April 12, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith (41) covers the puck as defenseman Rostislav Klesla (16) and center Antoine Vermette (50) defend and Chicago Blackhawks left wing Bryan Bickell (29) and center Andrew Shaw (65) attack during the second period in game one of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals at Jobing.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE
Game of the Night: #3 Phoenix Coyotes at #6 Chicago Blackhawks, Game 3, 9:00 Eastern, CNBC and TSN
This series has forced my hand. Chicago and Phoenix split the first two in Glendale, in unexpectedly dramatic fashion. The Coyotes went into the final minute of each game up a goal, or as Coach Q has come to think of it, "right where we want 'em." The Hawks would go on to score in 17 seconds left in Game 1 to force overtime, where Phoenix would eventually net the game winner. Since that resulted in a loss they decided "why not wait a bit" in Game 2, and it paid off: a goal with 5.5 seconds left forced more overtime, which would eventually be decided in Chicago's favor.
I'll definitely be watching this one to see if it goes into last-minute overtime again. Also Second City Hockey kinda has started to think of me, Professor Oak, and andidee as good luck. That GDT was like a Blackhawks MHH that moves faster. Seriously.
The Series That Isn't A Game Behind Anymore: #3 Florida Panthers at #6 New Jersey Devils, Game 3, 7:00 Eastern, NHL Network and TSN
No lie, I've paid negative attention to this one. The games in Florida were split 1-1, with the Devils taking Game 1 and the Panthers striking back for Game 2. The series goes to Newark tonight and stuff. Judging by the stats on NHL.com, New Jersey's special teams might be a bit of a story as it has been abysmal: 12.5% on the power play and 57.1% on the penalty kill.
F the redwings: #4 Nashville Predators at #5 detroit red wings Presented By Amway, Game 4, 7:30 Eastern, NBC Sports and CBC
Nashville went into the Joe this weekend for a matinee, or A Game Just Before Bed Time if you're the age of the red wings, and came away winners. Sergei Kostitsyn would be credited with the game winner of a game I barely caught the end of because it friggin started at noon Eastern who does that in the playoffs come on NBC! Some of the animosity generated by Shea Weber's WWE audition seems to have calmed down, and the Preds lead the series 2-1. A Nashville win puts a chokehold on the series; a detroit win gives us a best-of-three to move on to the next round.