No. 1 Washington vs. No. 8 New York Rangers
(Capitals lead series 1-0)
Wednesday: Capitals 2, Rangers 1 (OT)
Alex Ovechkin finally cracked Henrik Lundqvist’s armor to tie the game with 6:16 remaining in the third period and Alexander Semin regained his postseason scoring touch against the Rangers with a rifled one-timer into the upper left corner late in overtime to claim Game 1 for the Capitals.
Quote of the night: “Well, I was stuck on the bench, my laces was stuck. I tried jumping and I was stuck.” — Alex Ovechkin on his reaction to Alexander Semin’s overtime goal.
Game 2: Friday at Verizon Center, 7:30 (Comcast SportsNet, Versus)
- Video: Caps reflect on ‘baptism by fire’ in Game 1
- Tracee Hamilton on Michal Neuvirth’s promising postseason debut
- Insider: Mike Green plays well in first game back
- Check out the full photo gallery from Game 1
- Our interactive shot chart shows just how difficult it was to put the puck past either goalie Wednesday night.
- Paul Farhi of The Washington Post Magazine on Matt Hendricks finding his role with the Capitals
- The New York Times reports if Game 1 was any indication, this series will be short on goals, long on grit and evenly matched.
- From the New York Post: The Rangers played their game in Game 1, but they need more time in the Caps’ zone to bounce back Friday.
- Semin’s first playoff tally since the 2009 Rangers series is a bad sign for New York fans.
- A team loaded with playoff neophytes learned its first postseason lesson Wednesday, according to the New York Daily News.
Keep reading for a roundup of the rest of Wednesday’s playoff action...
No. 2 Philadelphia vs. No. 7 Buffalo
Game 1: Tonight at Philadelphia, 7:30
- Daily News columnist Sam Donnellon expects the boos to rain down on the Flyers if they continue their recent stretch of poor play.
No. 3 Boston vs. No. 6 Montreal
Game 1: Tonight at Boston, 7 (Versus)
No. 4 Pittsburgh vs. No. 5 Tampa Bay
(Penguins lead series 1-0)
Wednesday: Penguins 3, Lightning 0
Alex Kovalev and Arron Asham scored third-period goals 18 seconds apart and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 32 shots to notch his fifth career postseason shutout and help Pittsburgh blank the Lightning in their first-round opener.
Game 2: Friday at Pittsburgh
- From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazettte: Fleury’s big night propels Pens
- Age is not on Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson’s side in a netminder battle with the young and agile Marc-Andre Fleury, writes Post-Gazette columnist Gene Collier.
- The Lightning spent too much time in the penalty box - nearly 10 minutes in all - to compete with the Pens down the stretch (Tampa Tribune)
No. 1 Vancouver vs. No. 8 Chicago
(Canucks lead series 1-0)
Wednesday: Canucks 2, Blackhawks 0
Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen tallied in the first period to provide Roberto Luongo (32 saves) all the support he would need as the top-seeded Canucks took the first step toward knocking off the defending Stanley Cup champions — and the team that ousted them from the playoffs each of the last two seasons.
Game 2: Friday at Vancouver, 10 (Versus)
- Vancouver Sun: The 2011 Blackhawks lack the rugged nature of last year’s champions and the physical Cancuks took full advantage.
- More from the Sun: Vancouver got the butterflies out of the way early and answered a few of the many questions they face this postseason.
- Each of the last two seasons the Blackhawks dropped Game 1 to the Canucks and won the series, but the Chicago Tribune’s Steve Rosenbloom questions their ability to repeat the feat.
No. 2 San Jose vs. No. 7 Los Angeles
Game 1: Tonight at San Jose, 10 (Versus)
A year after Chicago’s Antti Niemi stymied their attack in the Western Conference final, the Sharks begin their 2011 playoff pursuit with Niemi in their net.
No. 3 Detroit vs. No. 6 Phoenix
(Red Wings lead series 1-0)
Wednesday: Red Wings 4, Coyotes 2
Despite scoring an early opener, Phoenix failed to take advantage of four first-period power plays and the Red Wings made them pay with a three-goal outburst in the second period. Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen scored midway through the second and Jimmy Howard made 26 saves as Detroit began its 20th consecutive playoff campgain - the longest active streak in North America’s four major leagues - with a victory.
Game 2: Saturday at Detroit, 1
- The Red Wings always seem to blossom when spring rolls around, writes Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Album.
- Bertuzzi’s fight earns fan approval at Joe Louis Arena (Detroit Free Press)
No. 4 Anaheim vs. No. 5 Nashville
(Predators lead series 1-0)
Wednesday: Predators 4, Ducks 1
Mike Fisher had two goals and an assist, Pekka Rinne made 27 saves, and Nashville clamped down defensively on the high-flying Ducks to take Game 1 in Anaheim.
- Predators netminder Pekka Rinne is proving his worth as one of the top goalies in the game, which spells bad news for Anaheim, writes Orange County Register columnist Mark Whicker
- The Nashville media is flocking to Anaheim to follow the hometown Predators, according to On The Forecheck.