Game Three. Chicago leads the series 2-0. Tonight the series moves East to Philadelphia's Wachovia Center. I will have updates of each period during each intermission. Great Plays, Hits, Goals, and maybe a little violence.
Enjoy Period One:
Scott Hartnell wants to hurt someone. He spends the first period hitting anything and everything. 2 minutes in, Darrel POW! with a spin-o-rama attempt, nice save by Niemi. Jeff Carter draws the attention of the Chicago D with a few extra whacks at Niemi. Philly is applying the pressure. 5:00 in, Point shot by Claude Giroux doesn't make it thru. The game is speeding up; Chicago is feeling good, using their speed & skill. Philly tries their best to run with the Hawks, before the game settles back to the normal grinding Playoff pace.
Chicago's Dave Boland charges the Philly net and gets a blocker+goalie stick to the face for his efforts. Jonathan Toews with a solid take out hit behind the net, finishing the forecheck. Marian Hossa hits Danny Briere, 11:00 in, and disposseses the ex-Sabre. Hossa also later has a nice run thru the center of the Philly D for a PP shot on net. Karma finds Scott Hartnell as he is struck with the puck by his own D-Man. PING! South Buffalo's Patrick Kane goes Postal as he crashes the net on a play he created, back up at the blue line. Kane's 6 game scoreless streak continues.
Penalty on Marian Hossa for slashing. I have to stop & question slashing calls where the victim's stick breaks. Those sticks break all the time. Let 'em play. Philly works it around nicely on the PP. Carter, Richards, Briere, Pronger, plus someone who makes a lot less $ are out on the PP. Briere impresses me. I can tell he wants to score. He's not going to pass unless necessary. He relishes being the man to score that important goal. He takes a nice slapper from the high slot; SAVE Niemi, puck stays in the zone. Hartnell is in the crease, falling down & no-look behind the back pass across the crease to a waiting Briere, who uses his putter for the Gimme tap-in. 1-0 Philly. The Crowd goes wild, and they don't turn off the goal horn until 5 minutes later.
Daniel Carcillo gets a penalty for charging. Also questionable in a physical game such as this one. I haven't seen the replay, but that's a subjective call. Chicago has great chances including Toews taking a Kane pass & walking in from the low face off circle and trying to stuff it home. Leighton is up to the task. Some rough stuff around the net. Cooler heads prevail. ...until...
Patrick Kane & Byfuglien start a fight at period end. Kane & Richards are exchanging pleasantries and face washes, while Byfuglien is harrassing Kimmo Timmonen. Byfuglien is seemingly assessed the only penalty. The ref told him to let go of Timmonen's head and He did not let go.
Nice, exciting period of hockey. More Philly's style. Pretty wide open for a playoff game. Philly needs to tighten it up or Chicago is going to capitalize on thses chances. They're just too good. I predict either Kane or Toews will score in Period 2.
Period 2: Philadelphia gets after it on the PP, but has no luck. Mike Richards fails to capitalize on two golden opportunities. Chicago feels the momentum change & rides the wave to a Duncan Keith one-timer. The goal was assisted by Patrick Kane and deflected into the net by PHI's Jeff Carter. 1-1 GAME.
Blair Betts with a wrap around attempt. SAVE Niemi. Penalty to Pronger: High Stick. Braydon Coburn works over Kopecky in front of the Philly net. Patrick Kane with some fancy moves on the PP. No luck on the PP for Chicago. Jeff Carter turns it over to Kris Versteeg leading to a breakaway. Versteeg tries a pass to Kopecky that fails to connect. Brian Campbell is feeling the pain as he is hit several times including a big one by Braydon Coburn.
Byfuglien battling with Pronger in front. Pronger gives him the cross check in the back. Byfuglien lays the lumber on Pronger and composite material shatters everywhere. DB points at Pronger and says, why am I getting a penalty, 'He started it!'. He started it doesn't work in 1st grade OR the NHL Playoffs. Lots of traffic in front of Niemi. Niemi making nice saves. GOAL!, wait NO GOAL, wait? let's check upstairs. Bill McCreary takes his sweet time putting his bucket back on and then declares it a GOAL. Pronger shot, Hartnell tip. Danny Briere ends up in the net. 2-1 Philly. Roll back the clock a few minutes since they first declared it no goal and played a few extra minutes before they could decide that it was a goal.
Carcillo gives it away at his own blue line. Too far for Kane to reach; Pronger beats him to the puck & Kane trips him into the boards. No call. Pronger uses his free NO CALL card on the next play as he gets away with an obvious trip. Byfuglien, Toews crash the net and have a nice scrum on a Leighton save.
Laperriere takes a run at Duncan Keith. Keith ducks the hit & gives Laperriere a face wash. Scott Hartnell has more hair than a Buffalo. He takes a penalty while beating up Thomas Kopecky in front of the net on a scrum. Chicago gets good pressure but no shots on the PP.
Face off in the Philly Zone. Football announcer, John Madden wins it cleanly back to Brent Sopel who fires a low hard shot to the far post that sneaks thru. 2-2 GAME. Crowd is silent.
Good period for both teams. Philly is maintaining their physical dominance. Chicago is starting to show their superior talent. Period three should be a good one. My prediction was wrong, Toews or Kane did not score, but Chicago's 3rd superstar, Duncan Keith did score.
Some OT perhaps gentleman?
Period Three: Patrick Kane lights the lamp for Chicago. I was out moving my car so I missed it. I'm sure it was a beautiful goal. 3-2 Chicago. Twenty seconds later, Philly capitalizes on a mix-up in the CHI D zone as the puck deflects to Ville Leino, who bangs it home for the 3-3 tie.
Mike Richards with a nice puck carry & a ripper from high slot that is gloved by Niemi. (5:00 in). Jeff Carter drives to the net a minute later and is stuffed b Niemi on a backhand attempt. Who wants a cheesesteak? It's ALL Philly in Period three so far! Pronger unleashes a blast that's gobbled up by Antti. Philly has really picked up the shooting, to increase their odds of getting a nice rebound.
Chris Pronger blasts Patrick Kane into the end boards as they both skate for the puck. Kane loses his bucket and skates around Craig MacTavish style for his shift. Marian Hossa with a good D play, coming back & lifting the stick on Briere to deny #48 a scoring opportunity. Kimmo Timmonen carries the puck behind the net and has a nice turn around shot that is denied by the Chicago goalie. Flyers still applying the pressure, half way thru period.
Hjalmarsson, D-Man for Chicago's stick breaks and Briere gets a golden chance. He is stuffed by Niemi who makes another game saving stop. Powe runs over Brent Sopel at the blue line with a nice hit. Kris Versteeg carries the puck into the zone for Chicago and does a nice job of stalling right inside the blue line as his teammates change & join the party. Chicago enjoys their longest offensive zone pressure for the 3rd period as a result of Versteegs patience.
Nobody scores any more goals. If RJ were here he'd say...
"And we're going to OOOOOOOOVVVVVEEEERRRRRTIIIIMMEEEEE!"
Six minutes into OT, after one disallowed goal, Philly leaves no doubt. Matt Carle, takes a point shot that is nicely tipped thru Antti Niemi and into the net. Assist to Daniel Briere & Carle. Claude Giroux has more goals in the playoffs(9) than Patrick Kane(8). GAME OVER
Series 2-1 Chicago. Game 4, Friday night at 8pm, Philadelphia, PA