Just an incredible day of hockey today.
1. Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators: in his second NHL post-season game ever, Antti Niemi scored his first playoff shutout, as the Hawks won 2-0. It wasn't the prettiest game - Nashville certainly missed two or three chances when the net was pretty open - but the Hawks came and played the full 60 minutes, rocked the D, worked hard in offense, and brought the game heavily to Predators goalie Pekka Rinne. In fact, if fellow Finnish rookie goalie Rinne hadn't been equally - if not more so - smokin' in the net, the Hawks could've made this one more like 5-0 or 6-0. Even cooler fact? Niemi scored the first shutout for a Blackhawks team since Eddie Belfour did so way back in '96. Series now tied at 1-1.
(ps. Caps fans? Watch this video to see how to properly do "Chelsea Dagger")
2. Colorado Avalanche vs. San Jose Sharks (OT): Craig Anderson has been white-hot all year and into the playoffs. Tonight, he blocked fifty - 50! - shots on goal, versus the Sharks goalie only needing to turn aside 16. When the game rolled into overtime, you've got to feel a little bit bad for the Sharks, who managed to knock in the winning goal - into their own net. But if anybody ever deserved a shutout, then Anderson certainly did tonight - and got it. Colorado now leads, 2-1.
3. Phoenix Coyotes vs. Detroit Red Wings: No doubt the Detroit Red Wings were confident they'd take their first home game in this series, but Phoenix continues to show just how they earned their spot in the playoffs, and they took a 4-2 win in Hockeytown to lead the series 2-1.
4. Philadelphia Flyers vs. NJ Devils (OT): I didn't catch any of this game, so I have no commentary, but the Flyers - who barely got into the playoffs - won 3-2 in overtime to lead this series 2-1.