Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Danger Averted

Rangers celebrate after a goal: The Journal News | Getty Images
Red Wings celebrate Brunner's OT winner: Tanya Moutaliaz | M Live
Los Angeles skates with the puck en route to 4-3 victory: AP

For  three teams, a victory on Monday keeps them from the brink of elimination.  For two of these three teams, a victory evens the series and ensures it will go at least 6 games.  The other team was trying to prevent an 0-3 hole.

That team was the Rangers, who needed the energy of playing in front of the Madison Square Garden crowd to help them find the back of the net, which was a real issue in the first two games.  After scoring the 4th from Derek Stepan, the Rangers needed every ounce of the crowd's cheer to help them through the final 1:54 of the game, which they had to face shorthanded, plus the pulled Branden Holtby made a 6-on-4 situation for the Capitals.  When the final horn sounded, the Caps had failed to find the back of the net, and the Rangers would prevail 4-3 to cut the Caps series lead to 2-1.

The Red Wings needed a Pavel Datsyuk shot that hit the water bottle and bounced out of the net to tie their game against the Anaheim Ducks.  Datsyuk's goal came right after a review was needed to verify that a previous Red Wing shot didn't cross the goal line.  The goal tied the game 2-2, and brought overtime.  After some good Anaheim chances, Gustav Nyquist was able to dance around Anaheim defenders on a pass, and was able to fling it towards Jonas Hiller.  He was able to block the first shot, but the rebound ended up right on Damien Brunner, who was able to shoot it into a mostly-open net for the game-winner that evened their series at 2 games a piece.

Over in Los Angeles, the Kings rebounded from an early 2-0 deficit to tie the game heading into the 1st intermission.  After T.J. Oshie regained the lead for the Blues in the 2nd Period, the Kings used back-to-back goals in 76 seconds span to take a 4-3 lead, which they were able to hold onto for the win.  Anze Kopitar scored the first of those two goals, and Justin Williams netted the game-winning goal at 8:30 in the 3rd Period.

In the other game in the NHL last night, the Boston Bruins took a 2-1 lead over the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first game that Toronto has hosted in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2004.  The Bruins won 5-2.


The game of the night tonight has to be the Montreal Canadiens at the Ottawa Senators.  After Sunday's game left the benches bare and players ejected left and right, it'll be interesting to see what hostilities remain.  But for the Montreal Canadiens, there's the extra pressure of keeping the series under control, and even though Game 5 is in Montreal, the Canadiens don't want to give the Senators the possibility of clinching the series on their ice.  They'd rather do the opposite and clinch in Game 6 at Ottawa.  

For both of these storylines, the first 10 minutes will be most critical.  Who will make the first move?  Will the Canadiens immediately start with their fists or will they try to gather some goals first?  Will Ottawa use the home crowd to its advantage?  TV Coverage: 7:00, CNBC

In addition to this, the Islanders need to extend their series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, who with a win tonight will have the possibility of clinching the series on home ice in Game 5.  (TV Coverage: 7:00, NBC Sports Network, MSG+)  Chicago is looking to take a 3-1 series lead back to home ice against the Minnesota Wild tonight (TV Coverage: 9:30, NBC Sports Network), and the San Jose Sharks can be the first team admitted to the 2nd Round if they can sweep the Vancouver Canucks on home ice. (TV Coverage: 10:00, CNBC)

Matt Harvey was among the attended crowd at Madison Square Garden on Monday, and will be at Citi Field tonight as he pitches against the Chicago White Sox.  The White Sox come to town after rallying to beat the Kansas City Royals 2-1 in 11 innings, blowing a save chance from Greg Holland.  The two game series against the Chicago White Sox will be a first for the White Sox, as they have never played a game against the Mets in Queens.  The last time these two teams met was in July, 2002, when the White Sox won two of the three games in that series.

The Mets will look to rebound from its loss to the Braves on Sunday, blowing a chance to earn a rare sweep in Atlanta.  The White Sox have had a tough season of their own, and will look to Hector Santiago tonight.  Santiago struck out 6 en route to a 3-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on May 2nd, pitching 5 1/3rds.  Radio Coverage: 6:30PM, 1230 FOX Sports R adio

Is it really a surprise that the Chicago Bulls defeated the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals?  After all the Bulls were the team responsible for ending the Heat's long 27 game win streak.  Then the Bulls brought an end to the Knicks win streak, at 13 games.   Nate Robinson scored 27 points and dished it 9 times for the Bulls, and Jimmy Butler added 21 points.  The NBA's MVP, Lebron James, scored 24 points, assisting 7 times and gathering 8 rebounds.  But James did not earn a lot of support from the rest of the Heat, as Dwayne Wade was the only other player in double-figures, scoring 14.

Emanuel Ginobili's three with 1.2 seconds left in the 2nd overtime gave the San Antonio Spurs the 129-127 victory over the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of their Western Conference Semifinals.  Tony Parker scored 28 for the Spurs, and Tim Duncan and Gary Neal both had double-doubles.  Stephen Curry scored 44 for the Warriors, and led all players with just under 58 minutes of on-court time.

Tonight - Chicago White Sox at New York Mets - 7:10PM, 1230 FOX Sports Radio
Tomorrow - Chicago White Sox at New York Mets - 7:10 PM, 1230 FOX Sports Radio

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