Tuesday night was an off night for the San Jose Sharks and their first-round opponents the St. Louis Blues, but there was plenty of Stanley Cup playoff action to go around. Following Tuesday night's slate of three postseason games, some underdogs are beginning to make their presence felt.
In the first game of the night, the Florida Panthers took a two games to one lead over the New Jersey Devils after defeating the Devils on their home ice by a final score of 4-3. The Devils scored all three of their goals in the opening 6:16 of the game. After the third goal the Panthers immediately pulled starting goalie Jose Theodore an inserted Scott Clemmensen. The result was 19 saves and no goals allowed by Clemmensen the rest of the way, as the Panthers countered with two first-period goals of their own and added another pair of goals in the second before holding on for the win.
In Motown, the Nashville Predators won on the road and went up 3-1 in their series, pushing the Detroit Red Wings to the brink of elimination in a surprising 3-1 win. The game remained scoreless heading into the third period. To that point, the Predators had only managed 10 shots on goal, compared to 28 by the Red Wings. The Predators opened the scoring at 1:55 in the third period, but the Red Wings would tie things up 80 seconds later on a power play goal. Nashville would pile on two more goals in the period, making the most of just seven shots on goal in the third period. Predators goalie Pekka Rinne was outstanding, saving 40 of 41 Detroit shots.
The final game of the evening was another in which the underdogs made a statement. The Phoenix Coyotes defeated the Chicago Blackhawks on the road in overtime by a final score of 3-2. Phoenix now leads that series 2-1. The Blackhawks took a 1-0 lead into the third period, but the Coyotes tied things up. Chicago again took the lead at 8:49, but 30 seconds later Phoenix had knotted it up again and held on to force an overtime. Mikkel Boedker netted the winning goal at 13:15 in the first overtime period.
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