It looked like the Ducks were about to reach the end of the seemingly bottomless pit that has been the recent rough stretch of games. Going into Friday afternoon’s game, the Ducks had only won two of their last 16 games. But all that looked like it was going to change on Friday. Anaheim started the game with two of their best periods of the season. After the first two periods, the offensively challenged Ducks were leading 4-2 with only 20 minutes left.
Then game the third period. By the time the dust settled, the Blackhawks were skating away with a 6-5 victory and the Ducks were left wondering “what happened?”
It’ only took 1:23 for the Blackhawks to tie the score at 4-4. Then Patrick Sharp scored his third goal of the game for this second career hat trick leading Randy Carlyle to pull Jonas Hiller. The next scene in the nightmare third period was Jonathan Toews scoring his second goal and fifth point of the game to increase the lead to 6-4. You know there’s a lot of scoring with a guy scores a career-high five points and he’s only the third star of the game.
The Ducks finally scored answered with goal in the final seconds, but it was too little too late for the team that desperately could have used a win today. They only have one win in their last 9 games (1-7-1) and only two wins in their last 17 games (2-11-4). A quick look at the standings shows that they are only three points ahead of the hapless Columbus Blue Jackets for last place in the Western Conference.
It’s hard to believe this is the same team that started the season 4-1-0.
The Pittsburgh Penguins ended a long run of playoff overtime struggles on Wednesday … and are now one win away from ending the Washington Capitals’ season.
Many expected the Penguins to crater on defense without Kris Letang (they were 2-8-1 in the regular season without him). While there were shaky moments, Pittsburgh emphasized its speed and other strengths in taking a 3-2 overtime thriller against Washington.
With that, the Penguins’ series lead grows to 3-1.
It was a thrilling, sometimes nasty contest, from Sidney Crosby shaking off an Alex Ovechkin slash, to Evgeni Malkin delivering a hit some thought was over the line and plenty of typical playoff skirmishes.
Ultimately, Matt Murray played another strong game and Patric Hornqvist scored the overtime-winner to put the Capitals in a tough spot.
The Penguins lost their previous eight playoff overtime games, so maybe it was just a matter of time before such a game went their way?
Then again, the history between the two teams is a little different:
If the Capitals want to advance beyond the second round for the first time in the Ovechkin era, they’ll need to accomplish quite the feat against arguably the hottest team in the NHL.
Sidney Crosby is known to get fiery, but even for his feisty standards, he was furious during the third period of Game 4.
An Alex Ovechkin slash caught Crosby on the hand, leaving the Pittsburgh Penguins star shaking his mitt and pleading for a call.
After that, Crosby left to get his hand looked at … but not before flipping out and destroying his stick.
You can watch it happen in the GIF and the videos above.
Crosby was able to return not that long after that moment, although we can only speculate regarding how his overall game will be affected if his hand isn’t 100 percent.
Tensions seem to rise with every passing game in the playoffs, particularly in a series with bad blood like the one between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals.
Kris Letang was suspended for his hit in Game 3, and some wonder if Evgeni Malkin should suffer a similar fate for his check on Daniel Winnik on Wednesday.
Winnik left the contest and has not yet returned during the third period.
Take a look at the hit in the video above and decide for yourself.
Fires devastated the Canadian city of Fort McMurray, and the St. Louis Blues are doing their part to help those who were affected.
Here’s what the team is doing to raise money during Game 4 against the Dallas Stars:
Proceeds raised through the team’s 50/50 raffle and the Blues for Kids silent auction will benefit families who have been misplaced by the fires.
Blues forward Scottie Upshall shared his thoughts with the Associated Press regarding several family members being among those evacuated from the area.
“It’s been a great city, a city that’s survived for many years through some tough times and for me, growing up there doesn’t seem too long ago,” Upshall said. “Places that probably aren’t standing anymore will be really, really tough to take. But as long as everyone’s OK, that’s the main thing.”
Other people from around the hockey world weighed in on the scary scene, including Ottawa Senators defenseman Chris Phillips, who told the Ottawa Citizen that “it hurts a lot.”
People shared some scary sights from the evacuation.