In the last two days we’ve seen three potential elimination games. Only one of those games resulted in an elimination with the Phoenix Coyotes, for once, building on a third period lead instead of squandering it. They take that series against the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-2, also known as exactly what I predicted.
Morning skate is a feature that will look at the stories developing each day in these 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and a look ahead to the games on the schedule.
There were three game-three’s on the schedule last night and in each case the road team won by a goal.
Rangers 1 Senators 0
Henrik Lundqvist held off the Ottawa Senators, making 39 saves, and Brian Boyle scored the only goal in a 1-0 Rangers win. Lundqvist made his best save on Kyle Turris, point blank and alone in the slot, with less than a minute to go. Despite speculation he could play, Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson sat the game out with concussion symptoms.
Sometimes a timeout can make all the difference. Despite a 1-0 lead in the second period, John Tortorella’s Rangers were being pushed hard by an Ottawa team that had had their number all season. Tortorella called a time out to calm his players and it worked. New York scored the next three goals to establish a 4-0 lead. Ottawa managed to get on the scoreboard with a pair of goals in the third but it was too late.
These are exciting times for the Phoenix Coyotes, even if they are being rumored to play next year in any of six different locations. The Desert Dogs earned their first division title in… ever. Even going back to their days as the Winnipeg Jets, this franchise has never won a division. Wow. I had to look it up to be sure it was true. Can they now also win their first playoff series in Phoenix?
Imagine how great the Blackhawks could have been had Dale Tallon not missed that one teeny-tiny deadline? Instead, they have to settle for backdooring into a playoff spot and hoping their stars can catch fire.