Day 3 and 4 saw six of the eight series being evened, our first hat trick, and of course, more goalie controversy! Who would’ve guessed?
Recap of scores:
Pitt 4 – NYR 3
Wash 4 – NYI 3
Mon 3 – Ott 2 (OT)
TB 5 – Det 1
Van 4 – Cal 1
Ana 2 – Wpg 1
STL 4 – Minn 1
Nsh 6 – Chi 2
3rd Star – Ondrej Pavelec – Winnipeg Jets
This is one of the few times that a losing goalie would be deemed a star, but Pavelec was all that and more last game. He stopped 37 of 39 shots and was absolutely barraged with shots in the 1st and 3rd periods, seeing 17 shots in both. He did as well as he could to keep his team in the game, and for the 2nd straight game, gave the Jets a glorious chance of winning, by leading going into the 3rd. Goaltending was a question during the season, but with Pavelec’s play coming into the playoffs and through their first two games, there should be no questions. Pavelec just needs his team to score some goals!
2nd Star – Sidney Crosby – Pittsburgh Penguins
Arguably the most scrutinized player every year in the playoffs, Sid came to play in Game 2. He led the Penguins to a much needed win over the heavily favoured Rangers and did it in style. The two goals he tallied were more than he had all of last post season (1 goal in 13 games) and came just over four minutes apart during a crucial part of the game, when the teams were knotted at 1-1. He also seemed to spark linemate Chris Kunitz – who also faces heavy criticism, come playoff time – and is guiding the Pens in the right direction in this series. Going home, look for Crosby to pick up where he left off in Game 2.
1st Star – Vladimir Tarasenko – St. Louis Blues
If there was ever a team that needed one man to carry their team to a playoff victory, it would be the St. Louis Blues. Picked by experts to make it out of the Western Conference, they dropped their first game in unconvincing fashion. Game 2 was Tarasenko’s coming out party for this years playoffs, recording his first career hat trick at a crucial point of the series. All his goals came in different ways: his first was a gorgeous deflection off an Alexander Steen shot, his second was a short-side, tight angle snipe (Dubnyk probably wants it back if you ask him) and his third iced the game into an empty net. After having all six of his shot attempts blocked in Game 1, Tarasenko had five shots on net and was all over the ice.
Who are your stars?