Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Daily Sniper: Two Down, Six to Go

Last year I wrote the Daily Sniper each day, which covered all the games from the night before. It took up all too much time and wasn't really that fun. But because it's playoff time and there are uber games to keep up with, I'm going to give it another shot. Hopefully this goes better than Van Wilder 2... It might be semi-daily, but it'll be around for a bit.

NY Rangers vs. New Jersey, Game Five (NYR 5, NJD 3), Rangers win series, 4-1

Somewhere, Jon Bon Jovi weeps.

The New Jersey Devils did not close out the Prudential Center how they would have liked last night. Instead of a conference of Stanley Cup championship, they became the second team eliminated from the playoffs. The Rangers stormed out to a 3-1 lead after one period in this game and never looked back.

Five different Rangers scored and arguably the most important Ranger had a heck of a night. Jaromir Jagr had a goal and an assist, giving him seven points in his last three games and eight in the series. Sean Avery and Marty Brodeur's never ending saga continued, but I'll have more on that later today.

Now the Rangers will have a few days to sit back and watch the rest of the action in the Eastern Conference. If the other series finish up as they are right now, with Montreal and Philadelphia leading, the Rangers will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round.

Detroit vs. Nashville, Game Five (DET 2, NSH 1 OT), Detroit leads series, 3-2

I apologize to you in a public forum and this is what you do with it?

Last night the Red Wings and Predators decided to play over-time, but they almost didn't need it. The game headed into the extra session tied at one, and fans hunkered down to prepare for what could be a long night. Nashville netminder Dan Ellis stood on his head, having recorded 52 saves up to that point. But one more goal by Detroit and the herculean effort would be for nothing.

One minutes and 48 seconds later, that would be the case. Johan Franzen scored to give the Red Wings the win and a lead in the series. But the real story is Ellis' effort. Ellis will become a UFA this summer, picking the best possible time to shine. He has a .937 save percentage in the series and averages 37 saves per game. Those are some sick nasty numbers, folks.

Anaheim Ducks vs. Dallas Stars, Game Five (ANA 5, DAL 2), Dallas leads series, 3-2


The Ducks sure didn't stop believing, extending their season for at least one more night. They earned a victory in a must-win game on home ice. There's no better way to please the fans. Well, there are, but this is probably acceptable for now. In this Western Conference matchup, much like the last, a goalie carried his team to victory. JS Giguere stopped 40 pucks for the Ducks, allowing only two to get by him while four different Ducks put a puck past Marty Turco (Todd Marchant scored on an empty net, you see).

Anaheim faces another do or die in Game Six, which will be in Dallas on Sunday night. The Stars need to wrap this series up Sunday, otherwise the series would move back to Anaheim for Game Seven. That's the last thing you could want if you're the Stars.

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