Published November 20, 2014
There's always the possibility that a team will come out flat after winning a Game 7 in overtime, but the Vancouver Canucks weren't buying. The scoreboard showed that the Canucks beat Nashville 1-0 in the opener of their Western Conference semifinal-round series, but the final score didn't indicate the way the Canucks dominated play. Only the brilliance of Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne (29 saves) kept the Canucks from running away.
Two more second-round series begin tonight -- Detroit visits San Jose in a rematch of their meeting last year, and Tampa Bay visits Washington.
Here's your daily NHL.com Reading List for a set of quick links to some of the stories you won't want to miss:
Higgins is Game 1 hero -- again
Christopher Higgins seems to have this Game 1 thing down pat. He scores, the Vancouver Canucks win. Higgins scored in the Canucks' 2-0 win in Game 1 against Chicago, then got the only goal in Vancouver's 1-0 win against Nashville. Dan Rosen was among those who talked with the Canucks' unlikely hero.
Almost perfect isn't good enough
Pekka Rinne played about as well as he could play in Game 1, stopping 29 of 30 shots by the NHL's highest-scoring team. But as Dhiren Mahiban reports, it wasn't enough to avoid a Game 1 loss.
Canucks buck the trend
At first glance, the Canucks edging out the Predators less than 48 hours after their Game 7 overtime win over the Blackhawks might not have seemed that unusual. But as John Kreiser explains, going inside the numbers, teams that win a Game 7 OT tend to struggle the next time out.
Ex-champs look toward next season
A year ago, the Chicago Blackhawks were on the way to their first Stanley Cup since 1961. They spent Thursday saying goodbye for the summer after their season ended with a Game 7 loss in Vancouver two nights earlier. Brian Hedger writes that the Hawks hope the extra rest will help fuel another push for the Cup next spring.
This time, the Wings are well-rested
Detroit came to San Jose for Game 1 of their second-round series last year exhausted after a grueling seven-game battle with Phoenix. This year, they've had more than a week off as the teams get ready for a rematch. Eric Gilmore writes that while some players might not have preferred such a long break, it's allowed the Wings to get healthy.
Flyers not hoping for another miracle
The Flyers made history against Boston last year by becoming only the third team to win a series after trailing 3-0. As Mike Morreale notes, they're not interested in having to perform that kind of comeback again.
EA Sports' NHL 11 simulation engine went 8-for-8 in picking first-round winners. As David Kalan reports, EA Sports is picking three of the four lower seeds to advance to the conference finals.