The Tampa Bay Lightning chased Detroit Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek from the net after 40 minutes in Game 2 of that best-of-seven first-round series on Saturday.
Mrazek, who was sensational in a Game 1 win for the Red Wings, gave up four goals on 18 shots, including three goals in the second period in Game 2.
Jimmy Howard entered the game for the Red Wings.
It sets up an interesting situation as the series will shift back to Detroit: Do the Red Wings go back to Mrazek, or give Howard the starting duties with the series tied?
The Anaheim Ducks got their opportunities and made the most of them in the third period, with Corey Perry completing a four-point night in a Game 1 win against the Winnipeg Jets.
Penalties and discipline had been an issue for the Jets throughout the season, having finished with the second highest amount of penalty minutes behind only Pittsburgh. They were also short-handed a league high 308 times during the regular season.
On Thursday, with both teams combining for 83 hits, the Jets were penalized four times going back to the final minute of the second period — one call did come at the end of the game — and surrendered two power play goals to the Ducks, with Perry and Ryan Getzlaf scoring to help the Ducks to a 4-2 win.
“It was a tough, hard-fought battle. I think definitely had a chance being up. I think we got in a little bit of penalty trouble and it’s just something that for the next game, we need to make sure we continue to bring that physical battle but make sure it’s between the whistles,” said Drew Stafford, as per video on the Jets’ website.
“We don’t want to give their skilled guys any extra chance like we did.”
In addition to Perry’s four-point night, Getzlaf had a goal and two assists, and Sami Vatanen also had a three-point night.
“If your big guys don’t show up, you’re not going to win. Our big guys showed up tonight,” said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, as per the club’s Twitter account.
Territorially, the St. Louis Blues held the edge over the Minnesota Wild in the opening period of their best-of-seven first-round series.
Beyond zone time and seven shots on goalie Devan Dubnyk on 22 attempts, according to hockeystats.ca, the Blues didn’t have anything to show for it after 20 minutes and instead found themselves down 1-0.
The Blues would spend the rest of the night trying to play catch-up in a 4-2 loss to the Wild on home ice.
“We’ve got to play better. They came out and played a solid road game. We needed to capitalize on a few more chances,” said David Backes, as per Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
In total, the Wild blocked 20 shot attempts, and 12 of those came in the first period, according to NHL.com, as Minnesota stifled the Blues early.
In his post-game press conference, Ken Hitchcock reiterated that zone time favored the Blues but they were unable to get many shots through to the net early in the game.
“I don’t know about killer instinct, but we have not played well off of layoffs all year,” said Hitchcock in video posted on the club’s website.
“This is probably another example of that. But we’ve had a game under our belt. We’re going to have to play better. Killer instinct comes in a number of fashions. One of the fashions is that you really have to simplify your game in the playoffs. I thought when we didn’t get the shots through at the start, we started to play a very complicated game that made us at times look slow.
“We were into the ‘Make the next play’ rather than play it off the goalie and see what he’s got.”