The 2012 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs continued on Friday night. While the San Jose Sharks were busy basking in the glow of their upset win over the St. Louis Blues and enjoying an off day, there was a full slate of exciting hockey, including a couple more games where the underdogs emerged victorious.
The evening's first game pitted the New Jersey Devils against the hometown Florida Panthers. The Panthers were hoping to make a statement and prove they belonged in the postseason, but the Devils netted three first-period goals that proved to be the difference. Although the Panthers scored a pair of goals in the second period, they would get no closer and suffered the 3-2 loss to drop the series opener.
In the next game, the Pittsburgh Penguins hosted the Philadelphia Flyers in a hectic shootout. The Flyers ultimately shocked the Penguins and prevailed by a final score of 8-5. Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux both racked up hat tricks for the Flyers in the game as Philadelphia now leads the series 2-0.
The game between the Nashville Predators and the Detroit Red Wings was significantly more sedate. The Red Wings picked up the 3-2 win to even up the series at one win apiece. Detroit took just 17 shots on goal but made them count.
In the final game of the night, the Los Angeles Kings once again shocked the No. 1 seed Vancouver Canucks by a final score of 4-2. Dustin Brown racked up a hat trick and became the first Kings player in history to score two shorthanded goals in a playoff game. Tempers boiled over in this one as the Canucks are visibly frustrated the Kings keep getting the best of them.
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