Going into last night's games, all three series stood at 2-0. Two of the series for the higher seeded team and one for the lower.
And at the end of the night...
...one of those teams that was down 0-2 was pushed to the brink while the other two got back into their series.
Especially the Washington Capitals.
G3: Capitals 4, Rangers 0 (NYR leads 2-1)
It's one thing to lose the first two games of a series at home, go on the road, and eek out a win to 'get back' into the series.
What the Caps did last night not only got them back into the series, it has to give every blue shirt wearing Rangers fan concern that some of Washington's young guns are about to explode and possibly run New York out of these series in six games.
No, Alexander Ovechkin didn't score last night. In fact, he has yet to score a goal in this series.
But he helped setup two goals and Alexander Semin scored his first second and third goals of the series to put Washington up early, 2-0. They increased the lead in the 2nd to 3-0 when Semin found Brooks Laich to the side of the net. And when the Rangers did threaten to score, 20-year old Simeon Varlamov was there to shut the door.
For good measure, Tom Poti decided to take advantage of a beautiful setup by Nicklas "I'm not the Wild goaltender" Backstrom and rip his first goal of the series into the back of the net behind Henrik Lundqvist to finish the scoring with 1:25 left in the game, long after Sean Avery was essentially kicked out of the game for a 'oh, did I hit you Varlamov?' backhand.
The Islanders and Stars fan in me is so glad this guy is a Ranjerk so I can get my full on hate for him. Sure, there's a part of me that wanted his gig in Dallas to work out.
But don't tell anyone.
G3: Bruins 4, Canadiens 2 (BOS leads 3-0)
Yeah, this one's almost over. As is Bob Gainey's coaching career in Montreal.
Still, have the Habs some credit, I suppose, for hanging in this one until former Flame Chuck Kobasew put it away with an empty netter.
Boston has just overmatched them.
G3: Flames 4, Blackhawks 2 (CHI leads 2-1)
For the first five minutes, this one was a continuation of the end of Game 2 when Chicago erased an early 2-0 deficit with three second period goals en route to a 3-2 win.
Last night, they got an early power play and took all of nine seconds to cash in as Jonathan Towes fed Patrick Sharp for a wicked wrister over Mikka Kiprusoff to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead.
But Calgary struck back with a nice passing play of their own. Adrian Aucoin to Curtis "Glengarry" Glencross to Bobby Nystrom's son, Eric, at the 6:40 mark to tie the score. Granted, it was no "Tonelli to Nystrom!!". But it was a crucial goal that stopped Chicago dead in it's tracks and turned the game.
Play was tight and chippy after the Nystrom goal and Rene Borque broke the deadlock against his former team late in the second to give the Flames a 2-1 lead going into the third.
And unlike the first two games in the Windy City, there would be no comeback. David Moss made sure of it with goals at the 1:18 and 5:24 mark of the third period to blow the game open. Sure, Sharp responded with another beautiful pass over to Marty "Jesus" Havlat "Christ" to make it 4-2.
No really, they're selling T-shirts of Marty with the likeness of Jesus up in Chicago.
But after that point, it was all about sending messages for Wednesday night as both teams traded slashes, cross checks, and language too foul for even Pierre "the turle" McGuire.
On a side point, what purpose does that guy serve? Anytime he's situated between the boxes, we're supposed to get some kind of in-depth analysis you simply can't get from the broadcast booth. Instead, we get cliche after cliche from him.
It's enough for me to wish Rick Carlisle was in there mocking him everytime he said something like, "I can't believe the intensity down here, both teams really want it!"
Back on track, I think we can safely say the Flames really are back in it. Games 1 and 2 in Chicago were very much winnable for them as they had a third period lead Thursday and a 2-0 lead going into the second before letting each lead slip away.
Tonight, they buckled down defensively and held the potent Chicago offense to just one goal until Havlat's marker late in the third. Hence, I think we've discovered a key in this series.
Though, it's worth pointing out that Chicago was without Patrick Kane, who stayed back at the team hotel with the flu. He should be ready to go for Game Four.
The rest of us will be ready, too, Patrick.