Kevin Paul and Stacey Kilpatrick continue to talk playoff hockey at The Wife Hates Sports, with the most recent chatter highlighting some of the most recent matchups, plus links and stories around the world of hockey.

KIL-ZONE – Stacey Kilpatrick Recaps Bruins-Canadiens

Tim Thomas – the man who notched the best save percentage in an NHL season since the 1982-‘83 campaign – had an impressive Monday night in Montreal when his Boston Bruins beat the Canadiens 4-2 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals series.

Boston’s goalkeeper blocked 34 of 36 shots; 15 of them in the final period.

Boston held a 3-0 lead early in the second period; the team’s first lead in the series so far. David Krejci slapped a 26-footer in, with Patrice Bergeron and Dennis Seidenberg assisting, just 3:11 into the game.

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Zdeno Chara returned to the ice during Game 3

Nathan Horton put the B’s up by two at 14:38, nailing his first career playoff goal with assistance by Adam McQuaid and the newly hydrated Zdeno Chara.

With 3.3 seconds left in the first, surprise, surprise, an expected fight between the two teams erupted.  Montreal’s Benoit Pouliot took down Andrew Ference, resulting in each receiving five minute penalties for fighting. Pouliot was given an extra two minutes for charging Boston’s Johnny Boychuk.

Rich Peverley added Boston’s third goal, putting the B’s up three, with the score on an open net as Montreal’s Carey Price (24 saves) attempted to scramble back on defense after making an ill-advised and poorly executed behind-the-net pass. Peverley, like Horton, netted his first career playoff goal, with Mark Recchi recording the assist.

Price did, however, follow up with a massive save from a Milan Lucic attempt on a breakaway. And on the rebound, Montreal’s Andrei Kostitsyn, from Michael Cammalleri and Roman Hamrlik, scored with a backhand shot that just slid between Thomas’ legs.

The second ended with the Bruins up by two goals, 3-1, and Thomas saving 20 of 21 shots and Price 16 of 19.

But Thomas let another puck slide through just 4:08 into the final period and Montreal was now behind by just one score, 3-2, after a nifty backwards spin goal from Tomas Plekanec, his 9th career playoff goal.

Boston was down the ice for a 3-on-1, the team’s third of the game, but again was unable to capitalize with 6:16 left. Price, again, made two solid blocks from Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton shot attempts.

With less than a minute to play, Montreal took Price out for an extra man, but the Canadiens’ plan fell through as the B’s doubled up, making it a 4-2 game with 25.6 seconds remaining.

Recchi and Bergeron skated up the ice, passing to Chris Kelly who scored the empty-netter that secured the Bruins’ first win in their third game of the seven-game series.

The Canadiens lead the series 2-1, and Game 4 will be played in Montreal on Thursday at 7 pm.

-SK

Stacey Kilpatrick is a new contributor to The Wife Hates Sports, and for the time being, will be writing up recaps of the NHL Playoffs.

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Tim Thomas was stellar against the Canadiens during Game 3

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Elsewhere in the NHL Playoffs…

Pittsburgh Penguins 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 2

Martin St. Louis continued to have a major impact on this series, scoring two goals in Game 3.  However, this time, his performance wasn’t enough, as the Penguins skated away with a 3-2 victory – and shockingly continued to play productive hockey without stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in the lineup.  Pittsburgh’s road win gives the Pens a 2-1 series edge heading into Game 4, a game that will not see the likes of Steve Downie (Tampa Bay) and Chris Kunitz (Pittsburgh), who were suspended due to hits in Game 3.

Game 4 at Tampa Bay – Wednesday April 20, 2011 – 7:00pm ET

Penguins lead series 2-1

Detroit Red Wings 4, Phoenix Coyotes 2

Two first period goals by Ruslan Salei and Drew Miller were the difference in this game, as the Red Wings earned a hard fought 4-2 road win over the Coyotes, and a commanding 3-0 series lead. Rob Otto of Michigan Live says that Detroit’s series with the Coyotes is “going just as planned”.  One more victory, and the Wings are moving on to the next round.

Game 4 at Phoenix – Wednesday April 20, 2011 – 10:30pm ET

Red Wings lead series 3-0

Philadelphia Flyers 4, Buffalo Sabres 2

Since 1998, the Sabres and Flyers have faced each other three other times in the playoffs, with Buffalo winning all three postseason series.  Looking for a spark, Philadelphia started goalie Brian Boucher in Game 3, and the decision paid off.  Boucher picked up where he left off in Game 2, saving 35 shots, and helping lead the Flyers to a 4-2 victory and a 2-1 series lead.  Sam Donnellon of Philly.com also noted that this was a “breakthrough game” for Jeff Carter.

Game 4 at Buffalo – Wednesday April 20, 2011 – 7:30pm ET

Flyers lead series 2-1

-KP

Kevin Paul is the creator, founder and head writer for The Wife Hates Sports

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