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Thursday Stanley Cup Daily: It’s Jake Allen’s world, we just live in it

It was a rough night to be the home team, and it was doubly rough to be the Minnesota Wild.

St Louis Blues v Minnesota Wild Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Canes Country’s morning snap shots recapping last night’s action in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.


Boston Bruins v Ottawa Senators - Game One Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images

Boston Bruins 2, Ottawa Senators 1 (BOS leads series 1-0)

The Bruins pulled out a late 2-1 win in Ottawa to take Game 1 of their series with the Senators. There was no clear advantage had by either team throughout much of the game — shots, power plays and hits were pretty even between the teams, although the Bruins didn’t have a shot on goal at all in the second period, which led to this rather humorous exchange:

Giveaways, the one category with a clear distinction, favored the Bruins 14-5, and one ended up finding Frank Vatrano for the Bruins’ first goal early in the third period.

But the game-winner was a rebound by Brad Marchand (who else?) from a deflection off of the left pad of Craig Anderson with under 3:00 in regulation. Boston also got significant help from goalie Tuukka Rask, who made 26 saves, more than a handful of the outstanding variety, including a number of quick pad saves early in the game. So despite the Bruins’ 0-3-1 record against the Senators in the regular season, they picked up a vital road win in Game 1. Both teams will get a lot of rest before Game 2 on Saturday in Ottawa, which will help the two hard-hitting teams who showed their physicality tonight. -Jake Crouse


Columbus Blue Jackets v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game One Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Penguins 3, Columbus Blue Jackets 1 (PIT leads series 1-0)

No one assumed the Penguins/Blue Jackets series would lack for story lines, and the high drama didn't wait for face-off in Game 1.

During warmups, Penguins starting goaltender Matt Murray had to pull himself off the ice due to injury (his status is still unknown), and veteran Marc-Andre Fleury was called into emergency action. Fleury weathered a dominating first period from Columbus, who outshot Pittsburgh 16-3 though the game remained scoreless. But it was all Penguins in the second period, with three goals from Bryan Rust, Phil Kessel (PHIL!), and Nick Bonino (BoninoBoninoBoninoBoninoBonino) giving them a comfortable lead. The Blue Jackets began to mount a comeback in the third when Matt Calvert converted off a Conor Sheary turnover, but that was all they could muster and the Penguins prevailed in a 3-1 win.

Fleury ended up with 31 saves on 32 shots. Evgeni Malkin picked up two assists, returning to the lineup after missing 20 of the last 35 games of the regular season with a shoulder injury. Blue Jackets rookie defenseman Zach Werenski, also returning to the lineup from a shoulder injury, was credited with six shots on goal and 12 of the Jackets' 60 shot attempts.

The series continues with Game 2 in Pittsburgh Friday night at 7:00 pm. -Jamie Kellner


New York Rangers v Montreal Canadiens - Game One Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

New York Rangers 2, Montreal Canadiens 0 (NYR leads series 1-0)

Game 1 between the Canadiens and the Rangers did not go quite exactly as most imagined. And when I say that, what I really mean is that the only goal that was scored with a goalie in the net came off the stick of much-maligned Rangers winger Tanner Glass.

You read that right. Tanner Glass, Stanley Cup Playoff game-winning goal scorer. What a world we live in.

Michael Grabner added an empty-netter to seal the victory for New York. The Rangers were led by their star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who came up with a huge effort in this game after struggling through much of the regular season. The Swede stopped all 31 shots he faced in the effort.

Carey Price answered Lundqvist with a solid effort of his own, turning aside 29 of the 30 shots he faced in net, but it's hard to win when your team doesn't score any goals.

Game 2 in the series will take place on Friday night in Montreal at 7 PM Eastern time. -Kyle Morton


St Louis Blues v Minnesota Wild - Game One Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

St. Louis Blues 2, Minnesota Wild 1 (OT) (STL leads series 1-0)

Game 1 between the Blues and the Wild was an exciting affair that went on for nearly 20 extra minutes before a winner was determined, thanks largely to the otherworldly play of Blues goaltender Jake Allen. Allen recorded a career high 51 saves against a Wild team that looked dominant for most of the contest. The Wild recorded 34 shots in the last two periods of the game while only allowing 12, yet were held off the board until Zach Parise tied the game with a desperate one time finish with 22.7 seconds left in the third period.

In overtime, Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko beautifully threaded a pass between a Wild defender’s legs onto the tape of Joel Edmundson who buried it behind Devan Dubnyk 17:48 into the extra session. But the story was Allen, who absolutely robbed the Wild of a win in a career game for him. These teams will clash again in St. Paul tomorrow night at 8. -Andrew Ahr


San Jose Sharks v Edmonton Oilers - Game One Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

San Jose Sharks 3, Edmonton Oilers 2 (OT) (SJS leads series 1-0)

Game 1 of the Oilers/Sharks series was the type of spirited, physical affair that one would have come to expect from Pacific Division rivals. Adding to the intensity was an amped up home crowd in Edmonton, watching their Oilers in the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

Despite being outplayed for much of the first period, Edmonton struck twice, opening the scoring through Oscar Klefbom midway through the period and doubling their lead on a Milan Lucic power play marker late in the period.

Drawing on their playoff experience, the Sharks did not panic, getting one goal back early on the second period through consistent playoff performer Joel Ward on one of their many power plays. After locking down defensively for much of the last 40 minutes aside from a few Connor McDavid rushes, the Sharks completed their comeback on a Paul Martin goal in the third period, and the game headed to overtime. As is the case with many overtime periods, the game did not last long into the night as San Jose carried their momentum from regulation into the extra stanza and scored just over three minutes in on a Melker Karlsson game-winner.

Game 1 was a choppy affair with little flow in regulation due to the Oilers taking seven minor penalties, their most in a game since mid-November. Luckily for the Oilers, the Sharks failed to convert on six of those seven opportunities or the game may not have made it to overtime. San Jose played the perfect grind it out road game to open the series with a victory. The puck drops on game 2 in Edmonton tomorrow night. -Kevin LeBlanc