Playoff game recaps, injury updates and more in today’s collection of notable NHL headlines.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE/STLTODAY.COM: A couple of coach’s challenges helped the Chicago Blackhawks to a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues to tie their best-of seven series at a game apiece. A third-period goal by Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko that would’ve broken a 1-1 tied was overturned by a challenge from Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville when it was determined Tarasenko’s teammate Jori Lehtera was offside. Soon afterward, Andrew Shaw’s go-ahead goal for the Blackhawks (left) survived a goalie interference challenge by Blues bench boss Ken Hitchcock.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The lengthy period it took to review both plays came under criticism by some analysts. While video review isn’t perfect and there is room for improvement, it’s better that they take their time to get it right (especially in the playoffs) than to just give each play a cursory look and get it wrong.
THE TAMPA TRIBUNE/DETROIT FREE PRESS: Tampa Bay Lightning center Tyler Johnson had a two-goal, four-point night to lead his club to a 5-2 victory over the struggling Detroit Red Wings, giving the Bolts a 2-0 series lead. This game was a chippy affair and the Wings frustration boiled over into an ugly late-game brawl, with Lightning winger Mike Blunden left bloodied after being repeatedly punched by Wings forward Justin Abdelkader.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings had three power-play opportunities in the second half of the second period and one early in the third where they could’ve seized control of this game but could only cash in on one of them. The Bolts made them pay with three unanswered goals in the third.
SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Roberto Luongo made 41 saves and Reilly Smith tallied a goal and an assist to give the Florida Panthers a 3-1 win over the New York Islanders, knotting their series at a game apiece.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After looking shaky in Game One, Luongo had a strong bounce-back performance in this one.
YAHOO SPORTS: A fluke goal by Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg gave his club a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks and a 1-0 lead in their best-of seven series. Forsberg also knocked Ducks defenseman Josh Manson out of the game with an upper-body injury following a hard open-ice hit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators speed was a factor in this game, giving the Ducks’ defense fits in this one.
NEW YORK POST: Rangers starting goalie Henrik Lundqvist was proclaimed fit for practice yesterday after suffering an eye injury that knocked him out of his club’s series opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He remains a game-day decision for Game Two.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’ll find out this afternoon if Lundqvist plays, but I have a feeling he’ll be in goal for the Rangers.
PHILLY.COM: Flyers center Sean Couturier will be sidelined for the next two weeks with a shoulder injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a significant loss for the Flyers, robbing them of their best defensive forward in their series with the Washington Capitals.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: As the Minnesota Wild shake up their roster for Game Two of their opening-round series against the Dallas Stars, starting goalie Devan Dubnyk missed practice yesterday. Coach John Torchetti claimed his absence had nothing to do with taking a Jason Spezza shot off his mask in Game One.
LA PRESSE: Former Montreal Canadiens defenseman Francis Bouillon claims he’s received no offers to join the club in a front-office role.