Devan Dubnyk has been sensational and one of the main reasons for the Minnesota Wild’s mid-season turnaround that landed that club in the playoffs.
But on Saturday, he was caught leaning slightly off his post to his left and Vladimir Tarasenko buried his shot on Dubnyk from a bad angle, giving the St. Louis Blues a two-goal lead in a game they would eventually win to even the first-round series with Minnesota.
Dubnyk admitted to his error afterward.
“That’s just a mistake by me. It’s not a good goal,” Dubnyk told NHL.com. “I came off my post on a guy (who) likes to shoot, who’s got a pretty good shot and he made me pay for it. That’s a mistake by me that cost me a goal against. Make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Despite going down two goals after the first period, the Wild scored early in the third and then had a chance to tie the game later on, but couldn’t convert. Charlie Coyle’s shot off the cross bar hit the backside of Jake Allen and trickled toward the goal line, but David Backes pulled the puck away from the net, maintaining the Blues’ lead.
The Wild still get the split in St. Louis, with the series shifting back to Minnesota.
“Listen, we would’ve loved to have won both games in here,” said Minnesota’s coach Mike Yeo, as per a video on the club’s website.
“But when it comes down to it, I think we can take some confidence out of the fact that we won the one game and played pretty strong in the second game and even to battle back against a team that’s tough to generate offence against. That’s a pretty good sign.”
It’s Saturday evening, and the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs is well underway, with two big match-ups to round out the day’s schedule.
Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins will look to even their series with the Presidents’ Trophy-winning New York Rangers in Game 2 at Madison Square Garden at 8 p.m. ET. You can check out the game at NBC or online via NBC Sports Live Extra.
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After a bruising contest between the Anaheim Ducks and Winnipeg Jets in Game 1, the Ducks can grab a 2-0 series lead with a win on Saturday. Puck drop between these teams in Game 2 from the Honda Center goes at 10:30 p.m. ET. You can check out the game at NBCSN or online at NBC Sports Live Extra.
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Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock didn’t waste any time deciding on his starting goaltender for Game 3 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Based on multiple reports via Twitter, Babcock said he’s going back to Petr Mrazek, who was pulled after the second period in Detroit’s loss on Saturday.
Ansar Khan of MLive.com reiterated that, and added Babcock expects Justin Abdelkader back in the lineup for Game 3.
As for the loss in Game 2, which evens the series, well, Babcock offered this take, as per Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press: “I’ll be in my hot tub by 10 tonight and the sun is going to get up tomorrow and we’ll get a 5-game series against Tampa.”
Vladimir Tarasenko started the scoring for the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, and he finished it, too.
The 23-year-old winger, a rising star for the Blues, recorded his first career Stanley Cup playoff hat trick and St. Louis evened its series with the Minnesota Wild thanks to a 4-1 win in Game 2.
Tarasenko struck twice late in the first period with his goals coming less than five minutes apart to give the Blues an early lead. One came off a deflection from an Alex Steen shot, as Tarasenko was cruising in front of the net. The second, however, is one goalie Devan Dubnyk would probably like to have back.
With Dubnyk leaning slightly to his left, Tarasenko beat him with a quick shot from a bad angle to up the Blues’ lead. He added another into an empty net with 17 seconds remaining.
The hats followed.
The Wild actually had a chance to tie this game in the third period.
With less than nine minutes remaining, seconds after Charlie Coyle waltzed around T.J. Oshie and then rang his shot off the cross bar, David Backes pulled the puck off the goal line and Jake Allen covered it up with Minnesota players buzzing around his net, taking away what could’ve been the equalizer. That close to tying it up.
At the age of 28, Ben Bishop has his first career Stanley Cup playoff victory, and it evens the series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Detroit Red Wings at 1-1.
Bishop stopped 23 of 24 shots faced and the Lightning recorded a 5-1 win in Game 2 on Saturday. The series now shifts back to Detroit for Games 3 and 4, with the third game of the series going Tuesday.
After being stymied by Petr Mrazek in the series opener, the Lightning found its scoring touch, chasing Detroit’s netminder after 40 minutes and four goals allowed on 18 shots. The floodgates opened in the middle period, as Tampa Bay scored three to take complete control of the game.
Jimmy Howard took over for Mrazek in the third period and it will be interesting to see which goalie Red Wings coach Mike Babcock calls on for Game 3.
Tyler Johnson led the way offensively for Tampa Bay. He scored twice, while three of his teammates — Valtteri Filppula, Nikita Nesterov and Steven Stamkos — all recorded multi-point games.