This Week's NHL Recap

The race for the Stanley Cup started less than a week ago, but it's already insane, intense, and absolutely incredible. For those that have solely been focusing on their favorite team or haven't been focusing on the playoffs at all, let's recap.

Western Conference

Central Division

Colorado Avalanche vs. Minnesota Wild (Avalanche 2-0)

The Colorado Avalanche clinched the Central Division with 112 points and are currently facing fourth place Minnesota Wild. The two teams met on April 17th for a thrilling game one. It was a back-and-forth game until the the end of the second period, when the Minnesota Wild scored two goals to give themselves a two-goal lead. That wasn't the end of it though, as the Avalanche rallied back with two wrist shots in the third period from James McGinn and Paul Stastny.

Stastny didn't just tie the game with a mere 13.4 seconds left to bring the game to overtime; he ended the game in overtime as he scored the game-winner at the 7:27 mark.

Minnesota hoped to answer Avalanche's game one win, however, they fell short on Saturday night with a score of 4-2. Center Charlie Coyle of Minnesota Wild drove to the net early in the first period to give Wild the lead, but Colorado's thriving forwards could not be stopped by Minnesota.

The two teams will meet again on Monday, April 21st at 7 PM EST.

St. Louis Blues vs. Chicago Blackhawks (Blues 2-0)

The St. Louis Blues were just two points short of clinching the central division title from the Colorado Avalanche, but are now playing against the Chicago Blackhawks. What a nail-bitter game one was as the game entered triple-overtime. Game one was a back-and-forth affair in the first period, but the Blackhawks finally got the lead at the end of the second period. Forward Jaden Schwartz scored the game-tying goal with a backhand shot with less than two minutes left in regulation.

This was the first game in St.Louis history to extend into triple overtime, and thankfully, they won only 26 seconds into the third OT thanks to a wrist shot at the front of the net by forward Alexander Steen.

The two teams rejoined on Saturday afternoon for game two and it was another nail-biter, as the game went into overtime once again after the Chicago Blackhawks had the lead late in the contest. This time, the game ended six minutes into the first overtime; however the results were the same as the Blues stunned Corey Crawford and the Blackhawks with Barret Jackman's powerful slapshot.

Brent Seabrook of the Chicago Blackhawks has been suspended for three games because of interference and charging on Saturday on St. Louis Blues forward David Backes.

Game three will be on Monday, April 21st at 8:30 PM EST.

Pacific Division

Anaheim Ducks vs. Dallas Stars (Anaheim 2-0)

The Anaheim Ducks clinched the entire Western Conference with 116 points and are battling for round two of the playoffs against the Dallas Stars. Game one was last Wednesday and the Ducks prevailed by holding onto the four-goal lead that they set for themselves during the first and second period. The Stars tried to tie to game, but they lost in their first playoff game since 2008.

Game two was another close game as the Stars were only a goal short of tying the the game in the third quarter, but the Ducks once again held the Stars off. Corey Perry scored the third of the goal to give the Ducks their first lead of the game.

Game three is on Monday, April 21st at 9:30 PM EST.

San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings (Sharks 2-0)

It's a battle for the Cup in the state of California, but the Sharks started the game one off by scoring five consecutive goals before the third period even started to beat the Kings 6-3. The Kings showed themselves to be the sloppier team with turnovers, bad changes, and odd-man rushes.

The Kings seemed to have gotten themselves together since game, one as they were leading game two with two goals. Things changed in the second period though when Mike Brown of the Sharks scored a goal. By the end of the game, seven different Shark players scored in a span of less than 26 minutes.

The San Jose Sharks also set a franchise record for the number of goals (13) in a two-game span during the postseason.

The LA Kings hope to not fall into a three-game deficit on Tuesday, April 22nd at 10 PM EST.

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings (1-1)

The Boston Bruins clinched this season's Presidents Trophy by topping the league with their 117 points. The Detroit Red Wings made the playoffs by getting the second and final wild card spot. Do regular season standings really matter though? From game one, that did not seem to be the case as Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings scored an absolutely magnificent goal at the 16:59 mark of the third period. That would be the only goal of the game, and would give the Red Wings a lead in the series.

The Red Wings' luck caught up with them in game two on Sunday afternoon, as the Boston Bruins evened the series with a score of 4-1. The Bruins started the game with a two-goal lead, and then Luke Glendening had a tip-in goal to put the Red Wings on the board, but the Bruins held off the Red Wings while scoring an additional two goals.

Boston Bruins' foward Milan Lucic has been fined $5,000 for spearing defenseman Danny DeKeyser of the Detroit Red Wings during game one despite the fact that no penalty was given on the play.

The two teams will meet on Tuesday, April 22nd at 7:30 PM EST.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montréal Canadiens (Canadiens 3-0)

All the other playoff games have been intense, and game one for these two teams was no different. The entire game was a back-and-forth battle to see who could take the first lead of the game. However, the game went into overtime before any of that could be decided. The winner was decided though, as Dale Weise of the Canadiens scored the game winner with top-shelf one-timer.

The Canadiens were said to be the underdogs of this series, but they are definitely trying their hardest to prove everyone wrong, and so far, they're succeeding. The team took a commanding four-goal lead in game two and held the Lightning off for the majority of the game. Casey Price's shutout didn't happen though, as Teddy Purcell scored a goal at the 18:01 mark of the third period.

In game three, the Canadiens were showing no indication that they were slowing down, as they are now only one game away from moving on to round two of the playoffs. It was a tie game 'til the second period when the Canadiens took the lead. Matthew Carle of the Lightning scored a goal in the third period in hopes of tying the game, but the Lightning fell 3-2.

Game four is on Tuesday, April 22nd at 7 PM EST.

Metropolitan Division

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (1-1)

The Pittsburgh Penguins clinched the metropolitan division with 109 points. In game one though, they seemed as though they would be the losing team when they went down two goals in the second period. However, Beau Bennett and Matt Niskanen scored two power play goals in the second period to tie the game. Brandon Sutter was the Pittsburgh Penguins' hero as he scored the game-winning goal at the 8:08 mark of the third period.

Game two was basically the opposite of game one. The Penguins had the lead and Blue Jackets were down two goals, but they came back to tie the game. The game, however, didn't end in the third period and instead went into double overtime. Matt Calvert of the Blue Jackets ended the game a minute into double overtime to tie the series at a game a piece.

Next game is on Monday, April 21st at 7 PM EST.

New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers (1-1)

The New York Rangers easily won game one with a score of 4-1. The Flyers opened the scoring of the game, but the Rangers scored four consecutive goals to get a series lead.

For game two, it seemed that the Rangers were going to win again when they started the game off with two goals. However, Flyers forward Jakub Voracek gave the team momentum to win the game when he put the Flyers of the board with a goal late in the first period. From that point on, the Flyers were the only ones scoring goals in the game. They evened the series with a game two score of 4-2.

Game three will be on Tuesday, April 22nd at 8 PM EST.

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