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NHL Playoffs: First Round Update

April 23, 2014

There is one winner and one almost certain winner in the first round of the NHL playoffs as of now.

The Montreal Canadiens won (4-3) in game four at home to sweep the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Canadiens are the only one of the seven NHL teams from Canada to qualify for this year’s playoffs.

Game 4 was a “nail-biter” tied (3-3) in the last minute of regulation time until Max Pacioretty scored to essentially wrap up the series for Montreal. Pacioretty plays for the Canadiens and also was a member of the 2014 United States Olympic hockey team. Quite a story.

Meanwhile the San Jose Sharks also won (4-3) and lead the Los Angeles Kings 3 games to none in their first round series. Last year the Sharks failed to win in all four games at Los Angeles and hence lost in 7 games in their quarterfinal series vs the Kings.

Patrick Marleau was the hero for the Sharks scoring in overtime to win game three. It is the fourth career, playoff overtime goal for Marleau.

The six other NHL series stand at two games to one. In the Eastern Conference, three higher ranked teams the Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers won game three on the road to take the series lead.

Their respective opponents are the Detroit Red Wings, Columbus Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers.

In the Western Conference, despite game three road losses, the Anaheim Ducks, Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues enjoy two games to one series leads.

Their respective opponents are the Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild and defending Stanley Cup champion, Chicago Blackhawks.

Max Pacioretty

Max Pacioretty

 

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