What another great night in the Stanley Cup playoffs!
Going into Friday nights game between thte Penguins and Flyers, I had a feeling that as soon as I put on my Marc-Andre Fleury jersey, I was somehow going to curse the team. It happened the other night when I wore my Rick Nash jersey, although I think the Detroit Red Wings had more to do with that than me, but I digress.
The Flyers came into this game playing hard from the start. Not they way they played in game one. Their coach John Stevens told them that they needed to come out and play smart hockey and avoid dumb penalties. It worked for most of the game but when Claude Giroux took a slashing call to put Pittsburgh on a two man advantage, I knew the was just about over. Sure enough, Bill Guerin scored his only OT game winning goal in his seventeen year so far. This was also only the second time EVER, according to the Elias Sports Bureau that a game ended on a two man advantage.
Carolina played game two the way I expect them to play the rest of the series. Lots of energy, controlling the play and winning all the little battles along the boards. When they do this, they are going to get the fortunate bounces they got on Friday night, inlcuding the one that ended the game just a couple minutes into OT.
It was great night for Canes' defenseman Tim Gleason as he scored his first goal of the playoffs, which also happened to be his first goal of the season, He couldn't have picked a better time to score it either. His goal at 2:40 of the first overtime deflected off Devils' player Niclas Havelid's skate and past Marty Brodeur in a night where the Hurricanes' were not going to be denied.
For the Vancouver Canucks, all Roberto Luongo had to do was, well just be himself. And that is exactly what he did as he stopped all 30 shots St. Louis threw at him on Friday to post his first playoff shutout. The Canucks now have a 2-0 series lead over the Blues.
Many of Luongo's saves last night were of the highlight variety. I sat in awe as the game unfolded and he just kept stopping the puck. Each save almost more brilliant than the one before. I thought, "How the #$%^ did he stop that?!" on more than a couple of occasions, but he did. And that is why I feel that if the Canucks go anywhere in the playoffs, it is going to be on the back of Roberto Luongo.