The Eastern Conference’s top seed, the Boston Bruins, avoided dropping Game 1 to Montreal last night, but the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed couldn’t prevent the ugly fate of surrendering home-ice advantage to the Anaheim Ducks.
The Ducks were buoyed by a 35-save performance by goaltender Jonas Hiller in a 2-0 win at HP Pavilion. The Ducks’ penalty kill was outstanding as well (a perfect 6-for-6), led by veteran Rob Niedermayer. Mark Whicker of the Orange County Register has more on the less-famous Niedermayer brother.
In the Mercury News, Mark Purdy wonders if this will be another case of ‘here we go again’ for the Sharks.
MK: Of course, there’s going to be some panic in Sharks Land. But they ran into a hot goaltender and a hot penalty kill for one night. Usually, these things have a way of sorting themselves over a long series and San Jose should be just fine.
Elsewhere around the playoffs:
•The Columbus Blue Jackets’ first-ever playoff game will be known for Manny Malhotra’s miscue with his glove.
•Forward Martin Havlat was the overtime hero for Chicago in the win over Calgary.
•In the New York Post, Larry Brooks says it’s too early to tell if Wade Redden is going to be better in the playoffs than he was in the regular season.