The Flyers and Rangers squared off at Madison Square Garden for an always-exciting rivalry first-round matchup. The stars of the game for the Rangers included Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis. Richards had one goal and two assists on the night, while St. Louis added two assists. Richards’ performance looms large due to his ‘healthy scratch’ from his final two playoff games last year. The Rangers scored two power-play goals during the 3rd period to break the 1-1 tie and that was all they would need. They went on to win 4-1 and take a one game lead in the series.
The second overtime game of the night was the matchup between the Wild and the Avalanche. The Avalanche, battling from behind the entire game, sent the game to overtime when Paul Stastny scored with only 13.4 seconds remaining in regulation on a rebound after a shot from defensemen Erik Johnson. The winning goal, which came at the 7:27 mark in overtime, came from a similar spot on the ice off of the assist from Nathan Mackinnon. Stastny again scored the goal and gave the Avalanche the one game series lead. Mackinnon assisted on three of the Avalanche’s five goals on the night.
The final game of the night had the Sharks hosting the Kings, in what ended up being a lopsided victory for the Sharks. Led by defensemen Marc-Edouard Vlasic and left wing James Sheppard, the Sharks went on to win 6-3. Vlasic had one goal and one assist on the night, while Sheppard added two assists. Six different Sharks’ scored on the night that included a period of five consecutive goals to give them a comfortable lead. King’s goaltender Jonathan Quick was removed after allowing five goals in two periods.
The Wild, Avalanche, Blackhawks, and Blues will all be back in action Saturday night for game two, while the Flyers, Rangers, Sharks and Kings will play again on Sunday.
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