The Stanley Cup Playoffs, like the NBA playoffs, drag on for what feels like an eternity-spanning April, May and June. If every day shakes out the way yesterday did, however, then it might be worth it. Four games were played and three went to overtime. Four series had the chance to go 2-0 and all four series are now tied 1-1. Three of the four wins were for the road team.
The Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins actually went to double-overtime before Nicklas Backstrom beat Tim Thomas less than three minutes in to the second overtime session.
With the goalie pulled in a frenzied final minute of regulation in Phoenix, Chicago finally scored with 5.5 seconds left. The final push, with about 30 seconds left on the clock, operated in slow motion. The puck, bodies, sticks—whatever—were flying all over and after what felt like at least 29 seconds, there was still 20 seconds to go. 14.5 seconds later, Patrick Sharp redirected a Brent Seabrook shot for the equalizer and, unlike Game 1, Chicago would go on to win in overtime.
St. Louis tied its series with the San Jose Sharks in yesterday's snoozer—a 3-0 affair. The game was not without its own moments, though. St. Louis weathered a goalie change due injury when a teammate barreled in to Jaroslav Halak, shots were bouncing of the posts left and right, and a brawl erupted after the final horn sounded. In all, the teams amassed 132 minutes in penalties, 88 of which were on 15 penalties at the end of the game.
The Rangers and Senators also went to overtime—barely. The Rangers had been in control of most of the game, one in which the referees tried to set a tone early by kicking out the Rangers Brandon Dubinsky and Ottawa's Matt Carkner with game misconducts, only to let the same one-sided "physicality" prevail all game (including a Carl Hagelin elbow to Daniel Alfredsson's head). Things settled down and Ottawa tied the game with less than five minutes to go in regulation. They would win it almost immediately in the extra period.
Yesterday had it all. A home team win to tie the series, with some fireworks at the end. A double overtime nail biter ending in a road victory and series equalizer. A crazy-intense slug fest, tied late and won in overtime by a team seeking justice for Game 1. And finally, an absolute thriller in the last seconds of regulation to force the day's third overtime game and level the fourth series of the day at 1-1.
Good luck, today.