Tag: Playoff Hockey

Commentary: Momentum Is On The Boston Bruins’ Side

Craig Smith’s game-winning goal on Wednesday provided the Boston Bruins with a 2-1 series lead against the Washington Capitals. (PHOTO COURTESY: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

By Matt Noonan

It’s hard to not think about round two of the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, especially after an exciting (and thrilling) 3-2 double-overtime win last night by the Boston Bruins.

Yes, they need to win two more games against the Washington Capitals before advancing further in the postseason, but Wednesday’s hard-fought victory has provided the Black and Gold with all the momentum heading into the fourth game of their opening-round series.

Game four is tomorrow evening at the TD Garden — it is a tremendous opportunity for the Bruins to position themselves for a series-clinching win on Sunday in Washington.

At times, it appeared as if the Bruins had nothing left in the tank last night — to be honest, I was worried that Nic Dowd‘s goal at 18:15 in the second period would wind up being the eventual game-winner, but somehow the Bruins found a way to even the score at 2-2 with a much-needed (and important) power-play goal by Brad Marchand in the third period before Craig Smith sealed the win in the second overtime period.

Smith’s goal will certainly provide the Bruins with a spark tomorrow evening — I wouldn’t be surprised if Friday’s outing results in a non-overtime win by the Black and Gold. Yet, the way this series has gone thus far, a one-goal victory should be expected.

Game four is an important one for both teams, but especially the Capitals — this is a must-win for the Red, White, and Blue. A loss to Boston would present a serious challenge for coach Peter Laviolette‘s squad as they would have to win games five, six, and seven to clinch the series.

Sure, Peter Laviolette has prior experience leading a team past Boston — does anyone remember 2010? — but I don’t think this Washington squad is equipped to win three-straight contests.

As expected, Boston Bruins playoff hockey has been fun, but also nerve-racking at the same time. Sometimes, I just wish most of their shots would sail into the Washington net, so we would not have to play overtime hockey. But after last night’s one-goal victory, I am thinking optimistically about tomorrow’s contest — in fact, I believe we’re going to win.

Let the countdown for Friday’s early evening affair commence — I hope the hometown fans are ready to do their part in helping the Bruins win their third-straight contest so we can possibly celebrate a series-clinching win late Sunday evening.

Great NHL Playoff OT Finishes (4/24 -4/25)

It was an incredibly exciting weekend in the NHL, as three very intriguing first round series finished their games in overtime and while these endings may make your heart race a tad bit faster than usual, all in all, it is safe to say that this is indeed playoff hockey! 

Boston 2 – Montreal 1: After watching a complete goaltenders duel for nearly four periods, Nathan Horton found a way to beat Carey Price for the game winner in double overtime on Saturday. Boston and Montreal will play their sixth game of the series on Tuesday and one has to wonder, can the Bruins, who have won three games in a row, win one more at the Belle Centre on Tuesday? 

Philadelphia 5 – Buffalo 4: With the chance to officially end Philadelphia’s chances of advancing further in the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, Buffalo could not contain Ville Leino, who pushed the puck passed Ryan Miller to force one more game in Pennsylvania on Tuesday. The series currently is tied, 3-3, so the winner will advance, while the loser will head home for the summer. 

Chicago 4 – Vancouver 3: The Canucks led the series, 3-0, but the last three games were completely different. Chicago may have stolen the momentum away from Vancouver on Sunday, as Ben Smith scored in overtime to force a game seven on Tuesday in Canada. If the Blackhawks win this particular series, they’ll become the fourth NHL team to come back and win a series after trailing, 3-0.