MLHS Morning Mashup: Underdog Performances


It was another exciting night on the ice yesterday, with both games being decided in extra minutes. The Sabres lit up the Flyers’ Brian Boucher in the first period with three unanswered goals scored by Tyler Ennis, Thomas Vanek and Marc Andre Gragnani, forcing the Flyers to switch to their third goalie of the series in Michael Leighton. The Flyers mounted an impressive comeback to even the score at three late in the third, but the speedy Ennis wrapped up the game for Buffalo with his second of the contest and third point of the playoffs. It’s safe to say that most people wouldn’t have projected Buffalo to have a 3-2 series lead, with an opportunity to close out the series at home for game six. It’s not over but the Flyers continue to receive the painful reminder that playoff success hinges on strong, timely goaltending.

Despite the loss, the Ducks grabbed all the attention from last night’s game after Bobby Ryan scored an outstanding goal by undressing a stickless David Legwand (x2) and beating Pekka Rinne up high on the back hand. Ryan’s goal is, without question, a strong goal of the year candidate. He could not be able to pull that off nine times out of 10. Jerred Smithson scored the overtime winner for Nashville to lift them to a 3-2 series lead. It was the Predators first victory in a game five in franchise history and the first time that the team has won a playoff game in overtime.

Links after the jump.

Leafs Links:

Of Quality Starts and Stuff

Steve Burtch at PPP looks at a goaltenders’ play based on number of starts.

Playoff Links:

Sabres push Flyers to brink

Sabres take 3-2 series lead heading back to Buffalo.

Predators rally past Ducks

Jerred Smithson nets OT winner for Nashville.

Friday’s Three Stars: Ennis, Smithson winners; Sabres, Preds up 3-2

Friday’s three stars courtesy of Puck Daddy.

Crosby takes on coaching role for Penguins in playoffs

Crosby offers his teammates a few tips as he continues to rehab from a concussion.

Bruins’ Andrew Ference hit with four-figure fine for ‘unintentional’ finger

Ference fined a maximum fine of $2,500 for his obsene gesture to the fans in attendance at the Bell Centre.

Your Say:

Can the Predators pull off the upset over the Ducks and advance to the second round? Was Bobby Ryan’s goal last night the best of the season? Will the Canucks silence their demons and close out the series against Chicago tonight?