The first day of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs is in the books and has featured at least one big upset. Although the San Jose Sharks do not kick off their first-round series against the St. Louis Blues until Thursday night, we can still take a look at the action that went down on Wednesday.
In the first of the three games played on Wednesday, the Philadelphia Flyers shocked the Pittsburgh Penguins by defeating them 4-3 in overtime to go take the opening game in the series. The Penguins scored three goals in the first period and looked to be on their way to a dominating win before being completely shut down for the remainder of the game, as Ilya Bryzgalov saved 25 of 28 shots on goal. Danny Briere scored two goals for the Flyers.
Next up was the Detroit Red Wings visiting the Nashville Predators. The Predators made a strong opening statement toward their detractors as they picked up a 3-2 victory. Goaltender Pekka Rinne was outstanding, saving 35 of 37 shots. The Predators took only 26 shots on goal but made the most of their opportunities, finding the net once in each of the three regulation periods. Gabriel Bourque had two goals for Nashville.
In the biggest upset of the evening, the No. 8 seed Los Angeles Kings defeated the No. 1 seed Vancouver Canucks by a final score of 4-2 at Rogers Arena. The teams matched one another goal for goal in the first two periods before Dustin Penner and Dustin Brown put in the go-ahead and insurance goals, respectively, in the final period. The first two goals for Los Angeles came on power plays and the Kings were uncharacteristically on the attack throughout, taking 39 shots on goal against just 26 by Vancouver.
The Kings victory may give the Sharks just a little bit more hope heading into their opener tomorrow against the Blues.
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