The Morning After: My 3 stars from last night: 1. Evgeni Malkin (1 goal, 1 assist) ‘Geno was the best player on the ice; aside from 2 points, had 6 shots and was dominant with his puck possession. 2. Marc-Andre Fleury (23 saves) Fleury was everywhere, and made a lot of big saves throughout the game. 3. Philippe Boucher (1 goal, 1 assist) The 7th defenseman in the lineup came up with 2 huge points for the Pens. Unsung hero of the night: Miroslav Satan… He scored a big goal in the 1st, and was active in his limited ice-time. ‘RLD Game-Changing Performance’ of the night: Cam Ward… Down 2-0, Ward made an awesome glove save on Bill Guerin to keep Carolina in the game. If the puck goes in, the Pens might roll to a 4 or 5-1 victory. But minutes after Ward’s save, Chad LaRose scored to cut Pittsburgh’s lead in half (2-1). I know Carolina lost, but this save by Ward kept his team in it and the game interesting. --- Game of the Night: 4) Chicago Blackhawks @ 2) Detroit Red Wings Game 2, 7:30 ET… TV: VERSUS, TSN, Local Networks
Players to watch: CHI- Patrick Kane ‘Kaner’ had zero shots and was a -3 in Game 1; that can’t happen again tonight. DET- Johan Franzen How much more dominant can he get??
Starting Goaltenders: CHI- Nikolai Khabibulin (Playoff stats: 8-5, 2.86 GAA) DET- Chris Osgood (Playoff stats: 9-3, 2.06 GAA)
Game Thoughts: Detroit pulled away from the ‘Hawks late in Game 1, and ended up winning 5-2. I expect this one to be much closer. Khabibulin should have a better performance… same with the top 2 lines. We’re still waiting for Datsyuk to break out of his slump. You almost wonder now that he’s losing confidence or getting frustrated. Chicago will be desperate, but Detroit might be too much yet again.
Our podcast 'RLD Hockey Talk' is LIVE every Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 ET/Noon CT. Some of our notable guests in past episodes have been Dustin Brown, Doc Emrick, John Buccigross, Dave Strader, E.J. Hradek, Elliotte Friedman and Jay Grossman.