Duck hunt. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Hey Yelnats fans! Today, we've got 4 game 4s on the docket. No series will end today though, no sweeps are possible. However, our Minnesota Wild could have a 3-1 choke hold on the Ducks and so could the Lightning, the Leafs and the Blue Jackets against their respective opponents. Here's what we're looking at today:
Make the jump!
Minnesota Wild @ Anaheim Ducks: Game 4
1st period: Things started out great for the Wild. Tom Gilbert scored on the first shot of the game. It came on a slap shot from the point assisted by Erik Christensen and Cal Clutterbuck. Then, Darroll Powe took a penalty for hooking, but the Wild killed it beautifully as the Ducks were utterly unable to have a coherent offense for the duration of their powerplay. This was a great, if uneventful period for the Wild. After their goal, they played solid, but couldn't add to the score.
2nd period: The second period lull...it's back. This period was practically the polar opposite of the first one. Ryan Getzlaf scored on a wrist shot early to tie the score, George Parros was called for hooking, the Wild's PP was horrible and the Ducks dominated the period. The score stood even after 40 though, so there's that. Jonas Hiller made a ridiculous spread eagle save on Devin Setoguchi looking to score his NHL-high 5th goal on the breakaway.
3rd period: The Ducks had the early pressure in the third period. The Wild still seemed shell-shocked by Getzlaf's goal, they were not playing well at all since then. There hadn't been much hitting in the first two periods but both teams picked their physical game up a notch or two. The ageless Teemu Selanne scored his first goal of the playoffs to break the tie. He picked up Andrew Cogliano's rebound in front of the net. Cam Fowler also got an assist. The Ducks then went into a semi-defensive shell, blocking and preventing shots and getting an odd oppotunity of their own when they could. It didn't help that Dany Heatley and Pierre-Marc Bouchard each took slashing penalties to slow down any offense the Wild hoped to get. Jonas Hiller did a great job to keep his team in front. George Parros added an empty netter and that was all she wrote for game 4. 3-1 was the final score.
After jumping to a 2 game lead, the Wild have started to slip away. Will this year's Yelnats quest end so soon after the Wild getting into the Conference Finals last year? Will they be thwarted by the Ducks in a playoff series yet again? They still have time to pull it together, but they need to figure it out post-haste.
Interesting tidbits: This was the first game of the series in which no powerplay goals were scored.
Final score: Minnesota 1 - 3 Anaheim
Total shots: Minnesota 29 - 30 Anaheim
MIN 1:05 T.Gilbert (1) (E.Christensen, C.Clutterbuck)
Shots: Minnesota 12 - 7 Anaheim
ANA 3:35 R.Getzlaf (4) (B.Ryan)
Shots: Minnesota 7 - 11 Anaheim
ANA 3:17 T.Selanne (1) (A.Cogliano, C.Fowler)
ANA 19:39 G.Parros (1) (S.Koivu) (EN)
Shots: Minnesota 10 - 12 Anaheim
#1 Jonas Hiller (1GA, 0.964SV%, 28 saves)
#2 Teemu Selanne (GWG)
#3 Ryan Getzlaf (1G)
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Montreal Canadiens: Game 4
MTL 13:28 T.Plekanec (2) (J.Gorges)
Shots: Tampa Bay 10 - 11 Montreal
MTL 4:46 A.Markov (1) (T.Plekanec, R.Bourque)
TB 17:46 R.Malone (1) (M.St.Louis)
Shots: Tampa Bay 11 - 5 Montreal
Shots: Tampa Bay 9 - 10 Montreal
Interesting tidbits: Carey Price has allowed 1 goal in each of his last 2 games. He's second among goalies in GAA (1.73) and SV% (.0942) Tampa Bay won 57 of 83 faceoffs. 83 faceoffs... seems kind of absurd, no?
Final score: Tampa Bay 1 - 2 Montreal
Total shots: Tampa Bay 30 - 26 Montreal
#1 Carey Price (1GA, 0.966SV%, 29 saves)
#2 Tomas Plekanec (1G, 1A)
#3 Andrei Markov (1G)
Dallas Stars @ Columbus Blue Jackets: Game 3
Shots: Dallas 13 - 9 Columbus
CBJ 15:30 J.Johnson (2) (R.Nash)
CBJ 18:28 R.Nash (4) (K.Huselius, D.Brassard)
Shots: Dallas 10 - 8 Columbus
CBJ 9:22 R.Nash (5) (K.Huselius, D.Brassard)
CBJ 18:36 R.Johansen (1) (C.Gillies)
Shots: Dallas 7 - 16 Columbus
Interesting tidbits: Rick Nash has taken over the goal scoring lead with 5 goals in 4 games. Somewhere, Nathan is drawing ''Go get Rick Nash'' posters to show to Fletch. Steve Mason has been unsolvable this series. Mason has been one of the top two stars of the game 3 games running. His Nnoc Ehtyms campaign is a strong one, as he boasts a 1.15 GAA and a .957SV% over 4 games. You read correctly. Columbus is leading this series 3-1. That's certainly interesting.
Final score: Dallas 0 - 4 Columbus
Total shots: Dallas 30 - 33 Columbus
#1 Steve Mason (30 save shutout)
#2 Rick Nash (2G, 1A)
#3 Kristian Huselius (2A)
Carolina Hurricanes @ Toronto Maple Leafs: Game 3
TOR 3:10 P.Kessel (3) (J.Lupul, D.Phaneuf)
CAR 6:56 T.Ruutu (1) (D.Joslin)
Shots: Carolina 8 - 9 Toronto
TOR 6:19 J.Lupul (4) (J.Liles, T.Bozak)
CAR 6:28 P.Dwyer (1) (J.Spacek, J.Tlusty)
TOR 7:07 C.MacArthur (2) (J.Liles, M.Grabovski)
Shots: Carolina 7 - 9 Toronto
CAR 14:51 J.Jokinen (1) (J.Skinner)
Shots: Carolina 12 - 8 Toronto
TOR 5:17 T.Bozak (2) (D.Phaneuf, J.Lupul)
Shots: Carolina 2 - 4 Toronto
Interesting tidbits: Chad Larose and Eric Staal played over 29 minutes. They played more than any defenseman. Mikhail Grabovski had 7 shots in 15:26 of ice time. Every Cane who scored did so on their only shot of the game. Toronto's first line continued their dominance over the league points-wise. Joffrey Lupul, Tyler Bozak and Phil Kessel have 9, 8 and 7 points respectively in 4 games.
Final score: Carolina 3 - 4 Toronto (OT)
Total shots: Carolina 29 - 30 Toronto
#1 Joffrey Lupul (1G, 2A)
#2 Tyler Bozak (OTG, 1A)
#3 John-Michael Liles (2A)
Here's what the Playoff tree looks like now:
#10 Dallas Stars 1
#15 Columbus Blue Jackets 3
#11 Colorado Avalanche 2
#14 Edmonton Oilers 2
#12 Minnesota Wild 2
#13 Anaheim Ducks 2
#10 Tampa Bay Lightning 2
#15 Montreal Canadiens 2
#11 Winnipeg Jets 3
#14 New York Islanders 1
#12 Carolina Hurricanes 1
#13 Toronto Maple Leafs 3
I believe this is the first day in which there were no injuries. Tomorrow, game 5 between the Oilers-Avs and Jets-Isles. Be there or be elsewhere...Wait, that's not how it goes...Just be there!