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Posted at 09:24 AM ET, 04/15/2011

NHL playoffs: Thursday roundup

No. 2 Philadelphia vs. No. 7 Buffalo
(Sabres leads series 1-0)

Thursday: Sabres 1, Flyers 0
Ryan Miller displayed the form that made him a household name during the 2010 Olympics, stopping everything the Flyers sent his way and Patrick Kaleta scored the only goal of the night to lift the Sabres in a battle of two teams heading in opposite directions. Ten points out of the final playoff spot on Jan. 10, Buffalo is now one of the hottest teams in the league, while Philadelphia has now lost nine of its last 12 dating back to a March 22 home loss to the Capitals. But the Flyers are no strangers to rallying from a series deficit - they trailed Boston 3-0 in the Eastern Conference semifinals last season before winning four straight to reach the Stanley Cup Finals.

Game 2: Saturday at Philadelphia, 5
Ryan Miller posted 35 saves in his second career shutout to lift the Sabres in Game 1 in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) (Matt Slocum - AP)

- Read the full game story here

- Box score

- From the Buffalo News: Sabres grind one out on Kaleta’s rebound goal

- In Philadelphia, Daily News columnist Rich Hofmann says it’s time for the worrying to begin

No. 3 Boston vs. No. 6 Montreal
(Canadiens lead series 1-0)

Thursday: Canadiens 2, Bruins 0
Brian Gionta scored twice for the visiting Habs and after riding the bench during his team’s 2010 postseason run, goalie Carey Price made 31 saves to keep a clean sheet and give Montreal a 1-0 lead after Game 1. Price, who started just one of the Canadiens’ 19 playoff contests a year ago, started 70 games this season and Thursday used his big frame and a lack of traffic in front of the net to hold Boston without a goal.

Game 2: Saturday at Boston, 7

Quote of the night: “We were out for nearly two hours and we found only one guy with a Habs jersey. I remember when we here in 2008 and there were Habs jerseys all over the place. We saw one other guy in a Montreal jersey, but he was the guy they were using for a dunk tank in the parking lot outside the arena. He was this skinny, pathetic-looking guy and he would be chanting ‘Ole, ole, ole’ until someone dunked him.”CTV reporter Brian Wilde on the dearth of Canadiens fans outside Boston’s TD Garden Thursday night

- Read the full game story here

- Box score

- From the Montreal Gazette: Once again, a sterling goaltending performance carries the Canadiens to victory

- Also from the Gazette: Scott Gomez promised to step up his play in the postseason and Thursday he did just that

- From the Boston Globe: Bruins stumble out of the gates against Montreal

Keep reading for more recaps and playoff news from around the league...

No. 2 San Jose vs. No. 7 Los Angeles
(Sharks lead series 1-0)

Thursday: Sharks 3, Kings 2 (OT)
A year after netting eight goals in San Jose’s first nine postseason games, Joe Pavelski proved he still has a knack for scoring huge goals in the playoffs with the overtime game-winner in a riveting first-round matchup full of momentum swings. Dustin Brown and Jordan Williams scored and Jonathan Quick was dazzling at times, making 42 saves, as the Kings dominated to start the extra period but could not put the puck past last season’s Stanley Cup winning netminder, Antti Niemi (33 saves). Dany Heatley and Logan Couture also scored and Ryane Clowe had three assists for the Sharks, who had lost five of their previous six series openers. The Kings have won just one playoff series since going to the Stanley Cup final with Wayne Gretzky in 1993.

Game 2: Saturday at San Jose, 10
Joe Pavelski (right) celebrates after scoring the winning goal in overtime against the Los Angeles Kings. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) (Thearon W. Henderson - GETTY IMAGES)

- Read the full game story here

- Box score

- As usual, Pavelski comes up big for the Sharks, writes San Jose Mercury News columnist Mark Purdy

- More from Mercury News columnist Gary Peterson, who believes the Sharks were fortunate to get out of Game 1 with a victory

- From the Los Angeles Times: Kings’ determination is outdone by Sharks’ depth in overtime

EASTERN CONFERENCE

No. 1 Washington vs. No. 8 New York Rangers
(Capitals lead series 1-0)

Game 1: Capitals 2, Rangers 1 (OT)

Game 2: Tonight at Verizon Center, 7:30 (Comcast SportsNet, Versus)

- Read Dan Steinberg’s front-page story on the anxiousness of Caps fans hoping this is the year their team finally makes a Cup run

- Tarik El-Bashir writes about ultra-talented Alexander Semin and whether the mercurial winger is ready to make his mark in the postseason

- Chat with Dan and Tarik live at 1 p.m. today

- Caps beat reporter Katie Carerra will also be chatting live at 2 p.m.

- On the Insider: The Caps blocked 32 shots in Game 1, showing a newfound willingness to do the dirty work required to win in the playoffs

- D.C. Sports Bog: Game 1 was the second-most watched Capitals game in the history of Comcast SportsNet

- From the New York Times: The Rangers have turned to Marc Staal to shutout down the Great Eight

No. 4 Pittsburgh vs. No. 5 Tampa Bay
(Penguins lead series 1-0)

Game 1: Penguins 3, Lightning 0

Game 2: Tonight at Pittsburgh, 7

- From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Brainy coaches, Bylsma, Boucher, go toe to toe in Penguins-Lightning series

- After losing three teeth in Game 1, plucky St. Louis eager to bring bite back to Lightning’s offense

- Alexei Kovalev is earning his keep, writes Post-Gazette columnist Ron Cook

WESTERN CONFERENCE

No. 1 Vancouver vs. No. 8 Blackhawks
(Canucks lead series 1-0)

Game 1: Canucks 2, Blackhawks 0

Game 2: Tonight at Vancouver, 10 (Versus)

- The defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks have to make life more difficult for Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo to break out in Game 2

- From the Vancouver Sun: Following another strong Game 1 performance, the Canucks must shake their Game 2 jinx

- The Chicago Sun Times breaks down what the Blackhawks must do to get even in the series

- Also from the Times: Blackhawks rookie goalie Corey Crawford got his crash course in playoff hockey in Game 1

No. 3 Detroit vs. No. 6 Phoenix
(Red Wings lead series 1-0)

Game 1: Red Wings 4, Coyotes 2

Game 2: Saturday at Detroit, 1

- Phoenix hoping for a split in Hockeytown

- From the Detroit Free Press: Henrik Zetterberg skates, but he’s still on the shelf for the Red Wings

- More from the Free Press: Shot-blocking in front of the net key for goalie Jimmy Howard in Game 1

No. 4 Anaheim vs. No. 5 Nashville
(Predators lead series 1-0)

Game 1: Predators 4, Ducks 1

Game 2: Friday at Anaheim, 10:30

- Ducks vow to get even in Game 2

- From the Orange County Register: At 6-5, Predators goalie Peka Rinne has imposing size, but right now he’s sitting comfortably inside the heads of the Ducks offense

- From the Tennessean: Winning on the road is no surprise for Nashville

By Washington Post Sports Editors  |  09:24 AM ET, 04/15/2011

 
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