We got plenty of playoff action ahead tonight as this is the first and only day featuring three second round contests. The games are pretty spread out too, so while there will be some overlap, there might not be a ton of it (that will of course be partially dependent on whether or not any of the games go to overtime).
The first contest will be Game 2 of Tampa Bay’s series against Montreal. The puck is scheduled to drop at 6:00 p.m. ET, but the pregame coverage starts at 5:00. You can watch it on NBCSN and stream it online via NBC Sports Live Extra:
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Starting at 8:30 p.m. ET, Minnesota will battle to even its series with Chicago. That game will also be on NBCSN, but if you want to watch the stream, please note that it has a different URL than the Lightning-Canadien game:
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Lastly, Anaheim will attempt to extend its playoff winning streak to six games when it takes on Calgary. Although the contest is scheduled to start at 10:00 p.m. ET, the pregame coverage will begin at 9:00. You can watch the contest on CNBC and steam it via the link below:
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford made 27 saves in the Blackhawks’ 4-1 victory over Minnesota tonight, but one in particular gave fans a scare.
With the game drawing to a close, Wild defenseman Marco Scandella fired a hard and high shot that nailed Crawford in the front of his mask. Crawford appeared to be dazed as a result of the blow and perhaps had some difficulty keeping his balance. He did end up staying in the game, but went to the bench to get a new mask.
After the contest, Crawford said he was fine, per the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc. He changed his mask because Scandella’s shot dented it.
He had a rocky start to the playoffs, but has led Chicago to a 2-0 series lead in the second round.
Part of the reason the Chicago Blackhawks have been successful over the last seven years is because they have so many top end forwards. How can you silence a team led by Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, and Marian Hossa? The Minnesota Wild didn’t have the answer to that question tonight. Instead, they suffered a 4-1 loss to Chicago.
To Minnesota’s credit, the squad did hold its own defensively in the first half of the game. It took a great sequence by Hossa and Toews to break the scoreless tie at 12:28 of the second period, and even then the goal partially went in because Wild netminder Devan Dubnyk was the victim of some bad puck luck.
Minnesota might have been able to recover from that, but Kane made it 2-0 with roughly 20 seconds left in the second frame. Chicago hasn’t lost a contest in the regular season or playoffs when leading after 40 minutes and tonight was no exception.
Minnesota’s Matt Dumba made things interesting with a high shot that beat goaltender Corey Crawford, but Sharp was able to regain Chicago’s two-goal edge:
Kane helped himself to the empty netter to bring him up to five goals and 10 points in eight playoff games. He also has 101 points in 101 career postseason contests.
Minnesota was eliminated by Chicago in 2013 and 2014. The Wild were naturally hoping that this year would be different, but after falling behind 2-0 in the second round series, they have a very tough road ahead of them.
The Blackhawks and Wild were great defensively in the first half of Game 2, but someone had to score eventually and in the end it was captain Jonathan Toews that broke the scoreless tie.
While Chicago was shorthanded, Marian Hossa stole the puck from Wild defenseman Ryan Suter and charged into Minnesota’s zone with Toews. Hossa feed the puck to his captain and Toews fired it at goaltender Devan Dubnyk.
Dubnyk made the initial save, but the puck flew up and hit his stick before heading to the line. Suter knocked it away just a moment too late:
Just before the second period ended, Patrick Kane gave Chicago some breathing room and once again Suter found himself on the wrong end of the play:
Montreal forward Brandon Prust accumulated 31 penalty minutes during the Lightning’s 6-2 win over the Canadiens, mostly because he hit goalie Ben Bishop and then fought Tampa Bay blueliner Braydon Coburn, but it’s his postgame rant that might end up leading to supplementary discipline.
“I thought the original call was kind of soft and I let him (referee Brad Watson) know on the way to the penalty box,” Prust said, per the Toronto Star’s Bruce Arthur. “He kept provoking me. He came to the box and called me every name in the book. He called me a piece of you know what, a (expletive), coward, said he’d drive me right out of this building. I kept going, ‘Yeah, OK, yeah OK, yeah OK.’ He kept on me, he kept on me. I kept saying, ‘Yeah, OK.’ I wasn’t looking at him. He teed me up.
“That’s the ref he is. He tries to play God. He tries to control the game and he did that tonight.”
Prust was discussing his roughing penalty in the first period. The Canadiens forward ended up with an additional minor for unsportsmanlike conduct.
This matter will likely be addressed by Hockey Ops and Colin Campbell as opposed to the Department of Player Safety, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. Prust might end up receiving a fine for what he said.
Montreal as a team ran into penalty troubles in Sunday’s contest and Tampa Bay had eight power-play opportunities as a result. The Lightning capitalized on four of those chances.