Hockey After Dark: Night 10, April 21st by @DXTraeger - PensInitiative | Pittsburgh Penguins Blog | Rumors | News

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Hockey After Dark: Night 10, April 21st by @DXTraeger

"...Where Insomnia Hits the Ice."
(Welcome to "Hockey After Dark," a late-night recap of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Topics will include scores, injuries, controversies, the Twitter-verse, and random jokes at the expense of the Philadelphia Flyers)
Overtime hockey is fantastic, because it's do or die.  I love that phrase: "Do or die."  Outside of playoff hockey, there are so precious few things that are literally "do or die."  A quick list off the cuff:
     -perfecting that secret agent accent
     -remembering your wedding anniversary
     -Mia Khalifa.  WAIT, that's "do AND die..."

---Boston Bruins defeat the Ottawa Senators 3-2 (OTT leads the Series, 3-2)---

Boston found itself down 2-0 after goals from Mark Stone the highly French-sounding "Jean-Gabriel Pageau," and were facing a seemingly unbeatable Craig Anderson (seriously, typing "unbeatable" and "Craig Anderson" consecutively took several years off of my life)...

"...but soft! what shooter through yonder window breaks?  It is David Pastrnak, and then Sean Kuraly as the (Ottawa) Sun!"

And then, in Double-OT, arise fair sun, as Kuraly netted his second goal of the game, thus extending the series to at least a Game 6.,

For both the analytic darlings the Boston Bruins, the win was mathematically predictable and number validation, as otherwise analysts would have been forced to look elsewhere.
Clearly not a goal, other than the puck being in the net n'at.

This game was particularly interesting because the officials couldn't get out of their own way, which is to say that NHL officials whose very job description includes "frame the narrative, no matter the cost" went above & beyond to use a judgement call to deny the Bruins what was otherwise obvious goal to everyone else in the first OT.

Sean Kuraly, the man with the game tying goal, would get get his ultimate revenge in the 2nd OT, burying his second of the night courtesy of David Backes & Charlie McAvoy.  Kuraly's goal kept the Bruins alive, and moved the series to a 3-2 breakdown with the Senators having two more shots to close out the Bruins.

---Washington Capitals defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 (WSH leads the series, 3-2)---

 For the first time in his career, Alexander Ovechkin had a severe injury scare.

The scare happened late in the first period when Toronto's Nazem Kadri went for a hip check on the Washington Captain, only for Ovechkin to move at the last second and go head-over-heel onto the ice.

"The Great 8" lay motionless on the ice for several moments before being helped off.

Given a power-play for the infraction (deemed a "trip"), the remaining Capitals would convert to put Washington up 1-0.

That lead would linger until prohibitive Calder Trophy candidate, Auston Matthews, found a loose puck in front of Holtby and buried the rebound to tie the game at 1-1.

The teams would then trade power-play opportunities (including 4 Toronto PP's at one point), only to have Mr. Clutch Himself, Justin Williams, beam a one-timer from behind the net to give Washington the win and the opportunity to eliminate the Maple Leafs in Game 6.

Ovechkin, who returned to the game in the 2nd period, appeared to be playing at or near the top of his abilities (which is to say he was back to charging & slashing opponents), played a spirited rest of the game, although he was shadowed throughout and wasn't able to contribute much.

This is why I have little sympathy for Ovechkin
Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock promised every employee at the Verizon Center (home of the Capitals) that he would see them again (intimating there would be a Game 7 in DC).

Only two games on the docket, and neither ended the way I would have preferred, so onward and upward to tomorrow's slate of games!  Go Go Game 7's for everyone!

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