The 2007 playoffs got underway on Wednesday night with two Overtime matches that would test the resolve of the fans, a domination game from Ottawa and an as expected to close to almost call matchup up betwen the Ducks and Wild.
We look over some of the action and provide some statistical links for those looking for some detail to their television highlights..
QUADRUPLE OVERTIME THRILLER PUTS CANUCKS IN LEAD
Suddenly a best of seven series became a best of eight, as the Canucks and Stars battled it out for Four (almost five) overtime periods before Henrik Sedin netted the winning goal on a pass from brother Daniel at 18:06 of the fourth overtime period. Wednesday night’s marathon marked the longest overtime game in Canucks history the game provided a wild start to this year’s playoff run for both teams.
Vancouver at one point had a two goal lead midway through the third regulation time period, only to watch the Stars battle their way back to tie the game and send it off to overtime. The march of attrition continued on through one, two and three OT periods, taking two very tired squads into a fourth, which almost became a fifth.
Roberto Luongo faced 72 shots on the night, Marty Turco 67, a spectacular bit of goaltending that surely proves that both are big time goaltenders in the playoffs now.
It’s hard to say what this kind of a loss can do to a team like Dallas, but for Vancouver it’s got to be an instant lift and once they rest up and replenish it may be the launching pad to further success in the playoffs.
There will be no mandatory skate for either team on Thursday and most likely there probably was no need for a bed check last night either!
SENATORS CRASH OUT OF THE GATE TO RATTLE PENGUINS
The Nervous Nellies of Ottawa should take note, this years version of the Ottawa Senators is not be the same nervous squad of years gone by. The Senators took to the ice for game one of their best of seven series with Pittsburgh and from the opening puck drop were instantly in the face of the Pens. Flying down the ice, crashing into the boards and peppering Marc Andre Fleury with shots, the Senators took early control of the game and never really let the Pens off the ice.
It no doubt was a case of first night jitters for the Penguins, a youngish collection of players who are stepping onto the post season stage for the first time. For Ottawa it was an early stamp on these playoffs that they mean business and they’ll be ready to keep the pressure on for game number two.
SHARKS AVOID BECOMING THE PREY TO PREDATORS IN GAME ONE
The San Jose Sharks came close to letting one get away from them, but in the end the usual suspects responded to the call and secured a game one Double overtime victory. Nashville put themselves into trouble in the early going with a number of untimely penalty situations that gave the Sharks a fair amount of time to work on the power play. However, showing a strong sense of drive they battled their way back into the game, taking the game to the Sharks through the third period leading to the overtime excitement that brought game one to an end on Wednesday night.
DUCKS TAME THE WILD FOR A 1-0 LEAD IN SERIES
It was a game as advertised, hard hitting, low scoring and for Brian Burke a game that delivered the desired result. It wasn’t the most offensive of matches the shots on goal dictating a rather defensive oriented match, with some pretty good goaltending tossed in to keep things close.
The Wild’s Niklas Bakstrom offered up the best resistance to the Ducks that the Wild could hope for, the winning goal a contentious issue in his eyes as well as his coach’s.
In a series that shapes up to be this tight, one goal is always going to be the difference between advancement and golf season. The Ducks who have long been considered a favourite to come out of the West for the last few seasons, will take their goals any way they get them.
One goal means one win, which is one less win required to move on.