The first round of the Stanley Cup 2015 round of 16 were played this week and below are the results. We note that five of the eight games ended with away victories.
Montreal 4-3 Ottawa
The first battle of Eastern Canada took place in Bell Centre, Montreal – the cathedral of hockey. The home team struggled behind with one goal after the first period before they awakened in the second: The middle period ended 4-2 to Montreal which led to a total victory of 4-3 after a scoreless third.
Nashville 3-4 (ot) Chicago
This might have been the best game of the first round. Nashville got a great start scoring three straight goals in the first period. However, the 2010 and 2013 Stanley Cup champions showed why they are such a good playoff team and tied the game in the third period after an early goal by Swedish Simon Hjalmarsson. The game went to overtime. In the second overtime period Duncan Keith scored the decisive goal for Chicago.
Vancouver 1-2 Calgary
The second all canadian matchup in the round of 16. Vancouver got the go ahead goal in the second period but couldn’t hold on to the lead. Swedish goalkeeper Eddie Läck had to resign twice in the third period, Calgary scoring the leading 1-2 goal with only 30 seconds left. The Sedin twins have to come up to normal standard and start producing points in the play offs unless they want to play in the World Championships for Sweden instead of the Stanley Cup playoffs this year. The twins were a big reason to Sweden’s gold at home in the 2013 World Championships.
Washington 1-4 New York Islanders
New York Islanders hasn’t been a common sight in the playoffs in the modern era of hockey. This year they got the best thinkable start, beating Washington with four goals to one. Washington have played good in the NHL series the last few years but failed in the play offs. The line up with Nicklas Bäckström and Alexander Ovetjkin have to produce in important games or at least get some help by the other lines.Brook Nelson had a good night, scoring two goals for the Islanders.
Tampa Bay 2-3 Detroit
The rookie goalie from Czech Republic, Petr Mrazek was the decisive factor in this game. Many had predicted that Tampas offensive force would break the Red Wings, but Mrazek saved 44 shots this night. Detroit got out-shoot by 30 (!) shots but scored one more goal than their opponents. Pavel Datsyuk scored two goals. Unlike Washington, Detroit’s stars delivers when the team needs it the most.
St Louis 2-3 Minnesota
A showdown between two heavy-weight teams. The game was intense with lots of hard hits and physical play. Minnesota had a two goal lead after two periods of play. St Louis reduced the lead twice in the third period but the away team scored two open net goals.
New York Rangers 2-1 Pittsburgh
Derick Brassard scored the first goal of the game after 28 seconds, giving the home team the lead in Madison Square Garden. After the first period Rangers were in a 2-0 lead. Pittsburgh woke up and started playing better in the second period, scoring a goal at Henrik Lundqvist who did 25 saves in total. However, the Penguins didn’t come any closer than that and Rangers have a 1-0 lead in this series.
Anaheim 4-2 Winnipeg
Winnipeg is the fifth of the Canadian teams reaching this years round of 16 and the only team that isn’t playing another Canadian team. Anaheim was a couple of numbers to strong for Winnipeg though. In the third period they scored 3 straight goals and turned the score from 1-2 to 4-2. Corey Perry had a good night with two goals scored.