Fantasy Recap: Apr. 10
By CHRIS NICHOLS -- SLAM! Sports
Detroit 2 Nashville 1 (Detroit leads series 2-0)
The first goal was vintage Shanny; fighting off the check, dishing to Robert Lang and Lang gets the goal... Shanahan added an assist on a late third period power play goal, giving him his first two points of the series... Robert Lang's goal gives him three points in this series and he has looked downright awesome with scoring moves and great physical play... Ray Whitney was stopped on breakaway by Vokoun; one of many excellent saves from the Nashville goalie... Talk about paying the price for a goal in the playoffs: Orszagh plowed face-first into the post to get his marker and give the Preds a 1-1 tie that held up until the winning goal late in the third... speaking of which, it was a complete fluke that caromed off the boards and Vokoun's own momentum off making a save seconds earlier caused him to kick the puck into his own net... this series has been one of inches making the difference, so Detroit will really have to bear down to win in what will be a loud and tough building to play in as the series shifts to Nashville... Power play specialist defenseman Marek Zidlicky could return for Game Three, although unofficially he could be suffering from a concussion.
San Jose 3 St. Louis 1 (San Jose leads series 2-0)
Game Two can be summed up in one word: penalties... The Blues were called for 11 minors in the first two periods alone... Patrick Marleau scored his first points of the series by connected twice on the power play and then added a SHG, giving him goals in each period... Vincent Damphousse added two assists in this game and now has three points in the series... Evgeni Nabokov made 25 saves Saturday and has stopped 51 of 52 shots in the two games... Doug Weight's goal was the first and only STL goal in this series, but he ended a drought of 127 consecutive minutes the Sharks had shut them out...Scott Mellanby was back in the lineup for St. Louis Saturday, playing 12 minutes... Chris Pronger spent 12 minutes in the penalty box and was on the ice for just over 25 minutes total.
New York 3 Tampa Bay 0 (Series tied at 1)
Rick DiPietro stopped 22 shots for his first ever playoff shutout... DiPietro and Nik Khabibulin actually had a run in at the end of a period, with DiPietro "accidentally" bumping into Khabi as they both skated off the ice... The Isles big four D (Niinimaa, Hamrlik, Aucoin and Jonsson) ate up huge amounts of ice time again and this time it was Niinimaa providing the offense, collecting a power play goal and an assist on the ENG... Martin St. Louis has been shut out in this series, but DiPietro made a dandy save on him on a short-handed breakaway in the first period... Jason Blake scored two third period goals (One ENG) to seal the game for the Isles. Blake was returning from a sprained ankle.
Toronto 2 Ottawa 0 (Series tied at 1)
Ed Belfour was nothing short of spectacular in the second game of this series, stopping every shot that came his way... Gary Roberts scored twice after getting blanked in the opener and now has 79 points in 103 career playoff games... Mats Sundin was in on both goals from Roberts; his first points in the series (He had 3G, 2A vs. Ottawa in the regular season)... Darcy Tucker came back from an abdominal injury and was at his feisty best Saturday - his black eyes prove it.
Jason Spezza was a healthy scratch again... Daniel Alfredsson had four shots and was robbed by Belfour... Marian Hossa got clocked by Tie Domi early on and had no goals on three shots after scoring twice on five shots in Game One... Zdeno Chara has played around 23 minutes in each game and has yet to find the score sheet, although history tells us he tends to get more defensive in the post-season (Career totals are now 8 points in 30 playoff games)... Patrick Lalime made some great saves in this one and has stopped 39 of 43 shots in this series, easily erasing any doubts critics had coming into this series.
Philadelphia 3 New Jersey 2 (Philadelphia leads 2-0)
Philly has won both games of this series by a 3-2 score... Robert Esche has outperformed Martin Brodeur in this series and Esche has turned away 61 of 65 shots to come his way... At the end of the second game, the Devils were trying to take pot shots at Esche in the crease and get inside his head as the series shifts back to Jersey... Jeremy Roenick had two assists Saturday after scoring in the opener... Alex Zhamnov continues to impress, scoring once and adding a helper to give him three points in the series as well... Mark Recchi opened the scoring of this game on the power play, giving him his first point of the series... Rookie D Joni Pitkanen has played around 12 minutes in each game in place of the injured Eric Desjardins and he got an assist Saturday.
The Elias/ Gomez/ Gionta trio scored a quick and pretty goal to get the Devils close in the third period Saturday and each member of that line has two points in the series... Perhaps the best line for the Devils has been that of Langenbrunner/ Hrdina and Rasmussen, which connected for their second goal of the series in this game... Martin Brodeur was very pedestrian in stopping only 15 of 18 shots in this game, but look for a much stronger effort on Monday night.
In addition to analyzing fantasy hockey for us, Chris also writes a weekly column for ESPN's fantasy hockey section. He can also be found at Mckeenshockey.com, where his News & Notes section is featured seven days a week through the end of the playoffs.