From Apr. 1-10, ProHockeyTalk will be counting down the Top 10 moments from the 2011 postseason.
Here’s No. 3 — Boston and Tampa Bay lock horns in an incredible Eastern Conference finals Game 7 only to see Tim Thomas’ Bruins shut out Dwayne Roloson’s Lightning 1-0 to move on to the Stanley Cup finals in perhaps the best game of the entire playoffs.
Sometimes all it takes to decide a game is one shot. In the case of the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning, it was one goal that would decide their incredible Game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals.
Unfortunately for Tampa’s Dwayne Roloson, that goal would come off the stick of Bruins forward Nathan Horton with under eight minutes to play in the game. The Bruins were already winners of one Game 7 series in the playoffs (vs. Montreal) and with Tim Thomas in goal playing out of his mind, Horton’s tally is all they would need and it’s one Roloson and the Lightning defense would still like to have back.
One quick pass from David Krejci to a cutting Horton is all it would take to send the Bruins to their first Stanley Cup finals since the 80s and on to their first Stanley Cup championship since the 1970s.
Roloson stopped 37 of 38 shots while Thomas stopped all 24 shots he saw as he also defeated former University of Vermont teammate Martin St. Louis in what was perhaps the best game of the entire 2011 playoffs.
Top 10 2011 Playoff Moments: Burrows buries Blackhawks
Top 10 2011 Playoff Moments: Philly stays alive
Top 10 2011 Playoff Moments: Roloson turns back the clock…and the Penguins
Top 10 2011 Playoff Moments: Preds win! Preds win!
Top 10 2011 Playoff Moments: Horton beats the Habs
Top 10 2011 Playoff Moments: Sharks clip Wings
Top 10 2011 Playoff Moments: Sharks overcome 4-0 deficit to stun Kings
Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, and Panthers center Vincent Trocheck have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.
From the NHL:
Crosby led the League in goals and points (5-3-8) in three games as the Penguins (26-18-7, 59 points) earned four of a possible six points to secure the second Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference.
Karlsson led the League in assists and ranked second in points (0-7-7) in three games as the Senators (24-23-6, 54 points) won one of three starts for the week.
Trocheck notched six points (3-3—6) in three games, helping the Panthers (31-15-6, 68 points) widen their lead atop the Atlantic Division to six points.
Related: Red-hot Crosby could make Pens a flawed (but dangerous) dark horse
Evgeni Malkin‘s “nagging” lower-body injury will keep him out at least one more game.
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said this morning that the star center will sit out tonight at home against the Ducks. Malkin already missed two contests this weekend in Florida. His status is day-to-day.
The Penguins lost, 6-3, in Tampa on Friday, but rebounded Saturday with a 3-2 OT win over the Panthers.
Pittsburgh’s next game after tonight’s is Wednesday at home versus the Rangers.
The New York Rangers will be without Ryan McDonagh tonight at home to New Jersey, the club announcing this morning that the defenseman is out with a concussion.
McDonagh left Saturday’s game in Philadelphia following an altercation with the Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds that ended with McDonagh taking a punch to the face from Simmonds.
Simmonds received a match penalty and was thrown out of the game, but did not receive any supplemental discipline.
Given the standings, the Rangers can ill afford to lose McDonagh for long. They play in Pittsburgh Wednesday, followed by three home games against Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chicago.
Tuesday night, Milan Lucic will play his first game in Boston as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.
It should be an emotional return for the big 27-year-old winger. In an interview with the L.A. Times, he recalled his time with his former club fondly, saying how great it was to be a “part of one of the best-ever eras to be a Bruin.”
A pending unrestricted free agent, Lucic also commented on his contract negotiations with the Kings.
“Nothing to get excited about,” he said. “There’s been two or three little talks here and there. My plan is to remain a King and hopefully finish off my career here. Like I said, I go day by day and you never know what tomorrow is going to bring.”
Lucic has 12 goals and 18 assists in 50 games this season. Though the Kings reportedly want to keep him, the question is whether they can find the cap space to make it happen.
Los Angeles already has Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Marian Gaborik, Kyle Clifford, Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin, Alec Martinez, and Jonathan Quick locked up long term. Plus, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson will require new deals after next season.
Related: Why Lucic is an interesting pending UFA