It was an interesting turn of events in Chicago – to say the least – prior to Game 6 of Vancouver’s match up with the Blackhawks. With all eyes directed towards the goaltending situation, the answer to the question as to whether or not Roberto Luongo would start was revealed when backup goalie Cory Schneider was the first Canuck to take to the ice. After taking the majority of shots in the warmup while Luongo casually leaned against the boards, it became clear that Alain Vigneault and staff were taking a big risk in not standing by their million dollar man.
The experiment didn’t last long. Luongo came in after Schneider appeared to have injured his right leg from overextension on an attempt to stop Blackhawk forward Michael Frolik’s tying penalty shot goal in the third period of last night’s game. A backhand shot in tight over the right pad of curiously positioned Luongo by Chicago rookie Ben Smith then lifted the Hawks to a thrilling 4-3 OT win. The Hawks became only the third team to force a game 7 after being down 3-to-0 in a series.
The most frustrating part of last night’s loss for the Canucks is that they played remarkably better than the previous two games in which they were outscored by a 12-2 mark. If the Blackhawks manage to pull this off, the status of the future of President’s Trophy winners, most notably in net and that of Roberto Luongo, will be in serious doubt. It’s tough to call into question the core of a team that’s such a regular season juggernaut, but if the Canucks can’t get it done when it matters with this group this year (with a 3-0 lead in this series to boot), when can they?
Earlier in the day, the Nashville Predators earned a 4-2 victory over Anaheim and advanced to the second round for the first time in franchise history. David Legwand, the first ever draft selection by the Predators, scored an empty net goal to seal the deal and reward their loyal fans with their first playoff series victory. Who would of thought the Preds would be the third team to secure a berth in the semi-finals behind only Detroit and Washington?
Links after the jump.
After going up 3-0 in series, the Canucks have lost three straight and virtually all momentum as they prepare for Game 7.
They started with Leighton but the goaltending rodeo in Philly continued. In spite of it they have forced a game 7. Ville Leino netted game winner and Boucher stopped 24 of 25 shots in relief.
Nashville wins its first playoff series in franchise history and becomes third team to secure a berth in the second round of the post season.
Greg Wyshynski recaps the Predators 4-2 win yesterday.
A look at all of the overtime goal scorers during the playoffs thus far.
Matt Barr at Puck Daddy measures several goaltenders’ regular season performance in contrast to their playoff output.
The young forward regrets his decision to make fun of Marchand on Twitter. Karma is a bitch.
Last Night in Leafs Prospects:
Brad Ross assisted on Ryan Johansen’s game winner at 7:38 of the second period in Portland’s 2-1 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. The assist gives Ross four goals and two assists in nine post season games for the Winterhawks. Game three of the series gets underway on Wednesday in Spokane.
Owen Sound can take a commanding 3-to-1 series lead tonight as they visit Kenny Ryan and the Windsor Spitfires. Jesse Blacker looks to extend his point streak to three games after a two-point performance at home on Saturday.
Did the Canucks make a mistake in starting Cory Schneider instead of Roberto Luongo? The question of all questions: Who starts Game 7 now? Can the Nashville Predators ride their success from the first round or are they not deep enough to make it to the final four? Will the Penguins and Sharks close out each of their series’ tonight against Tampa Bay and Los Angeles?