A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sabres, Ducks take early lead

On Wednesday night, both the Sabres and the Mighty Ducks crushed their opponent and took 1-0 series leads. Buffalo trounced the Rangers 5-2 while Anaheim whipped the Canucks 5-1. Each team won on their home ice.

The Rangers' game plan was to irritate and frustrate the Sabres and cause them to take penalties. However, it was the Rangers who had discipline issues. They took more penalties than did the Sabres and they failed to convert a full two minutes of five-on-three.

The Blueshirts will have to be more focused if they want to have any chance in this series.

In the second period, the Rangers lost defenseman Michal Rozsival to a leg injury. He didn't return. As is typical in the playoffs, no details about the nature of the injury are available. He's listed as "day-to-day". During the regular season, Rozsival led Rangers defensemen with 40 (10/30) points. He had totaled three (2/1) points in the Rangers four game sweep of the Thrashers and was third in the league with a +/- rating of +5. This will be very bad news for the Rangers if he is unable to return.

In the West, it was just about the same story. The Nucks had discipline issues and couldn't take care of their own scoring chances. Although the Canucks struck first blood, they were unable to do any damage. Andy McDonald netted a hat trick for the Ducks in what turned out to be a very one-sided game. Vancouver is going to have to make some big adjustments. This isn't Dallas anymore, and the high-flying Ducks won't let you beat them with just two goals.

Tonight, the Wings host the Sharks and the Devils host the Sens. I think the Detroit-San Jose series should be very good. The New Jersey-Ottawa series will be extremely physical, but I think it will be all about Marty Brodeur. I don't think the Devils will have much trouble.

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