Canes Country’s morning snap shots recapping last night’s action in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Pittsburgh Penguins 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 1 (PIT leads 2-0)
The usual Penguins suspects did their thing Friday night in a 4-1 win over the Blue Jackets, taking a 2-0 series lead on home ice. Sidney Crosby tallied a three-point night (1g, 2a), Evgeni Malkin scored his second goal of the series, and Marc-Andre Fleury had a 39-save performance.
Fleury has now made 70 saves on 72 shots (.972 save percentage) since taking over for the injured Matt Murray, and may have been perfect in Game 2 had it not been for old pal Ron Hainsey, who deflected a Brandon Saad shot for the Jackets’ lone goal.
The Blue Jackets came after the Penguins hard, credited with 51 hits including 10 from Boone Jenner. But the physical play crossed the line late in the third when Matt Calvert took out his frustration by cross-checking then coldcocking Tom Kuhnhackl away from the play. Calvert was assessed a minor penalty but chances are he won't be participating in Game 3 in Columbus on Sunday. -Jamie Kellner
Great stuff from Matt Calvert at the end of the PIT-CBJ game pic.twitter.com/DKx788BZf6— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) April 15, 2017
Montreal Canadiens 4, New York Rangers 3 (OT) (Series tied 1-1)
On Friday night in Montreal, the offensive firepower that was missing from game one showed up in a big way for game two, as the Canadiens topped the New York Rangers 4-3 in an overtime thriller.
Mats Zuccarello, Michael Grabner and Rick Nash provided the goals for New York, whose defense let them down as they allowed 58 shots in almost 80 minutes of play. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist was once again fantastic in net, but the pressure from the Canadiens proved to be too much in the end.
Alexander Radulov's scrappy goal in overtime was his third point of the night as he led the charge of the Canadiens' offense that was blanked in game one. Jeff Petry, Paul Byron and Tomas Plekanec also tallied for the Habs, and Plekanec's goal was especially heroic as it came with 18 seconds left in regulation to tie the game. The series now shifts to New York for Game 3 on Sunday night. -Kyle Morton
St. Louis Blues 2, Minnesota Wild 1 (STL leads 2-0)
Oh boy, Bruce Boudreau. The Blues took a commanding series lead last night in winning their second straight game in enemy territory. St. Louis opened the scoring with another goal scored by Joel Edmundson (?!) on a power-play shot from the point.
Shortly after, Zach Parise scored his second goal in as many games on a power play, cleaning up a redirection after Eric Staal centered the puck into a defender. The game remained tight into the late stages of the third period until Jaden Schwartz snapped a wrist shot past Dubnyk with under three minutes to go in the third period. The goal would carry the Blues to a 2-0 lead heading back home.
Blues goalie Jake Allen made 23 saves and looked just as steady between the pipes as he did Wednesday night. The Wild, the best 5-on-5 team in hockey in the regular season, really can't catch a break in the offensive zone this series. With an anemic two goals in two games, both coming from Parise, the Wild need to find a way to get something past Allen if they want to extend this series and get another shot at the Blues on home ice. The Blues and Wild will clash for game 3 on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. in St. Louis. -Andrew Ahr
Edmonton Oilers 2, San Jose Sharks 0 (Series tied 1-1)
Many times in the playoffs, production comes from unlikely sources. Last night, the Oilers got theirs from Zack Kassian. The 26-year-old winger provided a spark physically, running around like a wrecking ball early in the game laying the body to any and all San Jose Sharks.
Little did the team know, he would also carry the team offensively through two periods. Picking up a puck in the neutral zone shorthanded, Kassian converted a breakaway to put Edmonton up 1-0 in what would be the eventual game winner.
Exactly like in Game 1, the Oilers were up by a goal heading into the final 20 minutes of the contest. However, the end result was much more exciting for Edmonton fans. Connor McDavid scored his first playoff goal in the third, also shorthanded, to put the Oilers up for the duration.
The game was a script switch from a Game 1 loss where the Oilers were outshot 44-19. On Friday night, Edmonton was much better both offensively and defensively, outshooting the Sharks 36-16. Game 3 faces off in San Jose on Sunday. -Kevin LeBlanc