If you tuned into the first two days of the Stanley Cup Playoffs you saw some very entertaining hockey to say the least. We have narrowed it down to our “3 stars” from the Game 1’s across the league.
Recap of scores:
NYR 2 – Pitt 1
NYI 4 – Wash 1
Mon 4 – Ott 3
Det 3 – TB 2
Cal 2 – Van 1
Ana 4 – Wpg 2
Minn 4 – STL 2
Chi 4 – Nsh 3 (2OT)
3rd Star – Petr Mrazek – Detroit Red Wings
Mrazek made his first career playoff start a memorable one. He stopped 44 of 46 shots and badly outdueled counterpart Ben Bishop, who allowed 3 goals on 11 shots, including a softy shorthander to Luke Glendening. Mrazek’s only blemishes on the night were a shorthanded breakaway goal to Brian Boyle and a snipe from Nikita Nestorov on a play where he was screened well. This game not only caught us by surprised because of Mrazek’s inexperience, but also the goaltending questions surrounding Detroit coming into the series. Simply put, Detroit can’t expect getting outshot so badly and winning. Although if they can even out those shot totals, and Mrazek can continue playing at this level, Detroit could make it a short series.
2nd Star – Scott Darling – Chicago Blackhawks
Probably the last thing on Scott Darling’s mind coming into Game 1 of their series was Corey Crawford getting pulled after the first period. Chicago found themselves down 3-0 after just 20 minutes of play and tossed Darling in net to spark the team. Not only did it spark the team, but it sparked Darling who rattled of 42 saves, every shot that came at him, and put the Blackhawks in a position to come back, which they did. This was his first ever post season appearance, which any viewer would find unbelievable. His game was highlighted by a miraculous save halfway through the 3rd period, backdoor on Ryan Ellis on a Nashville powerplay which kept the game notted at 3-3. The 26-year old won’t be starting Game 2, but good on you Scotty!
1st Star – Corey Perry – Anaheim Ducks
As should be a shock to no one, I’m not one bit surprised to see Corey Perry being the difference maker in a playoff game. Perry single-handedly won the game for the Ducks, netting 2 goals and 2 assists, three of those points coming in the 3rd period, where the Ducks started down 2-1. The Ducks didn’t look too sharp through 40 minutes and Perry was the catalyst for an experienced Duck squad. Perry also ignited a dormant Anaheim powerplay, which ended at 2/4 on the night and could make a huge difference in the series. Three cheers for you Corey.
Who are your 3 stars?