OT Goals a Common Theme
(4/13/12) Thursday was an exciting night to be watching the fantasy hockey playoffs. Three of the four contests went to overtime and, if your league uses fantasy scoring, that means there were bonus points to be collected in the extra period.
First in Boston, with Michal Neuvirth still out, Braden Holtby started and played well. Unfortunately for him, so did last year's Conn Smythe winner Tim Thomas. The game remained tied 0-0 all the way into the first OT period, when Chris Kelly came streaking into the Capitals' zone and wired a classic playoff top-shelf slap shot winner.
In Phoenix, amidst the desert version of the White Out (does it still hurt Jets fans?), Jonathan Toews returned to action for the first time since February and had an immediate impact, scoring the game's first goal. He also added an assist on the tying goal late in the third period to send the game to OT. However, Martin Hanzal - in the absence of Radim Vrbata, who left the game with a UBI (head injury) - got the OT winner halfway through the first extra frame. Pyatt and Vermette also scored for the Coyotes.
In St. Louis, the Blues looked like the better team, but San Jose goalie Antti Niemi looked just as good as Jaroslav Halak, as the Sharks took the Game 1 road win in the second OT period on a goal by Martin Havlat. It was Havlat's second of the game. Patrick Berglund scored both goals for the Blues, Clowe with 2A, McDonald, Steen and Couture all with one helper.
In the fourth contest on Thursday, the Rangers put all of the talk that Ottawa might have their number to rest, easily handing the Sens a 4-1 defeat. Brad Richards, Ryan Callahan, Marian Gaborik and Brian Boyle all scored for NY. Anisimov (2A) and Hagelin (1A) also recorded points, while Daniel Alfredsson and Erik Kondra responded for the Sens. Turris and Foligno with one assist each.