Sunday, March 25, 2007

Saturday Night Hockey

Saturday night, 5 Canadian hockey teams were playing. 2 of those teams are fighting for the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference. For those 2 teams, Saturday's game was the most important of the season. After some early games, both the NY Islanders and the NY Rangers won to get 2 points closer to that 8th spot in the Conference. That meant that the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens had to win their games to keep up with New York.

In the national game, the Toronto Maple Leafs faced the Buffalo Sabres. The Leafs were coming off a 3rd period collapse to the Sabres on Friday that saw Buffalo score 4 unanswered goals to win 5-4. The Leafs though were looking for redemption at home.

The Leafs came out strong as they drew an early penalty as they were on the attack. On that powerplay Darcy Tucker potted his 23th off a beautiful pass from Kyle Wellwood. Toronto looked to go into the intermission with the lead, but with Andrew Raycroft screened, Jochen Hecht scored to tie it up. The Leafs didn't get down as they came out of the break with intensity. 1st, Darcy Tucker scored his 2nd of the game to give the Leafs the lead, and then Carlo Colaiacovo scored to give Toronto a 2 goal lead. The Leafs went into the 2nd period break with the shots 27-11 for the Leafs. In the 3rd the Leafs' Nik Antropov scored to give the Toronto a 3 goal lead. This time, the Leafs did not give up that lead as they got a crucial 2 points from this game. Toronto is now 11th in the Eastern Conference and just 2 points behind 8th place Carolina while the Sabres are 1st in the Eastern Conference and tied with Nashville for #1 in the league.

In Montreal's game, the Canadiens faced off against the Eastern Conference spoiler, the Washington Capitals.

The Caps come out good as Chris Clark scored his 29th just 5:53 into the game. But the Habs came back tieing the game up just 3:06 after Washington scored courtesy of Alex Kovalev. In the 2nd the Habs grabbed the leead as Kovalev scored his 2nd of the game. Then Montreal got a 2 goal lead when Tomas Plekanec scored for the Canadiens. The 2nd ended with Montreal up 3-1. In the 3rd, the Canadiens sealed it as Micheal Ryder scored his 25th of the season. Montreal has now won 6 of 10 and are 9th in the Eastern Conference. The Caps are 14th in the Conference and out of playoff contention.

In the final Eastern Canadian game of the night, the Ottawa Senators faced off against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Sens dominated this one from the get go.

The 1st goal of the game was scored
2:38 in by the Senators' Joe Corvo. Then the Lightning's Dan Boyle tied it up on the powerplay. But before the period could end Daniel Alfredsson scored his 27th to grab the lead. In the 2nd, Dan Boyle tied it up again, this time on 5-5. From then on the Sens dominated. Before the 3rd the Senators scored 2 from Dany Heatley and Christoph Schubert. In the 3rd Ottawa scored 3 goals to get a 5 goal lead. The Lightning could not come back from that as the Sens took this one 7-2. Ottawa is now 4th in the Eastern Conference and have clinched a playoff spot while the Lightning are 7th in the Conference.

In the final Canadian game of the night, the Edmonton Oilers faced the Nashville Predators in the Oilers last home game of the season.

The only goal of the 1st was scored by Nashville's Alexander Radulov. In the 2nd Shea Webber and Ryan Suter both scored to give the Preds the 3 goal lead. In the 3rd Nashville scored again from Vernon Fiddler. The Oilers have now lost 17 out of their last 19 and are out of playoff contention while Nashville is tied for 1st in the league in points.

Here are the rest of the scores:

NY Rangers 0 0 1 0 1 (2-3) 2
Boston 0 1 0 0 0 (1-3) 1

FINAL 1 2 3 T
NY Islanders 1 2 1 4
Philadelphia 1 2 0 3

FINAL 1 2 3 T
Atlanta 0 0 1 1
Pittsburgh 1 0 1 2

St Louis 2 0 0 0 1 (1-2) 3
Detroit 0 1 1 0 0 (0-3) 2

FINAL 1 2 3 T
San Jose 0 1 3 4
Carolina 3 1 2 6

New Jersey 0 2 1 0 1 (2-2) 4
Florida 1 1 1 0 0 (1-3) 3

FINAL 1 2 3 T
Los Angeles 0 0 1 1
Minnesota 2 0 2 4

Dallas 0 0 3 0 1 (1-7) 4
Phoenix 1 2 0 0 0 (0-7) 3