept the Sharks to 0-7 on the power play, but a brain fart by Paul Kariya may have cost them the game. As the Predators killed off the Sharks 5th penalty of the game Kariya left the penalty box and skated to the bench instead of joining the play in his own zone. Ryan Clowe made the Preds pay with the game winning goal at 12:18, 8 seconds after the penalty was over.

Past playoff posts:

Round 1 Predictions and Hot Players
Complete Playoff Predictions

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