Andrew Ladd was the OT hero last night in Chicago as the Blackhawks evened the series at two. For Ladd that was only his second goal and third point of the playoffs but the man whose shot he deflected is the player that we're really watching on the Hawks as Dave Bolland is really emerging as strong breakout candidate for next year in our eyes as he's now up to eight points in 10 playoff games.
Jonas Hiller proved that he's an earthling last night after giving up five goals on 33 shots before getting pulled early in the 3rd period. JS Giguere came in and stopped all six shots he faced be look for Hiller to be back between the pipes in game #5.
The big guns for Anaheim continue to bring it on a nightly basis as Corey Perry's two goals gave him six in his last seven and Ryan Getzlaf had two assists to extend his point streak to eight games and he reclaimed sole possession of the playoff scoring lead with 16 points. Chris Pronger added an assist and now has seven points in his last five games.
Detroit coach Mike Babcock mixed up his lines last night to try to get the struggling Pavel Datsyuk going by re-uniting him with Hank Zetterberg... but it was the 2nd line discards like Marian Hossa and Johan Franzen that the change sparked the most. Both had two goals last night and that continues Franzen's hot streak as he's up to six in eight games and gets Hossa off a mini-snide with his first points of the series.
Ottawa signed their 2008 1st rounder, Erik Karlsson, to a contract yesterday and we'd expect him to be in their opening day lineup next year, especially given the state of their d-core right now. As for what to expect from the young Swede next year, we'd temper your expectations as the kid is still 18 and has a lot of physical maturing to do.
You know a series is getting good when teenagers are posting death threats for the opposing team's players as was the case with Penguins fans on Alexander Ovechkin. Now all this series needs is a bench clearing brawl or maybe just a nice tussle between Ove & Sid... that would take this series to the next stratosphere.
Kevin Bieksa injured his leg last night and was seen limping after the game so it could be serious... we probably won't hear anything official but stay tuned.
None of the questionable players were able to go last night... Sami Salo, James Wisniewski and Brian Rafalski are all still out and hard to say which one is the closest to returning. We'd probably bet on Salo but betting on Salo's health is definitely a bad bet so maybe we'd go with Rafalski since Detroit gets an extra day off before game #5.
What's distracting us today? We gave Cooly the Cow, the official mascot of the World Championships, a hard time on Wednesday for his nap-inducing interviews... but maybe we rushed to judgment on this heifer... he's got some depth (& some moves) to him. Check out Puck Daddy for the video evidence.