The Stanley Cup Conference Semifinals got underway last night with the #1 VS. #5 Matchup in the Western Conference as the Sharks used a 3 goal 1st period as Joe Pavelski, Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi all scored in a minute and a half to give the Sharks a 3-0 lead and were looking to blow out the Red Wings to open the series after the bad start they got off to against Detroit.
However just a minute later saw Dan Cleary made it 3-1 as the Red Wings were able to turnaround the momentum and Jimmy Howard calmed down after the bad start to keep the game in check.
The 2nd period as they were just 13 shots on goal total in the 2nd period as the penalties started to come down (3 for SJ, 5 for DET). Despite all the PP Time the Sharks had in the 2nd, it was the Red Wings early on with a great set up from Datsyuk on his wrist shot to give the close the gap to 3-2 and the Red Wings had hope again of a comeback.
The opening minute of the 3rd period saw Pavelski and Rafalski score in the first 3 minutes to make it 4-3. The Sharks were looking to put it away late, but a 5 save performance from Evgeni Nabokov helped the Sharks win Game 1 and take the series lead.
San Jose has won 5-in-a-row after losing the first 2 games of the playoffs, the Sharks are looking to get the playoff monkey off their backs that have hampered them the last few years, also to avoid the fate that doomed the top 3 teams in the East as Washington, Buffalo & New Jersey are out of the playoffs.
2 games in the AHL Playoffs as the North Division Final got underway in Hamilton, Ontario as the Heat continued their momentum after coming back from 3-1 down to beat Rochester as Van Der Gulik and Baldwin each scored midway through the game to go up 2-1. Hamilton reacted quickly to make it 2-1. Brett Sutter scored to make 3-1 Heat to stun the Bulldogs and win the opening game. Brock Trotter scored his 4th of the playoffs with less then a minute left, but it was to little to late for the Bulldogs to force OT.
Hershey is zooming in the playoffs as they are the first team to clinch a Conference Spot as the Bears not only ended the Albany River Rats season, but they team as the River Rats will be moving to Charlotte, North Carolina next season to be closer to their NHL Affiliate in the Carolina Hurricanes.
It was another very close game in Barrie as the Spitfires are halfway through to defending the OHL Championship after winning their 2nd straight one goal game. After going into the 2nd intermission up 3-2, it was a couple of unsung hero's as Scott Timmins scored to make it 4-2.
However, the Barrie Colts found lighting in a bottle as Taylor Carnevale made it 4-3. But that's as close it would come as Dale Mitchell scored just a minute later to make it 5-3 to give the Spitfires the gap needed to go up 2-0 in the Championship Series.
It's a huge night as the WHL, QMJHL & USHL all begin their championship Series' tonight while the Surprising Canadians will open up in Pittsburgh against the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins. While the Texas Stars & Chicago Wolves will open up the West Division Final in Chicago.
NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
Detroit Red Wings 3 San Jose Sharks 4 (1-3, 1-0, 1-1)
San Jose Leads Series 1-0, Game 2 is on Sunday Afternoon
AHL Calder Cup Playoffs
Hershey Bears 5 Albany River Rats 4 (OT) (1-2, 1-1, 2-1, 1-0)
Hershey Wins Series 4-0, The Hershey Bears advance to the Eastern Conference Final and will play either the Worcester Sharks VS. Manchester Monarchs
Hershey VS. Albany Game Story: http://theahl.com/perreault-s-ot-goal-sends-bears-to-sweep-p142435
Abbotsford Heat 3 Hamilton Bulldogs 2 (0-0, 2-1, 1-1)
The Heat Leads Series 1-0, Game 2 is on Sunday
Abbotsford VS. Hamilton Game Story: http://theahl.com/heat-stay-hot-take-game-1-from-dogs-p142438
CHL Presidents Cup Playoffs
No Games on Thursday Night. Game 4 will be Tonight in Allen.
Major Junior Memorial Cup Playoffs
Western Hockey League
The League Championship Series begins Tonight in Calgary, Alberta between the Calgary Hitmen VS. Tri-City Americans
Ontario Hockey League
Look for the Game 2 Game Story between Windsor VS. Barrie
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
The League Championship Series Begins Tonight between the St. John Seadogs VS. Moncton Wildcats in St. John, New Brunswick.
U.S.A. Junior Scores
USHL Clark Cup Playoffs
The League Championship Begins tonight as the Green Bay Gamblers will play the Fargo Force in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
NAHL Robertson Cup Playoffs
The NAHL Robertson Cup Championship Tournament will begin on May 4 as the Bismarck Bobcats will play the St. Louis Bandits and the Traverse City North Stars will take on the Tournament Host Wenatchee Wild.
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