Here are the morning papers for the Eastern Conference playoff match ups:
Montreal versus Boston:
- The Habs limited the Bruins to only one good scoring chance in the team's impressive 4-1 opening round victory. Guy Carbonneau found out quickly how his team would perform come playoff time. Patrice Bergeron wants to get back in the lineup and face his boyhood team, however, the team is not going to force his return.
- "We knew they were going to come out like that,” Thomas said. “We expected the crowd to be crazy, being that this is Montreal. We expected it. We thought we were ready for it, but we weren’t," said Tim Thomas about his team's start last night. On the injury front, Patrice Bergeron is awaiting final approval to return to the lineup. Meanwhile, Marc Savard played his first game in three weeks last night and the rust was apparent.
Pittsburgh versus Ottawa:
- A Penguins victory tonight would put the Senators into a desperate position, writes Dave Molinari. Gary Roberts has recorded almost 1/3 of his career playoff points versus the Senators. If the Senators have a chance to comeback, they need Martin Gerber to lead the way, writes Shelly Anderson.
- Bryan Murray has called for better performances from Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley. In injury news, Daniel Alfredsson may return to the team soon, however, there is word he wouldn't be much help in his current injury state. Ottawa Sun writer Don Brennan has done a good job of making himself the story this week.
Washington versus Philadelphia:
- The Capitals are getting a ton of exposure from places outside of Washington, writes Tarik El-Bashir.
- The Flyers have one main focus and that is to stop Alexander Ovechkin. But Daniel Briere made it quite clear, give Ovechkin the goals and he'll take the wins instead. In roster news, R.J. Umberger has been moved to the Flyers' fourth line and Sami Kapanen has been moved out of the lineup completely.
New Jersey versus New York Rangers:
- The Devils need to follow their leaders like Jamie Langenbrunner, writes Rich Chere. In injury news, Brian Gionta is aching, but is expecting to play tonight.
- Larry Brooks of the NY Post examines whether the Rangers are copying the Devils' philosophies. Marc Staal was impressive in his playoff debut and Brian Gionta can contest that he hits hard too.
Here are the morning papers for the Western Conference playoff match ups:
Detroit versus Nashville:
- Henrik Zetterberg was the hero for the Red Wings last night. Mitch Albom wants to make sure the Wings don't create a legend in net on the other team this post-season. One of the keys to the Wings' success is getting their forwards to park themselves in front of the opposing net and they do it better than anyone, according to Predators netminder Dan Ellis.
- The Predators got one unlucky bounce versus the Wings and now they are down 1-0 in the series, writes John Glennon. Jordin Tootoo was great at causing havoc for the Predators last night and the rugged winger even scored too. Apparently David Legwand may play in Game 2 on Saturday.
San Jose versus Calgary:
- It was basically a must-win for the Sharks last night and the team responded by beating the Flames 2-0. Evgeni Nabokov was tremendous last night, writes Mark Purdy. Playing in your first playoff action is quite an experience says Torrey Mitchell.
- It didn't hurt that the Flames took ten penalties last night, but the Sharks still didn't panic being down 1-0 in the series and came away with a 2-0 victory. Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun says the Flames just gave last night's game away with their over-abundance of penalties. The penalties they got were well-deserved, writes Eric Francis.
Minnesota versus Colorado:
- The Wild are short on experience so that is why tonight's game is a big test to see if the team can put Game 1 behind them, writes Michael Russo. In injury news, the Wild may be without Martin Skoula tonight as the defenseman injured his leg. With Skoula "iffy" for tonight's game, the Wild may be forced to thrust some veterans into more action than they would like.
- Ryan Smyth puts the team before himself and does not complain about playing on the third line, writes Adrian Dater. The Avalanche are getting an advantage with all these Wild injuries.
Anaheim versus Dallas:
- The Ducks straight up beat themselves last night, writes Dan Wood. Randy Youngman of the Orange County Register says that the Ducks' lost composure could lead to a lost series. The Stars just stuck with their strengths last night.
- The Stars were dominant on Thursday night, writes Mike Heika. J.J. Taylor of the Dallas Morning News says the Stars should feel confident in their ability to win this first round match up. There is still no word on when Sergei Zubov can return to the lineup.
For Illegal Curve, I'm Richard Pollock.
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