Brent Seabrook gives us another gift of OT playoff hockey


You had to know it just couldn’t be that easy.

The Phoenix Coyotes seemed to be on their way to a tight 2-1 win to close out a great night of hockey, but the Chicago Blackhawks sent the third game of Thursday into overtime. That makes three out of four for tonight and four out of seven in two action-packed opening nights of postseason pucks.

The Blackhawks took a 1-0 lead early on thanks to Jonathan Toews’ “I’m back” tally but the Coyotes scored what might be a controversial goal to make it 1-1. Phoenix then bumped its lead to 2-1 but Brent Seabrook jumped on a loose puck to score into a wide-open net to make it 2-2 with about 15 seconds left.

Sure there are things like “sleep” and “responsibilities” standing in your way now that we’re getting in the wee hours of the night, but hey – it’s Friday already in many areas. You can slog through a yawn-filled final day of the week for more Hawks-‘Yotes, can’t you? (If the answer’s “Yes,” tune to NBC Sports Network.)

Sharks-Blues, Caps-Bruins are both headed to OT

We’re just two days into the postseason, but we’re already being treated to our second and third overtime games. (Note: there have only been six playoff games overall so far.)

After a relatively uneventful first period, the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues have engaged in a back-and-forth duel.

Patrik Berglund has been the big hero for the Blues so far. He went pointless in the Blues’ four-game playoff stint back in 2009, but he could have a big impact this time around. For the Sharks, Martin Havlat found the back of the net with the man advantage. San Jose’s Andrew Desjardins netted the game-tying goal in his fourth career playoff game with just 5:16 minutes left in the third period.

Meanwhile, the Boston Bruins have dominated much of their game against the Washington Capitals, but Braden Holtby seems content to fudge the B’s plans. Holtby stopped all 29 of the Boston Bruins’ shots while Tim Thomas has only had to make 16 saves through three periods. There are plenty of other interesting matchups going on here – most obviously Alex Ovechkin vs. Zdeno Chara – but ultimately it comes down to which goalie blinks first after a 0-0 first three periods.

For viewing purposes, Sharks-Blues is on CNBC while Caps-Bruins can be found on NBC Sports Network.

Flyers’ comeback creates 2012 playoffs’ first OT treat


Anyone who hoped that the controversy regarding Danny Briere’s offside goal would go away probably has a headache at the moment. Don’t fault Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers fans if they’re pacing around endlessly while fans of the sport of a whole must feel delighted as Philly came back from a 3-0 deficit to bring Game 1 to a 3-3 overtime showdown.

So for those of you counting at home, that means that we’re one-for-one when it comes to postseason contests going into “extra innings.”

Pittsburgh scored all three of its goals in a rousing opening period. Briere followed up his much-disputed first tally with a second one to give him 98 points in 98 playoff games while Scott Hartnell’s clever pass opened up an opportunity for Brayden Schenn to score his first career postseason tally on the PP.

One might call this result unexpected, but considering the anticipation going into this game, it only makes sense that this intriguing fourth vs. fifth seed matchup needs more than 60 minutes to be decided.

Considering the history of overtime games in the Penguins-Flyers rivalry, it might take a lot more than 60 minutes. Enjoy it all on NBC Sports Network tonight.

(And feel free to tab the overtime winner in the comments if you’re in the mood.)