We had a little bit of everything today.
Some great goaltending, plenty of goals, and even said goodbye to another Stanley Cup hopefully.
Better luck next year Anaheim.
Here’s how today went:
Pittsburgh Penguins 5 – 0 Philadelphia Flyers
Penguins lead series 3-1
The Penguins made the Flyers netminders look like a couple of Midget AAA players tonight; scoring five goals on 28 shots.
Brian Elliott got the yank after allowing three goals on 17 shots. Michael Neuvirth came in but did not do much better letting another two goals on 13 attempts.
Pittsburgh had five different players score a goal tonight with Phil Kessel, Riley Sheehan, and Kris Letang getting their first of the postseason, Evgeni Malkin picked up his third, and Sidney Crosby scoring his fifth. After putting home his fifth of the playoffs, Crosby became Pittsburgh all-time leading playoff point getter in the playoffs passing Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux.
The two time defending Stanley Cup champions also had four players have multiple point games, and Dominik Simon, and Zach Aston-Reese both scored their first career Stanley Cup playoff point.
In goal for the Pens, Matt Murray made 26 stops for his second shutout of the series.
Philadelphia will have until Friday night to figure out where their offence and goaltending disappeared too.
Tampa Bay Lightning 3 – 1 New Jersey Devils
Lightning lead series 3-1
Despite being down 1-0 midway through the first after a Kyle Palmieri scored his first of the postseason, the Lightning fought back to take game four 3-1.
Nikita Kucherov and JT Miller both endured an excellent offensive evening with the two of them scoring three points apiece.
With four minutes to play in the first, Kucherov got himself in a bit of bother following a hit on New Jersey defenceman Sami Vatanen. Vatanen was injured as a result of the hit and was forced to miss the remainder of the game. The Lightning forward looked to make contact with Vatanen’s chest, but his head did jolt back. No penalty was called on the play. It’ll defiantly be interesting to see what the NHL has to say about the incident.
Let us know in the comment what your opinion on the hit was.
Between the pipes, both netminders play solid games for their clubs. Andrei Vasilevskiy picked him his third win of the series after stopping 26 of the 27 shots he faced.
At the other end of the ice, Cory Schneider started for the second consecutive game and put in another good outing for the Devils. He was hands down the busiest of the two goalies on the night facing 36 shots in total.
New Jersey will have to give him some goal support like in game three if they want to keep their Stanley Cup dreams alive.
Nashville Predators 3-2 Colorado Avalanche
(Predators lead series 3-1)
The Avalanche has not made it easy for the Nashville Predators by any means and that trend continued throughout game four.
Filip Forsberg made everybody’s jaw drop to the ground, once again, with another unbelievable goal to give his team a 1-0 lead in the first. Nashville continued to control the game offensively throughout the second adding another two from Colton Sissons, and Craig Smith.
It should also be noted that Colorado netminder, Justin Bernier left the game with the lower body injury, so Andrew Hammond started the third.
The third period was extremely entertaining with the Avs making a serious push to tie up the game.
First, Gabriel Landeskog got them on the board with a goal on a 5-on-3 powerplay. Tyson Jost did an excellent job at giving him the puck to tap into an empty net.
Then, Colorado pulled within one with just under 10 minutes to play. A Matt Nieto one-timer squeed its way through Pekka Rinne and was tapped in on the line by Alexander Kerfoot.
Unfortunately for Avs fans their team was not able to grab that third goal and will now face elimination on Friday in Nashville.
Anaheim Ducks 1 – 2 San Jose Sharks
(Sharks win series 4-0)
I am not sure what I am more shocked about, the Golden Knights sweeping the LA Kings or the Anaheim Ducks being swept by the San Jose Sharks. Either way, neither of those California teams are in the playoffs anymore.
In the only elimination game of the night, the Ducks put themselves in a hole early when Marcus Sorensen gave the Sharks the lead five minutes into the frame. Sorensen has indeed shown up for the Sharks in this series, after only scoring five goals in the regular season he already has third in the playoffs.
Anaheim thought they had tied the game at the start of the third after Rickard Rakell scored on the powerplay. However, a coaches challenge deemed that both Rakell and Corey Perry were offside, so the goal was disallowed.
A little bit later, the Ducks did infect tie up the game for real when Andrew Cogliano. Some good hard work from Jakob Silfverberg along the boards got the puck behind the net to Ryan Kesler. Kelser put the puck out front for Cogliano to finish.
The lead did not last long though. A shot from the point by Marc Edouard-Vlasic was tipped home by Tomas Hertl and ultimately seal the fate of the Anaheim Ducks.
Also, Martin Jones was also outstanding in this game making a number of top quality saves. He would finish up with 30 saves on the night,
San Jose will now meet the Las Vegas Golden Knights in the second round.