Nothing like a little bit of drama to start the playoffs. Chicago beat Minnesota 2-1 in overtime to take Game 1 of their first-round series thanks to a Bryan Bickell super deke-out goal that beat Josh Harding. Chicago avoids potential disaster by taking a 1-0 series lead.
Here are your Game 1 talking points:
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- Who doesn’t love playoff overtime? This one just edged out the Blues-Kings game for first OT game of the playoffs.
- Josh Harding gets the sudden start thanks to Niklas Backstrom’s injury.
- But seriously, how much did he stand on his head to keep the Hawks at bay?
- Power play? What’s that? Minnesota sure didn’t know what it was. Chicago sure knew though as their lone goal in regulation came on it.
- Marian Hossa looked like a man possessed at times out there. His power play goal snapshot was a beauty.
- After Harding’s stellar play, do the Wild stress out over Backstrom’s health for Game 2?
- If the Wild want to have an easier time of things, spending a bit more time in the Chicago end of the ice would help. Getting outshot 37-27 won’t cut it every game.
- How much do the Wild rely on Ryan Suter? He only had 41:08 time on ice tonight. That’s all.
- Minnesota didn’t have much offense, but Jason Zucker impressed with his effort.
- Anyone seen Zach Parise? Anyone? Bueller?
Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.
Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:
Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).
The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.
For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”
On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.
With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.
“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”
As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.
It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.