The second day of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs on Thursday was a stacked card of action, featuring three of the four games going to overtime as the first round competition was furious and exceeded all expectations in terms of drama and excitement.
You all know what happened in the game between the San Jose Sharks and the St. Louis Blues, of course. Martin Havlat scored two goals en route to a 3-2 double-overtime Sharks victory and the 1-0 lead in the series. That story's old news by now. Let's move on to the other results.
In the first game on the docket and the only straightforward game on Thursday, the New York Rangers went up 1-0 in their opening series with a 4-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators. The Sens netted two goals in the final 10:00 of regulation, but the damage had already been done by then. All six goals in this game were scored by different skaters. And although there were plenty of penalties in the game -- including a pair of misconduct penalties in the third period -- none of the goals were scored on a power play.
The next game was the opener between the Boston Bruins and the Wahsington Capitals. Neither team was willing to give an inch and the game went to overtime in a scoreless tie. The Caps took just 17 shots on goal in the game, against 30 by the Bruins, 29 of which were saved by Braden Holtby. At 1:18 of the first overtime period, Chris Kelly finally snuck one past Holtby to give the Bruins the 1-0 OT win.
The final game of the night was the third to require extra periods. The Chicago Blackhawks are the favorites to win their opening series against their host team, the higher-seeded Phoenix Coyotes. The 'Yotes proved they were up to the task on Thursday night, however. Phoenix took a 2-1 lead in the second period and held onto that lead until Brent Seabrook of the Blackhawks scored the tying goal with just 15 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime. At 9:29 of OT, Martin Hanzal found the net to give the Coyotes the 3-2 win and start the series in the win column.
Friday will feature another four games, including the first game in the series between the New Jersey Devils and the Florida Panthers.
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