Game 7! Tonight on (PS3)VERSUS!
Star Winger Ilya Kovalchuk, Hall of Fame Goalie Marty Brodeur, and the resurgent Devils club look to finish their miracle run to the second round while Long Island’s young guns, led by 1st Overall Pick John Tavares and speedy sniper Michael Grabner, will be eager to complete the upset they started early in the series with a win on the road.
Who will it be? New Jersey’s proven commodities or New York’s energetic youth!
Tune in and Find Out!
(Credit for this awesome game preview goes to JMarushin. Thanks Bear! :) )
No signs of a big, climactic battle in the first period as it was cleanly dominated by the Devils. Brian Rolston got things started with his trademark powerplay slapper at 8:58 assisted by Mattias Tedenby and Travis Zajac. Zach Parise followed with a goal of his own 2 minutes later, assisted by Dainius Zubrus and Ilya Kovalchuk, who had taken over the scoring lead in a big way in game 6. He didn't score in this one, but he added an assist on Rod Pelley's goal, the Devils' third of the period. Patrik Elias got the second assist. Horrible way to start the 7th game for the Isles, they needed to figure it out and quick, as they only had 40 minutes to make up a 3 goal deficit.
Things got even bleaker for the Isles when Nick Palmieri scored early in the period, assisted by Anton Volchenkov and Colin White to make it 4-0 for the locals. Despite already testing Martin Brodeur 27 times in the first 2 periods, no answer could be found, and the Isles looked to be 20 minutes away from going to the virtual golf courses.
Game over, Patrik Elias put salt in the wound and the final nail on the Isles' casket at 7:09 of the 3rd period, Zajac supplied the salt and nails. 5-0 the final score. Martin Brodeur came up huge in this game, because despite the score, the game could've looked quite different if Brodeur hadn't stepped up like his team needed him to way back when they were trailing the series 3-1
So there you have it. A rather anti-climatic game 7, but the Devils put up a hell of a show in those final 3 games, scoring 11 goals while allowing 5 after scoring 17 goals but allowing 20 in the 4 games prior. That win pretty much saved everyone's bacon in the bracket challenge.
For the Isles, it was a crushing defeat, capping off an epic collapse. They had the Yelnats Cup favorites backed up in a corner, right where they wanted them, but they got sloppy and couldn't finish the job, soiling the franchise's name even further, even if it's a simulation. They still did a lot better than anyone expected though, so we can give them that. Scoring sure wasn't the problem here, except for the final game, but they couldn't capitalize when it counted, as the 2 previous Devils wins were in overtime, meaning the Isles had more than enough opportunities to finish their opponents off...
Score: NJD 5 - 0 NYI
Total shots: NJD 34 - 39 NYI
Total PIM: NJD 8 - 14 NYI
#1 Martin Brodeur (39 save SO)
#2 Ilya Kovalchuk (2 A)
#3 Travis Zajac (2 A)
EDIT: Andy Greene will be missing three weeks due to injury.
And so ends the 1st round. The 2nd round will start as soon as the Stanley Cup 2nd round starts, but I'll be doing some posts looking back at the round that was.
#9 Dallas Stars
#10 Calgary Flames
#12 Minnesota Wild
#9 Carolina Hurricanes
#13 Ottawa Senators
#11 New Jersey Devils
Hoooo boy, Minnesota-Calgary... That's going to be interesting! :)
#1 Ilya Kovalchuk, NJD, 7, 7GP
#2 Zach Parise, NJD, 6, 7GP
#3 P.A. Parenteau, NYI, 5, 7GP
#4 Curtis Glencross, CGY, 5, 4GP
#5 Daniel Winnik, COL, 4, 6GP
#1 Travis Zajac, NJD, 9, 7GP
#2 Ilya Kovalchuk, NJD, 7, 7GP
#3 John Tavares, NYI, 7, 7GP
#4 Matt Moulson, NYI, 7, 7GP
#5 Ty Wishart, NYI, 7, 7GP
#1 Ilya Kovalchuk, NJD, 14, 7GP
#2 Zach Parise, NJD, 11, 7GP
#3 Travis Zajac, NJD, 10, 7GP
#4 John Tavares, NYI, 9, 7GP
#5 Matt Moulson, NYI, 8, 7GP
#1 Zach Parise, NJD, +8, 7GP
#2 Ilya Kovalchuk, NJD, +7, 7GP
#3 Travis Zajac, NJD, +7, 7GP
#4 Brent Burns, MIN, +7, 5GP
#5 Ryan Carter, FLA, +6, 6GP
#1 Miikka Kiprusoff, CGY, 4, 4GP
#2 Craig Anderson, OTT, 4, 4GP
#3 Niklas Backstrom, MIN, 4, 5GP
#4 Peter Budaj, COL, 4, 6GP
#5 Martin Brodeur, NJD, 4, 7GP
#1 Niklas Backstrom, MIN, 1, 5GP
#2 Miikka Kiprusoff, CGY, 1, 4GP
#3 Martin Brodeur, NJD, 1, 7GP
#4 Craig Anderson, OTT, 0, 4GP
#5 Peter Budaj, COL, 0, 6GP
#1 Niklas Backstrom, MIN, 1.56, 5GP
#2 Craig Anderson, OTT, 1.85, 4GP
#3 Miikka Kiprusoff, CGY, 2.09, 4GP
#4 Steve Mason, CBJ, 2.34, 5GP
#5 Peter Budaj, COL, 2.46, 6GP
#1 Craig Anderson, OTT, 93.9%, 4GP
#2 Niklas Backstrom, MIN, 93.4%, 5GP
#3 Miikka Kiprusoff, CGY, 93.3%, 4GP
#4 Peter Budaj, COL, 91.3%, 6GP
#5 James Reimer, TOR, 91.2%, 5GP (Turns out Toronto dressed J.-S. Giguere for one game in the series. Not sure how I missed that, and there's now no way for me to tell which one it was. Oopsie. I'll be more careful next time.)
First round, done. Hope you liked it. Stay tuned for the recap of the first round, and the second round later on.
History will be simulated.